‘Use of Force’ Committee Circulates Citywide

The City of Falls Church’s Use of Force Review (UFR) Committee has launched a survey to learn more about public perception of and experiences with the City’s Police Department and Sheriff’s office.

The survey is available online and will close at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. This survey will not be statistically significant; rather, it will provide anecdotes to help the UFR Committee inform their work and eventually provide recommendations to the City Council. Once evaluated, this survey’s results will be available on the UFR Committee’s website.

The UFR Committee was formed by City Council in June 2020 as part of taking the Reimagining Policing Pledge from the Obama Foundation and the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance.

The pledge calls on localities to review use of force policies, engage the community, report the findings to the community and seek feedback, and reform the use of force policies.

The committee is comprised of seven members from the community, five City employees — including representatives from the Police Department and Sheriff’s Office — and one public schools employee.

According to the National Institute of Justice, the use of force by law enforcement officers becomes necessary and is permitted under specific circumstances, such as in self-defense or in defense of another individual or group.

According to a UFC statement, “There is no single, universally agreed-upon definition of use of force. The International Association of Chiefs of Police has described use of force as the ‘amount of effort required by police to compel compliance by an unwilling subject.’”