Department of Justice program to examine Metro Police use of force


originally by: Las Vegas Sun
published: 2nd February 2012

A new Justice Department program will examine 20 years of use-of-force incidents by Metro Police, ultimately recommending best practices for the agency, officials announced Thursday. Bernard Melekian, director of the Justice Department’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), said Sheriff Doug Gillespie approached federal officials several months ago, seeking guidance about use-of-force issues.

Public outcry and calls for reform regarding use of force by Metro Police hit a crescendo with the 2010 police killings of Trevon Cole and Erik Scott. Just last month, Metro’s Fiscal Affairs Committee approved a $1.7 million settlement to the family of Cole, who was shot by police while unarmed in his apartment bathroom.

The new initiative, loosely titled Outreach and Assistance, falls within the existing COPS program and will cater to local law enforcement agencies that voluntarily seek help with any policing issues, Melekian said.

Metro is the first department enrolled in the program, which relies on national law enforcement experts, many whom are former police officers, he said.

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