CPD releases the first quarter report

There were 15 occasions of Taser use in CPD's first quarter.

The 2010 Columbia Police Department first quarter report was recently released and focused on the use of Tasers and pepper spray by police officers.

At least some level of force was necessary for officers making arrests on 45 occasions. There were a total of 15 occasions of Taser use, as well as 15 involving pepper spray, the news release stated.

CPD spokeswoman Jessie Haden said CPD updated the Taser policy last year and adopted new guidelines.

"We will continue to review every Taser usage and continue to make sure our Taser policy is the best it can be," Haden said.

According to the Mandatory Review information in the news release, there were 12 strikes against officers in the first quarter of this year. An officer receives a strike whenever he delivers a blow with any part of his body, including his hands, arms, feet or fists.

The release stated other uses of force include any incidents that result in a suspect or subject being physically harmed.

Officers were dispatched after CPD received 14,785 calls for service during the first quarter and a total of 38,564 citizen contacts, the news release stated. CPD officers made 1,873 in-custody arrests and completed Mandatory Review on 72 incidents.

The release stated the department received 52 complaints out of the total number of citizen contacts. Haden said the department was pleased with the small amount of complaints.

"The number of external complaints is very small," Haden said. "In most cases, it turns out the officer behaved properly."

Complaints were categorized as sustained, not sustained, unfounded, no misconduct alleged, no finding or pending. The categories are new to the department and are one of several changes made by the Internal Affairs Unit.

Haden said CPD is rewriting its entire policy, which requires officers to document any use of force in more thorough detail.

"We are also requiring officers to document whenever they point a firearm at someone or if they handcuff someone but don't arrest him," Haden said.

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