Ithaca Police Department
Use of Force Policy
This policy, developed over months is in line with national experts and informed by President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
The main responsibility of Department officers is to protect the life and property of civilians. In compliance with applicable law, officers shall use only the amount of force necessary and reasonable to accomplish lawful objectives and to control a situation, effect an arrest, overcome resistance to arrest, or defend themselves or others from harm. When force is necessary, the degree of force employed should be in direct relationship to the amount of resistance exerted, or the immediate threat to the officers or others. There is a compelling public interest that officers authorized to exercise the use of force do so in an objectively reasonable manner and in a way that does not violate the civil rights guaranteed by our Constitution and applicable law.
Officers who use excessive or unjustified force degrade the confidence of the community that they serve, undermine the legitimacy of a police officer’s authority, and hinder the Department’s ability to provide effective law enforcement services to the community. Officers who use excessive or unauthorized force shall be subject to discipline, possible criminal prosecution, and/or civil liability. The use of force is only authorized when it is objectively reasonable and for a lawful purpose. Accordingly, the Department will thoroughly review and/or investigate all uses of force by officers to assure compliance with all legal requirements and this policy.
Thomas J. Kelly
Chief of Police
120 East Clinton Street
P.O. Box 6557
Ithaca, NY 14851, USA
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For any incidents in progress or emergent, please call 911 for an immediate response.