March 28, 2023

ST. PAUL, Minn. (January 19, 2018) — Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter on Friday offered said he supported the efforts of Police Chief Todd Axtell in creating a revised draft use-of-force policy for the City of Saint Paul Police Department.

“This draft policy is an important step forward to protect the sacred trust between community members and our police officers,” Carter said. “I appreciate Chief Axtell’s openness to public engagement and encourage community members to provide feedback on this policy through the police department’s website. A use of force policy that reflects our values is critical to ensuring we can all work together to keep our neighborhoods safe and build a city that works for all of us.”

Notable updates to the policy include:

  • Replaces outdated use-of-force continuum by describing five levels of behavior, ranging from compliance to passive resistance to aggravated aggression, and clearly articulates acceptable response options to each.
  • Emphasizes officer’s duty to de-escalate when practical, and more clearly defines an officer’s duty to intervene.  
  • Provides clearer guidance to officers on interacting with individuals experiencing crisis.
  • Increases and types of encounters where medical professionals must be called, and articulates that medical help must be summoned as soon safely possible.  
  • Formally recognizes that every use of force is reviewed with increased reporting and supervisor oversight.
  • Provides clear rules for electronic control devices (Tasers).

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