Eugene police: Use of force at 7-year low

Eugene police: Use of force at 7-year low

From a press release

Eugene Police Department released the latest bi-annual Use of Force Report online Tuesday.

Eugene police used weapons - including guns, impact weapons, Tasers, and pepper spray - in 48 cases.

This is a seven-year low, during a time in which Eugene police officers are encountering more people carrying guns and knives during incidents that resulted in police use of force.

Current Use of Force Report | Past reports

Key findings for 2007-2009 included:

  • EPD's reportable use of force is less than the national average at under 1 percent of all EPD incidents (0.87%). Reportable force was used during only 289 incidents out of 33,220 arrests during the three year period. There were 301,283 dispatched police calls for service during the same period.
  • There has been an alarming increase in the number of force incidents where subjects were armed (twice the average of the previous five years). Tasers were the intermediate weapon most likely to be used by officers in these circumstances.
  • A substantial majority of force encounters continue to involve subjects impaired by alcohol and/or drugs (71 percent). A substantial minority were suicidal subjects many of whom were also impaired by alcohol and/or drugs.
  • Officers' use of multiple force tactics and weapons during force encounters was significantly lower for 2009.
  • Subject injury rates were lowest when officers used Tasers or OC spray.
  • The rate of serious subject injuries was low and none occurred as a result of a Taser discharge.
  • With the introduction of Tasers, officers use OC spray less often and the remaining OC spray incidents had even lower injury rates for subjects than prior to the Taser Pilot project.
  • The limited deployment of Tasers has not produced a statistically significant reduction of injuries to subjects, but has reduced officer injuries. The increased subject resistance (armed subjects) may account for the lack of injury reduction for subjects since the limited deployment of Tasers.