The Town of Newmarket and the Newmarket Police Department understand the concerns people have regarding the department’s policies. While we cannot share all of the policies with the public in accordance with RSA 91-A:5 VI, we will address the most common topics we have received questions on and share those excerpts of the policy.
- BAN CHOKEHOLDS & STRANGLEHOLDS- Our police policy specifically states "The use of neck restraints, chokeholds, or other weaponless control techniques is prohibited unless the use of deadly force is authorized".
- REQUIRE DE-ESCALATION- Our police policy specifically states 1) Officers shall use advisements, warnings and verbal persuasion when possible before resorting to force. 2) Force shall be de-escalated immediately as resistance decreases. 3) When feasible based upon the circumstances, officers will use disengagements, area containment, surveillance, waiting on a subject, summoning reinforcements and/or calling in specialized units in order to reduce the need for force and increase officer and civilian safety. 4) Officers shall allow individuals time to submit to arrest before force is used whenever possible.
- REQUIRE WARNING BEFORE SHOOTING- Our police policy specifically states "When tactically feasible, an officer will identify themselves as a police officer and issue verbal commands and warnings prior to the use of force. When feasible, an officer will allow the subject an opportunity to comply with the officer's verbal commands. A verbal warning is not required in circumstances where the officer has to make a split second decision, or if the officer reasonably believes that issuing the warning would place the safety of the officer or others in jeopardy. Warning shots are prohibited. Officers are prohibited from discharging firearms as a means of warning or frightening a person"
- EXHAUST ALL ALTERNATIVES BEFORE SHOOTING- This goes along with our officers being trained in Force Continuum. We have established and our officers are trained to recognize and utilize all forms of Force Continuum beginning with officer presence, verbal commands, de-escalation techniques, soft hand techniques, hard hand techniques, intermediate weapons such as pepper spray, taser, baton and lastly, deadly force.
- DUTY TO INTERVENE- Our police policy specifically states "Officers who use excessive or unjustified force degrade the confidence of the community they serve, undermine the legitimacy of a police officer’s authority and hinder the Departments ability to provide effective law enforcement services to the community. If an officer observes or witnesses excessive, unjustified or unreasonable use of force, the officer shall immediately intervene to stop the excessive, unjustified or unreasonable use of force and shall also report such force to their immediate supervisor as soon as practicable."
- BAN SHOOTING AT MOVING VEHICLES- Our police policy specifically states "Officers are prohibited from discharging their firearms at or from a moving, motorcycle, or bicycle (collectively "moving vehicle") unless the officer reasonably believes the force is necessary to defend the officer or a third person from the use or imminent use of deadly force. For purposes of this policy, officers will not discharge their firearms at a moving vehicle except under extreme circumstances. Such discharges will be rigorously scrutinized. Officers shall as a rule, avoid tactics that could place them in a position where a moving vehicle could be used against them. When confronted with an oncoming moving vehicle, officers should attempt to move out of its path and should generally avoid placing themselves in situations where the use of deadly force is more likely".
- ESTABLISH USE OF FORCE CONTINUUM- We have established and our officers are trained to recognize and utilize all forms of Force Continuum beginning with officer presence, verbal commands, de-escalation techniques, soft hand techniques, hard hand techniques, intermediate weapons such as pepper spray, taser, baton and lastly, deadly force.
- REQUIRE ALL FORCE BE REPORTED- Our police policy specifically states "The Department shall establish and maintain a Use of Force reporting system that allows for the effective review and analysis of all incidents in which a sworn member of this agency uses any level of force in performance of their duties against any member of the public, whether on-duty or off-duty. The reporting system shall be designed to help identify trends, improve training and officer safety, and provide timely and accurate information to the Department. Employees shall complete a departmental Use of Force Report Form whenever they use a level of force against a suspect above unresisted handcuffing. This includes the discharge of a firearm or any action that results in or is alleged to have resulted in injury to or the death of another person".