Prince William Police Department to use federal funding to analyze use of force

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1st sergeant. Jonathan Perok, PD of Prince William

Prince William County, VA…Following recent approval of major congressional appropriations for community improvement initiatives, the Prince William County Police Department will use $250,000 in funding from the Department of Justice Byrne Discretionary Community Project Grants to examine the use of force by officers in the county. This effort to be included in the proposal was made possible by the strong support of the Honorable Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton, representing the 10and District.

“I am proud to have been able to provide this funding to the Prince William Police Service to conduct an independent use of force review that will help our law enforcement agencies better serve their community,” said the Congresswoman. Jennifer Wexton. “I have worked closely with county and department heads to make this priority a reality and I look forward to seeing how our officers will benefit from the new policies, training and data collection recommendations that we anticipate from this As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I do everything I can to meet the needs of our district, and this project is a perfect example of federal resources that will have a positive impact on the entire community of Prince William.”

The agency recognizes that officers using force remain a critical issue in communities that merits further exploration to ensure that the force used is lawful and not unjustly used disproportionately against members of our communities in color.

The objective of the plan would be to assess, evaluate and analyze the Department’s use of force policies, training programs, police culture, supervision, de-escalation strategies and tactics with the help from an independent contractor. The independent contractor will also assess and assess which environmental or precursor factors are commonly associated with the use of force using the police service’s use of force data. The contractor will recommend any adjustments that may be required in current use of force policies and training programs. Additionally, the contractor-agency partnership will analyze what use-of-force data is already being collected, what additional data needs to be collected, and how existing data should be interpreted and made available to the public.

“We are grateful for this opportunity to further explore and better understand the data and impact of our use of force policies,” said Prince William County Police Department Chief Peter Newsham. “This research will undoubtedly be of great benefit to the community and the department.

This program will continue to build on the Police Department’s commitment to fairness, trust, legitimacy and transparency within the community, by strengthening communication and the relationship between the police and the community, by emphasizing compassion and reinforcing the sanctity of human life, and promoting best practices in evidence-based decision-making regarding the use of force.

“We are delighted to bring even more expertise and knowledge to our police service to enhance its already outstanding accreditation and engagement with the public,” said Ann Wheeler, Chair of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. “Thank you to Congresswoman Wexton for her support and leadership in this matter.”

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