Chief's Message on Use of Force

The men and women of the Auburn Police Department take great pride in our profession and service to the community. We do not take lightly the sanctity of life as well as ensuring the fair treatment of everyone we come into contact with.

The way, in which, law enforcement uses force and our reputation amongst our communities has once again become a major topic of discussion in our country. Many are seeking police reform on the topic of police uses of force. The campaign makes claims that adopting the reforms and/or changes to eight uses of force areas in law enforcement would significantly reduce the number of people killed by law enforcement. Law enforcement in the State of California have already developed policies and procedures addressing these use of force areas.

I believe it is important to bring to the attention of our community and those we serve our current policies and procedures, along with state law, which guides the principles and conduct of the Auburn Police Department. You will find our policies and procedures fall in line with best practices identified in today’s law enforcement profession.

The eight policies brought forward are:

  • Ban chokeholds and strangleholds: The Auburn Police Department has placed a ban on the use of the carotid control hold pending further guidance and legislation from the California Police Officer Standards and Training.
  • Require de-escalation: De-escalation is ingrained in California law enforcement beginning with the academies, field training programs, and on-going department training. Training officers receive supplemental crisis intervention training. We have planned intervention training for all officers in the future.
  • Require a warning before shooting: Auburn Police Department already has policies, as well state guidelines, related to the use of deadly force.
  • Duty to intervene: Auburn Police Department already has policies, as well state guidelines, related to the expectation and accountability of officers to intercede and stop excessive force.
  • Ban shooting at moving vehicles: Auburn Police Department recognizes that shooting at or from a moving vehicle is rarely effective and provides officers guidance in their appropriate response, to include not shooting the vehicle in an attempt to disable it.
  • Require a use of force continuum: The continuum model is an out of date practice and the Auburn Police Department subscribes to a “Use of Force Paradigm”. This model takes multiple factors to determine the reasonableness of force, including time and circumstances.
  • Exhaust all other means before shooting: The Auburn Police Department focuses on continued training of officers in the alternatives to deadly force and de-escalation, along with communications skills.
  • Require comprehensive reporting: The Auburn Police Department’s policies and procedures require use of force reporting to be documented properly. In addition, it provides supervisors guidance on how they should respond and document a use of force incident.

Attached is the full memorandum to the community authored by the Chief of Police.

We are fortunate to have such a supportive community. A community that cares about our safety and well-being and one that is engaged in dialogue with us and continues to help us reach our fullest potential. I am also aware of our strained relationship with some within our community and I am working on rebuilding these relationships.  Community trust is fragile; easily lost and difficult to regain.


Ryan L. Kinnan

Chief of Police