Report: Incidents involving use of force down more than 50 percent in 2017

(DeLand, FL) - An internal review of the DeLand Police Department’s arrests found incidents involving the use of force dropped by more than 50 percent in 2017.

The report, conducted by the PD’s Office of Professional Standards for accreditation requirements, found that of the 2,175 arrests made by officers in 2017 there were only nine instances that resulted in law enforcement having to use force – or a rate of .4 percent of all arrests.

Police Chief Jason Umberger attributed to the drop to the department’s focus on community-based policing as well as training on de-escalation techniques and understanding of implicit bias. The department is also participating in training from the Department of Justice that examines factors that affect professional engagement with the public.

“Our number one goal at the end of the day is the safety of our community members and our police officers,” said Police Chief Jason Umberger. “This report is a testament to the effort I see by our officers every day to build relationships with our residents and gain the public’s trust.”

Of the instances where force was used, all of the incidents were the result of resistance shown by the offender.

One involved a firearm when a man failed to comply with a DeLand Police Officer and Volusia County deputies to drop his weapon. The suspect was fatally shot and all of the law enforcement involved were cleared in the incident. In two other instances, the police officer reported having to utilize their Taser.

The report is attached below.