Police and Elected Officials Discuss Use of Force

Supervisor Rodney L. Lusk (D), chair of Safety and Security Committee, said to Chief Davis that on the use of force study by the University of San Antonio (2019), “you’ve been pretty specific in saying we’ve been able to reach 80 percent of those recommendations. I think what we need to do is show and document where that 80 percent is ... for us to be able to know which things have already been checked off."

Chairman Jeff McKay (D), made a request. “We’ve been told there are shortcomings in our existing, antiquated records management system ... if you could provide a memo that will outline the features of the [new] management system.”

Supervisor James R. Walkinshaw (D-Braddock). ”I think this would have been more productive if we had the report in advance and then responded to it today.” On Use of force, asking Richard Schott, Independent Police Auditor. Walkinshaw: "So your recommendation is still no change on general orders related to use of force?” Schott: “Yes. And what I indicate in my explanation is that I think officers should be trained to attempt a minimal amount of force, but I don't think it should be a written policy that you have to use a minimum amount of force because I'm not yet convinced that there is one minimum amount of force that can be attempted.”

Supervisor John W. Foust (D-Dranesville) “Have you met with the [matrix] working group?” Davis: "Our work inside the police department has been able to evaluate and respond to the many recommendations that were made.” Foust: “I don't understand why the two groups, Matrix and the police, didn't get together and agree ... So we have one place to look for all this. You’re in the draft form... I would ask you to meet with the matrix group and see what you can resolve between the two of you so that we're not dealing with ‘he said, she said.’" Davis: “With all due respect, I'm unfamiliar with the work done by the people who gave up their time, their passion, and their talents to put together the report to submit to this body ... We wanted to get that report back to the Board of Supervisors, and that’s what we’ve done.” Foust: “So you will or will not meet with them [the matrix working group]? Davis: “I will meet with anybody, anytime."

Supervisor Walter L. Alcorn (D-Hunter Mill) on the foot pursuit policy: “Is it correct to say that, as of today, we don't have an explicit policy on this — that our policy will be guided by what other departments are doing, but we know they don't have particularly good policies on this? So, in fact, we might be creating a sound policy here in Fairfax. Can you give me a timeline?” Chief Davis: “When we put a policy forward, we want it to actually be a policy and not a regurgitation, referring to your training manual ... We average about six foot pursuits per week, and we’ve learned a lot about time and day. We’re happy with the data collection policy, but we realize that is not the policy that folks are talking about. [The timeline], early 2024.”

Supervisor Daniel G. Storck (D-Mount Vernon) “I want a high-level view of what direction you're going with CACs (Community Action Committees). Davis: “The CAC, like the government and the police department, should reflect the community ... For the first time ever, we have a CAC chair and vice chair who are African American females. We want to be a little more inviting to members of the community who might be apprehensive about walking into a police station.”

Supervisor Dalia A. Palchik (D-Providence) “I'm finding it a little bit tricky and difficult to, first of all, easily find where all the data is stored. We have a few different websites up there; the open.org website is called the state website and is not always the prettiest. I think we have some excellent staff who can maybe help with that — make sure that they are more user-friendly, can share them with the community, and can be targeted in that data approach.”

Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) “If I have any concerns, it is that we don’t handcuff ourselves as we did with the Trust Policy ... My other concern that we need to dig into is our ability to continue to hire the best and brightest officers. It’s recruiting and training that I’d like to see the department focus on." Davis: “During the month of September, we welcomed over 70 new FCPD recruits. In terms of quality, education is one of them; 70 percent have a bachelor's degree or higher.”