As local and national conversations continue about police reform, race relations and use of force, the Naperville Police Department would like to give our community a look at the policies we have in place and the actions we’ve taken in recent years to ensure we’re providing lawful and unbiased service to all members of our community.
How we compare
Our policies generally align with the major tenets in many popular reform campaigns, with differences that promote public safety and support best practices in policing. For example:
Ban Chokeholds and Strangleholds
We have found evidence in our policies dating as far back as 1992 banning the use of choke holds unless deadly force is warranted. We also prohibit the use of carotid neck holds, carotid choke holds, sleeper holds or similar tactics.
Our officers receive de-escalation training both at the academy level and through mandatory annual training. ALL our officers are trained in mental health awareness, and about 25% of our officers are certified in Crisis Intervention Training.
Require Warning Before Shooting
Our Response to Resistance policy requires officers to give a warning prior to using deadly force if it is feasible.
What this means: For example, an officer responding to an incident involving an active shooter may need to act immediately in order to prevent further death from occurring, leaving no time for such a warning.
Exhaust All Other Means Before Shooting
Naperville officers are equipped with the training and resources necessary to diffuse situations prior to resorting to the use of deadly force. The department has many CIT-certified officers as well as crisis negotiators who attempt to de-escalate incidents prior to deadly force becoming necessary. The department also has access to OC spray, tasers and less-lethal shotguns to offer less-lethal options to officers.
For example, in a recent incident in Naperville where a subject armed with a knife and advancing toward our officers, the use of a less-lethal shotgun prevented a potential deadly force confrontation.
Duty to Intervene
We require our officers to intercede if they see another officer using force that’s unreasonable under the circumstances and to report the incident to a supervisor.
Ban Shooting at Moving Vehicles
The City’s policy states officers will not discharge a firearm at or from a moving vehicle except in self-defense or defense of another.
Require Use of Force Continuum
Our officers are trained to use force as a last resort. Our policy is based on using reasonable and necessary force to make a lawful arrest or to protect the officer and others from great bodily harm or death. It is guided by the United States Constitution, Illinois Statutes and case law, such as Graham v. Connor.
Require Comprehensive Reporting
Incidents involving the use of force are tracked by the department and require immediate notification to a supervisor, a written report by the officer involved, and a policy review by the Response to Resistance Committee, which includes the Chief of Police.
In addition to the recommended protocols and policies, we’re proud to have implemented the following additional measures in recent years to promote transparency and accountability in our department and continued relationships with the community:
- We proactively reviewed the standards and recommendations outlined in the final report of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing in 2015 and were pleased to see that we already comply with most of the provisions, which are divided into six pillars. See how we compare.
- Through our association with the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, we adopted 10 shared principles developed in conjunction with the NAACP in 2018. Read the principles.
- We regularly partner with and engage in open, two-way communication with various groups in our community, including Unity Partnership, the Islamic Center of Naperville, Naper Pride and countless others.
- We host regular Chats with the Chief at various businesses throughout town. The informal, open-house structure is completely citizen-driven and provides a relaxed atmosphere for anyone to speak one-on-one with the Chief of Police and his senior staff.
- NPD has a model training program that puts our officers through 80-100 hours of classroom, hands-on, and scenario-based training each year. Our officers regularly train on de-escalation tactics, crisis intervention, applicable case law, accountability and implicit and explicit bias, among many other topics.
- We have been an accredited agency since 1992, with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) regularly reviewing our policies to ensure they are up to date, within law and, most importantly, to make sure we’re in compliance with those policies. Learn more about accreditation.
- Our Office of Professional Standards investigates and tracks complaints against officers and applies progressive discipline that may result in suspension or termination. In 2019, citizen complaints made up only about 30% of the total complaints investigated by this office. The rest were generated internally, proving that we hold our employees accountable for following policy.
- During the hiring process, officers undergo an extensive psychological exam designed to eliminate candidates that could pose a risk to the integrity of the profession, including a test to determine if the officer possesses bias against any protected class. In addition, a comprehensive background check is conducted to determine if the candidate has any history of violence, abuse, or discrimination.
Where we go from here
The Naperville Police Department is a progressive agency that relies heavily on training and accountability to ensure we are providing the best possible service to the community. We will continue to be an active partner in the Naperville community and take part in conversations aimed at making policing better.
In the coming weeks, we will add information to this webpage outlining the Department’s key areas of focus as talks about reform continue.
If you have questions regarding Naperville Police Department’s policies, please call (630) 420-6161 or email email@example.com.