Harrisonburg Police Department update some policies after peace rally

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Following community protests and peace rallies in the City of Harrisonburg, the police department has started to update some of its policies regarding use-of-force.

The department has made a change to its use-of-force policy requiring officers to intervene if another officer is using inappropriate force on a citizen.

The announcement was made at Tuesday’s City Council meeting by Chief of Police Eric English who said the recommendations came from concerned citizens.

“We added a sentence in there that talks about the sanctity of life and being the utmost of importance in any use of force encounter,” Chief English said. “So I just want our officers to know that the value of life is extremely important and we need to do all that we can to preserve that.”

The department is also now sending out resources to officers looking at incidents from around the country and studying how the situation should be handled.

“I want to make sure that we just don’t get caught up on things going on in Harrisonburg and that we’re looking at it globally,” Chief English said. “Law enforcement across this country is changing and we need to make sure we keep an update of what’s going on.”

Chief English said since the last peace rally the city has started a focus group to look at other department policies and is hoping to get more community input in the future.

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