We have received numerous emails regarding the 8 Can’t Wait campaign, which calls for restrictions on the use of deadly force. Please read our response addressing all 8 Can’t Wait topics:
The Napa County Sheriff’s Office emphasizes a "Commitment to Excellence." Our deputies are dedicated to serving and protecting our community.
Napa Sheriff’s Office personnel regularly train in de-escalation techniques, both through a required 3-day Crisis Intervention Training program as well as during monthly firearms training, arrest and control training and numerous types of cultural awareness training.
The use of force continuum is an aged methodology that we have moved past. NSO Policy 300.3 restricts the deputies’ ability to use only the amount of force that appears to be reasonably necessary based on the facts and circumstances of that particular situation. This is in line with the standards established in 2019 via the passage of AB392.
As of June 5, 2020 and in compliance with newly formulated P.O.S.T. standards, the Napa County Sheriff’s Office will no longer train Deputies in the application of the carotid restraint. Additionally, Napa Sheriff’s Deputies are no longer permitted to use the Carotid Restraint other than in those circumstances that would warrant the application of deadly force.
This is a standard that has been in effect across the country via Tennessee v. Garner (1985) and reinforced in the western states via Deorle v. Rutherford (2001). It is also consistently and constantly addressed in firearms training. NSO Policy 300.4(b) requires a deputy to warn that deadly force may be used prior to the use of deadly force, where feasible.
NSO Policy #300.4.1 recognizes that shooting at a moving vehicle is rarely effective. Deputies are trained not to put themselves in the path of a vehicle when possible and to move out of the way of an oncoming vehicle rather than shooting at the vehicle or their occupants.
This is addressed in NSO Policy # 300.3.2. Deputies are trained that when evaluating the factors present which assist in determining whether to apply force and what type of force would be reasonable, they are to assess the availability of other reasonable and feasible options and their possible effectiveness.
NSO Policy #300.2.1 describes the deputy’s duty to intercede. Napa County Sheriff’s deputies are required to intervene to prevent the application of excessive force and are also required to promptly report any application of excessive force to a supervisor.
NSO Policy 300.5 requires deputies to promptly, completely and accurately report any use of force. Any officer involved shooting is thoroughly investigated by the Napa County Major Crimes Task Force, which is comprised of members of each law enforcement agency in Napa County, including investigators from the Napa County District Attorney’s Office. At the conclusion of the investigation, each incident is reviewed by the Napa County District Attorney.