The Belmont Police Department has been serving the community since 1929. We value people and do our best to provide our community with the finest service possible. We treat others with dignity, respect, sensitivity, compassion and understanding, while we protect the lives, property and rights of our residents. We are committed to our community, we hold ourselves and each other accountable for our actions, and while doing our work, we strive to uphold only the highest moral and ethical standards.
We place a great emphasis on many professional aspects that we believe are paramount to our organization’s success in meeting our community’s needs. These areas include hiring, training, policy making, equipment and constantly re-evaluating our systems.
One of the most important things we do to maintain the highest level of service possible is hire the right people. We go to great efforts to ensure we only hire only those who want to become police officers for the purpose of helping and protecting the public. Applicants must go through a battery of tests and evaluations, including background checks, psychological evaluations, polygraph tests and oral interviews. Next, those who are hired are sent to the Basic Police Academy, whose curriculum is managed by California’s Police Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) Oversight Agency. Officers in training study at the academy for six months, where they learn fundamental basics about Law Enforcement principals and application. Once they graduate, our officers complete a four to six month field training program in our city before being released to work without direct supervision. During the rest of their career, our officers are consistently provided with the most current and best training available. This training includes everything from use of force and de-escalation tactics, to implicit bias, racial profiling and diversity training, as well as mental health crisis intervention and community policing.
To ensure our officers know what is expected of them, we maintain a comprehensive policy manual. The goal of our policies are to protect officers and the public, while managing risk for the City. These policies are constantly reviewed and updated by an outside consultant, Lexipol, which has become the leading platform for policy development. The group is comprised of a team of attorneys who are well-versed in case law and best practices, and they provide us with the most progressive policies available, so that our officers may have the most up-to-date resources needed to ensure public safety.
In order to provide quality service, the proper tools must be utilized. To provide the best service, and for the safety of our community and ourselves, we equip our officers with the finest equipment possible, which includes our Records Management System, less-lethal options, investigative tools and body cameras.
If an officer receives a complaint while performing their duties, the complaint is thoroughly investigated If the complaint is sustained, an officer’s punishment can range from counseling to the loss of their job. Our Agency uses progressive discipline when applicable, and all disciplinary findings are reported to the State’s Department of Justice on an annual basis.
In an effort to continue providing the best service possible, we constantly re-evaluate our systems and make the changes necessary to be the best and most progressive Police Department for our community.
We hear your concerns!
The tragic death of Mr. George Floyd in Minneapolis has galvanized community concerns regarding policing policies and training throughout the nation. We have received many inquiries regarding our policies, and whether or not they conform to the 8cantwait campaign. It should be noted that this campaign is sponsored by Campaign Zero, a group of community activists who are not expert matter experts in the area of policing or police policy development. None the less, we still believe it is important for us to re-evaluate our policies based on their concerns to ensure we are providing the best guidance possible to our officers. We also feel it is important for us to provide the public with responses to the questions posed, so that everyone knows what our policies are, and why they are in place.
The 8cantwait campaign identifies the following issues of concern:
Belmont Police Officers are taught to use de-escalation tactics in the police academy, during their bi-annual Arrest and Control training, and during Crisis Intervention training. Officers who are or have been assigned to the Crisis Negotiations Unit also receive additional training in de-escalation.
The following BPD policies apply to de-escalation considerations: BPD Policy 300.3.3 Pain Compliance Techniques, BPD Policy300.3.2(o) Factors Used to Determine the Reasonableness of Force, 418.4(c) Mental Illness Commitments, 466.6 Crisis Intervention Incidents
Belmont Officers observing another officer using excessive force are required to intercede to prevent the use of unreasonable force, and are mandated to promptly report the incident to a supervisor.
The following BPD policy applies to requiring officers to intervene: BPD Policy 300.2.1 Use of Force Duty to Intercede.
Belmont Officers are required to providing warnings and directions prior to the application of any use of force whenever reasonably possible.
The following BPD policies apply to requiring warnings before using force: BPD Policy 300.4 Deadly Force Applications, BPD Policy 308.3 Using Control Devices, BPD Policy 308.9.2 Kinetic Energy Projectile Guidelines, BPD Policy 309.4 Conducted Energy Devise Verbal Warnings
Belmont Officers may only use deadly force (shoot at someone) to protect themselves or others from what would be an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury. Belmont Officers are also required to first use other available means to protect themselves or others if reasonably safe and feasible.
Penal Code section 835(a)(2), which reads: As set forth below, it is the intent of the Legislature that peace officers use deadly force only when necessary in defense of human life. In determining whether deadly force is necessary, officers shall evaluate each situation in light of the particular circumstances of each case, and shall use other available resources and techniques if reasonably safe and feasible to an objectively reasonable officer. This is state law and applies to all California police agencies.
Belmont Officers are required to report all uses of force to their supervisors, and are also required to document such force.
The following BPD policies apply to reporting uses of force: BPD Policy 300.5 Reporting the Use of Force, BPD Policy 300.5.1 Notification to Supervisors, BPD Policy 300.7 Supervisory Responsibility, BPD Policy 300.9 Use of Force Analysis, BPD Policy 306.8 Handcuffing and Restraints Required Documentation, BPD Policy 309.6 Conducted Energy Devise Documentation
Belmont Police Officers are not taught to use chokeholds or strangle holds, and those types of holds are not permitted in our policy manual.
Belmont officers are only allowed to shoot at a moving vehicle when the officer believes there are no other reasonable means available to avert the threat of the vehicle, and the vehicle is a deadly threat. An example of a situation in which this tactic could be necessary is an attack by the passenger of a moving vehicle who is shooting at people, or when a vehicle drives into a crowd of people.
The BPD Policy which regulates the shooting at moving vehicles: BPD Policy 300.4.1
The BPD Policy which regulates officers’ use of force: BPD Policy 300 Use of Force