Chicago police mull new use-of-force policy in wake of recent police-involved shootings

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CHICAGO -- Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson outlined proposed changes to the police use of force policy today during a breakfast gathering at the Union League Club of Chicago.

Superintendent Johnson mentioned how split-second decisions by officers can often lead to a rush in judgment, and that policing is an increasingly tough job with criminals more emboldened than ever.

Chicago's top cop told the Union League Club audience that revising the Police Department's use of force guidelines is a major undertaking, especially with a force of over 12,000 officers.

And it is extremely timely, with four deadly police responses in the past ten days, one of which involved an unarmed teenager.

The department is welcoming public input on the guidelines which place a heavy emphasis on the sanctity of life, along with de-escalation tactics and mental health training. In addition, placement on administrative duty would be mandatory for all officers involved in deadly shootings.

The new guidelines also require officers to intervene if they see a colleague engaged in misconduct.

But police brass know officers must rely on instinct with the use of deadly force.

In another policy change the deadly force guideline is being expanded to include choke-holds and blows to a suspect's head.

The Police Department hopes to eventually certify 35 percent of the force in crisis intervention to better deal with the mentally ill.

The new policy will be open to public comment through December 5.

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