BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — To ensure accountability, the Bakersfield Police Department implemented a division several years ago that reviews incidents of excessive force within the department. Along with looking for better ways to improve current protocols.
"You can say that you're doing it, but if you're not checking. If you're not doing audits. If you're not looking at people's reports and work, then how do you know that it's happening?" Police Sgt. Nathan McCauley said.
Initially, the division was labeled as the professional standards and training detail within the police department. However, the name of the division is now the quality assurance detail.
The division was implemented during former Chief Lyle Martin's service and continues to exist within the department.
The quality assurance detail also makes recommendations for changes by analyzing studies and sources.
Within the detail, there is an early intervention program that monitors the use of excessive force.
"If there's a threshold that set that if an officer has an increase in use of force and increasing a certain kind of use of force, then they can intervene there to see if there's a training deficiency. If there's a personal issue with the officer. If there's other problems going on there," Police Sgt. McCauley said. "This gives them the ability to you need to intervene before there becomes a larger problem."
There are several components that the detail reviews in the use of excessive force investigations.
"You have the report. If you have the body camera footage, you have the supervisors interview with the person that force was used on. You have lots of factors that go in, they review all of these on each, each individual incident that occurs," Police Sgt. McCauley said.
The Bakersfield Police Department said the overall purpose of the detail is to look for better ways to improve.
"I've seen new programs and new policies and things change, and we teach it this way or we teach it this way in case law changes. So there's always going to be changes and movement," Police Sgt. McCauley said.