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Use of Force

Accreditation of Operating Procedures and Policies

The Lone Tree Police Department is accredited by the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP). This organization assist law enforcement agencies in reviewing their policies and procedures to ensure they meet the high standards of the law enforcement profession.


Policy and Procedure Development

Policy for the Lone Tree Police Department are developed through the study of best practices used within the law enforcement community. As new policies are created and refined, input is obtained from organizations such as LEXIPOL, Police Executive Research Forum, International Association of Chiefs of Police and other groups identified to provide best practices in law enforcement.

A number of LTPD’s policies, including policies for Use of Force, can be viewed here.


Body-Worn Camera Program

In 2013 the Lone Tree Police Department was the first agency in Colorado to fully implement the use of body-worn cameras for the patrol division. Being a groundbreaking organization in the use of body cameras provided us with the opportunity to be directly involved with several groups while developing best practices in the use of the cameras. LTPD was a member of the State-appointed panel to examine police body camera issues (HB15-1285). This panel provided valuable information to LTPD and the State to help agencies determine best practices and policies associated to the use of video recordings. Extensive research continues to influence the department’s use of the cameras to ensure confidence and transparency.


Officer Training

All LTPD Officers are POST Certified with the State of Colorado and must have successfully completed a POST Certified Police Academy.  Officers receive specific training regarding anti-bias policing, ethics, use of force, search and seizure, mental health, crisis intervention, de-escalation, and legal updates. Officers receive on average of 80 hours of continuing education throughout the year providing them the opportunity to finetune their skills, learn and put into practice the policies of the Lone Tree Police Department. These hours far exceed the Colorado Police Officer Standards of Training requirement.

The Lone Tree Police Department is a leader in the hours of training provided to our staff. We believe training is a key component to why our Officers are among the most professional, fair and equitable in the profession.

Crisis Intervention

Nearly all our officers are trained in the program, exceeding the national standard of 20% of officers. It is our goal to have every officer attend the 40 hour training during their first two years of service with the agency. CIT is a community partnership of law enforcement, mental health and substance use disorder professionals, individuals who live with mental illness and/or substance use disorders, their families and other advocates. This innovative first-responder model of police-based crisis intervention training is designed to help persons with mental disorders and/or substance use disorders access medical treatment rather than place them in the criminal justice system due to illness related behaviors. It also promotes officer safety and the safety of the individual in crisis.

LTPD utilizes the Douglas County Co-Responder program where an officer teamed up with a mental health professional are used as the first responder to mental health crisis. This team can offer additional support to the individual in crisis as well as family members and conduct support through follow-up to stabilize an individual or situation to prevent a new crisis. The Co-Response team has been an extremely valuable resource to foster the safety of all involved parties in a mental health crisis incident, reduce the frequency of interactions with law enforcement, reduce repeated unnecessary trips to the hospital emergency room, and the help those in crisis access the most appropriate treatment services.

De-escalation & Exhausting All Options

Officers of the Lone Tree Police Department are expected to use the least force possible and seek all possible ways to de-escalate situations. While performing their duties officers are taught to engage community members with respect and seek voluntary compliance.

Use of force Warning

The goal of every encounter is to not use force. The training that LTPD officers receive dictates the use of verbal commands and de-escalation techniques. When possible, officers provide verbal warning to the person prior to the use of physical force.

Use of Force Reporting

The goal of every encounter is to not use force. When force is necessary, officers are required to report all uses of force which includes the pointing of any firearm. All uses of force instances are reviewed thoroughly to determine if the force used falls within policy and to determine possible training improvements. The review process includes an early warning system which enables the department to identify any trends or concerns with individual officers that may need to be addressed.

Carotid Restraints

Carotid restraints or “chokeholds” have been limited in use by the department for many years. Officers were trained that the only time they would be authorized is when they were in a deadly force encounter. The use of this technique by LTPD has been tremendously rare. With the passage of Senate Bill 217, LTPD has prohibited the use of carotid restraints entirely.


Shooting at Moving Vehicles

The moving vehicle itself shall not presumptively constitute a threat that justifies an officer’s use of deadly force. LTPD Officers are to avoid placing themselves into the path of an oncoming vehicle whenever possible. An officer threatened by an on-coming vehicle shall move out of the path instead of discharging a firearm at it or any of its occupants, unless there is no way to move out of the path of the on-coming vehicle.