DDN Behind the Badge series investigates police use of force: 5 things to know

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The Dayton Daily News Behind the Badge project continues this week with a look at one of the most controversial aspects of policing: When is it appropriate for police officer to use force, such as tasers, pepper spray, or throwing someone on the ground?

Here are 5 key takeaways from our reporting

1. What officers are taught: Reporter London Bishop has for months been attending the Sinclair Police Academy to learn how cadets are trained to do their job. In her most recent report, she shares what they are taught in the classroom about use of force, techniques she learned along with them to take down someone who is being combative, and recent examples of controversial actions by area officers.

2. The numbers: Reporter Avery Kreemer and I teamed up for a story looking at statistics and trends for local police departments. We found use of force incidents increasing in some local departments and decreasing in others, and one local department sanctioned the same officer twice for violating department policy.

3. Behind the Badge: Our community needs professional, well-trained, accountable law enforcement. That’s why we sent London to attend the Sinclair Police Academy, where for six months she is learning alongside recruits what it takes to wear the badge, telling their stories, and helping the public understand how police are trained to do their job. Visit the Behind the Badge page on our website.

4. ‘Respect it’: As part of this project, London participated in the Sinclair class where cadets are administered pepper spray to know how it feels. Read her first-hand account here.

5. More from this project: Other recent stories from this series include how cadets are trained to handle missing person and human trafficking cases, when cadets are taught they can detain or search someone, and a proposal to increase standards for Ohio law enforcement agencies.

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