Duty to Intervene

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JASPER COUNTY, Mo. — If an officer feels a fellow officer is using excessive force, they have a “duty to intervene.”

It’s a policy followed by law enforcement agencies across the United States.

That includes Missouri–the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office takes the policy very seriously.

In fact, in some cases, a low ranking officer can go over the head of a superior officer if they feel it’s necessary.

Randy Kaiser, Jasper County Sheriff, said, “We have a policy in place that allows an officer to jump the chain of command to report that if they see something, if it’s their supervisor for example they can jump the chain of command in order to take appropriate action and we expect that and encourage that.”

Greg Dagnan, Carthage Police Chief, said, “We have an obligation, even though sometimes it’s difficult to tell other officers, ‘hey, maybe that’s not something we should be doing’, and to have that conversation on scenes and that’s one thing we’re not very good at in law enforcement and we need to get better at.”

Sheriff Kaiser says he even expects his employees to intervene even if they see someone from a different department using excessive force.

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