The Zionsville Board of Police Commissioners have approved a change to the Zionsville Police Dept.’s use-of-force board to prevent instances of separate testimonies in the event of a use of force.
During the commissioners’ Nov. 15 meeting, Zionsville Police Dept. Cpt. Marius Klykken requested that the commissioners approve a change to the department’s use-of-force policy. It was unanimously approved.
“We’ve removed a section from the use-of-force board to allow them to have a separate hearing outside of the legal process,” Klykken said. “The old policy said the use-of-force board could review the use of force and then from there if they had questions call that officer in for testimony. Doing research on this, having a year under our belts with this, best practices show that this is going to be a criminal case and that officer will be giving testimony most likely in the court system under deposition.
“Having separate testimonies was against best practices. Everything else remains the same.”
The use-of-force board will still review incidents involving uses of force. Klykken said the department had one use-of-force incident last year and two so far this year. Neither incident in 2021 required testimony from an officer, Klykken said.
The department established the use-of-force board last year. Five people serve on the board: Klykken, ZPD Cpt. Drake Sterling and Sgt. Josh Samuelson and Zionsville residents Kenneth Johnson and Monisha Mitchell. Board members review the department’s uses of force, provide input and discuss national-level use-of-force cases. It has revised the department’s use-of-force policy and prohibits choke holds. It also has reviewed incidents where officers could have used force but did not.
“Before (an incident) even gets to the use-of-force board, it’s going to be going through a review by the supervisor, by myself,” Klykken said. “Once that use-of-force board gets the documentation on this, they will review that use of force and give that recommendation to the chief of police from there, if that use of force was in policy or it wasn’t. Any use of force is already going to be independently reviewed, and if there are criminal matters that take place, it’s going to be criminally reviewed as well.”