Appleton Police release report on use of force

Appleton police release a report on use-of-force situations, which have seen a dramatic rise since 2016
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 4:30 PM CDT|Updated: May. 23, 2023 at 4:55 PM CDT
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - On Tuesday, Appleton Police released a 30-page analysis on the department’s use of force in 2022. They say it’s part of their efforts to ensure transparency with the public.

The Appleton Police Department put together this data, which explains the types of force used by police, and the types of resistance they encountered from individuals.

“Making sure the injuries are reduced, making sure, again, people are getting treated with respect and we’re not having any type of excessive issues,” said Appleton Police Lt. William Krieg.

All 70 incidents where police used force last year were analyzed. Two-thirds of those involved passive countermeasures, such as an officer forcing someone to their knees to handcuff them.

“The use of force we use most often is called ‘decentralization.’ It’s kind of a takedown to the ground, and the reason we do it is because people have less ability to resist the closer they get to the ground,” Krieg explained.

The analysis compares the types of force used in different parts of town at different times of the day. Most of the incidents occurred downtown. They are most likely to involve a passive use of force on a Saturday night in the summer.

The department also acknowledged one incident where deadly force was used last year.

A series of charts show how use of force has changed over the past 4 years and calls out areas of success and where improvement could be made. It’s uncommon for a police department to release this information voluntarily, but it has an internal, primary use.

“Our biggest reason is for training purposes. I want to make sure that our training has been done properly and in a useful manner. It’s not so much how many times we use force, it’s how many people are injured when force is used,” said Krieg.

The full report is available on the Appleton Police Department website.

On Tuesday, Appleton Police released a 30-page analysis on the department’s use of force in 2022.