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Increase in Fatal Sheriff's Deputy Shootings Leads to New Policy

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A sheriff's patrol car in Boyle Heights along the Gold Line | Photo by KingoftheHill via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr

A sheriff's patrol car in Boyle Heights along the Gold Line | Photo by KingoftheHill via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
In 2008, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department had nine deputy-involved shootings. But for reasons unclear, that number increased to 16 in 2009, despite lower crime trends. For those reasons, Sheriff Lee Baca was expected today to gave a new deadly force guidelines to officers.

"The practice of chasing to apprehend was a department culture that needed to be addressed," a new 30-page booklet states. "In many cases, it may be safer to chase to contain rather than chase to apprehend."

One of the recent incidents "involved a deputy shooting a 36-year unarmed man through a gate during a foot pursuit," explained the LA Times. "The man, it was later learned, was not the robbery suspect deputies were seeking."

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The policy would also decrease the possibility of "officer-created jeopardy," which is when deputies "unnecessarily place themselves in harm's way," noted the Daily News.

But containing a suspect may be harder than one thinks if a recent U.S. district court is help up. The ruling says "officers cannot use Tasers to subdue suspects unless the law enforcers are under physical attack," says the LA Weekly.

Sheriff's Deputies patrol the county's unincorporated areas, smaller cities like West Hollywood and Metro trains and buses.

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