October 19, 2016

Update #2 Officer Involved Shooting – Community Questions

The Santa Cruz Police Department has heard questions and concerns from the community regarding the tragic incident of October 16, 2016, and we would like to provide some clarity on key aspects of this event.

In the early morning hours of October 16th, the majority of the nightshift was dispatched to the emergency incident at the home on Chace Street. The officers were aware that Mr. Arlt had a prior incident of crisis intervention involving our officers on October 11, 2016. During the October 11th incident, our officers attempted to detain Mr. Arlt, who became violent. He was subdued and safely taken into custody after a prolonged struggle. As a result of the October 11th incident, Mr. Arlt was left in the care of the mental health professionals to ensure his safety. The specific details of this incident are being withheld out of respect and consideration to the family at this time.

Each of the officers that responded to the emergency call on October 16th had all completed training in the last year on the Santa Cruz County mental Health protocol. Additionally, those officers had completed training on crisis communication and de-escalation tactics. Those very tactics were deployed during the October 16th incident and had no effect on Mr. Arlt, as he was unresponsive and uncooperative with the verbal commands. Mr. Arlt was also not affected by three separate Taser deployments. Despite these less lethal interventions, Mr. Arlt continued toward the officers raising the metal bow rake over his head in a swinging position, until lethal force was used to stop Mr. Arlt’s advancing attack. This incident unfolded in the span of only 20 seconds.

In relation to the Santa Cruz Police Department’s training for mental health interventions, we exceed State standards for in-service officer training by training in excess of 80 hours annually. Over the past 12 months, all officers received 3 separate trainings specifically related to crisis communications and mental health. The department’s training is overseen by a civilian with 38 years of education experience, including serving as the Deputy Superintendent for the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. The training schedule is attached to this release.

Immediately following this incident, the Santa Cruz Police management convened with the District Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office. The Santa Cruz Police Department requested the shooting be investigated by the District Attorney’s Office to ensure a thorough and independent investigation into the use of force. At the conclusion of the investigation, the District Attorney’s Office will issue their legal finding on the use of force. Also, in conjunction with the independent criminal investigation, an internal administrative investigation will be completed. Upon completion of the internal investigation, the City’s Independent Police Auditor will review the incident followed with a review by the City Council Public Safety Sub-Committee.

Requests have been made for the audio and video evidence from the incident on October 16th. Any of this evidence could be released by the District Attorney’s Office at the conclusion of their investigation.

2015-2016 Training Year Schedule
October- All County Training (5150 protocol, Coroner’s Cases, Crime Lab Update)
7th- Investigations, Parks, Net
14th- A-Team
21st- B-Team
28th- ESU Training
This training was an all-county training hosted at the Sheriff’s Office. The training was conducted by County Mental Health and the SCSO Crime Lab. The Mental Health portion covered state law mandates and county protocols regarding the evaluation and 72 hour placement of persons in mental health related crisis.

November- (Cultural Diversity, Firearms, Taser)
4th- ESU Training
11th- A-team
18th- B-team
25th- Overlap Day, B-team has the field
Cultural Diversity training taught by recognized and certified instructors from the South Bay Regional Training Consortium. Two hours of Basic handgun training and a two hour Taser update which included some scenario based discussions was also taught.

December- Driver Training PSP, ACT PSP
2nd- ESU Training
9th- A-team
16th- B-team
23rd- Overlap Day, A-team has the field
30th- Overlap Day, B-team has the field
Training fulfilled state POST mandated training requirements for defensive driving and arrest and control. Arrest and control includes hands on training regarding officer self-defense, searching techniques, and ways in which to establish and maintain control of a combative individual both as a single officer and with a partner.

January- (Domestic Violence PSP, Tactical Communications PSP, CPR)
6th- ESU
13th- A-team
20th- B-team
27th- Overlap Day, A-team has the field
State requirements only require two hours of training each for both domestic violence and tactical communication. Tactical Communication was taught for 4 hours instead of the mandated two. This training focused on de-escalation techniques and communication skills necessary in dealing with people in mental health crisis, who are suicidal, or are highly emotional at an event.      This course was taught by an expert recognized by the South Bay Regional Training Consortium. The CPR training was taught by outside expert and fulfilled American Red Cross requirements.

February- (OC/Chemical Agents/Baton/Taser)
3rd- ESU
10th- A-team
17th- B-team
24th- ESU
The course focused on the legal requirements, effects, first aid, and decontamination requirements when using pepper spray or chemical agents (such as tear gas). The use of less lethal tools such as the baton and the Taser were taught with some scenario based learning and hands on practical applications.

March- (Use of Force Scenarios @ CDF)
2nd- ESU
9th- A-team
16th- B-team
23rd- Overlap Day, B-team has the field
30th- ESU (Joint training with HNT)
Training hosted by department instructors. Officers completed six scenarios which focused on armed confrontations, use of force situations where deadly force was not an option, subjects in mental health crisis or wanting to commit suicide by cop, and focused on tactical decision making, planning, and applications of the appropriate type of force to be used.

April- (State Mandated 16 hour firearms course)
6th- ESU
13th- A-team
20th- A-team
27th- Overlap Day, A-team has field
This training day fulfilled a legislative mandate regarding firearms training and use.

May- (State Mandated 16 hour firearms course)
4th- ESU
11th- B-team
18- B-team
21st- Major shift change
This training day fulfilled a legislative mandate regarding firearms training and use.

June- (State Mandated 16 hour firearms course)
16th- Investigations, Parks, Net
17th- Investigations, Parks, Net