Two years after Geer shooting, Fairfax Police have new directives

WASHINGTON — The Fairfax County Police Department has released new guidelines on how officers should handle barricade situations.

In 2013, county police officers shot and killed Springfield resident John Geer at his home. Geer’s family and Fairfax County reached a $2.95 million settlement in April.

The new guidelines follow panel recommendations on the use of force. On Tuesday, Fairfax County Police unveiled a general order directing officers not to approach people who are alone and barricaded in their homes or vehicles.

That isn’t much different than the department’s existing procedures. The new rules outline what supervisors should do in barricade incidents. Still, SWAT teams and negotiators will be called in regularly.

The Fairfax directive tells officers to prioritize the lives of hostages, innocent bystanders, first responding personnel and suspects, in that order.

WTOP’s Max Smith contributed to this report.


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