Fairfax panel works for concise police force policy

WASHINGTON — Fairfax County’s special commission reviewing police policies, especially those surrounding the use of force, is putting the finishing touches on its final report to be presented Thursday.

The commission was formed in response to the 2013 police shooting death of John Geer at his Springfield home and his family’s long wait for justice.

A year passed before Fairfax County police publicly identified the officer who fired the shot that killed Geer. Adam Torres shot and killed Geer in August 2013 after responding to a domestic dispute at Geer’s home.

Dismissed from the police department, Torres is charged in the fatal shooting.

The Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission is recommending police come up with a clearer, more concise use-of-force policy. The panel, which held 40 meetings over the past seven months, also recommends that the county create an independent police auditor who would review internal police investigations of use of force cases.

A civilian review panel would be established to look into citizens’ complaints of police misconduct.

The commission will present its draft recommendations Thursday morning. Also, the panel says Fairfax County police must continue to reinforce the sanctity of human life and the need for robust and transparent reporting of information, particularly in cases of police use of force.

Other recommendations from the commission include expanding police recruitment to increase diversity and instituting policies that improve the safety of officers and persons with mental illness.

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Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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