Detailed Response to Indiana Law Journal Article

In an article in the Winter 2022 Indiana Law Journal, the authors claim that Lexipol has actively fought against police reform. The authors made no attempt to contact Lexipol about this article. Several examples used to support this incorrect point are inaccurate and/or misleading; many others are outdated.

Lexipol has not only supported recent police reform efforts but has long addressed in policy many common reform positions. For the hundreds of professionals Lexipol employs—many of whom are public safety professionals who have served their communities honorably for decades—police reform is not a new development; it’s part of a philosophy of continuous quality improvement followed since the company’s founding. We welcome diversity of opinion because we know that all voices are important in this conversation—those of community members and academics as well as law enforcement professionals.

Lexipol will continue to listen to differing viewpoints, assist law enforcement leaders in continuous quality improvement and advocate for policies that protect the rights of all community members. We remain committed to supporting law enforcement agencies and the residents they serve in the shared goal of creating safer communities for all.

Given the seriousness of these inaccuracies, we feel it’s important to address them by providing verifiable points.


Page Number Authors’ Statement Evaluation Lexipol Points
1 Lexipol has refused to incorporate common reform proposals into the policies it writes for its subscribers, including a use-of-force matrix, policies requiring de-escalation, or bright-line rules prohibiting certain types of behavior—like chokeholds and shooting into cars. Incorrect
  • As evidenced by our Use of Force website, Lexipol has addressed many reform proposals in our policies for years.
  • Our policies have long addressed the requirements for use of force reporting, an annual analysis of all uses of force, use of force review boards and possible disciplinary actions should a review conclude an officer acted outside of policy.
  • In August 2020, we issued new and updated policies to address carotid restraints, respiratory restraints (chokeholds), duty to intercede, supervisor responsibilities, deadly force, moving vehicles, de-escalation and training on de-escalation.
  • Lexipol policies incorporate all applicable federal and state laws, including state-specific reform legislation. Lexipol’s employees review thousands of pieces of legislation (15,430 in 2021 alone), analyze them for policy impact and issue updates where applicable. One of the benefits of Lexipol’s policy management system is that agencies are provided with these updates in a consistent, prompt manner.
5 Lexipol has been actively engaged in efforts to oppose and undermine use-of-force police reforms. Incorrect
  • Lexipol has made meaningful changes to policy to address evolving best practices around use of force policy (detailed below in our response to the authors’ statement on page 30).
  • Lexipol has supported police reform through several initiatives outside of policy development, including:

Holding a webinar on Duty to Intercede in July 2020, which has since been used to train more than 23,000 officers—without charge—on the importance of the duty to intercede to stop the kind of action that led to George Floyd’s death.

Presenting a three-part free webinar series in 2021 on police reform (March 4, March 30 and April 20) specifically urging law enforcement leaders to engage in reform efforts.

Holding state-specific webinars for New York (July 30, 2020, and June 24, 2022), Michigan (November 11, 2020) and Pennsylvania (March 23, 2021) to help officers and leaders in those states better understand and comply with recently passed police reform legislation.

Publishing a guide (June 12, 2021) to help agencies involve community members in review and development of law enforcement policy

Presenting a webinar (Feb. 16, 2022) on how law enforcement agencies can develop a culture of accountability, incorporating the tenets of outward mindset and active bystandership

5 & 53 Lexipol continues to advertise itself as a company that provides “legally defensible, continuously updated policies and training.” Incorrect
30 Although Lexipol has made some modest adjustments to their policies and trainings in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, Lexipol’s formal policies and trainings are crafted in ways that go against many of the reforms currently being pressed by advocates and increasingly adopted by local governments. Incorrect
  • Lexipol has made meaningful changes in response to the events of 2020, some of which align exactly with the authors’ desired police reform efforts.
  • Changes Lexipol instituted since June 2020 include:

Modified our policy treatment of carotid restraint so it is limited only to situations where deadly force is authorized.

Lexipol also provides agencies that want to prohibit the use of the technique (even in states where it is not prohibited) with language to help them customize their policy.

Lexipol policy has never authorized a chokehold or respiratory restraint.

Enhanced the already existing policy language around de-escalation, such that officers are now required to consider and use non-violent strategies and techniques to decrease the intensity of a situation when time and circumstances permit. We also added a requirement to train on de-escalation.

Expanded the already existing policy language around duty to intercede, such that officers are now required to intervene in situations where a law enforcement officer observes unreasonable force by any other law enforcement officer, within or outside the agency, as well as by members of the agency. Lexipol policy also requires any member who witnesses an unreasonable use of force, regardless of whether an intercession occurred, “to promptly report these observations to a supervisor.”

Developed a publicly accessible Use of Force website that explains in detail Lexipol’s positions and reasoning on 13 use of force policy tactics.

  • Further, Lexipol policies incorporate all applicable federal and state laws, including state-specific reform legislation.
31 “As a law enforcement leader,” Lexipol writes on its web page, “you face many challenges: keeping up with legislative changes and training mandates, maintaining positive community relations, and ensuring officer and citizen safety—all with reduced funding and evolving threats.”152 Lexipol warns agencies that they make themselves “vulnerable” by relying on “outdated, inadequate policies and training for guidance on these complex issues.”153 By subscribing to Lexipol, customers “gain peace of mind,” and “the confidence that your officers are following best practice guidelines.”154 Incorrect
  • This text is not found on the page cited by the authors. The webpage was updated in February 2021 to reflect the latest and evolving nature of public safety and of Lexipol’s products and services.
32 To promote its policies in the wake of protests over George Floyd’s murder and police use of force, in July 2020 Lexipol publicly released its national use-of-force policy on a “use of force” page on its website. Incorrect
  • Lexipol’s Use of Force website (launched in August 2020) provides all materials for free, including our complete Use of Force policy, contains no capture of user information, and has never been used to market our policy management solution.
  • The site was designed to provide transparency into Lexipol’s policy positions for any interested community member, city council member, agency, media professional and more. The site also allows agencies in need of a comprehensive use of force policy to download the Lexipol template and customize to fit their needs.
32 Although departments can in theory customize the Lexipol policies, doing so would make them miss out on the “best” part of subscribing: “we keep your policies updated for you, saving you time and money.” Incorrect
  • This is an inaccurate characterization. Agencies who customize their policies still receive policy updates and can easily incorporate the updates without overriding or losing their customization.
  • Lexipol provides documentation (included every time updates are issued) and a Tip Sheet to customers to help them retain their customization when processing updates.
34 We analyze three DTB training modules that Lexipol features on its website. Incorrect
  • The Daily Training Bulletins referenced are not featured on the Lexipol website. Our website provides an overview of the Daily Training Bulletins (DTBs) without providing specific examples.
  • The examples used in the article are taken from handout material provided during a 2016 webinar. As noted above, law enforcement is a rapidly evolving field. Training material requires frequent review and revision to ensure it is reflective of contemporary practice, which is why Lexipol issues new DTBs each month.
  • Using three examples from 2016 when Lexipol issues 360 DTBs each year is not representative of the quality or focus of our DTB program as a whole.
35 One of Lexipol’s most popular DTBs, called “Factors to Determine Reasonableness,” is based a scenario involving a woman named Mary Craig who is pulled over for a “minor but arrestable” traffic violation (Figure 1). Incorrect
  • The “Factors to Determine Reasonableness” was not one of the most “popular” DTBs. The article cited for the popularity claim indicates that reasonableness of use of force was the topic for which Lexipol issued the most DTBs in 2018. The article does not use the word popular or provide information on popularity of training bulletins.
  • DTB topics are developed to cover all areas of law enforcement policy and to provide agencies with frequent, short and impactful training on policy. “Popularity” of topics is not a consideration.
40 Through their actions, Lexipol reveals itself to be not just a policymaker, but also an active and influential voice in the use-of-force debate. Incorrect
  • While Lexipol is a leader in public safety policy, we make very clear we are not a policymaker for any agency. All customers must review, customize and adopt the policies for themselves. Lexipol provides tools and services to assist in the customization process, but ultimately agencies own their own policies.
  • Our contractual language specifically states that the chief executive of the agency, not Lexipol, is the “policy maker”:

Policy Adoption. Agency hereby acknowledges and agrees that any and all policies and Daily Training Bulletins (DTBs) included in the Subscription Material provided by Lexipol have been individually reviewed, customized and adopted by Agency for use by Agency. Agency further acknowledges and agrees that neither Lexipol nor any of its agents, employees or representatives shall be considered “policy makers” in any legal or other sense and that the chief executive of Agency will, for all purposes, be considered the “policy maker” with regard to each and every such policy and DTB.

43 In a widely circulated Lexipol white paper on use of force, the company claims it is a “myth” that “use of force policies should require the use of de-escalation tactics.” Misleading
  • The authors claim the white paper was published in 2018 (p. 40), but the original publication was in 2017. The authors cite a Lexipol Twitter post from 2017 promoting the white paper.
  • More importantly, in the four years since the white paper was published, societal views on law enforcement have evolved greatly, and Lexipol has evolved as well. Although we stand behind many of the points made in the white paper, we ceased using it in 2020 as we reevaluated our policy approach to de-escalation. The webpage for the white paper explains this and invites interested parties to visit our Use of Force website (which launched in August 2020) for our current use of force policy positions.
61 Lexipol does not give its subscribers complete information about alternatives to its policy and training choices in contested areas, and makes it difficult for subscribers to modify Lexipol’s standard policies. Incorrect
  • Guide Sheets and Release Notes provided with policies and updates provide Lexipol’s thought process behind policies and changes. There are times, such as with carotid restraint, where Lexipol provides alternative policy language for agencies with different needs.
  • Lexipol also offers Implementation Services that help agencies review, customize and adopt our policies. This process can include additional guidance on policy alternatives.
  • On average, customers modify 21% of the sections in our law enforcement manual. With approximately 2,000 sections of content in total, this represents over 400 sections of content modified by the average customer. Something routinely done over 400 times would not seem to be fairly characterized as “difficult.”
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