Flushing Township approves policing procedure updates

FLUSHING TWP. — The Board of Trustees has approved policy updates for the Flushing Township Police Department regarding the use of force and the issuance of Amber Alerts.

To comply with the Safe Policing for Safe Communities, an executive order that was signed into law by President Donald Trump on June 16, 2020, the Flushing Township Police Department has amended its policy to prohibit the use of chokeholds. According to the department’s amended policy, a chokehold is “a physical maneuver that restricts an individual’s ability to breathe for the purposes of incapacitation — except in those situations where the use of deadly force is allowed by law.”

Flushing Township Police Chief Mark Bolin said that the use of force policy prohibits township officers from using chokeholds, except in situations where deadly force is authorized. The policy amendment will also ensure that the department will continue to qualify for federal funding and reimbursement for the purchase of bulletproof vests.

The township board also approved a policing procedure amendment that impacts Amber Alerts. Under the amendment, Amber Alerts can now be issued for 18-year-old individuals, in accordance with state guidelines. Previously, the alert only applied to individuals age 17 and under. — B.G.