UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA
Fred Bamonte, et al.,
City of Mesa,
Case Number: CV06-1860-NVW
2006 Misc. Filings 864817
2007 Misc. Filings Lexis 3324
October 19, 2007
Expert Witness Report
Declaration of W. Ken Katsaris in Support of Plaintiffs’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
I, W. Ken Katsaris, hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the facts set forth below are personally known to me and that if called as a witness herein, I would and could testify thereto competently as follows:
1. I am an expert and consultant in the field of law enforcement. I participate in law enforcement seminars throughout the USA where I have instructed Officers, Commanders, Agency Administrators and the Attorneys representing these Agencies on a number of liability and investigation related subjects, including the Internal Review/Investigation Procedures following a complaint or incident. In the past, I have instructed over 25,000 officers from all 50 states including Arizona, the Federal agencies and the Canadian Royal Mounted Police in a variety of street survival police procedures that are detailed in my curriculum vitae attached hereto as Exhibit A. I regularly instruct in a wide area of law enforcement and corrections subjects at the Regional Police/Corrections Academy, where I have been teaching for over 30 years. For over 25 years, I was also an instructor at the Florida Highway Patrol Academy. I am currently a certified Florida Law Enforcement Officer/Instructor and consultant in law enforcement and corrections.
2. My law enforcement experience includes service as a Police Officer for the St. Petersburg Florida Police Department, the Tallahassee Florida Police Department, Deputy Sheriff with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, Trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol and the elected Constitutional Sheriff who performs as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the County of Leon, City of Tallahassee, Florida area. As Sheriff I had authority over uniform specifications for the Department and significantly updated the police equipment and gear used by the Department personnel.
3. My academic instructional background includes 10 years as the Department Chairman of the Criminal Justice Program at Tallahassee Community College (Tallahassee, Florida). In this capacity I directed and taught both the advanced in-service police training programs and the degree granting programs, as well as directed the crime lab used to support local law enforcement. Extensive teaching and training including hands on skill development was taught in both criminal investigation and criminalistics courses. Academic subjects included courses in management, procedures, and criminology.
4. To prepare for rendering the opinions set forth herein, I have reviewed the following materials: n1.
· “The Social Power of a Uniform,” by Leonard Bickman;
· “The Constable’s New Clothes: Effects of Uniforms on Perceptions and Problems of Police Officers,” by Robert Mauro;
· “The Effect of Police Uniform on Interpersonal Perception,” by Ming S. Singer and Alan E. Singer;
· “Authority and Conformity: Violation of a Traffic Regulation,” by Carol K. Sigelman and Lee Sigelman;
· “The Uniform: A Sociological Perspective,” by Nathan Joseph and Nicholas Alex;
· “Reducing Fear of Crime Through Occupational Presence,” by Steve Balkin and Pauline Houlden;
· “Credibility and the Police Uniform,” by D.F. Gunderson;
· “The Psychological Influence of the Police Uniform,” by Richard Johnson;
· City of Mesa Administrative Manual policies ADM 110, ADM 330, ADM 531, ADM 534, ADM 610, ADM 611, ADM 613, ADM 614, ADM 930, ADM 940, ADM 1010, ADM 1011, ADM 1015, ADM 1016, ADM 1017, ADM 1020, ADM 1021, ADM 1030, and ADM 1360;
· City of Mesa Field Manual policies FLD 210, FLD 211, FLD 230, FLD 240, FLD 241, FLD 1310; and
· The Depositions of City of Mesa Assistant Chief Gilbert Anthony Otanez, Assistant Chief John Meza, Commander Hector Federico, and Commander Steven Toland.
5. The below listed opinions were formulated based on my experience, training and education in the law enforcement field, the standard of care recognized by Police Organizations and Officials throughout the U.S. as the custom and practice for the administration, management and supervision of Police agencies and personnel. In this regard, I have been active for forty years in the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and in that organization have participated on many committees whose work has, in part, dealt with officer survival training and with the importance of the police uniform including police equipment and gear. The opinions are based on my knowledge of standard uniform components and their use and importance in police work as I have instructed about as part of the training of police officers throughout the U.S., and in addition, on my knowledge of the written standards and materials generally available for training and guiding police officers in their everyday assignments.
6. In particular, my views about the importance and unique aspects of the police uniform have been guided and shaped by two important concepts in police work that I have taught and lectured about for years: (a) command presence and (b) the continuum of force. Though there is no single precise definition of “command presence,” its central features involve projecting the appearance of being in control both of oneself and of a situation in a manner that actually helps create such control. Command presence involves many aspects of one’s demeanor and conduct - how one speaks, how one holds themselves, as well as the way one walks and stands. The police uniform has traditionally been a major source of establishing command presence because it is immediately recognizable to others, and because its clean, pressed look and its armor and weapons help instill in the officer the feeling of confidence and control that he or she then projects to others.
7. The continuum of force refers to the series of steps or options that a police officer has in the use of force that extends from mere verbal commands, hand holds and restraint mechanisms, to the use of impact weapons like a baton or nightstick, through OC spray and Tasers up to the use of lethal force. The goal in conceptualizing the use of force in this manner is to use the least amount of force necessary to obtain the desired compliance. Although the continuum of force should not be viewed as stair steps that must be progressively followed in each case, the normal and best starting place, where feasible, is the “command presence” that makes simple verbal commands effective. The physical, command presence of a fully-uniformed police officer can often by itself deter crime or stop a crime in progress, and is therefore critical in the continuum of force context. The modern police uniform is fairly standard in most law enforcement agencies in the United States and is designed with the core enforcement principles in mind.
8. The components of a standard police uniform worn by patrol officers in metropolitan areas of the United States typically include the following items:
· Baton Ring
· Key Ring
· Radio Case
· OC spray
· Magazine pouch (for 9mm)
· Tactical duty helmet
· Gas mask
· Duty Belt
· Cap shield
· Name tag
· Ballistic vest
· Trouser belt
· Uniform trousers
· Long-sleeve shirts
· Short-sleeve shirts
· Medium-weight jacket
· Tie bar
· Uniform cap
· Uniform boots or shoes
· Extra handcuffs
9. As the list itself reflects, the standard police uniform has two aspects or two basic kinds of components. First, the standard uniform includes the traditional blue wool uniform trousers and shirt, with black polished boots and insignia, badges and nameplates. These components, when properly maintained, help create a professional appearance that allows for the instant identification of one as a police officer. Along with this instant recognition comes the acknowledgement of the authority of the police officer and a form of deference which is essential to the police officer’s performance of his job. Just by establishing the officer’s authority, the psychological impact of the uniform helps bring about compliance with the law. Tests or experiments have shown that even a cardboard cutout of a police officer in uniform can help induce compliance with the law. This is also one of the reasons why police departments frequently will increase the number of uniformed patrol officers in areas that have seen a spike in crime. The tactic is designed not just to apprehend criminals - but to deter criminal conduct.
10. In addition, police uniforms are also comprised of a complex array of weapons, protective gear, restraint mechanisms and communication devices. This equipment underscores the second aspect of the standard patrol officer uniform - the power to use force, and survive the use of force by others, in imposing compliance with the law by physical means.
11. The uniform as a whole confers authority on the officer and gives the officer the physical power to exercise that authority - up to the use of deadly force - when needed to ensure public safety. No other uniform I can think of- outside the context of the military - evokes such deference and/or equips one to compel physical compliance. Both these aspects of the standard uniform are essential to police work.
12. The psychological aspects of the uniform and the physical or coercive aspects of the uniform function and operate together as an integrated package. As a recognizable symbol of authority alone, the uniform would not be a reliable deterrent to crime because over time, that symbol of authority would not be respected if it lacked the actual physical power to maintain order. The police use of naked force, without the cloak of authority engendered by the uniform attire, would likewise not be effective in deterring criminal behavior. Over time, it would antagonize the citizenry and breed contempt for the law rather than induce compliance with it.
13. The two aspects of the uniform not only function together and mutually reinforce the strengths of both features but are put on together as part of the same process, and worn together as a single, integrated package. The attire and equipment and other uniform parts are worn over, under and through one another. The armored vest is worn over the uniform t-shirt but under the uniform long sleeve or short sleeve shirt. The police badge is worn affixed to the shirt, and the duty belt is worn over the trousers. Officers who use earphones with their police radios frequently intertwine the earphone wire from their belt, through and under their shirt, up to their neck, where it is then placed into the ear. In short, the various components of the uniform are put on together, worn together and function together as part of a single operational protective unit and are not properly viewed as separate pieces.
14. The entire uniform, with all its components, functions as an urban survival suit that is designed to permit officers to protect the public in an environment that can become hostile and perilous without warning. When I teach courses on weapons and tactics and street survival it is stressed that one must be able to rely on their uniform and all its component parts because the uniform is - along with proper mental preparation - a key to street survival.
15. The many pieces of gear and attire that make up the uniform are essential to the job of police work. Over the last few decades the uniform has grown to include many more items than it formerly did - when officers were equipped with not much more than a gun, a nightstick and a pair of handcuffs. During the last two decades, Police Departments have attempted to deal with two distinct trends. On the one hand, officers need heavier, more powerful weapons, and better armored protective gear to deal with the armor and heavy-duty fire power that criminals have used or that terrorists may elect to use. On the other hand, Police Departments have attempted to develop the capacity for a flexible response to unlawful resistance along a continuum of force so that police officers have the ability to use lesser alternative means to subdue resisting offenders. The use of the armored vest, tasers, pepper spray, restraint devices and police radios, for example, all help officers overcome resistance while minimizing the danger of serious injury to themselves, the public and the suspect.
16. Of course, as indicated earlier, the most important starting point in the “continuum of force” approach to law enforcement is the command presence of the fully uniformed officer - whose appearance alone is most often sufficient to induce the compliant behavior necessary to affect an arrest without resistance at all. But when that does not work, the officer in today’s police force needs the full array of police gear so that he or she can deal with well-equipped and violent criminals, and yet have the ability to utilize a range of less injurious methods for obtaining compliance where possible.
17. Within the use of this continuum of force approach each piece of equipment and attire has a distinct and vital role to play in the performance of police work. The examples below suffice to show the essential nature of these various items.
a. The armored vest is essential to police work because it permits the officer to encounter dangerous situations with less peril to himself. This can allow the officer to get close enough to the suspect to use less injurious and less dangerous methods for compliance - like a taser or OC spray. In today’s environment, a vest is also needed just to stay on a level field with criminals who may employ such armor.
b. The police radio and radio case permit the officer to report on events in the field, call for backup, and keep track of the movements of other officers during an operation, thus making it easier for an officer to make better informed decisions and face fewer dangers in the field.
c. The duty handgun is vital to the protection of the officer, his or her colleagues and public safety where there is no other option but the use of deadly force. The ominous potential of the weapon, however, is hopefully its greatest use in deterring misconduct by those who otherwise would be likely to resort to violence.
d. The OC spray allows for temporarily disabling a recalcitrant and resisting offender without causing permanent injury or using deadly force.
e. The taser allows for temporarily disabling a recalcitrant and resisting offender without causing permanent injury or using deadly force.
f. The handcuffs are essential for restraining arrested persons and keeping from injuring the officer, the public or the suspect himself and are critical in keeping the offender in custody.
g. The badge, insignia and nametag or nameplate help to establish the all-important factor of instant recognition and authority.
h. The flashlight is a heavy duty, high beam light that allows officers to illuminate dark rooms, hallways or streets and yards and thus helps in rescue or danger emergencies.
i. The duty belt is critical because it carries a great proportion of the essential gear.
j. The magazine pouch carries the extra ammunition an officer may need.
k. The baton and baton ring help subdue resisting offenders and protect the officer without having to resort to deadly force.
l. The “keepers” help maintain the duty gun holster in proper position so that it does not flop around and so that the holster is stable on the legs and the weapon may be removed quickly if needed.
m. The uniform trousers and shirt help establish the critical factor of instant recognition and deference to authority.
n. The uniform boots or shoes are specifically designed for rough terrain, long wear, and yet, are meant to keep a proper polish necessary for instant recognition and authority.
18. For several reasons the time involved in putting on and taking off the standard patrol uniform can be substantial.
First, there are simply a great number of items that must be put on and taken off. Independent of everything else, this makes the police uniform very different from other uniforms.
Second, many, if not all of the items of attire and equipment, must be checked to ensure that they are in clean, professional condition and function properly in accord with departmental regulations. Unless the equipment is checked to ensure that it is functioning properly, the officer may be ill-equipped to deal with a dangerous situation, and therefore place himself and the public at greater risk. Shoes or boots and other leather gear typically must be polished. The uniform trousers and shirt must be pressed. The duty handgun must be visually inspected and checked; the magazine must be working properly; the taser must be “checked” to ensure it is properly charged; the pepper (also known as “OC” or oleoresin capsicum) spray canister must be checked for sufficient capacity; the handcuffs must be checked and placed properly in their holder to ensure that they open properly when needed. Further, an important part of the mental preparation needed for heading into duty is checking the gear - and it is not anything anybody would want done in a “hurry-up” type manner.
Third, the items of attire and gear often need to be fitted and adjusted to the body and carefully arranged on the duty belt, so that they do not chafe against the body, nor become entangled with one another. For example, the armored vest must be fitted carefully so it does not chafe and does not leave gaps at the side which would create points of vulnerability. Sometimes the armor must be refitted after the uniform shirt has already been put on -requiring that the shirt be taken off and the velcro straps of the vest repositioned. Similar problems can arise with respect to the holster, the keepers and other items on the duty belt.
Performing all these tasks as part of the “donning” of the uniform could easily take twenty to thirty minutes. Taking off the uniform and stowing its various components safely easily can take an additional ten to fifteen minutes.
19. Independent of its functional and operational differences from other types of uniforms, the uniform of the patrol officer has objective features that distinguish it from uniforms worn by members of other professions:
a. The police uniform is designed to deal with the most serious of matters - the use of lethal force in life or death situations. The attention to professional detail and the inspections needed to ensure proper operation of the gear are not just matters of greater efficiency or higher profit. The psychological and coercive components of a uniform could well be vital to life or death of the officer, his fellow officers and the public at large.
b. The sheer number of items that must be worn and carried is unique. The standard uniform of a patrol officer can consist of twenty-five to forty items. This is very different from a simple hard hat and a pair of work boots, or brown shorts and short sleeved shirts that characterize construction attire or a “delivery” uniform.
c. The police uniform is heavy, cumbersome and awkward. The uniform weighs twenty to thirty pounds, consists of dangerous instruments, and can cause injury to the officer just wearing it. Though I am not a physician, I have seen and been made aware of many officers who have suffered back injuries and other problems from wearing this heavy, cumbersome gear.
d. The equipment is highly sophisticated and dangerous. It requires special training to use without causing damage or injury to the officers or the public. For example, officers must be trained and retrained in the use of the duty gun, the OC spray, the taser, the baton, the handcuffs, the radio and other specialized gear. The uniform is not just made up of clothing or attire - though these aspects are critical. It is also comprised of the “tools of the trade” of police work.
20. The police uniform in all its aspects and with all its components is thus essential to the job of a police officer in the field. In my opinion, it is very different functionally and objectively from other uniforms. The police uniform causes instant recognition and induces deference to authority without which officers could not do their jobs.
I declare under penalty of perjury, under the laws of the United States, and the laws of Arizona, that the foregoing statements and opinions are true and correct.
Executed this 17th day of October, 2007, at New Orleans, La.
W. Ken Katsaris
1. If further discovery materials are provided, they will be thoroughly reviewed, and may have an impact on the above opinions. If this should occur, these revised/new opinions will be immediately revealed to the retaining party. I reserve the right to supplement and amend my opinions based upon additional information provided to me.