CLAREMONT, NH–The completed Administrative Review report concerning the officer-involved shooting that occurred on September 25, 2016, was released this Monday afternoon by the Claremont Police Department. The officer has been returned to line-duty status as of today. “The report was completed on October 27, and was not released until today to provide Mr. Lafont’s family an opportunity to meet with us and review it,” said Claremont Police Chief Alex Scott.
According to the review, “Any time a Claremont Police Officer is involved in a deadly force incident, the matter is investigated by the Attorney General’s Office to review the legality of the officer’s actions. Their report is followed by an internal administrative review. The purpose of the administrative review is to determine whether the officer’s actions were compliant with departmental rules, policies and procedures; whether the applicable written directives were clearly understandable and effective to cover the situation; and whether department training and/or equipment is currently adequate. The internal review is completed consistent with the Claremont Police Department’s Internal Affairs and Use of Force rules, policies and procedures.
“After a thorough review of the Attorney General’s report and findings and applying those findings and conclusions to the Claremont Police Department’s Internal Affairs and Use of Force rules, policies and procedures, the Chief finds that Acting Corporal Ian Kibbe’s use of deadly force did not violate any department rules, policies and procedures and exonerates the involved officer. ‘Exonerate’ means the incident occurred but the member acted lawfully and properly. The determination of whether the member acted lawfully is fully set forth and confirmed by the Attorney General’s report into the incident.
“Additionally, this review indicates that the relevant written directives remain understandable and effective,” said the review. “While two minor issues were noted for updating, neither issue played any role in this incident. Department training is adequate to effectively respond to the situation as presented with the understanding that we will continue to provide ongoing training as it relates to dealing with persons with mental illness. Issued equipment is currently adequate to effectively respond to the situation as presented with the understanding that completing the issuance of sidearm mounted lights is nearly complete. Lastly, while inclusion of cruiser cameras and body worn cameras on the CIP is recommended for future considerations, the funding of other equipment priorities is more pressing.
“This incident and the nature of the review associated with it continues to demonstrate the value of the CALEA Accreditation (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) process. There is a sense of comfort in knowing that our policies and procedures are evaluated every three years (most recently in 2015) and have consistently been found to be in compliance with CALEA standards and accepted law enforcement best practices. This ongoing process, as well as reviews such as this, help ensure that they remain that way,” wrote Scott.
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