Exclusive: A review of the new, improved Waterloo Police use-of-force policy

More than two years after outside experts recommended a “complete review” of guidelines on the use of force, the Waterloo Police Department finally adopted a new policy in December 2017. Police leaders didn’t publicize the changes, and to my knowledge, no media have reported on the revisions.

In many ways, Waterloo’s updated use-of-force policy reflects national consensus on best policing practices. Some improved passages appear to be a response to notorious local incidents of officer misconduct.

On the other hand, several important principles on the use of force are missing from Waterloo’s new document.

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The 17 Bleeding Heartland posts I worked hardest on in 2017

Since I started writing for this website a decade ago, I’ve never worked harder than I did in 2017. This momentous year in Iowa politics provided an overwhelming amount of source material: new laws affecting hundreds of thousands of people, our first new governor since 2011, and a record number of Democrats seeking federal or statewide offices.

In addition, my focus has shifted toward more topics that require time-consuming research or scrutiny of public records. As I looked over the roughly 420 Bleeding Heartland posts I wrote this year, I realized that dozens of pieces were as labor-intensive as some of those I worked hardest on in 2015 or 2016.

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