Earlier this week, Denver police officers turned in their nightsticks. The day of the blackjack is over in the city of Denver. The rules have changed. According to the Denver Post, Police Chief Gerry Whitman said "the new policy puts into the rule book the common sense practices already used by officers in most cases".
The new policy that the Chief refers to is the result of the Denver Police Department implementing deadly force audit recommendations contained in the PARC 2008 study. In addition to substituting foldout batons for nightsticks, changes include: officers not being allowed to use a stun gun on anyone who could fall and hurt themselves or may be driving a car or holding a firearm, or the elderly and disabled; officers may not strike a person using a flashlight or handgun.
Several British police forces have recently switched over to telescoping batons(which don't fracture bones as readily as a nightstick). There were complaints of British police smashing the shins and knees of suspects with billy clubs. Officers were accused of using American-style police tactics.
The Denver Police Department and Chief Whitman have apparently found some sound ideas in the PARC report and are implementing them. In 2009, the Denver police initiated 35 disciplinary actions against officers for conduct ranging from shootings to use of unnecessary force to drug and alcohol problems.
Not everyone sees the PARC 2008 audit as a good thing, though. Mike Mosco, president of the Denver Police Protective Association, said in the Denver Post, "The policies on which officers have been training for months solve problems that don't exist with the Police Department and could trip up officers in the future".