The Metropolitan Police Department is taking steps to improve interactions with juveniles.
After viral incidents involving D.C. police officers handcuffing a 10-year-old and a 12-year-old in 2019, MPD has released new protocol for handling youth.
An updated policy prevents officers form handcuffing juvenlies 12 and under unless they are presenting an immediate danger to themselves or others. The policy also includes officers using discretion when considering handcuffing minors who are 13 to 17 according to the severity of the offence.
The department says that it "recognizes that juveniles are different than adults both physically and psychologically, and that interactions with police can have a significant impact on youth," according to a press release.
With the new policy in place, members of the MPD hope to foster a renewed trust with the community.
“Each interaction with a juvenile is an opportunity to strengthen community relationships while protecting our youth,” Chief of Police Peter Newsham said. The policy enhancements are a reminder to our members to always treat individuals, regardless of their age, safely, respectfully, and with the best possible service.”