In light of recent national events, the City of Pikeville is proactively changing and amending some police policies. During the June 22 Pikeville City Commission meeting, Commissioner of Public Safety Phillip Reed presented two changes to the current Pikeville Police Department’s Policy regarding use of force and search and seizure at residences.

Both of these items have come into question in other jurisdictions and have received national attention.

“The only time a neck restraint or ‘choke hold’ can be used is when the use of deadly force is warranted,” said Pikeville Police Capt. Mike Riddle.

Examples of this would be if an officer is fighting for his or her life, he said.

Riddle also explained that the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training in Richmond is continuing to teach the Rear Vascular Restraint Maneuver. Pikeville Police currently has some officers going through the academy and they are being taught this maneuver. However, Riddle anticipates that changes could be made at the academy regarding the teaching of the maneuver.

Another issue recently in the national news out of Louisville, regards “no-knock warrants.” Riddle said the Pikeville Police Department’s policy on “no-knock” warrants is also being updated.

“No-knock warrants were never really a policy of the Pikeville Police,” said Riddle, “only in the event of possible loss of life or serious bodily injury or if the suspect is an extremely dangerous felon.”

Riddle said that, first, “police would have to get the warrant signed by a judge then officers specially-trained in this type of entry into a residence would lead the team and officers who would be in uniform, making announcements that they are law enforcement officers.”

The case involving Breanna Taylor in Louisville involved plainclothes detectives. Riddle said he hopes that this change of the current policy will keep this type of incident from occurring locally.

Riddle said he expects additional changes and modifications to different polices may be forthcoming due to presidential executive orders.

The commission voted unanimously to approve the changes.

Riddle said additional changes are coming in the way officers who have excessive use of force complaints against them are reviewed, tracked and monitored.

Riddle also voiced appreciation to the community for their ongoing support of law enforcement in the area.

“The support of the community has been tremendous in light of the current events across the nation,” Riddle said.

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