A Statement on the Value of Human Life

City of St. Louis drawing

The primary responsibility of this Department and each of its members is to protect the lives of the citizens we are sworn to serve. It is also the duty of each member of the Department to honor the established principles of democracy upon which this country was founded. Among these is the most profound reverence for human life, the value of which far exceeds that of any property. In view of this, it is essential that every action of this Department and of each of its members be consistent with that responsibility. For these reasons, it is appropriate that this Statement on the Value of Human Life embodies the spirit of the Department and sets forth the principles and policies which guide the conduct of every Department employee.

In recognition, therefore, of the commitment of this Department to the preservations of human life, and because of the public trust which empowers sworn police officers to lawfully exercise force, even deadly force when required, in carrying out that commitment, it is hereby declared to be the policy of this Department that (1) the use of deadly force will never be condoned as a routine response; and (2) police officers will exercise the highest degree of care in the applications of such force.