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Use Of Force: ( I am looking for the card to scan and email)

There is no statutory guidance on the use of force.
State and Federal Case Law
Department Policy (will supersede)
Self Disciplined Police Officer must recognize his accountability and is subject to the highest scrutiny of the public.

Force is used to protect the officer himself, as well as others
Force is used in varying degrees

A reasonable Officer uses his perceptions of a subject's actions and other circumstances to respond with reasonable amounts of force.


Nature of offense
3rd party actions
Physical odds
Feasibility / availability of alternatives

May use whatever force is necessary and reasonable under the circumstances to protect from imminent bodily harm

There are four elements necessary to be present for the use of force to be justified. Those elements are ability, opportunity, jeopardy, and no reasonable alternative.

In level I, the subject is considered compliant. The officer's response would be the use of verbal commands and simply his presence. These are known as cooperative controls.

In level II, the subject is considered passively resistant. The officer would respond with contact techniques such as the escort position and other touch techniques.

In level III, the subject is actively resistant. This level would require the officer to use compliance techniques, such as OC spray, or control and restraint techniques.

Level IV involves an assaultive subject. The officer operating within this level of the model would use defensive tactics and impact techniques along with intermediate or personal weapons.

Level V on the use of force model is the highest level of force, deadly force. Here, the subject is in the assaultive stage and is an imminent threat to cause death or serious bodily injury. The officer would be authorized to use deadly force to stop the subject.

Police officer's would shoot to stop in a deadly force scenario. Shoot to stop means that police are only permitted to discharge firearms to make the subject stop committing deadly force. Police are not authorized to shoot to kill or wound.

The use of force is conduct that invades another's interest or personality. If you are not privileged to use force, then the use of force will constitute assault, battery, or false imprisonment.

Excessive force is force that does not fit the totality of the circumstances. It is considered force beyond that which is needed to resolve the situation.

Reasonable force is force that is not excessive. It is an appropriate level of force that is needed for gaining compliance.

Constructive force is any force that produces fear sufficient to suspend the power of resistance and prevent the exercise of will. An example of constructive force is a group of officers surrounding a person.

Contact the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) for a Use of Force Poster. They are very supportive and cooperative.
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