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Use of Force and Law Enforcement

TASA ID: 4252

Law enforcement personnel are often faced with difficult decisions, perhaps, none more difficult than using force. The primary objective for law enforcement when engaged in a use-of-force incident is to restrain and control while utilizing an “objectively reasonable” amount of force. The often asked, debated, and second-guessed law enforcement question is how much force is necessary, required, or acceptable? The following terms require discussion:

Excessive use of force: This term can be described as using more force than a reasonable person would deem reasonable and necessary.

Unnecessary or unreasonable amount of force: This term refers to law enforcement personnel who utilize force where a reasonably prudent and well trained police officer would not. If law enforcement personnel are accused of utilizing too much force, accountability for the incident(s) will include, but not be limited to, possible discipline for violating department policy and standards, agency rules and regulations violations, internal investigation complaints, possible criminal charges, and civil lawsuits.

Police Use of Force Part 1 – Understanding the Use of Force Continuum

TASA ID: 321

We are living in a time when our police force is coming under great scrutiny and criticism for their actions. One question that keeps coming up is “was the use of force utilized by the police justified”? While the public may not understand or even agree, law enforcement agencies do have policies and guidelines that cover their use of force. Officers who find themselves in a situation where they are required to take a criminal into custody or defend themselves must determine how to handle a potentially dangerous rapidly changing split second situation. These policies, known as the Use of Force Continuum, outline the correct actions that should be taken by a law enforcement officer if a situation should arise that requires the use of force.
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