Four Rules to Help Prevent Excessive Use of Force Accusations
Police officers have the mandate of service to the people. The security of citizens is paramount to an officer’s priorities. Nevertheless, when serving others, there are times you might have to use force to enforce the law. It is essential for officers to understand what it takes to have the right balance when doing their job. Below are some of the things you need to be aware of when it comes to excess use-of-force to help you avoid accusations.
Only Use Lawful Force
You can actually use force, but have it be legal. It is essential for you to do the best in your capacity when a situation calls for use-of-force. The best thing to do is try solving the problem as fast as possible. During your training, there are certain things you will learn, which you need to remember while in the field. However, you might come across situations that require you to think on your feet. Whenever that is the case, you need to use the reasonable and lawful force as best as you can.
Immediately an Incident Occurs You should Write a Good and Clear Report
If you use force at any time, you should always assume that you may be accused of using excessive force. As such, it is essential that you detail a clear report on the same as soon as the incident happens. You should not wait to do it later.
You Ought to Know the Law
When it comes to using force as a police officer, it is essential that you understand the law in your state or country. Avoiding the use of force is the right thing to do especially if you do not understand what the law has to say about the situation you are handling. This can help you avoid a lot of problems that may include legal accusations. You should always make sure that you have assessed the situation before you act. Look at the nature of the offense in terms of what has led to the encounter between the suspect and the police officer. Additionally, you need to consider whether there is an immediate threat and whether the suspect is evading arrest. All these factors are vital at establishing whether the use of force was necessary or not.
Understand Departmental Use of Force Policy
Every department in the law enforcement industry has its own policies. You will come across policies related to the use of force. It is always important to first understand what your departmental policies have to say about using force. Following the right policies is important because the jury will always consider whether you followed the required protocol.