Four Rules to Help Prevent Excessive Use of Force Accusations
As a police officer, your work is to protect and serve. In fact, the main job of an officer is to help keep citizens safe. However, as you apply the law, you might have to use force in certain situations. All officers of the law need to know how to do their work efficiently. If you do not want to end up as the defendant in a court case, here are some things you should know about excessive use-of-force.
Only Use Lawful Force
Yes, it is possible to use force legally. 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. Nonetheless, it may happen that you will often have to think quickly in various cases. Whenever that is the case, you need to use the reasonable and lawful force as best as you can.
Write the Best Report You Can after an Incident Where You Used-Force
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.
Follow the Law
As a police officer, it is always vital that you know the law in your state or country before you use any force on a suspect. You should never act using force if you do not understand what the law says about the situation at hand. This can help you avoid a lot of problems that may include legal accusations. You need to always pay attention to the kind of situation you are dealing with before taking any action. Look at the nature of the offense in terms of what has led to the encounter between the suspect and the police officer. Moreover, you also need to think about whether the suspect is evading arrest and whether there is any immediate threat being caused. All these factors are vital at establishing whether the use of force was necessary or not.
Get to Know the Use of Force Policy in Your department
Every department in the law enforcement industry has its own policies. They all have policies that major on the use of force in the field. You should always strive to know what your department has to say about the use of force. The jury in a court of law will always consider whether you followed the required policies if you find yourself faced with a lawsuit.