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. 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.
Use Force that is Legal
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. As soon as the problem comes up, you need to do what you can to resolve it. It is also necessary for you to remember all the things that are taught while you were at training. Nonetheless, it may happen that you will often have to think quickly in various cases. Any time this occurs, you will need to be reasonable when using the legal force allowed to you by the law.
Write a Good and Concise Report as Soon as an Instance Occurs
It is necessary to assume that a lawsuit may come your way every time you use force. Thus, it is necessary for you to write a clear report detailing the events immediately afterward. Make sure you do this quickly or within the same day.
Understand the Law
Every officer of the law, should know and understand the laws in his or her state before using any type of force on a suspect. If you have no idea about what the law says regarding the situation you are dealing with, you would rather not use force. By doing this you can prevent unnecessary accusations that may complicate things further. Before acting at any time make sure that you have looked at the situation first. Look at the nature of the offense in terms of what has led to the encounter between the suspect and the police officer. In addition to this, you should also look at any immediate threat being caused and whether there is a case of the suspect evading arrest. All these factors are vital at establishing whether the use of force was necessary or not.
Know the Use of Force Policy
You will always find each department in the law enforcement industry with their own functioning policies. They all have policies that major on the use of force in the field. If you are in this industry, it is your job to find out 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.