Rules that Can be Used to Avoid Accusations Related to Excessive Use-of-Force
As a police officer, your work is to protect and serve. Actually, an officer’s primary task is to ensure the safety of citizens. However, as you apply the law, you might have to use force in certain situations. It is essential for officers to understand what it takes to have the right balance when doing their job. 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
It is allowed for you to use force as permitted by the law. When you have to use force, you should ensure that you do your best during the situation. One of the best things to do is to ensure you solve the issue as quickly as it arises. You also need to remember everything taught to you during training on how to handle situations. However, you might come across situations that require you to think on your feet. 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
Whenever you use force, you need to consider that you might be sued for excessive use-of-force. Having said that, you should therefore take time to write a concise report each time you use force. You should not wait to do it later.
You Ought to Know 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. 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. When you do this you can be sure that you will not be facing any legal problems. 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
There are policies that are meant to be followed in each department in the law enforcement industry. You will come across policies related to the use of force. 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.