Deciding When and How to Use Less-Lethal Devices
When deciding to use less-lethal equipment, officers consider the circumstances and their agency's policy. Almost all larger law enforcement agencies have written policies about the use of less-lethal force.
As part of their policy, agencies often have an approved use-of-force continuum to help officers decide the suitable amount of force for a situation — higher levels of force in most severe circumstances, and less force in other circumstances.
Many agencies in which officers use less-lethal technologies have training programs to help evaluate dangerous circumstances.
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For more information about less-lethal policies and practices, see www.less-lethal.org. Less-Lethal.org contains information on:
- Policies set up by law enforcement agencies.
- Professionally developed model policies.
- Training opportunities for agencies and associations.