This is one of the more common Use of Force Models used. Being a Law Enforcement Officer, you at some point are going to have to use force. Using force is needed to gain compliance and for safety. Safety of the Officer, the Offender and the general public. Always perform your duties like you are being videotaped. That is one of the forms of thinking I use to keep me out of trouble. That’s why knowing this Use of Force Model is so very important. In many of the state statutes it reads that any “reasonable amount of force” may used against an offender to effect an arrest. The problem is that most departments use the standard of the ” least amount of force” used against an offender to effect an arrest. While using the state statute will not get you charged in any crimes or civil disputes, it will make it very easy for your department to discipline you. Let’s take a look at this model.
Cooperative Subject ( without direction): This means for example: You are dispatched to a graffiti/tagger incident. You arrive. As soon as the offender see’s you exit your vehicle, he drops the spray can. This is achieved by just mere presence alone and without verbal direction. ( This never happens!!)
Cooperative Subject (verbal direction): This means you arrive on scene, exit your vehicle and subject is still spray painting the wall after he see’s you. You give verbal direction for him to drop the spray can, and to interlock his hands on top of his head. He follows all verbal directions.
Resister (passive): You arrive on scene, subject ignores your presence and verbal directions. He instead sits down Indian style and crosses his hands, in a form of protest. He will not move. At that point you can mildly go hands on. You can try and grab the offender to place him on his feet. You can try and grab his arms and place them behind his back for cuffing. You can use pressure points to try and get him to comply. You can also use your impact weapon on the pressure points, Ex: rolling the ankle bone with the handle of the baton. While you are doing any of these you need to be simultaneously giving verbal commands. ” Sir,Stop Resisting, Roll Over ” etc.
Resister (Active): You arrive on scene, subject ignores your presence and verbal directions. He sites down. You try to apply ( Passive resister) techniques on him. When you try and grab him he starts to wiggle and flail his arms and legs in an attempt for you not to try and control him. You can try to apply pressure points, but this is probably ineffective at that point. Her you can go more hands on and give him a open palm strike to the side of the head ( Head Stun) as well as striking pressure point areas with force. At the top end of this category you can also use chemical agents ( O.C. Spray). While you are doing any of these, you need to be simultaneously giving verbal commands.
Assailant( Low level): You arrive on scene, subject ignores your presence and verbal direction. He sites down. You try to apply ( Passive resister) techniques on him. At that point subject gets up and takes a combative stance. He balls up his fists and appears ready to fight. He’s states he going to ” Beat your face in”. You are in fear of receiving a battery. You can immediately get into fighting mode with the offender. You can use close fist strikes to body, you can use you impact weapon and strike in major muscle groups of the body and you can use O.C. spray. If available you can also use a K-9. Always give verbal commands while doing any of these.
Assailant (Mid-Level): You arrive on scene, subject ignores your presence and verbal direction. He sites down. You try to apply ( Passive resister) techniques on him. At that point subject gets up and takes a combative stance. He balls up his fists and appears ready to fight. He’s states he going to ” Beat your face in”. He charges you and takes you to the ground. The bell rings and the fight is on. He at this point may or may not have weapons. You may use all of the above in terms of force. You can also strike the offender with closed fists in the face, body or head. The only thing you can not do here is use methods that will cause serious injury, lethal strikes or your firearm. Everything else is fair game. Pool sticks, chairs, bookshelves etc… Always give verbal commands…
Assailant (Top-Level): Well this category speaks for its self. While fighting with you, the offender gets on top of you. He grabs a brick laying near-by and starts to hit you in the head/face with it. You know you will loose consciousness if he continues to do this. He is over powering you and nothing you do can stop him. At this point you are concerned that you will have either 1) permanent/serious physical injury or 2) fear of death. Getting beat with a brick will absolutely cause serious physical injury or death. It also will cause you to loose consciousness and for the offender to have an opportunity to use your firearm against you or others. At this point it is very safe to say that using your firearm is very appropriate. You may also use any lethal skills you may have other than that of a firearm.
This is very important to know. For me the first 6 areas of subjects are the most concerning. Those are the levels that if you over react you will get sued, suspended, terminated or charged criminally. The Top-level assailant means that you or someone else is on the verge of death by the actions of the offender. This is the one where keeping your job doesn’t really matter. Your main concern is to stay alive or save the life of an innocent person. One of our main goals as an LEO is to provide service and assistance to others in need and to go home after our shift, ” No, matter what”. Our safety and lives come before our disciplinary fears.