Four Rules to Help Prevent Excessive Use of Force Accusations
Officers of the law are required to serve civilians. The security of citizens is paramount to an officer’s priorities. Unfortunately, as an officer, there may come a time when you need to enforce the very law in order to safeguard others. 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 Legal Force
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. 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 the Best Report You Can after an Incident Where You Used-Force
It is necessary to assume that a lawsuit may come your way every time you use 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.
Understand 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. This can help you avoid a lot of problems that may include legal accusations. You should always make sure that you have assessed the situation before you act. You need to assess the nature of the crime and look at what has caused the officer and the suspect to meet. 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.
Get to Know the Use of Force Policy in Your department
Every department in the law enforcement industry has its own policies. Each department has policies related to the use of force. It is always important to first understand what your departmental policies have to say about using 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.