The Use of Force Policy in New Jersey
TheUse of Force Policy in New Jersey
TheUse of Force Policy in New Jersey
Nationsfrom all over the globe have several guiding principles, which governthe conduct of the law enforcement officers, key among them being theuse of force policy. The force policy refers to a legal stipulationthat grants the law enforcers the right to use excessive force, ifnecessary when discharging their duties (Wexler, 2016). In NewJersey, this authority is bestowed on each security officer who takesan oath and agrees to abide by the state’s set law provisions,which regulate the extent at which an officer can use force while inhis/her line of duty. In addition, the security unions are mandatedto teach their officers in the best way possible they can exercisetheir authority. Quite often, the security officers are forced to useforce in an effort restrict some suspects from hurting them or othermembers of the society or at times to restrain the suspects fromdamaging property (Thompson II, 2015). However, even in a situationwhere an officer is allowed to use force, he/she is supposed toexercise some restraint, hence, the use of force should not beembraced as a daily routine by the officers. This paper offers acritical evaluation of the New Jersey force policy. The paper willoffer an overview of the practices and policies of the force policyand after that evaluate the policy in respect to the legalimplementation and procedures involved in implementing the policy.Consequently, an illustration of the law enforcement personnel misuseof the use of force policy will also be put into perspective.Firstly, the paper will offer a critical examination of the currentforce policies in New Jersey with the aim of establishing whetherthey have been successful and if there would be any need of revisingthem.
TheForce Policy in New Jersey
Theuse of the force policy was initiated in 1985 and was later amendedin 2000. The Advisory Committee of the New Jersey proposed someamendments to the policy after it had critically argued theeffectiveness of the policy then. The advisory committee proposedthat the law was not sufficient in giving directives related to theuse of force by police officers hence, prompting the amendment of thepolicies, which granted some special security personnel the right touse force when the need arises and to restore order. The office ofthe Attorney General – in New Jersey – is mandated to give outdirectives that govern the conduct of the police officers.
TheNew Jersey force policy dictates that all law officers should beguided by the dictation that the force applied in any situationshould be reasonable and of equal measure to the force it is intendedto counter. Additionally, the security personnel are required to makeuse of all other possible and reasonable means of handling thesituation before they resort to the use of force. New Jersey alsomandates its law enforcers to take action in any situation they mayfind any of their colleagues is violating the state’s laws whileusing force. Some of the recommendable actions include reporting theofficers (who violates the law) so that they can be put under somedisciplinary measures. By decreeing so, it is evident that the stateputs some limits on the officer’s implementation of the forcepolicy. The security officers are also required to do anythingpossible to change the flow of events – that may lead to the use offorce before their colleagues opt to use force within thestipulations of the law or even according to their will. It is alsoreasonable for the law enforcers to can either say or do the rightthing before their colleague opts to use force inappropriately.
Inmost scenarios, the law enforcers are usually faced with a challengeof whether to use force or not, since such a decision is made as thefinal solution to a matter. Usually, the decision is also made inhaste and under very unpredictable scenarios. Therefore, a policeofficer would be required to make sound judgment and exercise thediscretion of the force policy before they resort to the use offorce. It should also be noted that the major objective of the forcepolicy is to offer guidance and discretion to police officerswhenever they are faced with difficult situations that demand them tomake critical decisions.
Definitionof the Subject (Suspect) Behavior
Beforeresolving to use force, a police officer will have noted some actionsdone by the suspect/subject to either resists arrest or even defy thesecurity officer’s orders. The suspect behavior can be noted asillustrated below.
Acompliant suspect is one who cooperates with the law enforcer’sdecrees. Such a suspect is easy to handle and does whatever he/she isordered willingly. A suspect might also resist passively, a situationwhereby he/she does not seem to pose any security threat but choosesnot to cooperate as dictated by the law enforcer.
Activeresistance is used to refer to a subject who does anything possibleto resist arrest or even defy the police officer’s orders. Activeresistance is usually classified into two main groups assaultiveresistance – causing physical injuries – and mechanicalresistance (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2014). Undermechanical resistance, the suspect uses mechanical means to defy thecontrol by the security personnel. Usually, the suspect’s effortsare not aimed at the law enforcer but instead are used to limit thepotential of the officer while trying to control the subject.Assaultive resistance leads to the occurrence of a seriousconfrontation between the suspect and the law and order maintenanceofficers. An example of assaultive resistance includes the attempt bythe subject to control the security officers or even grab theirweapons.
Asmentioned above, the use of force by the security officers is vitalunder some conditions, such as while defending themselves or membersof the public. According to the International Association of Chiefsof Police defines the use of force as the required effort by a policeofficer to make an unwilling subject comply (National Institute ofJustice, 2016). The force policy gives a security officer the rightto make use of any of the following forces the mechanical force andthe physical force. The use of the physical force includes wrestlingan individual who refuses to comply with the officers will (forinstance by resisting arrest or even trying to beat the policeofficer) and also making use of any arm to arms means ofconfrontation such as using wrist locks. An officer is allowed to usephysical force in situations whereby he/she intends to overpower anindividual who would be resisting arrest or in situations where anofficer is defending people or their property. On the other hand,mechanical force involves the use of substances – but not firearms -to overpower a subject. Some of the examples of the use of mechanicalforce include the use of a baton or even a non-hazardous natural orchemical spray agent. The use of deadly force refers to a casewhereby a security personnel uses force with an intention to kill thesubject or cause serious injury to him/her. An example of the use ofdeadly force includes shooting the subject so as to make him/hersurrender. However, the law limits the extent to which the use ofdeadly force can be applied. For instance, the law outlaws the use ofdeadly force in case a suspect is fleeing but allows it in asituation whereby the suspect is believed to have caused a seriousinjury to an officer or another person, or even if there is enoughevidence suggesting that the suspect will be a security threat if theofficer lets him/her go.
TheAuthority to Use Force
Asmentioned earlier, there are some conditions that have to befulfilled before an officer opts to use force. Firstly, there must bea reasonable belief, which justifies that the use of force isnecessary. The principle of reasonable belief dictates how an officeris required to use all his/her skills and expertise, which aregarnered during training to confront the issue at hand beforedeciding to use force. The officer must also justify that he/she wasfaced with an imminent danger when he made up his/her mind to useforce. For example, the officer can prove that the subject wascarrying a weapon, which he/she tried to use so as to harm thesecurity officer. An officer can use force to counter any resistancethat might be directed to his/her colleagues or members of thepublic, to safeguard property from an attack or even to force aculprit to surrender. In addition, the law enforcers are allowed touse deadly force only in situations whereby a suspect who has causeddeath or serious body damage is trying to flee and also in scenarioswhereby the use of force would not pose any risk to the other membersof the society.
Casesof Police Misuse of the Force Policy
Despitethe good intentions of the force policy, there have been variouscases of mistreatment by the police officers in New Jersey. One suchcase is the case of a thirty-two years old man in Cumberland County,who was mauled by a police dog while in a police custody (Schichet &Machado, 2015). The police report indicated that they had received areport of a ‘disorderly person,’ but unfortunately, there was astruggle between them and him, which prompted the officers to unleasha K9. The police further claimed that the officers later asked formedical assistance as they believed that the man was suffering from arespiratory disease, the man was pronounced dead as soon as hereached the hospital. However, a Facebook post that (whose intentionwas to demand justice for the man) had some mobile phone videosattachments, which showed that a police dog mauled the man. Accordingto the officers’ attorney, the man was believed to be under theinfluence of illegal drugs (cocaine), which was responsible for hisabsurd behavior. One of the officers further claimed that the policedog was allowed to attack the man in order to rescue one of theofficers who was being attacked by the man. The Police Chief inVineland argued that the use of force was not necessary as the videosuploaded on Facebook did not show any scene where the man hadattacked the said officer. Later the Police Chief gave out astatement pointing out though the incidence was a tragedy, it wasimportant that the public would cease their demand for justice andwait for a complete report after the investigations related to theincidence are completed.
Anothercase of the misuse of the force policy was also noted in February2015 after the police shot a twenty-five years old man, Hall, who wasparanoid schizophrenic. Hall’s family claimed that they hadrequested the police to help in tracing him, but unfortunately, they(police) ended up using unnecessary force, which resulted in thedeath of Hall. The family’s lawyer provided video evidence thatshowed the police using excessive force although they were aware thatthe man was suffering from mental problems. On the other hand, thepolice’s defense argued that they were forced to shoot Hall afterhe attacked one of them. The video also showed Hall’s motherreminding the police officers that her son has mental problems and,thus, they should not hurt him. In the video, Hall can be seenapproaching a police car while holding a broomstick, which furtherraises the question whether he posed a lot of risk to the policeofficers.
Inaddition, there have also been cases of police officers shooting atconfined places, which is barred by the use of force policy. In 2014,a Public Safety Officer was charged with the shooting of asixty-eight years old man, who was seated in a car. The police reportcited that the officers had chased the man after he had refused toslow down, thus, raising suspicion that he was driving while drunk.The officers further claimed that the man had tried to snatch a gunfrom their workmate, which prompted them to use force. Nonetheless,the family members denied that the man had tried to grab a gun fromthem and instead insisted that the officers did not contrary to theuse of force policy. The police officer in question was indicted forgross misconduct while in the line of duty but was later charged witha felony (a crime that results in a ten years imprisonment and a onethousand dollars fine). Also the arrest affidavit also had a videoattachment, which showed everything that had transpired during theincidence, including the police officer shooting at the car.
Fromthe analysis above, it goes without saying that the police officersdo contrary to the dictations of the force policy quite often. Thisworrying trend has led to the loss of many lives, some of the victimsmight also end up being disabled, thus, rendering them incapable ofaccomplishing their daily routines (such as the activities of dailyliving as expected). To hinder future occurrence of such scenarios,some disciplinary measures have been affected key among them beingarraigning the officers who use force inappropriately in courts oreven suspending them from their duties for a while. The lawenforcement officers are obligated to offer protection to the societymembers and not being a threat to their welfare (or a cause of thesuffering), hence, there is a dire need for proper policies to be putin place to ensure that the police officers are restrained from usingforce in unnecessary situations. Consequently, the issues of abuse ofthe force policy has led to an outcry by the members of the public,who have called for a revision of the use of force policy guidelinesor even suggested that tighter measures be put in place to restrictthe officers from taking advantage of the policy.
TheRevision of the Use of Force Policy
Thecontinuous increase of cases of societal members who have lost theirlives (or become physically challenged) as a result of inappropriateuse of the force policy by the police officers prompted theDepartment of Justice (DOJ) to revise the policy’ stipulations. Thefindings of a report, which investigated the conduct of the policeofficers in New Jersey, by the Department of Justice revealed severalcases of the violation of the constitution by some of the lawenforcers. As a result, the trust societal members had in the policeofficers had greatly diminished, a factor which also made itdifficult for the officers to deliver their constitutional mandate asexpected. Vanita Gupta – the Principal Deputy Assistant AttorneyGeneral – argued that the proposed policies were geared towardsmaking New Jersey an example of an accountable and an effectiveconstitutional community policing during the 21stcentury (Department of Justice, 2016). The new measures gave thepolice officers the right to use stun guns as they were viewed as afavorable measure of countering any deadly force (Sullivan, 2016).However, the stun guns are to be used in cases where the subjectrefuses to drop his/her weapon. In addition, the report proposed thatthe DOJ would work closely with the security personnel so as toensure that the new policies would be implemented as required and tohelp in rebuilding the trust between the police officers and thesocietal members as well. Some of the newly proposed measures arediscussed below.
Themeasures proposed that the police officers be subjected to furthertraining so as to teach them practical and the technical skills thatwould enable them to desist from unnecessary use of force. Suchtraining would include means of luring the subjects (trying toapproach the subject from a friendly angle) so as to calm theirtension and make them obey the officers’ commands (Sullivan, 2016).In addition, the officers would be taught the need to be a bitpatient and, hence, restrain themselves from countering the subject’saggressive actions with an equal measure so as to avoid unnecessaryconfrontation. The new training measures also play a significant rolein ensuring that the police officers are made aware of how to use thede-escalation techniques instead of using force (Woods, 2016). Thede-escalation techniques are geared towards making sure that thesituation remains under control, thus, preventing it from becomingtragic.
Thenew measures also proposed that in-depth investigations would becarried out in any case a security officer used force, more so if thesubject succumbs to death during the confrontation. Theinvestigations should be carried in a non-partisan manner – in amanner that does not favor the officer in question and, thus,cushions him from any impending disciplinary measure. Theinvestigation reports should also be handed to the respectiveauthorities, such as the courts, as soon as the investigations areconcluded so as to avoid any possibility of the results beingdoctored, which may happen if the officer is found guilty of usingunnecessary force. Nonetheless, the affected officers should also begiven a favorable chance to air out their views on defense and alsoto respond to any questions that may be raised. Any officer foundguilty of violating the force policy decrees should be subjected to afair disciplinary process depending on the effects of the force used.For instance, if one uses force in an unnecessary situation and endsup killing a member of the society, the officer should be chargedwith murder while if he uses force in an unwarranted situation andends up inflicting the subject with minor injuries, he/she can besuspended from his/her duties for a number of days. The essence ofthe disciplinary measures cannot be overlooked as they would go along way in making sure that the security officers conduct theirduties in a professional way as dictated by the constitution. All thefiles with information that links some officers with the use of forceshould also be kept by the security department’s high authorities,who would be mandated to keep a record of the instances a respectiveofficer would be linked with the use of unnecessary force. Such arecord would be important as it will assist the security agencies toget rid of all the notorious officers, which would also enhance therestoration of the public confidence. The new investigative policiesare also aimed at ensuring that discriminatory policing (sinceevidence suggests that the policemen and women tend to use excessiveforce while dealing with the black people) practices come to an end.
Itwas also proposed that the security department would ensure that alltheir cars were fitted with inbuilt cameras. Just like the Facebookposts showed videos of police use of unnecessary force the sameinformation would be retrieved from the cameras fixed in the cars.Additionally, the new policies proposed the use of body-worn camerasby the law enforcers, which would have the same effect with the onesfitted in their cars (Department of Justice, 2016). The cameras wouldalso simply the nature of investigations, which means that anyvictims of use of unnecessary force by the police officers would notbe required to wait for a long period before they were served withjustice. The cameras would also play a significant role in boostingthe members of public confidence in their security personnel as theywould be guaranteed that nothing took place without a record of thesame being made by a security camera. As a result of the cameras,discipline would also be restored in the security agencies as theywould no doubt tend to resist from giving misleading information,which may compromise their integrity in any case that may be relatedto the use of unwarranted force. The importance of the body worncameras cannot be underestimated as they are not only necessary torecord all the occurrences during a confrontation between theofficers and the suspects but also to discourage the officers and themembers of the public from behaving in a provocative manner (Hoffman,2015). The cameras also play a significant role in making sure thatall the witnesses in a use of deadly force related case are truthful,hence, they can be used as the basis of vindicating an officer whowould be accused of gross violation of the force policy (DeMarco,2015). In addition, the cameras through their audio recording – willalso help in determining whether the officer had tried some othermeasures of taking charge of the situation (for example by commandingthe suspect verbally), thus, justifying that the officer used theforce policy as a last resort.
Asocietal oversight commission would also be created to ensure thatthe actions of the security officers were keenly watched at alltimes. Besides, this commission would be required to make sure thatany concerns (in relation to the use of force by the police officers)raised by a societal member were properly addressed. Such acommission would also reduce the potential of the citizens’victimization by the police officers so as to make them (the people)withhold any vital information, which would link an officer with aninstance of constitutional violation. It would also be important thatthe Commission takes over any case of abuse of the use of forcepolicy so as to ensure that the victims are in a position to getjustice as soon as possible and within the constitutionalstipulations as well. The societal oversight commission would alsowork hand in hand with the security agencies to identify any officerwho violates the constitutional dictations of the use of force ofpolicy and, thus, lowering their integrity. The security departmentplays a key role in the society and, thus, it is paramount that itsmembers conduct their duties with a high sense of integrity andself-esteem so as to win the trust of the societal members with ease.The security agencies are also required to train their officers onthe essence of the community engagement in each situation, so as tomake it possible for them to use tactics that do not scare away thesocietal members while solving countering confrontations. Theagencies are required to offer their officers eight hours of trainingrelated to community policing, which covers the measures the policiescan use so as to engage the societal members in solving conflicts.The training also equips the officers with interpersonal skills thatthey would require handling any confrontation. The agencies are alsomandated to carry out annual surveys to assess the satisfaction ofthe members of the public in relation to the conduct of the lawenforcers. The surveys should be carried in a way that makes iteasier for the societal members to air out their views without fairso as to realize their specific issues of concerns in respect to theconduct of the police officers while using force.
TheRight to Carry Firearms
Securityofficers in New Jersey derive the authority to carry firearms fromthe federal laws. The officers are required to carry a loaded firearmwhile on duty, but they also have a right to do the same while offduty through the conceal carry policies. The law also bars securitypersonnel from using any personally-owned weapon while they are onduty or at any other times they may be required to handle an officialassignment. However, the officers have to abide by the requirementsof chapter six of the United States’ constitution, which demandsthat they make use of the issued firearms in a reasonable manner.Certain conditions have to be fulfilled for an officer to be legallyallowed to carry a firearm. To start with, the security agencies mustfirst approve that an officer is fit to carry and use the firearm ina reasonable manner whether in the company of his/her colleagues oralso as an individual. The officer must also be having a badge, whichsignals that he/she is authorized to carry the weapon. Also, anofficer must also successively complete the required basic training,which is one of the conditions for one to be employed in the securityagencies. Such training must cover the use of firearms as well asother techniques of solving a confrontation without resolving to theuse of force.
TheRevocation of the Right to Carry the Firearms
Thestate laws also outline some conditions under which a securityofficer may be barred from possessing a weapon or even having his/herlicense canceled as discussed below.
Wheneveran officer fails to demonstrate that he can use the assigned weaponin a reasonable manner or as stipulated by the state laws (and alsothe federal laws), then the security agencies have the right to barhim/her from carrying it. In addition, if there is enough evidencethat suggests that an officer did not complete the training asrequired, then it is upon the security agencies to ensure that suchan officer does not carry a weapon as he might be a security threat.Some officers have also been noted to have acted in gross violationof the gun policies, which signals that they should not be consideredcredible to carry a firearm that they may use while implementing aforce policy.
Anofficer is also allowed to be in possession of a gun (while on dutyor off duty) only under the conviction that he/she is sane. Amentally unstable officer would no doubt be incapable of using theirfirearm in a reasonable manner. In addition, any officer sufferingfrom a medical condition, which may limit the reasonable use of thefirearm is not authorized to carry one. However, before the permanentrevocation of an officer’s license, a medical examination has to becarried on him/her to justify that he might be a security threat ifallowed to carry a weapon. Consequently, the law prohibits anyofficer from carrying a weapon while he/she is under medications.
Thesecurity agencies also has the sole authority to revoke the license(in relation to the carriage of a weapon) of any officer in case theofficer has been noted to be using some drugs (for instance harddrugs like cocaine or heroin) that may impair his/her potential tomake rational decisions while discharging his duties. Due to theinfluence of such drugs, any officer consuming them might becomeeasily agitated whenever a confrontation arises between him/her andthe societal members, which may provoke him/her to cease the use ofde-escalation techniques and instead use force. Any officer with ahistory of misuse of their privileges to use force whenever thesituation demands would also be barred from carrying a firearm so asto avoid any instance he/she might be tempted to use deadly force.
Itis also important that the security authorities deny any officer whomay have committed a felony the right to carry a weapon that they mayuse while exercising the use of force policy. In addition, anyofficer who would have a history of being convicted for committingdomestic violence may be barred from possessing a firearm. Suchuncouth behavior signals that the respective officer might e a threatto himself/herself or even their partners and other members of thesociety.
TheResponsible Officials (ROs) are mandated to ensure that the forcepolicy is executed within the provisions of the law. Every RO has aninventory control to enhance the security and the maintenance of aproper record of the use of force by the officers in their areas.Also, each RO appoints a Firearms Coordinator (FCO) who manages allthe ammunitions and firearms in his/her area, as well as takingcharge of the issuance, the receipt, and the maintenance f a properrecord related to the use of such sensitive security equipment. Someof the ROs include the Chief Patrol Agents (CPA), the Directors,Field Operations (DFO), the Division Directors, Internal Affairs (IA)the Assistant Commissioners of the various security agencies.
Implementationof the Force Policy
Theimplementation of the use of force policy is overseen by the Directorf the Use of Force Center for Excellence (UFCE), who issues thenecessary directives related to the use of force – such as the useof firearms and the use of non-lethal techniques as well. Thedirector also issues the guidelines, which have to be followed beforean officer opts to use force in any situation. It is also the duty ofthe UFCE director to come up with the use of force training program,which also covers the training of the use of force instructors –for instance, armorers, less-lethal instructors, and the firearminstructors as well. The director can also call for a review of theincidents that have been related to the use of force so as toidentify any areas that would need some improvements on such as thetraining of security officials.
TheUse of Force Centre for Excellence (UFCE) is also made up of anIncident Review Committee, which is mandated to make reviews on anyinstance where the force policy has been employed, more so in case,the affected officer opted to use deadly force. The committee allowsa team of experts to analyze all the use of force incidents from theperceptive of the quality of the training an officer may havereceived as well as realize the tactics the officer may have used butdoes not make any recommendations for the disciplinary measures anofficer should be subjected to in case he/she is found to have actedcontrary to the policy decrees. The committee usually comprises ofthe Director of UFCE (who chairs it) and members from all securityorgans. The committee meets on a quarterly basis and at any othertime when the Chairman may deem fit after enough evidence of the useof force policy instances has been garnered. The committee also makesa submission of its report to the security agencies so as to help inadvancing the proper use of the use of force policy.
Reportingof an Incidence where a Security Officer has Used Force
Anyinstance where a deadly force is used has to be reported to asecurity supervisor within one hour of the occurrence of theincidence unless there is a good reason (such as a situation wherebythe officer becomes incapacitated). The law dictates that therespective officer can make the report as a person, or even through atelephone or a radio call. The major information that is to becontained in the report include the time, location, and the datewhen the incident occurred. The identity and the location of anyinjured person (or any person who may have lost their life) have tobe revealed. In case any person was injured, an assessment of theinjuries is to be conducted, and the officer also has to make itknown whether he/she asked for medical assistance so as to make surethat the injured person is treated. In addition, the officer mustalso inform the supervisor of the identity of any witnesses at thescene of the incident. The officer also gives a detailed explanationof the cause of the confrontation as well as the operational activitythe officer was engaged in. When the officer resolves to use afirearm, he/she must note the type of the firearm he/she has used,the number of shots he/she makes, and the location of the firearmused (at the time of reporting). Nonetheless, the officer is usuallyat liberty to give out any additional information that affirms thathe/she is justified to use force as his/her life (or the life ofother societal members was in danger). The law also gives thesecurity officers to report any case of use of deadly force wheneverthey have a reason to believe that the case has not been reported.
Onthe other hand, as soon as the security supervisor learns of anincident linked to the use of deadly force, he/she is obligated tomake sure that the incident location is well secured and also callfor medical assistance to help any persons who may claim to have beeninjured. The supervisor also has to keep the affected officers thatthey will have to be investigated by the investigative authority andthat they must remain on duty until they are advised otherwise. Thismeasure plays a key role in ascertaining that the officers believethat they were justified to use deadly force and also boost thesocietal members’ confidence in their security personnel. Thesupervisor shall make a formal report, which contains the summary ofall the occurrences. The report shall thereafter be submitted to thecommissioners of the security agencies through their official chainof command.
Applicationof the Use of Force Policy
Theuse of force policy comprises of several stages that an officer hasto follow before he/she resolves to use force. The stages are asexplained below
Thepresence of the security personnel – In normal circumstances, theappearance of a security officer is enough to make one stopcommitting a crime or even stop an ongoing confrontation escalate.The officer can also use non-threatening gestures so as to make thesubjects stop confronting each other.
Verbalcommands – in cases the presence of the officer fails to achievethe desired results, he/she can also give out commands such as‘stop,’ ‘don’t move’ among other so as to force the personcommitting a crime to stop doing so (Police Test Info, 2017). Theofficer can also proclaim that the offenders are under arrest, whichmakes them abide and also reduce much confrontation. In addition, asa result of adequate training, more so in terms of communicationskills, the officer can opt to proper words (which might signal tothe offenders that the officers intention is to maintain peace andorder) that would also play a key role in the reduction of thetension and, hence, avoid unnecessary confrontation.
Handcontrol mechanisms – there might be instances where the use ofverbal words might not be effective. At such times, the securityofficers become physically involved in the conflict although he/shedoes not use any weapon or equipment. The officers can use the softempty hand technique to restrain or bar the law breakers fromcontinuing with their mission (National Institute of Justice, 2016).Eventually, the police officers might be forced to use hard emptyhand techniques such as punches or kicks (while making sure that thesubjects are not hurt), which might be effective in bringing aconfrontation to an end. The hand control mechanism is also referredto as the contact control measure since it may include holding of thesuspect’s joints so as to limit his/her potential to carry on withthe illegal activity.
Theuse of baton, taser and pepper spray – if it turns out that thesuspect is quite aggressive or violent, the law enforcer is allowedto use non-deadly measures of keeping the situation under control.However, it is always assumed that the previous measures would havefailed to yield any success. The pepper spray causes a burningsensation on the subject and also makes him/her to experience abreath shortage, hence, making the subject abide with the officer’sorders. The law enforcer might also hit the subject with a baton,which makes him/her immobile and, thus, making it easier for anarrest to be made. The use of a taser is also an effective way ofkeeping a violent situation in control. The taser releases anelectric shock (usually about 50000 volts), which makes it impossiblefor the suspect to carry on with a confrontation. These measures arealso referred to as compliance techniques as they are used to force asuspect to comply and, thus, enable the security personnel to retaincontrol (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2014). Apart from theuse f the Electronic Control Weapon (ECW), the officers are alsoallowed to use joint manipulation techniques, which render thesuspect helpless.
Theuse of less-lethal force – this method involves the use of lesslethal weapons, which can be used by an officer while implementingthe use of a force policy. The lethal weapons are used to render thesuspect immobile for a short time. However, the use of the lesslethal weapons can also have far-reaching consequences, which mayinclude causing some injuries to onlookers.
Thelaw enforcement officers are also obligated to use some defensivetactics whenever they feel threatened (overpowered) by the suspects.The defensive tactics include strangling the subject so as to makehim/her concede defeat.
Theuse of deadly force – in cases where the security officer becomesconvinced that a suspect poses a significant threat, he/she isjustified to use deadly force. In such a scenario, the officer willhave tried all the other measures of keeping the situation undercontrol though unsuccessively (New Jersey State Association of Chiefsof Police, 2012). At such points, the officers will be allowed to useaggressive measures such as shooting the suspect so as to retaincontrol of the situation. Woods notes that the de-escalationtechniques helps the officers use just a little force while resolvinga conflict (Woods, 2016). Examples of the de-escalation techniquesinclude the Police Chaplain program where volunteers from religiousorganizations are used to help in controlling situations that may endup with far-reaching consequences such as deaths or serious bodyinjuries.
However,there also exist various instances when the use of force is notjustifiable at all. Such instances include the situations whereby theofficer assumes the role of a peace-maker or is assisting a colleaguewhose mission is to restore peace (Vercammen, 2017). In addition, theuse of force is not necessary if an officer believes that by doingso, he would be risking the lives of innocent members.
Itis quite evident that quite some the security officers have been usedin gross violation of their terms of service more so the decree thatthey should not resort to the use of the force policy in aninappropriate manner. The overall results are that some lives havebeen lost, which have made the societal members lose their confidencein the security department. To restore the trust and also maintainprofessionalism within the security agencies, there have been severalchanges that have been put in place key among them dictating theprocess that an officer should follow before being allowed to carry aweapon. Firstly, the officer has to show that he/she passes the merittest (the integrity test), which affirms that the officer is capableof behaving in a respectful manner and that he/she has no pastrecords that show he/she has ever used the firearm in a negligentmanner. Additionally, the security officers are to undergo a trainingprogram that would ensure that they are taught the necessary skillsand expertise they would need to handle each situation, more sowhenever they are tempted to use force. Besides, the officers wouldnot only be required to compile a report of any case of use of forceincidence after which thorough investigations have to be carried outto affirm that the used force was necessary. In addition, the newpolicies dictate that cameras should be fitted on the police uniformsand vehicles so as to make sure an audio and video evidence of anycase of use of force policy is recorded.
Tosum it all, the main objective of the use of force policy in NewJersey is to ensure that the police officers can be in a position toprotect themselves from any danger or threat that may be met on themby some aggressive suspects. The policy gives the officers thefreedom to use any force they can so as to restrict the culprits fromcausing more harm to people or property. Some of the recommendedtypes of force the officers can use include using verbal words, handcontrol mechanisms, or even using deadly force. The use of deadlyforce involves making sure that the officer either kills the officeror causes serious physical injuries. However, the law enforcementofficers are restricted from using deadly force unless they arecertain that the suspect poses some threats to them (officers) and insituations where the other means of solving the confrontation havefailed. The law also mandates the officers to compile a report on anycase of use of deadly force after which investigations would be doneto ascertain that the use of the force was necessary. In case anofficer is found guilty of using force in an appropriate manner,he/she can be put under a disciplinary measure such as beingarraigned in a court of law or even being suspended from service fora few days in case the force used did not have serious body effectson the suspect. Cases of misuse of the use of force policy by the lawenforcers have been noted (as illustrated above), which has led to adecrease of the members of public confidence in the law and ordermaintenance officers. However, the state of New Jersey has come upwith more advanced means of making sure that the police officers donot violate the stipulations of the force policy. Such measuresinclude ensuring that the officers are retrained, enhancement of thecommunity policing policies as well as the installation of cameras inthe security officers’ workers while other cameras are fitted onthe officer’s uniforms. All these measures are geared towardsensuring that the use of force policy is as mandated and eventuallyrestore the members of the public confidence in the state’ssecurity personnel. The implementation of these measures would nodoubt be a major milestone in New Jersey’s efforts to have anaccountable and effective security department, which justifies thatthe uses of force policy decrees require to be implemented asstipulated and not to be changed.
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