Essay on The Use of Force Continuum

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  647 Words
Date:  2021-04-07

The police force has permissions to use force under certain circumstances especially when dealing with rogue suspects. There are guidelines that regulate the amount of force that can be used on a resisting subject. These guidelines are standardized by the use of force continuum. Every agency in the department of criminal justice has their own different model of the use of force continuum (Ariel, Farrar & Sutherland, 2015). The model contains the various stages of subject resistance and the amount of force matching each level of resistance. The officers are however not expected to follow each step of the model but act accordingly to the form of subject resistance. This is because there are different reactions to different rogue situations which require prompt actions from the officers.

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In some cases, the presence or the verbal command of an officer may not be sufficient to prevent a criminal act from taking place. In the case of Officer Jones, the subject was not complying with his commands but was instead contemplating on driving away when asked to produce his identification card, which is a criminal offense (Ariel, Farrar & Sutherland, 2015). The department therefore allows for the usage for intermediate weapons such as pepper sprays and tasers for such cases to prevent criminals from disobeying the law. The officers should, however, be careful when using such items to avoid fatal injuries. The tasers should not be used on the heads or on the spinal areas but on the arms and legs of the suspects. In this case, Officer Bret used the taser while the suspects car was open.

Officers are also allowed to use tasers when dealing with combative suspects. Such suspects are violent in nature and may harm the general public and the police officers. The model therefore also allows officers to use soft control methods such as pepper spars, tasers and batons to disarm or control the suspects (Diz-Munoz, Fletcher & Weiner, 2013). The agency allows officers to use lethal weapons such as guns on combative subjects that posess dangerous weapons that may cause great dangers to the officers and the public in general.

I would love to suggest a revision of the agency's current use of force continuum model to suit the needs of the department better. The model needs to protect the officers intermediate actions towards both the non-compliant and the combative suspects. A certified model of the use of force continuum enables the officers to perform their duties efficiently without the fear of facing arrests and lawsuits (Diz-Munoz, Fletcher & Weiner, 2013). The officers should be allowed to use an effective amount of force depending on the nature of the suspect resistance without legal repercussions unless the amount of force used is not directly proportional to the required amount of force.

The officers should also consider other force varieties such as verbal commands physical presence, and empty-hand submission techniques which mainly entails manipulating the joints of the suspect to the body pressure points and normal hand-cuffing before engaging in the soft and hard control techniques (Ariel, Farrar & Sutherland, 2015). After the case involving one of our officers, other officers may be intimidated during duty which should not be the case. The department of justice should, therefore, enact laws that specify the circumstances that can be termed as excessive usage of force to improve law enforcement in the country. The police officers should also ensure that they are well informed on the use of force continuum before joining the police academies or reporting to duty after recruitment.


Ariel, B., Farrar, W. A., & Sutherland, A. (2015). The effect of police body-worn cameras on use of force and citizens complaints against the police: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of quantitative criminology, 31(3), 509-535.

Diz-Munoz, A., Fletcher, D. A., & Weiner, O. D. (2013). Use the force: membrane tension as an organizer of cell shape and motility. Trends in cell biology, 23(2), 47-53.

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