Use of Force

Use of force or professional use of force are simply catch all phrases which indicate that the nature of a person's work is such that it may require the legal application of appropriate force to another person(s) or, occasionally, creature.

The application of force may be considered or termed variously as 'disengagement tactics', 'subject control', 'self defense', 'patient restraint', 'survival combatives' or any of a multitude of other terms in common use today.

What they all have in common is that the application of force must be deemed appropriate given the nature of the perceived threat and with due consideration to all impacting factors.

In plain English, you will have to be able to "articulate" (explain), even prove that force was necessary (the law says you can't step in if you could have stepped out) and within your legal mandate or right. Then, that the level of force used was appropriate in the specific situation. Further, that the amount of force used was not excessive given the circumstances.

Your post incident reporting, subject care, and follow up may all come under scrutiny. Understanding these areas can go a long way towards mitigating liability.

A failure to act can make you as 'liable' as an inappropriate action. This is an aspect of intervention strategies that is too often overlooked.

Different Professions, Different Rules

Legalities and expectations do differ appropriately between professions where use of force is often a required part of the job.

Where patient restraint is necessary the perception and expectation remains that the subject will be treated differently by their 'caregivers' than they would be, for the same behaviors, occurring 'on the street' with civilian or law enforcement responders.

Why? Because the mandates of the respondents and public perceptions and expectations are different. Thus the 'due consideration of all impacting factors'.

Nowadays however, there is an increasing blurring of the lines. For example, high end security companies are now difficult to tell apart from police forces. However, when you look at legal authorities the lines are not nearly so blurred. Civilian authority and police authority are night and day.

Some of the most sweeping authority for use of force applications fall under various Mental Health Acts. You must know your specific niche in order not to become confused.

Many times police or ex-police become the use of force instructors for civilian corporations. Unfortunately this sometimes produces civilian agencies who look, act, and think like police.

These two lines can not be crossed or legal liabilities will ensue. It is my intention to focus on each of the more common use of force professions and some of the specifics both in academics and physical skills that apply to each.

Contextual links to the overview academics for these areas appear below. Down-loadable e-books and physical skills DVDs will follow as this website is further developed.

Civilian Use of Force Academics
Law Enforcement Overview
Health Care Academics
By-Law Academics
Animal Control Issues
On Camera Use of Force
Laws, Liability, and Mitigation

These are the areas we are most often asked about so we'll address them first. If you have an area you would like covered, please let us know via the Contact Us page, our Blog, or submit your area of concern for an E-zine article.

As you use this website remember that the navigation bars will give you specific subjects under use of force. Contextual links under those subjects will then give you specific details.

If you would like information on our course development or training delivery, please use our Contact Us page and we will follow up promptly.

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