A use-of-force continuum is a law enforcement concept that plays a role in guiding the actions of police officers in situations that require the use of force. This standard governs how officers should use force, when they should use it, and under what circumstances they may use lethal or deadly force. Learn about this concept and how law enforcement personnel can reduce the risk of injury with top-quality riot gear.
Example of a Use-of-Force Continuum
Each agency or department usually has its own use-of-force continuum, even though many of them are relatively similar to one another. Below is an example of the use-of-force continuum used by the U.S. Navy:
- Officer presence. The visual presence of a law enforcement officer may be enough force to obtain compliance with lawful requests.
- Verbal commands. A clearly stated verbal command can be given with or without accompanying consequences if the suspect chooses not to comply.
- Soft controls. This includes restraint, use of pressure points, and other enforcement tactics that pose a low risk of substantial physical harm.
- Hard controls. Hard controls have a high likelihood of causing physical injury, including kicking, punching, and using pepper spray or tear gas. Soft tissue injuries and even bone fractures are common with the use of this level of force.
- Intermediate weapons. Non-lethal weapons like a baton or taser may be employed. These weapons are likely to cause serious injury.
- Lethal force. Lethal force is any force likely to result in someone’s death. Most often this level of force is connected to the use of a firearm. However, this designation can be given to any force that caused or may have caused the death of a suspect.
Reduce Risk In Situations Requiring Use of Force
Proper training is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of injury or death in situations that require an officer to use some level of force. Poorly trained officers may use too much force too quickly, putting the suspect’s life and potentially the lives of others in jeopardy. They also may not use enough force quickly enough, putting themselves and other officers on duty in the line of fire.
Overall, comprehensive training for a wide variety of scenarios can help officers feel prepared and supported as they make important decisions in the field. A well-trained police force will take the appropriate action at the right time in order to protect the safety of the most people.
Other options to reduce the risk of injury to officers include but are not limited to use:
- Providing fitness opportunities to officers on the clock. Finding time outside of work for anything is tough, especially working out. Officers that have access to fitness opportunities at work stay fitter, increasing stamina and endurance to handle big issues.
- Coaching officers on diet and nutrition. Police officers are among those with the highest risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Healthier food choices can be a great way of reducing risk of health problems that lead to injuries.
- Outfitting officers in riot gear. Riot and tactical gear can offer a lot of protection to officers during intense situations.
Where to Buy High-Quality Riot Gear & Tactical Safety Apparel
Quality safety apparel and riot gear is a necessity for today’s law enforcement officers, especially going into scenarios involving large crowds and the potential for escalation. Police departments want to know what more they can do to keep officers safer in the line of duty. Haven Gear is a provider of riot and tactical gear for police, military, and other law enforcement. Contact us to learn more about keeping your team safe using the best gear to fit their needs. We offer unparalleled quality and top-of-the-line safety so you can focus on the intense situations without worrying about your gear.