The Use of Force by Police

At times, Police officers find it necessary to employ the use of legitimized force to implement social order. The use of force is required in order to compel cooperation by unwilling or uncooperative suspects. The levels, amounts and types of force used by police may include basic verbal and the use of substantial physical restraint, lethal and less lethal force (US Department of Justice, 2009). However, the amount of force used to subdue suspects should be minimal and used only when necessary.

Force should be used in cases where there is need to eliminate any possible threat presented to the officer, civilians or the society. As a result, the threat presented is eliminated hence minimizing the risk and seriousness of any harm that could have occurred (US Department of Justice, 2009). Police should ensure that suspects injured during subdual receive medical attention and at the same time notify the immediate family of the injured individual.

Use of force by police Police officers are given guidance from individual agencies on the ethics of using force. However, the US Department of Justice explains that there are no universal rules that govern when and how officers should apply force, possibly due to the difference in nature of offenders, offences and the environment. Consequently, the level of force used by officers will vary depending on the situation.

Due to variations in the situations, police officers are required to follow guidelines for using force depending on the experience of the police department, mandates by the federal state and the available technologies for law enforcement (US Department of Justice, 2009). In addition, the complex nature of the relationship between police and the citizens in a given location should be considered by police when deciding on the methods of subduing difficult suspects (US Department of Justice, 2009).

According to the US Department of Justice, excessive use of force is rare (2009). However, the department claims that the frequency of excessive use of force by police officers is difficult to estimate owing to differences in the nature of crimes, perpetrators and individual’s responses in crime scenes. The police are under constant public scrutiny due to concerns of excessive use of force. This has unfortunately resulted in the view of the police force as using more excessive force than what is conveyed in the media (US Department of Justice, 2009).