The Impact of Less-Lethal Weapons and Tactics

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The Impact of less-lethal weapons and tactics. The effect on modern law enforcement from the use and advancements of intermediate weapons.

The Impact of Less-Lethal Weapons and Tactics
Paul Howe
Columbia Southern University
Police and Community Relations
BCJ-4101-11G-5A11-SA1
Colleen Davis
June 01, 2011

The Impact of Less-Lethal Weapons and Tactics
The use of less-lethal force in law enforcement is not a new concept; the forms of less-lethal force have evolved with time though. From back in the early days of policing with wooden clubs to current day carrying high tech conducted energy devices (CED) commonly referred to as Tasers. A professor of criminology at University of South Carolina, Geoffrey P. Alpert recently concluded an NIJ- funded study of injuries to officers and civilians during use-of-force events. The study looks at injury rates of both civilian and officers incurred during use of force events. Civilians ranged from 17 to 64 percent while officers were 10 to 20 percent (Bulman, 2011). The question is asked if new technology can reduce the percentage of injuries. It is stated that advances in technology such as chemical agents and Tasers offer more effective control over resistive subjects. There are over 11,000 law enforcement agencies that are currently using CEDs, but not without controversy with objections being expressed from groups such as Amnesty International and the ACLU. These groups make the claim that the use of CEDs contribute to in custody deaths (Bulman, 2011). The study includes in depth analysis of from three specific law enforcement agencies, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD), the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD), and the Seattle Police Department (SPD). RCSD showed in their reports that there was no correlation between using Tasers and a reduction in injuries to suspect or officers. The MDPD reported a reduction in the likelihood of injuries to...
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