NMU Public Safety and Police Services
Date: June 24, 2011
This policy shall apply to all department personnel of the NMU Public Safety and Police Services Department in all cases involving use of less than lethal force.
Definition of Less Than Lethal Force
Less than lethal force is defined as any use of force less than deadly force used by an officer of the NMU Public Safety and Police Services Department and includes any use of less than lethal weapons.
The purpose of this document is to establish policy and regulation for the use of force which is less than deadly force, designating approved less than lethal weapons, establish the reporting requirements in every instance involving the use of force, and provide for the treatment of any injury or complaint of injury resulting from the use of force.
This policy is for internal use only and is not intended to enlarge the employee’s or employer’s civil or criminal liability in any way. It shall not be construed as the creation of a higher legal standard of safety or care in an evidentiary sense with the respect to third party claim, insofar as the employee’s legal duty imposed by law.
Noncompliance with this policy constitutes a violation of an employment duty only, except in such case as any noncompliance is also a violation of a Michigan or Federal law. Therefore, violations of this policy, if substantiated, can only form the basis for inter-departmental administrative sanctions.
In the event a violation of the duties imposed by this policy also constitutes a breach of the duties imposed by Michigan or Federal law, nothing herein shall be construed to relieve one from that legal duty or from any action resulting from a breach of that legal duty.
It shall be the policy of the NMU Public Safety and Police Services Department to employ the minimum amount of force, reasonable and necessary, to overcome the resistance offered, effect a lawful arrest, and/or accomplish the lawful performance of duty in protecting the public.
It is understood that attacks by armed assailants may result in the officer employing a higher degree of force, up to and including deadly force.
The use of unreasonable, unnecessary or excessive force, and/or the failure to provide prompt medical treatment following the use of force shall in every case result in certain disciplinary action, up to possible termination, against those who use or allow the use of such force or fail to provide for the care of persons in custody.
Authorized Use of Less Than Lethal Force
Less Than Lethal Weapons
The policy for carrying and the use of less than lethal weapons are as follows:
Failure to Complete Training/Demonstrate Competence
Any non-exempt sworn officer who fails to complete any required training and/or who fails to demonstrate the required level of competence in the use of the department issued less than lethal weapon is prohibited from carrying/using the weapon. The circumstances would then be reviewed by department administration and appropriate action taken.
Electronic Control Device
The department approved electronic control device is a tool that can provide a means by which an officer can defend themselves or another from injury and a means of controlling offenders when facing resistance. Whenever an officer uses an electronic control device, it should always be with the intent to temporarily disable an offender and never with creating a permanent injury.
The department approved chemical weapon is a tool that can provide a means by which officers can defend themselves or another from injury and a means of controlling offenders when facing resistance. Whenever an officer uses a chemical weapon for control, it should always be with the intent to temporarily disable an offender and never with creating a permanent injury.
Handcuffs and Restraints
The purpose of handcuffs, flex-cuffs, or transport handcuffs is to restrain the movement of a subject in a manner that provides a safe means of transportation for officers. Restraints also control further physical resistance from a subject.
Prohibited Use of Other Equipment
Flashlights, handcuffs, or any other piece of equipment shall not be used as a less than lethal impact weapon.
Any time an officer finds it necessary to use less than lethal force and the subject sustains an injury, it is the policy of the NMU Public Safety and Police Services Department that the officer shall:
Methods and/or tactics such as “arm bars” and various subduing and control holds commonly taught in MCOLES (Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards) approved training, and by certified defensive tactics instructors, may be used as provided herein where the use of less than lethal force is authorized. The MCOLES Use of Force continuum shall be utilized as a guide.
Any officers exempt from the training specified in this policy will only be exempt by authority of the Director.
Reporting the Use of Force
The use of force shall be reported to the supervisor, forthwith, following any such use.
Important Elements of Reporting Use of Less Than Lethal Force
The following report writing format should be used for use of less than lethal force incidents:
Review Use of Force
All incidents involving use of less than lethal force shall be reviewed by the supervisor for compliance with department policy.
The supervisor on duty will see that copies of all reports involving the use of force are prepared for review by the Director.
Failure to comply with any provision of this policy may result in disciplinary action being taken up to possible termination of employment.