Saturday, July 16, 2011

Robert Peel

Sir Robert Peel said, “The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.” That is still true today. I think there should be a technological solution to law enforcement use of force. I think the Taser is close, but not quite there. We need a device that is like a Taser, but that has a range of at least seventy-five feet and is wireless. It needs to be able to shoot multiple targets and yet be specific to individuals, even in a crowd. It needs to be totally harmless once the effect has worn off, but it need to totally incapacitate the target no matter the conditions and no matter how large, drugged, or determined the target is when hit.

Police will always make mistakes. Police will sometimes have to use force to stop sympathetic suspects. Children, teens, pregnant women, old people, will always elicit sympathy from the public even if they are armed with a gun, have killed someone else or done some other terrible crime. The public will think less of the police who use force in such circumstances, even if the officer was within the law, agency policy, and the officers’ acts were reasonable, even necessary. The public will think less of the police even if they cannot come up with alternatives.

Police should train use of force in such as way that they don’t have to second guess themselves. The law, agency policy and best practices need to be clear and ingrained into the officer so that the use of force can be done quickly and with the best outcome. When physical force is needed the officer should use force in a manner that is decisive and that will end the incident quickly; that’s what the SGT Says.

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