Original post date of April 2014 – long before incidents that drew national attention to police use of force. This is what we were thinking then and what we think about now.
There is a well known sociologist, Egon Bittner, who posited that in a democratic society the capacity to use coercive force is the defining feature of the police. It isn’t unlimited authority – it is limited by legislative action, court decisions, can only be used in the performance of duty, not to settle personal disputes and we can’t use it maliciously or frivolously. Force use is an awesome responsiblity. We know that and respect it.
Because force use is a serious matter to be carefully considered, we expend considerable resources in training our personnel according to the most current best practices of our profession. Force use training isn’t about target practice although we do train with firearms to achieve accuracy, we train the thought processes of officers to make effective, ethical and safe decisions for themselves and the community. We train on pistols according to the state standard, we train on hands-on contacts, conducted…
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