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FORCE & DE-ESCALATION POLICIES 1

FORCE & DE-ESCALATION POLICIES 1

FORCE & DE-ESCALATION POLICIES 1

Police Use of Force and De-Escalation Policies

CJUS 601

Introduction

The past decade has seen an increase in controversies on the number of police victims’ deaths and injuries from excessive force. The police uses of force incidents have also brought into focus the issue of de-escalation. De-escalation policies have been put on the guide to remedy the police’s excessive use of force. Police uses of force and de-escalation policies have been in practice for decades. However, this has not changed the way the police force works and reacts to the situation. The excessive use of force is still an issue in the police, even with de-escalation training being offered to the police members. Scholars and experts in law enforcement have tried identifying the problem that has led to an increase in excessive use of violence. Policy-makers have also proposed improving de-escalation training for law enforcement officers to reduce excessive use of force. This paper will look at the issue of police use of force and de-escalation policies. This will help identify the guidelines’ problems, the significance of the problem and offer solutions to the issues identified.

Police Use of Force and De-Escalation Policies The Use of Force

The use of force in the police has been an issue, especially in the last decade; there has been an increase in the number of deaths and injuries caused by excessive use of force. The most notable cases are arising from excessive use of force being that of George Floyd and Brooks. The police uses of force have been identified as a major issue in the force. This is because the policies are shallow on the amount of force to be used by the police and the lack of escalation strategies to be used by the police. De-escalation policy looks at de-escalation training for police officers as part of a solution to the police use of force. However, the complexity of the United States police has made it difficult for de-escalation policies.

The Problem

The National Institute of Justice (2020) defined the use of force as the “amount of effort required by police to compel compliance by an unwilling subject.” However, even with this definition, there are no universally agreed guidelines on police use of force and de-escalation. Law enforcement officers receive the guidelines from the different department heads. This is the same with the training on de-escalation training, where there are no universal agreed-upon guidelines.

This would explain why the amount of force varies either from individual or situation. Friedrich (1980) offered three different explanations why the use of force varies. The reasons include; characteristics of policemen, the characteristics of the case where police meet the citizens, and the organization in which police work (Friedrich, 1980).

The amount of force that a police officer should use is not clearly defined. According to Adams (1999), law enforcement officers should only use the amount of force required to protect themselves or others and mitigate a situation. The force will vary on the case at hand, whereby there are certain situations where the officer will be required to use excessive force, while in other situations, the amount of force will be limited. The force can include lethal force, non-lethal force, and physical restraint. The National Institute of Justice (2020) suggested that the use of force is only permitted in self-defense or while defending a person or group.

The police violence has become a recurring issue, with minimal effort being made to correct the situation (Obasogie & Newman, 2017). There is a need for policy change and strategies that will help in reforming the police. The reforms should be able to shift law enforcement practices like excessive use of force. However, there is a fear that changes to de-escalation policies will interfere with the current policing practices. The American police are more cautious and protective when compared to their European counterparts. This is because of the increased number of people who own guns in the United States in comparison to Europe.

The United States does not have a national police agency. Instead, the country has over 18,000 different policing agencies spread across the nation (Reaves, 2015). Any changes in policing will require a systematic approach that will involve one agency at a time. Each of these agencies has its own policies on the use of force and de-escalation. Adopting a national policy on de-escalation and the use of force will require buy-in from the different agency leadership and departments. These agencies also operate on different budgets, which will become a problem for some of them.

Significance of the Problem

The use of force is a significant element in policing and also the most controversial issue in law enforcement (Carmack, 2017). The police have used force since the inception of policing. This became an issue when citizens felt that the force was being used to undermine their freedoms, oppress them, and deny them their civil rights (Nickel, 2015). The policy aspect of the use of force contains the various guidelines that are supposed to be followed by law enforcement officers. The procedures the law enforcement officers are supposed to follow during their interactions require the use of force. The complexity of the United States system means that the policy varies from the department. This is the same with de-escalation tactics, where the procedures for the different police departments also differ. According to Carmack (2017), the guidelines for the use of force and de-escalation may vary, but they all guide the officer on approaching a situation and deescalation.

The past decade has seen a lot of protest on the powers given to law enforcement officers. The high-profile shootings have seen a demand for police procedures in regards to the amount of force required. There has been an outcry for policy change on police use of force and de-escalation, with most experts asking for de-escalation training. The problem with the high-profile shootings is that they have spurred nationwide arguments on policing, race, and community relations. Attention has shifted to the police’s amount of force when dealing with racial minorities, political dissidents, and others who may challenge the police. The evidence provided has shown a need to redefine the policies on the use of force and de-escalation. A study by Buehler (2017) showed that 2,285 deaths resulted from police use of force. The problem of race also presented itself in the study where black males are three times likely to be killed by police action than whites (Buehler, 2017).

Actions to remedy the problem

Over the years, documenting police use of force has been a problem in the United States (Shane, 2016). There are no accurate and timely data that could have been used to see the problem’s impact. The absence of such data has made it impossible to estimate the incidence and prevalence of police use of force (Shane, 2016). This has made it difficult for law enforcement agencies to implement any changes that are required. There has been no effort to document such needed data from 1931 to 2016, even with civil rights groups’ pressure. However, as of 2019, this changed as the FBI started collecting data from federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies.

The FBI started the National use of Force Data Collection in 2015. This was done in partnership with law enforcement agencies in the country in order to provide the much-needed data on police use of force incidences. The process began in the year 2019 as the FBI invited comments from the public and agencies. The data collection includes; statistics on police use of force incidents on a national level and the basic data on the situation, person involved, and officers. This is a major step in the right direction as the data will help the agencies make any proposed reforms. The data’s accuracy is important as the FBI has ensured its partnership with the agencies will ensure accurate and timely data.

McEwen (1996) stated that the Bureau of Justice Statistics started collecting data through surveys annually on police use of force. The data was supposed to be released annually as the government agency would interview over 100,000 persons annually (McEwen, 1996). However, this has not been productive as the data did not include law enforcement agencies. In comparison to the FBI’s efforts, the FBI is reaching more people who have been affected, and any recommended changes in the agencies and legislation will be nationwide. As of 2020, 40% of the data had already been gathered by the FBI. This represented 6,837 agencies covering 439,936 law enforcement officers (FBI, n.d.).

Garner & Maxwell (1999) highlighted the importance of data on the use of force in their study of measuring the amount of force. The data collected could be used to measure the amount of force used (Garner & Maxwell, 1999). This is also important because it will be able to show the amount of force used, the situation, and whether the force was necessary. It should be noted that not all law enforcement officers use excessive force. Therefore, the data collected will be able to differentiate types of forces used by the officers and in the situations used.

Applicable Law

The law is not very clear on what would amount to reasonable force. In most cases, this has been left to the jury to decide whether the amount of force used was relevant. According to Harmon (2017), federal courts have provided limited remedies to constitutional violations in policing. This is because the law permits some violations that are committed by the police. The penalties imposed by the state and the courts do not meet the threshold set by the community leading to distrust between the community and the police. The law enforcement officers usually have to deal with disciplinary panels set by the state and police departments. However, there are several remedies for constitution violations by law enforcement officers, including exclusionary rule, civil suits, and criminal prosecution (Harmon, 2017).

Various statutes look at the issue of police use of force. Previous legislations had promoted the extreme use of force which was considered unconstitutional. An example is Tennessee’s deadly force statute (Thomson, 2015). According to Thomson (2015), the Fourth Amendment assures “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, from unreasonable searches and seizures.” In Tennessee vs. Garner, the Fourth Amendment was used as protection against deadly use of force by the police. Other cases have shown that the Supreme courts use the Fourth Amendment as a restraint to the police’s excessive use of force. The Fourth Amendment’s application has varied from case to case, whereby in some cases, the victim has successfully proven that their Fourth Amendment rights were violated by excessive use of force. There are other cases, especially in lower courts, where it has been difficult for the victim to prove their rights were violated.

Law enforcement officers are usually protected under immunity in most of these cases. The

Supreme Courts have set a standard on the amount of force to be used by law enforcement officers.

The amount of force is supposed to be proportional to the threat. Escalation can only happen in response to the threat. Therefore, the law enforcement officer should not use excessive force on suspects who have already complied with their orders.

Certain federal departments and agencies have adopted policies that regulate the use of force among law enforcement officers. The Office of the Inspector General in 2009 issued guidelines on the use of deadly weapons. The policy follows the Supreme Court ruling on the use of deadly force. The department of justice also has standard guidelines for law enforcement officers on the amount of force that can be used. These policies act as guidelines for law enforcement officers when it comes to the use of force.

There are two legislations, the JUSTICE Act (S. 3985) and the Justice in Policing Act (H.R. 7120), that are supposed to address the issue of the use of force (Foster, 2020). These bills are both in the House and Senate, having been brought in 2020 after George Floyd’s death. The legislation is supposed to cover the gap that has been in existence for a long time in the police use of force at different levels. The statutes will provide federal guidance that has been lacking on the problem.

Recommendations

Do Nothing

The current bills, the JUSTICE Act (S. 3985) and Justice in Policing Act (H.R. 7120) in the

House and Senate are supposed to resolve the problem that has been in existence for a long time. The bills will offer federal law enforcement officers guidelines on the use of deadly force, including chokeholds, discharges of tasers, and the degree of force. Federal guidance has been lacking on the problem as the bill looks at resolving the problem. The two bills will also look at data collection and reporting on police use of force and recommend uniform standards on training and guidance (Foster, 2020).

Improving on Police Training

One of the recommendations that were dropped after the George Floyd killing was deescalation training. Law enforcement agencies have been blamed for training, disciplining, and supervision of police officers. The improvement in police training does not only include deescalation but other methods of improving public trust. A study by Owens et al. (2018) on supervision, training, and policing in the community saw a reduction in the use of force by between 15% and 40% depending on the situation. The training is on both policing and deescalation. Public trust in the police is essential in ensuring that there is a collaboration between the community and the police.

The training on policing should involve the use of strategies that will build trust in the police. An example is explaining to the person why they have been stopped and how it will benefit society (Megan et al., 2018). The training should also ensure the police explain certain rules to the public and how they apply. By promoting better relationships between the public and the police, cases of excessive use of force would decline. The training is also meant to reduce racial disparities as the training will also include implicit bias to law enforcement agencies.

Impact to Department

Funding for police activities has always been a concern. However, the training solution’s benefits are more likely to improve the relationship between the police and the community and reduce the crime rate. The department will be able to benefit from the improved trust with the public. The various disciplinary cases in the department will decrease as the officers will be able to reduce the use of deadly or extreme force.

Impact on External Stakeholders

The external stakeholders include the embers of the community and other agencies. A drop in crime due to improved training will have a cascading effect in the community. The community is more likely to interact with the police in resolving some of the issues. Other agencies are more likely to emulate the training program.

Impact to Budget

The biggest hindrance to the recommendation in the budget. The policy will have a major impact on the agency’s budget. This is a major increase in the budget, considering most states have been reducing law enforcement agency budget.

The Use of Social Workers

The recommendation aims at using social workers to handle certain issues that are dropped to the police, like mental problems and homelessness. Social workers are well trained in handling some of these social problems, including working with the youth in reducing violence. According to Yilmaz (2013), the police should consider an approach that will enable it to be in harmony with its environment. This approach ensures that social workers handle non-crime issues who are better trained on these issues than the police. These will reduce the chances of police encounters and the escalation of violence. There has been an overwhelming success in towns like Philadelphia and Baltimore, where the number of shootings and killings has decreased. In these cities, organizations like Cure Violence have ensured the problem of over-policing is resolved by handling non-crime issues.

Impact to Department

The department is more likely to benefit from the availability of trained personnel on matters in which the law enforcement officers have no training. This will reduce constant confrontation between the members of the community and the police due to over-policing. The police are left to deal with crime-related issues in the community.

Impact on External Stakeholders

The external stakeholders will also benefit from less confrontation with the police. When these organizations and social workers deal with young people to stop violence, the chances of success are more likely to increase and reduce the rate of violence in the community.

Impact to Budget

The policy has minimal impact on the departmental budget. The availability of social workers and other non-governmental organizations that are willing to work with the police is huge.

Transparency and Accountability

There are over 18,000 different law enforcement agencies in the United States (Reaves, 2015). This makes it difficult to implement blanket resolutions to resolve the issue of police use of force and de-escalation. However, a policy on transparency and accountability will be able to ensure the development of independent oversight mechanisms. This will start with the department where it will be required to avail and store data on police use of force, killings, budgetary allocation, and disciplinary records. Laws have to be passed that would compel police departments to release such records, which can also be used for coming up with strategies to resolve issues.

Impact on the Department

The department would benefit from being transparent and accountable. This will increase public trust with the law enforcement agencies and foster lasting relations.

Impact on External Stakeholders

An improvement in public trust between the agency and the public is good for the external stakeholders. The community can collaborate with the agency on all matters and reduce issues related to police use of force.

Impact to Budget

The budget’s impact is positive because availing data on budgetary allocations will cover any deficits in the next budget.

Christian Worldview

A law enforcement officer with a Christian worldview should be able to make better decisions, especially when it comes to the use of force. They are given a greater responsibility of enforcing the law of the land. Some of these laws are the same as those in the bible. The sixth commandment talks of murder and forbids Christians from murder. However, the police can commit the act of murder if it is done to preserve life. In Romans 13:1, Paul talks of law enforcement officers and how they should be respected. They can earn respect through trust, accountability, and transparency. This is why a Christian worldview of the recommendations will not change them.

The first recommendation looks at improving training in order to improve the trust between the law enforcement officers and the community. The officers are subject to higher powers, and their acts should be in accordance with God’s will, who is Supreme. Training improves their acts, making them live in accordance with the rules of God. The use of social workers and nongovernmental organizations shows empathy and love for others. Christianity revolves around a love for others who are created in the same image as God.

Christianity is about justice, and any act that promotes justice is in accordance with the laws of God. Psalms 106:3-4 states that “Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times! Remember me, O LORD, when you show favor to your people; help me when you save them.” The proposed solutions look at justice in different ways. Training ensures the officers are just in dispensing their duties as law enforcement officers.

Conclusion

The issue of police use of force and de-escalation has been in existence for decades. However, the various policies, statutes, and guidelines being implemented will be able to resolve some of the issues surrounding the use of force. The FBI’s strategy will collect the data required on police use of force to implement any strategy that will mitigate the problem. The two bills Justice

Act (S. 3985) and Justice in Policing Act (H.R. 7120) should resolve some of the police use issues.

References

Adam Kenneth. (1999). What We Know About Police Use of Force. Use of Force by Police

Overview of National and Local Data. National Institute of Justice

Buehler James. (2017).
Racial/Ethnic Disparities in the Use of Lethal Force by U.S. Police, 2010–


2014
. American Journal of Public

Health 107, 295_297,

https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/full/10.2105/


AJPH.2016.303575

Carmack Evin. (2017). Police Use of Force Policy and Excessive Force

Federal Bureau of Investigation. (n.d). National Use-of-Force Data Collection. Retrieved from

https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/ucr/use-of-force

Foster Michael. (2020). Police Use of Force: Overview and Considerations for Congress.

Congressional Research Service.

Friedrich, R. J. (1980). Police Use of Force: Individuals, Situations, and Organizations. The

ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 452(1), 82–

97.

https://doi.org/10.1177/000271628045200109

Garner Joel and Maxwell Christopher. (1999). Measuring the Amount of Force Used By and

Against the Police in Six Jurisdictions. National Institute of Justice

Harmon, Rachel. (2017). Legal Remedies for Police Misconduct, in Academy for Justice, a Report on Scholarship and Criminal Justice Reform Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory

Research Paper No. 2017-40

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, 1996/2015, Psalms 106:3-4

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, 1996/2015, Romans 13:1

National Institute of Justice. (2020). Overview of Police Use of Force. nij.ojp.gov:
https://nij.ojp.gov/topics/articles/overview-police-use-force

Nickel Orville. (2015). Critical Factors in Police Use-of-Force Decisions

Obasogie, O. K., & Newman, Z. (2017). Police Violence, Use of Force Policies, and Public

Health. American Journal of Law & Medicine, 43(2–3), 279–

295.

https://doi.org/10.1177/0098858817723665

Owens E.
David Weisburd
.,
Karen L. Amendola
, &
Geoffrey P. Alpert
. (2018). Can You Build a

Better Cop? Experimental Evidence on Supervision, Training, and Policing in the

Community. Criminology & Public policy
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,





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McEwen Tom. (1996). National Data Collection on Police Use of Force. Bureau of Justice

Statistics.

Megan Quattlebaum, Tracey Meares, and Tom Tyler. (2018). Principles of Procedural Just

Policing. The Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School

Reaves Brian. (2015). Local Police Departments, 2013: Personnel, Policies, and Practices. National

Bureau of Justice Statistics

Shane, J. M. (2018). Improving Police Use of Force: A Policy Essay on National Data

Collection. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 29(2), 128–

148.

https://doi.org/10.1177/0887403416662504

Thomson Richard. (2015). Police Use of Force: Rules, Remedies, and Reforms. Congressional

Research Service.

Yilmaz, S. (2013), “Tailoring model in reforming police organizations towards community policing,”
Journal of Organizational Change Management
, Vol. 26 No. 5, pp. 897-

924.

https://doi.org/10.1108/JOCM-07-2012-0092

FORCE & DE-ESCALATION POLICIES 1

Police Use of Force and De-Escalation Policies

Andrade Olliver II

CJUS 601

Liberty University

Dr. Sadulski

FORCE & DE-ESCALATION POLICIES 2

Introduction

The past decade has seen an increase in controversies on the number of police victims’

deaths and injuries from excessive force. The police uses of force incidents have also brought into

focus the issue of de-escalation. De-escalation policies have been put on the guide to remedy the

police’s excessive use of force. Police uses of force and de-escalation policies have been in practice

for decades. However, this has not changed the way the police force works and reacts to the

situation. The excessive use of force is still an issue in the police, even with de-escalation training

being offered to the police members. Scholars and experts in law enforcement have tried

identifying the problem that has led to an increase in excessive use of violence. Policy-makers have

also proposed improving de-escalation training for law enforcement officers to reduce excessive

use of force. This paper will look at the issue of police use of force and de-escalation policies. This

will help identify the guidelines’ problems, the significance of the problem and offer solutions to

the issues identified.

Police Use of Force and De-Escalation Policies

The Use of Force

The use of force in the police has been an issue, especially in the last decade; there has

been an increase in the number of deaths and injuries caused by excessive use of force. The most

notable cases are arising from excessive use of force being that of George Floyd and Brooks. The

police uses of force have been identified as a major issue in the force. This is because the policies

are shallow on the amount of force to be used by the police and the lack of escalation strategies to

be used by the police. De-escalation policy looks at de-escalation training for police officers as part

Jarrod Sadulski
Good work on your introduction.

FORCE & DE-ESCALATION POLICIES 3

of a solution to the police use of force. However, the complexity of the United States police has

made it difficult for de-escalation policies.

The Problem

The National Institute of Justice (2020) defined the use of force as the “amount of effort

required by police to compel compliance by an unwilling subject.” However, even with this

definition, there are no universally agreed guidelines on police use of force and de-escalation. Law

enforcement officers receive the guidelines from the different department heads. This is the same

with the training on de-escalation training, where there are no universal agreed-upon guidelines.

This would explain why the amount of force varies either from individual or situation. Friedrich

(1980) offered three different explanations why the use of force varies. The reasons include;

characteristics of policemen, the characteristics of the case where police meet the citizens, and the

organization in which police work (Friedrich, 1980).

The amount of force that a police officer should use is not clearly defined. According to

Adams (1999), law enforcement officers should only use the amount of force required to protect

themselves or others and mitigate a situation. The force will vary on the case at hand, whereby

there are certain situations where the officer will be required to use excessive force, while in other

situations, the amount of force will be limited. The force can include lethal force, non-lethal force,

and physical restraint. The National Institute of Justice (2020) suggested that the use of force is

only permitted in self-defense or while defending a person or group.

The police violence has become a recurring issue, with minimal effort being made to

correct the situation (Obasogie & Newman, 2017). There is a need for policy change and strategies

that will help in reforming the police. The reforms should be able to shift law enforcement

Jarrod Sadulski
Good work on your Problem section.

FORCE & DE-ESCALATION POLICIES 4

practices like excessive use of force. However, there is a fear that changes to de-escalation policies

will interfere with the current policing practices. The American police are more cautious and

protective when compared to their European counterparts. This is because of the increased number

of people who own guns in the United States in comparison to Europe.

The United States does not have a national police agency. Instead, the country has over

18,000 different policing agencies spread across the nation (Reaves, 2015). Any changes in

policing will require a systematic approach that will involve one agency at a time. Each of these

agencies has its own policies on the use of force and de-escalation. Adopting a national policy on

de-escalation and the use of force will require buy-in from the different agency leadership and

departments. These agencies also operate on different budgets, which will become a problem for

some of them.

Significance of the Problem

The use of force is a significant element in policing and also the most controversial issue in

law enforcement (Carmack, 2017). The police have used force since the inception of policing. This

became an issue when citizens felt that the force was being used to undermine their freedoms,

oppress them, and deny them their civil rights (Nickel, 2015). The policy aspect of the use of force

contains the various guidelines that are supposed to be followed by law enforcement officers. The

procedures the law enforcement officers are supposed to follow during their interactions require

the use of force. The complexity of the United States system means that the policy varies from the

department. This is the same with de-escalation tactics, where the procedures for the different

police departments also differ. According to Carmack (2017), the guidelines for the use of force

and de-escalation may vary, but they all guide the officer on approaching a situation and de-

escalation.

FORCE & DE-ESCALATION POLICIES 5

The past decade has seen a lot of protest on the powers given to law enforcement officers.

The high-profile shootings have seen a demand for police procedures in regards to the amount of

force required. There has been an outcry for policy change on police use of force and de-escalation,

with most experts asking for de-escalation training. The problem with the high-profile shootings is

that they have spurred nationwide arguments on policing, race, and community relations. Attention

has shifted to the police’s amount of force when dealing with racial minorities, political dissidents,

and others who may challenge the police. The evidence provided has shown a need to redefine the

policies on the use of force and de-escalation. A study by Buehler (2017) showed that 2,285 deaths

resulted from police use of force. The problem of race also presented itself in the study where

black males are three times likely to be killed by police action than whites (Buehler, 2017).

Actions to remedy the problem

Over the years, documenting police use of force has been a problem in the United States

(Shane, 2016). There are no accurate and timely data that could have been used to see the

problem’s impact. The absence of such data has made it impossible to estimate the incidence and

prevalence of police use of force (Shane, 2016). This has made it difficult for law enforcement

agencies to implement any changes that are required. There has been no effort to document such

needed data from 1931 to 2016, even with civil rights groups’ pressure. However, as of 2019, this

changed as the FBI started collecting data from federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement

agencies.

The FBI started the National use of Force Data Collection in 2015. This was done in

partnership with law enforcement agencies in the country in order to provide the much-needed data

on police use of force incidences. The process began in the year 2019 as the FBI invited comments

from the public and agencies. The data collection includes; statistics on police use of force

Jarrod Sadulski
Good work using research to support your main points.

FORCE & DE-ESCALATION POLICIES 6

incidents on a national level and the basic data on the situation, person involved, and officers. This

is a major step in the right direction as the data will help the agencies make any proposed reforms.

The data’s accuracy is important as the FBI has ensured its partnership with the agencies will

ensure accurate and timely data.

McEwen (1996) stated that the Bureau of Justice Statistics started collecting data through

surveys annually on police use of force. The data was supposed to be released annually as the

government agency would interview over 100,000 persons annually (McEwen, 1996). However,

this has not been productive as the data did not include law enforcement agencies. In comparison

to the FBI’s efforts, the FBI is reaching more people who have been affected, and any

recommended changes in the agencies and legislation will be nationwide. As of 2020, 40% of the

data had already been gathered by the FBI. This represented 6,837 agencies covering 439,936 law

enforcement officers (FBI, n.d.).

Garner & Maxwell (1999) highlighted the importance of data on the use of force in their

study of measuring the amount of force. The data collected could be used to measure the amount of

force used (Garner & Maxwell, 1999). This is also important because it will be able to show the

amount of force used, the situation, and whether the force was necessary. It should be noted that

not all law enforcement officers use excessive force. Therefore, the data collected will be able to

differentiate types of forces used by the officers and in the situations used.

Applicable Law

FORCE & DE-ESCALATION POLICIES 7

The law is not very clear on what would amount to reasonable force. In most cases, this has

been left to the jury to decide whether the amount of force used was relevant. According to

Harmon (2017), federal courts have provided limited remedies to constitutional violations in

policing. This is because the law permits some violations that are committed by the police. The

penalties imposed by the state and the courts do not meet the threshold set by the community

leading to distrust between the community and the police. The law enforcement officers usually

have to deal with disciplinary panels set by the state and police departments. However, there are

several remedies for constitution violations by law enforcement officers, including exclusionary

rule, civil suits, and criminal prosecution (Harmon, 2017).

Various statutes look at the issue of police use of force. Previous legislations had promoted

the extreme use of force which was considered unconstitutional. An example is Tennessee’s deadly

force statute (Thomson, 2015). According to Thomson (2015), the Fourth Amendment assures “the

right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, from unreasonable

searches and seizures.” In Tennessee vs. Garner, the Fourth Amendment was used as protection

against deadly use of force by the police. Other cases have shown that the Supreme courts use the

Fourth Amendment as a restraint to the police’s excessive use of force. The Fourth Amendment’s

application has varied from case to case, whereby in some cases, the victim has successfully

proven that their Fourth Amendment rights were violated by excessive use of force. There are

other cases, especially in lower courts, where it has been difficult for the victim to prove their

rights were violated.

Law enforcement officers are usually protected under immunity in most of these cases. The

Supreme Courts have set a standard on the amount of force to be used by law enforcement officers.

The amount of force is supposed to be proportional to the threat. Escalation can only happen in

FORCE & DE-ESCALATION POLICIES 8

response to the threat. Therefore, the law enforcement officer should not use excessive force on

suspects who have already complied with their orders.

Certain federal departments and agencies have adopted policies that regulate the use of

force among law enforcement officers. The Office of the Inspector General in 2009 issued

guidelines on the use of deadly weapons. The policy follows the Supreme Court ruling on the use

of deadly force. The department of justice also has standard guidelines for law enforcement

officers on the amount of force that can be used. These policies act as guidelines for law

enforcement officers when it comes to the use of force.

There are two legislations, the JUSTICE Act (S. 3985) and the Justice in Policing Act

(H.R. 7120), that are supposed to address the issue of the use of force (Foster, 2020). These bills

are both in the House and Senate, having been brought in 2020 after George Floyd’s death. The

legislation is supposed to cover the gap that has been in existence for a long time in the police use

of force at different levels. The statutes will provide federal guidance that has been lacking on the

problem.

Recommendations

Do Nothing

The current bills, the JUSTICE Act (S. 3985) and Justice in Policing Act (H.R. 7120) in the

House and Senate are supposed to resolve the problem that has been in existence for a long time.

The bills will offer federal law enforcement officers guidelines on the use of deadly force,

including chokeholds, discharges of tasers, and the degree of force. Federal guidance has been

lacking on the problem as the bill looks at resolving the problem. The two bills will also look at

Jarrod Sadulski
Please note that 3 policy solutions should be provided. 3 choices: do nothing, incremental approach, and full implementation and each should have their own section headings. The solution section of the paper must have enough of an explanation of the solution so that an executive would be able to make an informed decision from your explanation. The solution must also have sub-themes with section headings. Some subthemes are: impact to department, impact to external stakeholders, and impact to budget. This is an area that could be strengthened with your paper through a further assessment of these solutions, coupled with sub-theme headings.

FORCE & DE-ESCALATION POLICIES 9

data collection and reporting on police use of force and recommend uniform standards on training

and guidance (Foster, 2020).

Improving on Police Training

One of the recommendations that were dropped after the George Floyd killing was de-

escalation training. Law enforcement agencies have been blamed for training, disciplining, and

supervision of police officers. The improvement in police training does not only include de-

escalation but other methods of improving public trust. A study by Owens et al. (2018) on

supervision, training, and policing in the community saw a reduction in the use of force by

between 15% and 40% depending on the situation. The training is on both policing and de-

escalation. Public trust in the police is essential in ensuring that there is a collaboration between the

community and the police.

The training on policing should involve the use of strategies that will build trust in the

police. An example is explaining to the person why they have been stopped and how it will benefit

society (Megan et al., 2018). The training should also ensure the police explain certain rules to the

public and how they apply. By promoting better relationships between the public and the police,

cases of excessive use of force would decline. The training is also meant to reduce racial disparities

as the training will also include implicit bias to law enforcement agencies.

Impact to Department

Funding for police activities has always been a concern. However, the training solution’s

benefits are more likely to improve the relationship between the police and the community and

reduce the crime rate. The department will be able to benefit from the improved trust with the

FORCE & DE-ESCALATION POLICIES 10

public. The various disciplinary cases in the department will decrease as the officers will be able to

reduce the use of deadly or extreme force.

Impact on External Stakeholders

The external stakeholders include the embers of the community and other agencies. A drop

in crime due to improved training will have a cascading effect in the community. The community

is more likely to interact with the police in resolving some of the issues. Other agencies are more

likely to emulate the training program.

Impact to Budget

The biggest hindrance to the recommendation in the budget. The policy will have a major

impact on the agency’s budget. This is a major increase in the budget, considering most states have

been reducing law enforcement agency budget.

The Use of Social Workers

The recommendation aims at using social workers to handle certain issues that are dropped

to the police, like mental problems and homelessness. Social workers are well trained in handling

some of these social problems, including working with the youth in reducing violence. According

to Yilmaz (2013), the police should consider an approach that will enable it to be in harmony with

its environment. This approach ensures that social workers handle non-crime issues who are better

trained on these issues than the police. These will reduce the chances of police encounters and the

escalation of violence. There has been an overwhelming success in towns like Philadelphia and

Baltimore, where the number of shootings and killings has decreased. In these cities, organizations

like Cure Violence have ensured the problem of over-policing is resolved by handling non-crime

issues.

FORCE & DE-ESCALATION POLICIES 11

Impact to Department

The department is more likely to benefit from the availability of trained personnel on

matters in which the law enforcement officers have no training. This will reduce constant

confrontation between the members of the community and the police due to over-policing. The

police are left to deal with crime-related issues in the community.

Impact on External Stakeholders

The external stakeholders will also benefit from less confrontation with the police. When

these organizations and social workers deal with young people to stop violence, the chances of

success are more likely to increase and reduce the rate of violence in the community.

Impact to Budget

The policy has minimal impact on the departmental budget. The availability of social

workers and other non-governmental organizations that are willing to work with the police is huge.

Transparency and Accountability

There are over 18,000 different law enforcement agencies in the United States (Reaves,

2015). This makes it difficult to implement blanket resolutions to resolve the issue of police use of

force and de-escalation. However, a policy on transparency and accountability will be able to

ensure the development of independent oversight mechanisms. This will start with the department

where it will be required to avail and store data on police use of force, killings, budgetary

allocation, and disciplinary records. Laws have to be passed that would compel police departments

to release such records, which can also be used for coming up with strategies to resolve issues.

Impact on the Department

FORCE & DE-ESCALATION POLICIES 12

The department would benefit from being transparent and accountable. This will increase

public trust with the law enforcement agencies and foster lasting relations.

Impact on External Stakeholders

An improvement in public trust between the agency and the public is good for the external

stakeholders. The community can collaborate with the agency on all matters and reduce issues

related to police use of force.

Impact to Budget

The budget’s impact is positive because availing data on budgetary allocations will cover

any deficits in the next budget.

Christian Worldview

A law enforcement officer with a Christian worldview should be able to make better

decisions, especially when it comes to the use of force. They are given a greater responsibility of

enforcing the law of the land. Some of these laws are the same as those in the bible. The sixth

commandment talks of murder and forbids Christians from murder. However, the police can

commit the act of murder if it is done to preserve life. In Romans 13:1, Paul talks of law

enforcement officers and how they should be respected. They can earn respect through trust,

accountability, and transparency. This is why a Christian worldview of the recommendations will

not change them.

The first recommendation looks at improving training in order to improve the trust between

the law enforcement officers and the community. The officers are subject to higher powers, and

their acts should be in accordance with God’s will, who is Supreme. Training improves their acts,

Jarrod Sadulski
Please note that per APA, sentences should be around 3-5 sentences in length.

FORCE & DE-ESCALATION POLICIES 13

making them live in accordance with the rules of God. The use of social workers and non-

governmental organizations shows empathy and love for others. Christianity revolves around a

love for others who are created in the same image as God.

Christianity is about justice, and any act that promotes justice is in accordance with the

laws of God. Psalms 106:3-4 states that “Blessed are they who observe justice, who do

righteousness at all times! Remember me, O LORD, when you show favor to your people; help me

when you save them.” The proposed solutions look at justice in different ways. Training ensures

the officers are just in dispensing their duties as law enforcement officers.

Conclusion

The issue of police use of force and de-escalation has been in existence for decades.

However, the various policies, statutes, and guidelines being implemented will be able to resolve

some of the issues surrounding the use of force. The FBI’s strategy will collect the data required on

police use of force to implement any strategy that will mitigate the problem. The two bills Justice

Act (S. 3985) and Justice in Policing Act (H.R. 7120) should resolve some of the police use issues.

References

Adam Kenneth. (1999). What We Know About Police Use of Force. Use of Force by Police

Overview of National and Local Data. National Institute of Justice

Jarrod Sadulski
Please note that only the first word and any pronouns should be capitalized in our reference titles, which is reflected on the rubric. Thanks! For more information on APA formatting, please feel free to review: http://www.apastyle.org/apa-style-help.aspx

FORCE & DE-ESCALATION POLICIES 14

Buehler James. (2017). Racial/Ethnic Disparities in the Use of Lethal Force by U.S. Police, 2010–

2014. American Journal of Public

Health 107, 295_297, https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/full/10.2105/

AJPH.2016.303575

Carmack Evin. (2017). Police Use of Force Policy and Excessive Force

Federal Bureau of Investigation. (n.d). National Use-of-Force Data Collection. Retrieved from

https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/ucr/use-of-force

Foster Michael. (2020). Police Use of Force: Overview and Considerations for Congress.

Congressional Research Service.

Friedrich, R. J. (1980). Police Use of Force: Individuals, Situations, and Organizations. The

ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 452(1), 82–

97. https://doi.org/10.1177/000271628045200109

Garner Joel and Maxwell Christopher. (1999). Measuring the Amount of Force Used By and

Against the Police in Six Jurisdictions. National Institute of Justice

Harmon, Rachel. (2017). Legal Remedies for Police Misconduct, in Academy for Justice, a Report

on Scholarship and Criminal Justice Reform Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory

Research Paper No. 2017-40

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, 1996/2015, Psalms 106:3-4

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, 1996/2015, Romans 13:1

FORCE & DE-ESCALATION POLICIES 15

National Institute of Justice. (2020). Overview of Police Use of Force. nij.ojp.gov:

https://nij.ojp.gov/topics/articles/overview-police-use-force

Nickel Orville. (2015). Critical Factors in Police Use-of-Force Decisions

Obasogie, O. K., & Newman, Z. (2017). Police Violence, Use of Force Policies, and Public

Health. American Journal of Law & Medicine, 43(2–3), 279–

295. https://doi.org/10.1177/0098858817723665

Owens E. David Weisburd., Karen L. Amendola, & Geoffrey P. Alpert. (2018). Can You Build a

Better Cop? Experimental Evidence on Supervision, Training, and Policing in the

Community. Criminology & Public policy Volume17, Issue1 Pages 41-87

McEwen Tom. (1996). National Data Collection on Police Use of Force. Bureau of Justice

Statistics.

Megan Quattlebaum, Tracey Meares, and Tom Tyler. (2018). Principles of Procedural Just

Policing. The Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School

Reaves Brian. (2015). Local Police Departments, 2013: Personnel, Policies, and Practices. National

Bureau of Justice Statistics

Shane, J. M. (2018). Improving Police Use of Force: A Policy Essay on National Data

Collection. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 29(2), 128–

148. https://doi.org/10.1177/0887403416662504

Thomson Richard. (2015). Police Use of Force: Rules, Remedies, and Reforms. Congressional

Research Service.

FORCE & DE-ESCALATION POLICIES 16

Yilmaz, S. (2013), “Tailoring model in reforming police organizations towards community

policing,” Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 26 No. 5, pp. 897-

924. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOCM-07-2012-0092

  • Carmack Evin. (2017). Police Use of Force Policy and Excessive Force
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation. (n.d). National Use-of-Force Data Collection. Retrieved from https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/ucr/use-of-force
  • Owens E. David Weisburd., Karen L. Amendola, & Geoffrey P. Alpert. (2018). Can You Build a Better Cop? Experimental Evidence on Supervision, Training, and Policing in the Community. Criminology & Public policy Volume17, Issue1 Pages 41-87
  • McEwen Tom. (1996). National Data Collection on Police Use of Force. Bureau of Justice Statistics.
  • Megan Quattlebaum, Tracey Meares, and Tom Tyler. (2018). Principles of Procedural Just Policing. The Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School
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