Methods to Reduce the Use of Excessive Force by Police

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The use of force, particularly with correlation to officer morale and/or inadequate education/training, has become particularly problematic. Measures should be taken to reduce the injury to suspects, particularly physical injury resulting from poor officer tactics or malicious intentions not related to upholding the law. These are problems, which, if properly handled and rectified, will result in improved officer morale, improved relationships with the public as well as ensure a continued upstanding reputation for the oldest police force in the nation.

Use of Electronic Control Devices (ECD’s) such as the widely used taser X26 at the discretion of police officers can be a very useful tool in order to temporarily disable and obtain custody of a non-compliant suspect. When used appropriately it can even reduce the risk of a suspect physically harming the officer, himself or others through temporary physical incapacitation. However these devices need not be used unnecessarily, and officers who do employ their use liberally and without just cause should not go without appropriate disciplinary measures proportionate to the magnitude of the situation. I would like to shed light on a few examples of ECD use where officer discretion have come under scrutiny.

The October 2013 use of a taser on an 8 year old South Dakota girl who was threatening to harm herself has recently raised many eyebrows. Questions have been raised as to whether the age of the suspect should play any part in the decision to fire an ECD due to the small size of a child and the powerful electrical force of these weapons. Taking into consideration the obvious metal fragility of this child, one must consider the risk of considerable emotional trauma to the child ...

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Associated Press. (2009, 12 15). Report: $75g for woman tasered by cop. New York Post. Web. 28 Feb. 2015.

Hult, J. (2013, 10 09). taser use on 8-year-old justified, police in s.d. say. USA Today. Web. 28 Feb. 2015.

Pollock, J. M. (2012). Crime and justice in America: An introduction to criminal justice (2nd ed.). Amsterdam: Elsevier.
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