Deciding When and How to Use Less-Lethal Devices

When deciding to use less-lethal equipment, officers consider the circumstances and their agency's policy. Almost all larger law enforcement agencies have written policies about the use of less-lethal force.

As part of their policy, agencies often have an approved use-of-force continuum to help officers decide the suitable amount of force for a situation — higher levels of force in most severe circumstances, and less force in other circumstances.

Many agencies in which officers use less-lethal technologies have training programs to help evaluate dangerous circumstances.

Date Modified: June 23, 2008