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Taser Longmont Pd Use of Force Reporting 2000

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Longmont Police Department
Policy - 601

Use of Force / Use of Force Reporting

January 7, 1992


June 29, 2000


Use of Force
Use of Force Reporting
Use of Force Option - Conducted Energy Weapons

601.01 Use of Force - Policy
Human life is highly valued and given the highest priority within the department's value
system. The department values constitutional principles and recognizes the authority of
federal, state, and local laws. Department members are authorized by law to use force when
needed to carry out the responsibility of protecting the public welfare and to defend
themselves. The department recognizes that a careful balancing of individual human rights
and public interest is required when force is used by police. It is the policy of the
department that members use only that force which is justified given the individual
circumstances of an incident. As such, in order to be accountable to the public we serve, all
uses of physical force by members in carrying out their duties must be reported to the
Professional Standards Unit through the chain of command on the Use of Force Report. The
amount and type of force used is to be reviewed so that a determination can be made whether
or not it was reasonable and justified.
All use of force instructors shall be certified law enforcement officers.
Where feasible and necessary, those who have had force used against them will be
offered medical treatment.
Use of Force - Procedure
A. C.R.S. 18-1-707(1) - 18-1-707(4) Use of Physical Force in Making an Arrest or in
Preventing an Escape reads as follows:
(1.) Except, as provided in subsection (2) of this section, a peace officer is justified in
using reasonable and appropriate physical force upon another person when and to the
extent that he reasonably believes it necessary:
(a.) To effect an arrest or to prevent the escape from custody of an arrested person
unless he knows that the arrest is unauthorized; or

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(b.) To defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the
use or imminent use of physical force while effecting or attempting to effect such
an arrest or while preventing or attempting to prevent such an escape.
(2.) A peace officer is justified in using deadly physical force upon another person for a
purpose specified in subsection (1) of this section only when he reasonably believes
that it is necessary;
(a.) To defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the
use or imminent use of deadly physical force; or
(b.) To effect an arrest, or to prevent the escape from custody, of a person whom he
reasonably believes;
(I) Has committed or attempted to commit a felony involving the use or
threatened use of a deadly weapon; or
(II) Is attempting to escape by the use of a deadly weapon; or
(III) Otherwise indicates, except through a motor vehicle violation, that he is
likely to endanger human life or to inflict serious bodily injury to another
unless apprehended without delay.
(3.) Nothing in subsection (2)(b) of this section shall be deemed to constitute justification
for reckless or criminally negligent conduct by a peace officer amounting to an
offense against or with respect to innocent persons whom he is not seeking to arrest
or retain in custody.
(4.) For purposes of this section, a reasonable belief that a person has committed an
offense means a reasonable belief in facts or circumstances, which if true would in
law constitute an offense. If the believed facts or circumstances would not in law
constitute an offense, an erroneous though not unreasonable belief that the law is
otherwise does not render justifiable the use of force to make an arrest or to prevent
an escape from custody. A peace officer who is effecting an arrest pursuant to a
warrant is justified in using the physical force prescribed in subsections (1) and (2) of
this section unless the warrant is invalid and is known by the officer to be invalid.
B. Where feasible, the officer must give some warning prior to using deadly physical force.
C. Lethal Force - General Provisions
1. The justification for the use of deadly physical force or lethal force must be limited
to what reasonably appear to be the facts, as known or perceived, at the time the
decision to use force is made. Facts, unknown to the officer, no matter how
compelling, cannot be considered in later determining whether the use of lethal force
was justified.

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2. The law of justifiable use of physical force authorizes an officer to use lethal force
when it reasonably appears necessary to protect ones self or another from immediate
threat of serious bodily injury or from the imminent threat of death.
D. Discharge of Firearms
1. Firearm for this section applies to firearms designed to fire penetrating projectiles
such as .45 cal, .223, 38, 9mm, .308 and .40.
An officer may discharge a firearm:
a. In accordance with the applicable laws of the state of Colorado;
b. At an approved target or firing range;
c. For practice, in a safe manner, in any area where firing a weapon would not be in
violation of the law;
d. In order to destroy an animal that appears to be suffering from an apparent fatal
wound or sickness, but only after making reasonable attempts to locate and
receive permission from the animal's owner;
e. At any animal that he reasonably believes is mad or vicious and cannot otherwise
be prevented from attempting to kill or seriously injure any person or other
animal; or
f. While engaged in a legal recreational or sporting activity.
2. An officer is prohibited from discharging a firearm:
a. In conscious disregard of substantial risk of harm to an innocent bystander except
where the risk of this injury reasonably appears to be outweighed by the need to
defend your own or someone else's life;
b. When a lesser degree of force is reasonable and appropriate.
c. At or from a moving vehicle except in self-defense or in the defense of another
from the use of deadly physical force;
d. In order to fire warning shots; or
e. In order to effect the arrest or prevent the escape of a misdemeanant unless the
escapee is using a deadly weapon.
E. Less Lethal Force - General Provisions
1. Members are authorized to use department approved less than deadly physical force
techniques and weapons for the resolution of incidents as follows:
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a. To prevent an imminent breach of the peace, or prevent suicide or self inflicted
b. In making lawful arrests, searches and seizures, overcoming resistance to such
arrests, searches or seizures, preventing escapes from custody, and in making
an investigative detention of a person whom the member reasonably suspects
is committing, has committed, or is about to commit a crime (C.R.S. 16-3103);
c. In self defense or in the defense of another against unlawful force to person
(C.R.S. 18-1-704);
d. To prevent or interrupt an intrusion or interference with the lawful possession of
premises (C.R.S. 18-1-705);
e. To prevent a crime against property (C.R.S. 18-1-706), and
f. Other instances where the member can demonstrate that less than deadly physical
force was lawfully used.
2. When members encounter situations in which the use of less than deadly physical
force is reasonable and appropriate, they must assess the incident in order to
determine which level of force is appropriate and which reasonably available less
than deadly physical force technique or weapon allows for the situation to be brought
under control safely.
3. Even though the use of less than deadly physical force may be necessary in some
situations, less than deadly physical force may not be resorted to unless other
reasonable alternatives have been exhausted or would reasonably appear to be
ineffective under the particular circumstances.
F. Administrative Suspension
1. Any officer whose application of force causes death or serious Bodily injury (as
defined by C.R.S.) to any person may be placed on administrative suspension
pursuant to section 3.04.465 of the Longmont Municipal.
2. Whenever possible the officer must complete all required reports prior to being
placed on administrative suspension
G. Miscellaneous
1. Members use only as much force as reasonably necessary and appropriate to their
lawful purposes, as permitted by this policy and applicable law. They do not use
unnecessary force in dealing with any person. The use of physical force must end
when its lawful purpose is accomplished.
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2. The degree of force used by members must be in compliance with the training
standards established by the department, which includes a use of force continuum.
3. No member is to use a greater degree of force without reasonably believing that
lesser force would be ineffective.
4. All sworn personnel must be trained in this policy and any weapons related policies
prior to authorization to carry a weapon.
5. Only the techniques and weapons authorized by the department may be utilized by a
member to apply force unless the officer is in a position requiring an alternative
technique. It is the officer's responsibility to justify any such deviation from
techniques and weapons authorized by the department.
6. No department member is allowed to utilize use of force weapons or techniques until
properly trained and tested for proficiency in the use of these weapons or techniques.
All sworn personnel holding the rank of sergeant or below are required to participate
in annual refresher training for less than deadly physical force techniques and
weaponry; to include PPCT, OPN, SIMs (Speciality Impact Munitions), Advanced
Taser, and Pepper Spray. All police commanders must participate in the annual
refresher training listed above unless expressly excused by their respective
supervisor prior to the specific training.
7. Except for training, inspections, cleaning, and maintenance, officers do not draw or
display their weapon unless circumstances cause the officer to believe that it may be
necessary to lawfully use the firearm in accordance with the provisions of this policy.
601.02 Use of Force Reporting – Policy
A. Pursuant to C.R.S. 18-8-801 to 18-8-804, an employee who observes a police officer
acting within the performance of his duty using physical force against any person in
excess of this policy and procedure must report such occurrence to his immediate
supervisor as soon as possible. The report must be both orally and in writing through the
use of an In House Incident Report. Failure to do so may subject the employee not only
to disciplinary action but also to criminal prosecution.
B. Incidents that require members to complete a Use of Force Report and submit through
the chain of command are as follows:
1. Where injury or death occur;
2. Where there is an intentional or unintentional discharge of a firearm during a use of
3. Whenever an officer points a firearm at another person;

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4. Whenever a member applies a less than deadly physical force weapon or technique.
Note: Escort techniques, which do not rely on pain compliance, are exempt from this
5. Whenever a motor vehicle is used as a method in which to apply force (i.e.,
ramming, roadblock, etc.).
6. Other incidents as deemed necessary by the member's supervisor.
C. In addition to completing a Use of Force Report, members must verbally notify their
supervisor as soon as possible whenever a use of force incident results in a weapon
discharge, serious injury, unconsciousness, or death.
D. Supervisors must also complete Use of Force Reports whenever they direct one or more
members to utilize physical force against a person or a group of persons.
E. An additional incident requiring members to complete an In House Incident Report and
submit through the chain of command is: whenever a member discharges a firearm in a
non-use of force incident other than in training or for lawful sporting or recreational
F. In regard to subsection (B) and (E) above, it is the responsibility of the member's
supervisor to fully review the member's actions as soon as possible and offer a
conclusion as to whether or not any policies were violated. Such review is to address all
factors pertinent to the situation including, but not limited to, factors leading to the force
used, the adherence to applicable laws and statutes, and compliance with policies and
training. The supervisor must also ensure that a thorough preliminary investigation and
report of the incident is completed. If the involved member is unable to complete the
appropriate reports, the supervisor is to complete it and indicate why the involved
member was unable to do so. It is also the responsibility of the member's supervisor to
initiate a PSU investigation when required or warranted.
G. Use of Force or In House Incident Reports, along with any other documentation, are to
be forwarded to the Professional Standards Unit through the chain of command for
review and assessment of actions, training needs, liability issues, and filing.
H. As governed by applicable departmental policies, an investigation is mandatory under
the following circumstances:
1. An alleged misuse of force;
2. Severe injury or death resulting from the member's act; or
3. The discharge of a deadly weapon or use of any deadly weapon, whether on or off
duty, in a manner which may result in injury or death including accidental discharge.
Target practice and the authorized destruction of animals are not included.
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I. Miscellaneous
1. All uses of physical force must be reported to the Professional Standards Unit
through the chain of command on the Use of Force Report form. Exception: Normal
handcuffing techniques and escort techniques, which do not rely on pain compliance,
are exempt.
2. All firearm discharges, except in training or for legal sporting or recreational
activities, must be reported both orally and in writing to an on duty supervisor as
soon as possible.
3. The supervisor that is initially notified of a use of physical force or firearm discharge
is responsible for seeing that a thorough preliminary investigation and report of the
incident are completed. Should the involved member not be able to complete the
appropriate reports, the supervisor shall complete it and indicate why the involved
member was unable to do so.
4. Off duty members who use any degree of force or display any weapon in a law
enforcement capacity are required to notify the on duty watch commander of the
incident as soon as possible. A Use of Force Report is also to be filed as soon as
601.09 Use of Force Option- Conducted Energy Weapons
A. Policy:
Officers are authorized to use and deploy less lethal Conducted energy Weapons
(CEWS) as approved by the department and subject to the provisions of the
Colorado Revised Statues and Longmont Police Department Policies.
B. Definition:
Conducted Energy Weapons (CEWS) are less lethal weapons that conduct
electrical energy to target, thereby controlling and overriding the central
nervous system of the body of the target. They are designed to safely
incapacitate potentially dangerous person(s) from a distance that minimizes
the danger to the officers involved.
C. Basic Provisions:
1. Only those CEWS currently approved by the department shall be used.
2. A list of authorized CEWS will be maintained by the SWAT Team Less Lethal
3. Only those commissioned officers that have successfully completed an approved
CEW course will be authorized to carry and deploy CEWS.
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4. Officers authorized to carry and deploy CEWS will annually complete refresher
training and qualify with the CEWS.
D. Deployment:
1. Officers will notify dispatch and other officers over the radio of the arrival and
deployment of CEWS.
2. When CEWS are deployed in situations involving a deadly weapon(s), a backup
officer is to directly accompany the CEWS user and be designated to utilize
lethal force, if necessary, consistent with law and department policies and
3. Officers should use verbal persuasion and commands for suspects to obey police
orders and cease illegal behavior prior to the use of CEWS if circumstances
allow it without risk to the safety of the officer or others.
4. Only officers certified to use CEWS or qualified medical personnel should
remove any CEWS probes that have penetrated into the subject.
5. All persons subjected to a CEW and taken into custody shall be examined by
qualified medical personnel and medically cleared.
6. Unless unsafe to do so, officers shall photograph all CEW injuries.

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