This paper provides a comprehensive picture of the wide range of technical, operational, and management issues that must be considered when developing, acquiring, or using less lethal weapons for law enforcement agencies.
The insights provided in this paper come from a careful reading and critique of the less-lethal-technology literature and the organization of and participation in many less-lethal-weapon-technology conferences, technical working groups, and peer review panels. The essential attributes of less lethal weapons for law enforcement applications are described, as well as the many practical considerations that must be made when acquiring and using them. This review should help law enforcement and corrections agencies make more informed decisions on the acquisition and deployment of less lethal weapons and should also be a useful starting point for weapon developers. Scientists and engineers seeking to develop new or improved less lethal weapons for law enforcement will benefit from having in one source a basic insight into the complexities and challenges of producing a successful less lethal technology. (Publisher abstract provided)