U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Report on the Second International Law Enforcement Forum: Minimal Force Options

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2003
115 pages
This report is a summary of the 2002 Second International Forum on Minimal Force Options' discussions and the associated conclusions derived by the forum sessions, which framed some of the generally accepted concepts in the field of minimal force options, yielded new insights, and broadened the understanding of the intent of less-lethal weapons.
The Second International Law enforcement Forum on Minimal Force Options was sponsored by the Pennsylvania State University and held at its University Park Campus in October 2002. This forum focused on less-lethal and minimal force concepts, technologies, and deployment at the practitioner expert level. The aim of the forum was to provide a scientific basis for understanding the options, technologies, and tactics being contemplated. Summaries of workshop discussions and presentations are outlined in the report. The workshop discussions focused on the areas of current operational and technological limitations, effectiveness and medial issues, acceptability criteria, public policy, and legal issues, and less-lethal tactics and procedures. Presentations include: (1) Operational Needs and Standards for Less-Lethal Weapons; (2) Less Lethal Issues in the United States; (3) Managing Conflict and Responding to Violence; and (4) Less Lethal Technologies, United Kingdom. The major recommendations for further work include: (1) develop a less-lethal database; (2) develop an injury database; (3) define operational needs; (4) develop standards for testing and training; (5) conduct independent assessments; and (6) designate a national/international less-lethal weapons center for testing and training. Minimal force options expand the number of choices available to law enforcement confronting situations in which the use of deadly force is considered inappropriate. Slides and appendixes A-C

Date Published: January 1, 2003