This video and transcript of an interview with Geoffrey P. Alpert addresses his view of police use of force in general and specifically the proper use of CEDs.
He first notes that the police use of force is a key feature of police work that can undermine or build confidence in a community's relationship with the police. He portrays the use of police force as "response to resistance," since the police are attempting to meet a person's resistance to compliance with police orders designed to gain control of a suspect. Police officers' proper use of force is developed through training, supervision, and accountability for how an officer uses force in particular circumstances. The CED is an innovative technology that, when used properly, can gain control of a suspect while reducing the risk for injury to an officer or suspect; however,. caution is urged in using CEDs, since some officers use them too quickly in an encounter rather than attempting to reason with a suspect or using hand techniques for control. Officers must be trained in the proficient use of a continuum in uses of force in the face of resistance, beginning with the use of the officer's hands if a suspect or arrestee resists being handcuffed and submitting to an officer's control. If an officer is unable to gain control or reduce a threat with mild control measures, then the use of a CED is appropriate, since it diminishes a person's ability to exert muscle power.
Date Published: March 1, 2012