Managing the Use of Force Incident: For Criminal Justice Officers, Supervisors, and Administrators
By Howard Webb; Reviewerd by Dr. Steve Albrecht, CPP
The subtitle of this book refers to criminal justice officers, supervisors, and administrators, but the principles can also apply to security directors and managers whose officers may have to use force as part of their jobs.
***** Managing the Use of Force Incident: For Criminal Justice Officers, Supervisors, and Administrators. By Howard Webb. Charles C. Thomas Publisher, www.ccthomas.com; 404 pages; $74.95.
Law enforcement officers need clear guidance on when to use force against people who are combative, resisting a lawful arrest, or occupying a space as trespassers. In the best of circumstances, even if a use-of-force incident does not end with an injury to the suspect or the officer, the chance of litigation as a result of any hands-on activities is always present.
The subtitle of this book refers to criminal justice officers, supervisors, and administrators, but the principles can also apply to security directors and managers whose officers may have to use force as part of their jobs. The laws do, of course, differ in terms of the authority provided to police as compared with that afforded to private security.
If those who report to you may ever have to put hands on people within the course and scope of their employment, then this book is a useful addition to your bookshelf.
In law enforcement, use-of-force events are commonplace and not always likely to involve litigation unless the injuries are severe, excessive, inhumane, or involve the in-custody death of the suspect. In security, on the other hand, even the briefest use-of-force incidents are much more likely to end up in court.
When security officers work in public venues, such as bars, department stores, sporting events, and concerts—there is always the possibility that a security officer will have to escort, remove, detain, or arrest someone.
In 12 chapters, this book offers a roadmap to avoiding injuries to officers and suspects and to minimizing litigation.
The author brings much experience to the book, not only as a former Oregon police lieutenant but also as the former director of the Montana Law Enforcement Academy. The scope of his book covers understanding use-of-force incidents; preparing for use-of-force incidents; documenting them; and managing incidents as a supervisor, manager, or administrator. He speaks to the need for ongoing, realistic, and safely initiated training for officers that includes deadly force training, hands-on role plays, and real-time scenarios that call for an officer to experience stressors similar to those present in an actual field situation.
To extrapolate what the author says about prevailing in use-of-force civil suits to a security organization, security must be able to demonstrate to a judge or jury that the security officer was effectively trained to use hands-on force, restraining force, or deadly force; that written use-of-force policies provide the security officer and the security organization with a legal justification; and that the accompanying documentation can support what the officer did as reasonable and necessary.
This book covers a significant amount of material on the subject, as written by a bona fide expert who has been in the field and the courtroom. The tone is direct and the supporting information is valuable for any security manager or administrator who has concerns for use-of-force incidents involving security personnel.
Reviewer: Dr. Steve Albrecht, CPP, is a San Diego, California-based author and consultant on workplace violence prevention. He worked for the San Diego Police Department from 1984 to 1999.