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Police Bureau

Sworn to protect. Dedicated to serve.

Phone: 503-823-0000

Fax: 503-823-0342

Non-Emergency: 503-823-3333

1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204


1010.00 Application of Force
Index: Title:
Refer: ORS 161.015 (7) Physical Injury, defined
           ORS 161.205 - 161.265 Use of Physical Force
           DIR 630.45 Emergency Medical Custody Transports
           DIR 630.50 Emergency Medical Aid
           DIR 910.00 Field Reporting Handbook Instructions
           DIR 940.00 After Action Reports
           DIR 1030.00 Baton Use
           DIR 1040.00 Aerosol Restraints
           DIR 1050.00 Less Lethal Weapons and Munitions
           DIR 1051.00Taser, Less Lethal Weapon System
           Force Data Collection Report (SSD)
           After Action Report (CHO)

It has long been the Bureau's stated goal and practice to rely on as little of force as practical while performing its duties safely and effectively. Community members expect their police officers to avoid or minimize the use of force when taking criminal suspects into custody or providing help to people who are in mental, emo-tional or health crisis. The Bureau is committed to adhering to the constitutional standards applied to the use of force, understanding that these standards are, by design, subject to constant review and interpretation.
This policy adopts the current United States Supreme Court's limit on government use of force by requiring that members use only force that is objectively reasonable given the totality of cir-cumstances as viewed from the perspective of a reasonable officer at the scene, understanding that police officers must often make hurried decisions "in circumstances that are tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving." This limit announced in Graham v. Connor (constitutional standard), requires those officers choose from rea-sonable options when deciding to apply force to resolve confronta-tions. The constitutional standard is a practical and fair limit by which our society judges whether a use of force is constitutionally permissible. The constitutional standard, however, does not pro-vide detailed and practical operational guidance to the Bureau or its members to ensure the best possible force and confrontation de-cision making.
The Bureau's goal is to resolve confrontations effectively and safely while relying on force as little as practical. This policy sup-plements Graham's definition of lawful use of force with addi-tional detailed performance standards. These Bureau standards require officers to think well during confrontations and to work diligently toward applying, when practical, less force than the maximum allowed by the constitutional standard and minimizing or avoiding force altogether when possible. It also requires that members show the skills and ability to regularly resolve confronta-tions through de-escalation and with less force than the maximum allowed by the standard.

POLICY (1010.00)
It is the policy of the Bureau to accomplish its mission as effec-tively as possible with as little reliance on force as practical. How-ever, the Bureau recognizes that duty may require members to use force to accomplish a lawful objective. The Bureau requires that members be capable of using appropriate force when necessary.
The Bureau places a high value on resolving confrontations, when practical, with less force than the maximum that may be al-lowed by law. The Bureau also places a high value on the use of de-escalation tools that minimize the need to use force especially when dealing with certain vulnerable populations. Specifically, the Bureau recognizes individuals in mental health crisis may require a specialized response to ensure that confrontations are resolved with as little reliance on force as practical.
The Bureau is dedicated to providing the training, resources and management that help members safely and effectively resolve con-frontations through the application of de-escalation tools and lower levels of force.

Constitutional Standard-Graham v. Connor (1010.00)
It is the policy of the Bureau that members use only the force reasonably necessary under the totality of circumstances to per-form their duties and resolve confrontations effectively and safely. Such force may be used to accomplish the following official pur-poses:
          a. Prevent or terminate the commission or attempted commis-sion of an offense.
          b. Lawfully take a person into custody, make an arrest, or prevent an escape.
          c. Prevent a suicide or serious self-inflicted injury.
          d. Defend the member or other person from the use of physic cal force.
          e. Accomplish some official purpose or duty that is authorized by law or judicial decree.
When determining if a member has used only the force reasona-bly necessary to perform their duties and resolve confrontations effectively and safely, the Bureau will consider the totality of cir-cumstances faced by the member, including the following:
          a. Severity of the crime.
          b. Time, tactics and resources available.
          c. Attempt by the subject to avoid control by flight
          d. Resisted efforts at control by the subject
          e. Threat, extent of immediate threat to the officers, self or others.
          f. Impact of the person's behavior on the public
          g. The other circumstance that affects the balance of interests between the government and the person.

Bureau Standards (1010.00)
The Bureau expects members who face a confrontation to:
a. Seek out, as practical, information about the totality of cir-cumstances.
b. Reasonably evaluate the totality of circumstances available to the member.
c. Consider, when the situation allows, the available de-escalation and force options.
d. Make decisions about the confrontation management op-tions reasonably calculated to resolve the confrontation safely and effectively with as little reliance on force as practical, and avoiding force altogether when practical.
e. When considering options during a confrontation with a person experiencing mental illness or emotional crisis, members must recognize and reasonably balance society's significant interest in providing care for that person.
f. The Bureau expects members to thoroughly describe their de-escalation and force decision making process in an ap-propriate report. The Bureau views the quality and sub-stance of this articulation as a strong indicator of a mem-ber's diligence and the quality of a member's thinking and decision making during the event.
g. The Bureau expects members to develop and display, over the course of their practice of law enforcement, the skills and abilities that allow them to regularly resolve confron-tations without resorting to the higher levels of allowable force.

PROCEDURE (1010.00)
Directive Specific Definitions
Force: Physical contact that is readily capable of causing physi-cal injury, as well as the pointing of a firearm.
Physical injury: As defined in ORS 161.015 (7), the impairment of physical condition or substantial pain.

Precipitation of Use of Force Prohibited (1010.00)
Members should recognize that their approach to confrontations may influence whether force becomes necessary and the extent to which force must be used.
Members must not precipitate a use of force by placing them-selves or others in jeopardy through actions that are inconsistent with the Police Bureau's defensive tactics and tactical training without a substantial justification for variation from recommended practice.

Vehicles (1010.00)
Due to the risks involved, members should not enter an occupied vehicle capable of being driven (i.e., engine running or keys in the ignition) except to address an immediate threat of death or serious physical injury to any person.

Post Use of Force Medical Attention (1010.00)
When a member is involved in the use of force in which physical injury has occurred or there is reason to believe there may be a physical injury, the member, if able, shall:
          a. Continually monitor the subject if tactically appropriate or feasible. The member shall monitor the person for changes in skin or lip color, breathing and levels of consciousness. If any significant changes in any of these areas are ob-served, the member shall notify EMS immediately. See DIR 630.50 Emergency Medical Aid for further require-ments.
          b. Request EMS evaluate and treat those persons involved and injured prior to removal from the scene.
          c. When pepper spray has been applied to a person, make every attempt to provide relief from the pepper spray expo-sure and move the person into an area of open air.
          d. Contact the immediate supervisor and brief the supervisor on the incident.
          e. Have the person transported to a medical facility for addi-tional treatment if recommended by EMS. See DIR 630.45 Emergency Medical Custody Transports for important ad-ditional direction on transporting injured subjects.
          f. When transporting a person from hospital treatment to a correctional facility, notify a corrections staff member of the extent of the person's injuries and medical treatment given and provide the corrections staff with the person's medical release forms from the medical facility.
If a person has been placed in maximum restraints or on the ground for control, members must do the following as soon as practical:
          a. Release pressure/weight from the person's back or upper body.
          b. Check and continue to monitor the person's breathing and pulse until EMS arrives.
          c. Place the person in a seated position or position the person on their side to reduce the possibility of breathing problems by reducing the restriction to the person's diaphragm.
          d. Provide EMS with an update on the person's condition if it appears to worsen.
For important additional guidance on transporting injured per-sons, see DIR 630.45 Emergency Medical Custody Transports.

Duty to Report and Notification and Reporting (1010.00)
Members have a duty to report any use of force that violates this Directive.
Members shall make a report when they use force to their super-visor or designee. Reports must be complete and accurate and de-scribe the subject's behavior and the justification for the force used including a description of the totality of circumstances that existed.
A member who causes physical injury or who takes a person to the ground by applying force will complete a Force Data Collec-tion Report (FDCR) in addition to any other reports required by Bureau policy. A member who applies a control hold that does not cause physical injury is not required to complete a FDCR for the control hold application. A member who applies a hold to gain control of a person, who follows commands and goes to the ground voluntarily without the application of additional force, is not re-quired to complete a FDCR.
If the primary report and FDCR covering the specific incident are completed by one member, and another member used physical force in the incident, then each member who used physical force will complete a FDCR. The only exception to this is when the use of force was pointing a weapon at one or more persons (i.e., during a high risk stop). In that case only one FDCR need be completed.
The following circumstances do not require a FDCR:
          a. Bureau approved training exercises (i.e., an in-service pa-trol tactics class).
          b. A member unknowingly points a weapon at a person during a building search or other high risk situation (i.e., an undis-covered person was hiding behind an object at which a member pointed a weapon).
If the member is injured and unable to submit a report, the report regarding the use of force will be completed by an on-duty super-visor.
Supervisors will be notified as soon as possible of the use of physical force which requires any person to receive medical atten-tion. Supervisors will ensure that members comply with the re-porting requirements. Members shall follow DIR 940.00 After Action Reports as it pertains to specific reporting requirements.

Canine (K-9) Bites (1010.00)
Canine handlers shall complete a FDCR for all bites that follow a member's intentional application of a police canine for the purpose of biting. The canine's handler will articulate the justification for the application of the canine and will state whether the bite was directed or not directed by the handler.
All police canine bites will be administratively reported by a su-pervisor, through channels, to the appropriate Branch chief in an after action report using the Bureau's standard format.

Handcuffing (1010.00)
Although handcuffing is not defined as physical force in this di-rective, Bureau policy requires that members document each hand-cuffing in a police report (i.e., Investigation, Custody or Special).

Semi-annual Review of Force use (1010.00)
The Bureau will provide the training, resources and management necessary to help members comply with this directive.
Each operational unit will identify a unit-based group to review the unit's force practices and assist supervisors in conducting semi-annual reviews of each member's performance in confrontations. The reviews are a training function, and not a part of the discipline process. The goals of the review effort are to:
          a. Ensure consistency and fairness.
          b. Provide feedback to officers on force and confrontation de-cision making.
          c. Identify training needs based on trends.
          d. Create a positive learning environment.

Supervisor Responsibilities (1010.00)
Supervisory Review of Reports (1010.00)
          a. Supervisors shall review all reports of force to determine if the reports are complete and accurate and whether the force was justified under this policy. Supervisors shall address deficiencies in reports promptly.