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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

1050.00 Less Lethal Weapons and Munitions




  • ORS 161.015  Serious Physical Injury, defined
  • DIR 1010.20  Physical Force
  • Training Application (Training)
  • Less Lethal Munitions Database Report (Training)


POLICY (1050.00)

Only those members currently certified with the less lethal weapons and specialty impact munitions, as described below, are authorized to deploy them. The use of less lethal weapons and munitions are governed by the Bureau’s use of physical force policy and procedure (refer to DIR 1010.20 Physical Force).

PROCEDURE (1050.00)

Directive Specific Definitions

Less lethal weapon: A Bureau issued shotgun that is capable of delivering standard lethal 12-gauge shotgun rounds, but is intended to fire only less lethal specialty impact munitions. These weapons are conspicuously marked with orange stocks that are marked “less lethal” and with orange lighted forends to differentiate them from standard shotguns.

Sage launcher: A Bureau issued launcher capable of delivering a 37mm less lethal round.

Specialty Impact Munitions: Bureau issued rounds of ammunition that are designed to be less lethal. Less lethal munitions are not intended to produce deadly effects, but just as with other impact weapons, they can cause serious injury or death. Although this round was designed to be less lethal, it is not to be considered non-lethal.


Training and Certification (1050.00)

The Training Division (Training) is responsible for training and (re)certification of members in the proper use and deployment of less lethal specialty impact munitions. Requests for training and certification shall come from the RU managers to Training via Training Applications. Training Applications will not be accepted until course dates have been announced. To obtain and maintain certification, members must qualify on the shotgun qualification course and the less lethal qualification courses at every tri-annual qualification range. Copies of (re)certification records will be distributed to the member’s Unit/Division at the end of each qualification period. The member’s RU manager can make exceptions to the member’s maintenance of certification, if due to an assignment to a non-patrol unit or for an extended leave of absence.

Deployment (1050.00)

Once certified in less lethal, members will carry the less lethal designated shotgun in their patrol vehicles while in a uniform assignment. RU Managers will ensure that the less lethal designated shotguns are carried in a secure manner in the vehicles used by their members. RU managers may authorize certified members who are not working in a uniform capacity, such as DVD, to take a less lethal designated shotgun on specific tactical missions, such as a warrant service.

Less Lethal Weapons, Standard Shotguns and Ammunition (1050.00)

With the exception of SERT members, members will only load Bureau issued 12-gauge lethal rounds into Bureau issued shotguns and will only load Bureau issued less lethal specialty impact munitions into Bureau issued less lethal weapons. Under no circumstances will a member carry any standard 12-gauge lethal rounds on his/her person or utility belt while also carrying a less lethal weapon.

With the exception of supervisors, Bureau members are not authorized to possess additional or replacement less lethal specialty impact munitions. Bureau less lethal shotguns shall be stored in the armory with Bureau issued less lethal specialty impact rounds stored in the Bureau issued side saddle carrier and/or butt stock carrier. The guns will be loaded in the police vehicle, per procedure, from this supply only.  Certified operators are required to visually and physically inspect each round as they load and are encouraged to have another Bureau member view and confirm this.  Supervisors are authorized to carry additional and replacement less lethal specialty munitions. All such additional and replacement less lethal specialty ammunition carried by supervisors will be carried only in its original factory packaging.

Medical Treatment (1050.00)

If a member strikes a subject with a specialty impact round, the member(s) at the incident will request EMS for a medical evaluation of the subject’s injuries. The subject cannot be forced to accept medical treatment. All refusals for treatment must be documented in a report.

Verbal Warnings (1050.00)

Members will, if feasible, provide a warning to a suspect before shooting the suspect with a less lethal shotgun. The warning should be explicit. For example, a statement such as, “Stop, get on the ground or I’ll shoot” would be adequate. Simply shouting “less lethal” or “bean bag” or the equivalent is not sufficient.

Notification and Reporting of Use (1050.00)

Members who discharge a less lethal weapon will verbally notify an on-duty supervisor as soon as practical. Before going off duty, the member will complete and submit a Force Data Collection Report documenting the incident. The Force Data Collection Report will contain the specific circumstances that led to the discharge of the weapon; the name, rank and Bureau I.D. of the supervisor who was verbally notified; and the name, rank and Bureau I.D. of the responding supervisor, if different. Members will note what warning was given in his/her report documenting the use of the less lethal shotgun. If no warning was given, members will state in his/ her report why it was not feasible to give a warning. If the member who discharged the weapon is injured and unable to submit reports, reports will then be completed by an on-duty supervisor.

Upon notification that a subject was struck by a specialty impact round, a supervisor will respond to the scene (and hospital, if transported before arrival). The responding supervisor will notify the Detective Division if the subject receives a serious physical injury, as defined in the ORS. The supervisor will take photographs of the point(s) of contact/injury to the subject and document the injuries in an After Action Memorandum sent through channels to their Branch chief. Consent should be obtained before photographing any private areas of the subject’s body. The photographs will be placed into evidence with a property receipt.


Supervisors approving reports shall ensure that all pertinent information is contained in the reports to include the description of the subject’s actions compelling the use of less lethal specialty impact munitions.

RU managers shall ensure the security and maintenance of weapons assigned to their unit. RU managers will also ensure that weapons are assigned in a manner that optimizes their continuous availability throughout their precinct for emergency deployments. They shall provide audits and inspections to ensure that the procedures are being followed.

The Training manager is responsible for the procurement and repair of weapons and munitions and their issuance to other units. He/she is also responsible for the proper training and re-certification of Bureau members and for evaluating completed Less Lethal Munitions Database Reports.