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The City of Portland, Oregon

Police Bureau

Sworn to protect. Dedicated to serve.

Phone: 503-823-0000

Non-Emergency: 503-823-3333

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

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1015.00 Less Lethal Weapons and Tools

1015.00, Less Lethal Weapons and Tools

Refer:

  • Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989)
  • ORS 161.015, General Definitions
  • ORS 161.195, “Justification” described
  • ORS 161.205, Use of physical force generally
  • ORS 181A.708, Use of chemical incapacitants, kinetic impact projectiles and sound devices
  • DIR 0305.00, Active Bystandership, Intervention, and Anti-Retaliation
  • DIR 0315.30, Satisfactory Performance
  • DIR 0330.00, Internal Affairs, Complaint Intake and Processing
  • DIR 0333.00, Criminal Investigations of Police Bureau Employees
  • DIR 0345.00, Employee Information System
  • DIR 0416.00, Critical Incident - Temporary Altered Duty
  • DIR 0630.05, Vehicle Interventions and Pursuits
  • DIR 0630.45, Emergency Medical Custody Transports
  • DIR 0630.50, Emergency Medical Aid
  • DIR 0631.70, Investigation of Animal Problems
  • DIR 0635.10, Crowd Management/Crowd Control
  • DIR 0640.02, Photography and Digital Imaging
  • DIR 0850.20, Mental Health Crisis Response
  • DIR 0900.00, General Reporting Guidelines
  • DIR 0910.00, Use of Force Reporting, Review, and Investigation
  • DIR 1010.10, Deadly Force and In-Custody Death Reporting and Investigation Procedures
  • DIR 1020.00, Weapons Administration
  • DIR 1021.00, Weapons Qualifications
  • PPB Canine Unit Standard Operating Procedures

Definitions:

  • Baton: A Bureau-issued instrument designed for guiding, blocking, pushing, jabbing, striking, or applying control holds while engaged in a police action. 
  • Conducted Electrical Weapon (CEW): A weapon, including Tasers, designed primarily to discharge electrical charges into a person that will cause involuntary muscle contractions and overrides the person’s voluntary motor responses.
    • Arcing: Activating a CEW without discharging the probes or making contact with a person, to serve as a warning to the person.
    • CEW Application: The contact and delivery of an electrical impulse to a person using a CEW.
    • CEW Cycle: An activation of the CEW for a duration of up to five (5) seconds.
  • Crowd Management: A public security practice in which crowds are managed to prevent the outbreak of crowd rushes, affrays, fights or riots, or in which an assembly, protest or demonstration is dispersed.
  • Deadly/Lethal Force: Any use of force likely to cause death or serious physical injury, including the use of a firearm, neck hold, or strike to the head, neck or throat with a hard object.
  • Feasible: When time and safety allow for a particular action.
  • Force: Physical coercion used to effect, influence or persuade an individual to comply with an officer, to include the intentional pointing of a firearm at an individual. Control holds and handcuffing without resistance do not constitute force.
  • Chemical Incapacitant: The following, together or separately:

 (i) Handheld or launched munitions and devices specifically designed to cause temporary pain, temporary irritation, temporary disruption of vital processes, temporary incapacitation, temporary disability or permanent harm through the toxic properties of toxic chemicals, or their precursors, that would be released as a result of the employment of the handheld or launched munitions and devices; and

 (ii) Any equipment specifically designed for use directly in connection with the employment of handheld or launched munitions and devices as described in subparagraph (i) of this subparagraph. “Chemical incapacitant” includes handheld and launched chemical munitions, but does not include tear gas.

  • Incident Commander (IC):  The individual responsible for all incident activities, including the development of strategies and tactics and the ordering and release of resources.  The IC has the overall authority and responsibility for conducting incident operations and is responsible for the management of all incident operations at the incident site. 
  • Involved Member: For this directive, an involved member is a Bureau member who is involved in the application of force or directs another to use force.
  • Kinetic Impact Projectile (KIP): All non-lethal, less lethal, or semi-lethal projectiles, including but not limited to rubber and plastic bullets, beanbag rounds, sponge rounds, and pellet rounds. 
  • Less Lethal Force: Force employed that is neither likely nor intended to cause death or serious physical injury.
  • Less Lethal Weapon: An apprehension or restraint tool that, when used as designed and intended, are less likely to cause death or serious physical injury than a conventional lethal weapon such as a firearm.
  • Mental Health Crisis: An incident in which someone with an actual or perceived mental illness experiences intense feelings of personal distress, a thought disorder, obvious changes in functioning and/or catastrophic life events, which may, but not necessarily, result in an upward trajectory of intensity culminating in thoughts or acts that are dangerous to self and/or others.
  • Mental Illness: Health conditions that are characterized by alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior (or some combination thereof) associated with distress and/or impaired functioning. Alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior contribute to a host of problems-patient distress, impaired functioning, or heightened risk of death, pain, disability, or loss of freedom.
  • Necessary: No objectively reasonable and effective alternative presently exists to effect a lawful objective.
  • Objectively Reasonable: The reasonableness of a use of force is based on the totality of circumstances known by an officer at the time of action or decision-making.  It shall be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, without the clarity of 20/20 hindsight after the event has concluded.  The measure of reasonableness gives consideration to the reality that officers are often forced to make split-second decisions in circumstances that are tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving.  In the application or evaluation of the use of force, uses of the terms "reasonable" and "reasonably" in this policy refer to objective reasonableness. All assertions of a member's knowledge, intent, deliberateness, or inadvertence under this policy must be objectively reasonable and the Bureau shall assess all assertions under the objective reasonableness standard.
  • Physical Injury: As defined in ORS § 161.015 (7), the impairment of a person's physical condition or causing a person substantial pain.  Substantial pain refers to degree and duration of the pain suffered by the victim; the pain must be considerable and must be more than momentary.  
  • Serious Physical Injury: As defined in ORS § 161.015(8), physical injury which creates a substantial risk of death, or which causes serious and protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of health or protracted loss or impairment of function of any bodily organ. 
  • Tear Gas: Oleoresin capsicum or orthochlorobenzalmalononitrile, or other similar chemicals meant to accomplish the same effect, administered by any shell, cartridge, or bomb capable of being discharged or exploded, when the discharge or explosion will cause or permit the release or emission of the chemicals.

Policy:

1. This policy establishes Bureau requirements for the use of Bureau-authorized and -issued less lethal weapons. 

Procedure:

1. Use of Less Lethal Force and Weapons.

1.1.   Members shall act in accordance with Directive 1010.00, Use of Force, which governs all use of force.

1.2.   Members shall report all force use in accordance with Directive 0910.00, Use of Force Reporting, Review, and Investigation.

1.3.   Less lethal force tactics provide members a range of options, from the use of bodily force to the use of less lethal weapons, for managing encounters with threatening or actively resistive persons. Although less lethal force is not likely to cause death or serious injury, members shall consider that the use of less lethal force can still result in death or serious injury.

1.4.   When feasible, members shall announce to other members their intent to use a less lethal weapon before using the weapon, in an attempt to avoid sympathetic fire.

1.5.   Members shall verbally notify a supervisor, as soon as practical, when they hit a person in the head, neck, throat or groin with any KIP or baton, or strike those areas with or against a hard object.

1.5.1.      Unless extraordinary circumstances exist, a supervisor who receives notification of a use of force, shall respond to the scene, and in consultation with the Detective Division, determine the category of review, as established in Directive 0910.00, Use of Force Reporting, Review, and Investigation.

2. Batons.

2.1.   Members shall only use a Bureau-issued baton.

2.2.   Members shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that they use the baton on target areas, as identified in training, such as a person’s arms or legs.

2.3.   Members shall not deliberately target the person’s head or throat, neck, spine, or groin, unless deadly force is authorized.

3. Kinetic Impact Projectiles (KIPs). 

3.1.   Members shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that they use KIPs on target areas, as identified in training.  When firing from under seven yards’ distance, members shall aim for the person’s legs. When firing from over seven yards’ distance, members shall aim anywhere below the person’s waistline, except the groin. 

3.2.   Members shall not intentionally target a person’s head, neck, throat, or groin area, except against a person engaged in conduct otherwise justifying the use of deadly force. 

3.3.   KIPs with chemical payloads are subject to restrictions established by state law and Bureau policy.

4. Chemical Incapacitants.

4.1.   When using handheld and launched chemical incapacitants, members shall attempt to minimize exposure to non-target persons.

4.2.   Members shall not use handheld or launched chemical incapacitants on the operator of a motor vehicle that is immediately capable of being driven, without justification for doing so and unless no reasonable alternative is apparent.

4.3.   Members shall act in accordance with the post-use procedures outlined in Directive 0630.50, Emergency Medical Aid.

5. Tear Gas.

5.1.   Members shall only use tear gas when authorized by an Incident Commander and as further restricted by Directive 635.10, Crowd Management/Crowd Control, and Bureau SOP.

5.2.   Prior to using tear gas, members shall consider the proximity of the possible use to residential areas, hospitals, schools, and freeways or areas with high density traffic.

5.3.   When using tear gas, members shall attempt to minimize exposure to non-target persons.

5.4.   Members shall not use handheld or launched chemical incapacitants on the operator of a motor vehicle that is immediately capable of being driven, without justification for doing so and unless no reasonable alternative is apparent.

5.5.   Members shall act in accordance with the post-use procedures outlined in Directive 0630.50, Emergency Medical Aid.

6. Flash Sound Diversion/Distraction Devices.

6.1.   Members shall only use FSDDs when authorized by an Incident Commander and as further restricted by Bureau Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

7. Conducted Electrical Weapon System (CEW).

7.1.   Use.

7.1.1.      Members shall visually and physically confirm that the weapon they are holding is a CEW and not a firearm.

7.1.2.      Members shall make reasonable efforts to use CEWs on the target area, as identified in training, such as lower-center mass for front shots. 

7.1.3.      Members may use the CEW for warning tactics such as arcing or activating the lasers in an attempt to gain compliance.

7.1.4.      Members should point the CEW in a safe direction when arcing and never intentionally direct the lasers into the eyes of a person.

7.1.5.      Members shall make every reasonable effort to attempt handcuffing during or between each CEW cycle.

7.1.6.      Only one member may intentionally deploy a CEW at any given time on a person, except where deadly force is authorized.

7.1.7.         Members using a CEW operationally, if feasible, should be supported by at least one member capable of providing immediate cover.

7.1.8.      After one standard CEW cycle, the member shall re-evaluate the situation to determine if subsequent cycles are necessary; when feasible, members shall issue a warning prior to each additional cycle and wait a reasonable amount of time to allow the person to comply.  Members shall describe and explain the reasonableness of each CEW cycle in their use of force reports.

7.2.   Restrictions.

7.2.1.      Members shall not deliberately target the head, face, or groin. 

7.2.2.      Members shall not use a CEW to threaten or coerce a person except for the purpose of managing a potential or actual physical confrontation.

7.2.3.        Members shall avoid the use of more than three CEW applications against the same person, unless exigent circumstances (immediate and serious bodily harm to a person or persons is about to occur) warrant use. 

7.2.4.      Members shall not use a CEW for pain compliance against those a reasonable officer would believe have an actual or perceived mental illness or are in mental health crisis, except in exigent circumstances and then only to avoid the use of a higher level of force.

7.2.5.      Members shall not use a CEW on a handcuffed or otherwise restrained person, unless doing so is necessary to prevent them from causing serious physical injury to themselves or others, and/or to avoid greater application of use of force and no reasonable alternative is apparent.  Where practical and safe to do so, members shall obtain supervisory authorization before deploying a CEW on a handcuffed person.

7.2.6.      Members shall not use a CEW when there is a significantly heightened risk of secondary injury (e.g., uncontrolled fall, drowning) to the person or others, unless the member reasonably believes the threat or danger posed by the person outweighs the risk of injury that might occur as a result of loss of control.

7.2.7.      Members shall not draw both a firearm and a CEW at the same time.

7.2.8.      Members shall not use a CEW on persons when the member reasonably believes the person has come in contact with flammables or the person is in an area where flammables are present.

7.3.   Post-CEW Use On-Scene Supervisor Responsibilities.

7.3.1.      A member shall photograph deployed tags, cartridges, and probes at the scene.

7.3.2.      If possible, members shall photograph the areas of probe strikes, whether probes penetrated the person’s skin, left visible marks or only penetrated the person’s clothing, before and after probe removal, as well as any other marks, or lack of marks, left by the CEW.  Consent should be obtained before photographing personally sensitive areas.  

7.3.3.      All photographs shall be placed into evidence in accordance with Bureau policy.

7.3.4.      Supervisors shall verify that the involved member summons medical services, if necessary.

8. Canine Use.

8.1.   Members may use a police canine to:

8.1.1.      Protect the officer(s), the police canine, or others from an immediate threat.

8.1.2.      Apprehend or control persons officers reasonably believe to be involved in a crime.

8.1.3.      Apprehend a fleeing criminal suspect, when the canine officer reasonably believes that probable cause exists to arrest the person for a crime.

8.1.4.      Apprehend hiding persons, when it would be unsafe for officers to proceed into an area.

8.2.   Members shall refer to the Canine Unit SOPs for additional guidance.

9. Restraint Device.

9.1.   Hobble Restraint.

9.1.1.      Members may use a hobble restraint to control a person beyond the capability of handcuffs.

9.1.1.1.            The restraint should supplement handcuffs. Members shall not use the restraint in lieu of handcuffs.

9.1.2.      If a person attempts to slip their handcuffs to the front of their body, members may use the restraint on the person’s upper arms or legs to prevent such an action.

9.1.3.      Members may use the restraint to secure a combative person’s legs together to prevent kicking.

9.1.4.      Members may use the restraint to secure an animal.

9.1.5.      Members shall not use the maximum restraint technique (i.e., securing a person’s knees or ankles in a straight leg restraint, then fastening the hobble to the handcuffs).

9.1.6.      Once secured, members shall not leave a person on their stomach for an extended period. If feasible, members shall place the person on their side or in a seated position.

Effective:          11/15/2022

Next Review:    11/15/2023