CONFLICT MANAGEMENT TRAINING AND NONLETHAL WEAPON USE
Ryan, Casey T.
Halladay, Carolyn C.
Anglemyer, Andrew T.
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This thesis examines multiple theories for why law enforcement officers misuse force. It explores decision-making theory that has been used to describe how officers make rapid decisions under stress. Biases can affect an officer’s ability or propensity to use force. Recognition Primed Decision addresses how over-emphasis on using force during training can prime officers to rely on force in the streets. Such other factors as the warrior mentality (versus the guardian mentality) that are instilled in recruits also may affect an officer’s readiness to use force; officers also are taught that their lives are a priority over others. And finally, the law enforcement community has a sense of immunity from being held legally responsible, reinforced by courts’ inability to prosecute officers or hold them liable. Practices and policies are examined in agencies that exacerbate or mitigate these issues. Over-emphasis on using force during training and specific material meant to foster the warrior mentality are identified as problems plaguing some departments. De-escalation training and training that mitigates officer bias are identified as important practices to implement. This thesis includes several recommendations that leaders should examine to minimize officer misuse of force.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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