E.P.P. 2 Weapons Policy

I.             PURPOSE:

 

                The purpose of this policy and procedure is to establish criteria for the issuance, carrying, use and care of lethal, less-lethal, and                      non-lethal weapons by police officers.

                                                                             

II.            SCOPE:

 

                Only that degree of force necessary to accomplish lawful objectives, and not to use of  force against any person except when                        necessary, is authorized for purposes of self-defense, in defense of another, to overcome physical resistance to arrest, or to prevent                the escape of an arrested person.

 

III.           GENERAL:

 

                Lethal, less-lethal, and non-lethal weapons will be issued to an officer only after he/she has demonstrated proficiency in the use                   of agency-authorized weapons, and has met any additional training requirements for carrying such weapons, and only after said                    weapons meet the approval specifications as defined by this directive. All lethal weapons will be thoroughly inspected prior to                        issuance by the department’s armorer, or designated training officer if the weapon is a non-lethal weapon. Only firearms and                          ammunition meeting agency approval are permitted for use in the performance of duty.

 

IV.          SECURITY OF WEAPONS:

 

                A.            All weapons, including ammunition magazines, will be secured in provided lockers or within a vehicle’s trunk area before                                   an officer enters the controlled interior of:

 

                                1.            The John E. Polk Correctional Facility;

                                2.            Holding cell areas of the Seminole County Courthouse; and,

                                3.            Holding cells at the Juvenile Assessment Center.

 

                B.            All firearms will be removed from the occupant compartments of police department vehicles when the employee is off-                                    duty and not operating the vehicle.

 

                C.            When a vehicle is to be left at a repair facility for maintenance, unattended by the employee who has custody, all                                                weapons will be removed by the employee.

 

                D.            Officers will safely secure all police department weapons to prevent access by unauthorized persons, and in compliance                                    with all applicable state laws.

 

V.            AUTHORITY TO CARRY WEAPONS:

 

                Police officers of the Longwood Police Department are authorized to wear and carry weapons approved by the chief, subject to                      the following rules, regulations, and limitations:

 

                A.            Full-time police officers are authorized to wear and carry firearms approved by the chief while on or off duty in                                                    accordance with Chapters 790.051 and 790.052, Florida State Statutes.   Full-time officers are not authorized 

                                 to carry less-lethal weapons off duty.

 

                B.           Reserve police officers are authorized to wear and carry firearms approved by the chief while on duty. Written permission                                 from the chief of police is required to carry a firearm off duty.  Reserve officers are not authorized to

                                carry less-lethal weapons off duty.

 

VI.          TRAINING & QUALIFICATION:

 

                A.        The training coordinator will schedule no less than one mandatory firearms qualification session for officers each year.                                      Each officer will be required to successfully complete an agency approved qualification course for each department issued                               firearm. Officers will also be required to complete an agency approved qualification course for any off-duty or back-up                                      firearm annually. Additional firearm training sessions may be scheduled at the discretion of the chief. Officers will be graded                             on a pass/fail basis.

 

                B.         The training will be in accordance with the training specifications as defined by the Enforcement Policy & Procedure                                          ‘Response to Resistance.’

 

                C.         In the event of any negligent or unintentional discharge of a firearm, an involved officer will be re-certified (re-qualified)                                   by an F.D.L.E. certified firearms  instructor prior to returning to duty.

 

 

 

VII.         RECORDS OF WEAPONS:

 

                A.            The police department armorer shall retain a record of all issued and approved to carry firearms. Copies of the                                               manufacturer, model, caliber, and serial numbers of all issued and approved firearms will be submitted by the armorer                                      within five working days to the training coordinator for inclusion in department  training records.

 

                B.            All issued firearm serial numbers shall be verified during annual firearms                                              qualifications.

 

VIII.        DISARMAMENT:

 

                Officers should not become disarmed in a hostile environment.

 

                A.            The danger to the officer is not necessarily reduced by surrendering his/her weapon to the demands of an armed                                                suspect.

 

                B.            Surrendering a weapon may mean giving away an officer’s only chance for survival. Every tactical tool available should be                                 used to avoid surrendering a weapon.

 

IX.           AUTHORIZED FIREARMS & ACCESSORIES:

 

                A.            Ammunition:

 

                                1.            Only ammunition issued or approved by the Longwood Police Department is authorized for use in firearms                                                           issued or approved for use by the chief.

 

                                2.            The following ammunition is approved for use in police department issued firearms:

 

                                                a)            Factory produced 9 mm, .40 cal. or .45 acp, 115-230 grain JHP or a ‘Ranger SXT 9 mm, .40 cal or .45                                                                         acp.’;

 

                                                b)            Factory produced 12 Gauge 2 ¾ inch or 3 inch shells 00 Buck;

 

                                                c)            Factory produced 12 Gauge 2 ¾ inch or 3 inch shells rifled slug;

 

                                                d)            Factory produced CTS 12 Gauge Super Sock less-lethal munitions;

 

                                                e)            Factory produced .223 cal. 55 grain FMJ ballistic tip (BT) rifle ammunition;

                                                f)             Factory produced 7.62 mm FMJ ballistic tip (BT) rifle ammunition.

 

                                3.            Ammunition for ‘off-duty’ or secondary firearms will meet the following criteria:

 

                                                a)            .22 Caliber – 22 LR 40 Grain hollow point

 

                                                b)            .25 Caliber – 25 ACP 50 Grain hollow point

 

                                                c)            .32 Caliber – 50 Grain hollow point

 

                                                d)            .380 Caliber – 380 ACP 90 JHP

 

                                                e)            38 Special – 38 Special 110 Grain JHP

 

                                                f)             .357 Caliber – 357 130 – 160 Grain JHP

 

                                                g)            9 mm – 9 mm 115 – 147 Grain SXT or JHP

 

                                                h)            40 S&W Caliber – 40 SW 135 – 180 Grain SXT or JHP

 

                                                i)             .45 Caliber – 45 ACP 165 – 230 Grain SXT or JHP

 

                B.            Shotguns:

 

                                1.            Shotguns of a semi-auto or pump action design with a barrel length of 18 inches or 20 inches, and chambered                                                      for 12 gauge ammunition which  are issued by the armory of this department.

 

                                2.            The following accessories for shotguns are authorized:

 

                                                a)            Sling and swivels;

 

                                                b)            Rifle sights;

 

                                                c)            Spare ammunition carrier (sidesaddle or elastic);

 

                                                d)            Flashlight attachment;

 

                                                e)            Synthetic stock/forearm

 

                                                f)             Pistol grip;

 

                                                g)            Folding stock

                                                

                                                h)            Orange synthetic stock and fore grip (for less-lethal only)

 

                                3.            Deployment:

 

a)            Shotguns are to be carried in the ‘cruiser ready’ position: nothing is to be carried in the chamber; the action will be closed; the trigger will be pulled to drop the hammer and unlock the action (double check by both visual and physical means to be certain that the chamber is empty before pulling the trigger. In addition, the shotgun shall be pointed down in a safe direction when the trigger is pulled); the safety may be carried either ‘on’ or ‘off’ at the discretion of the officer; and issued service ammunition will be loaded in the magazine.

 

b)            A round may be chambered upon exiting the vehicle with the safety in the ‘on’ position. In the case of less-lethal dedicated shotguns, officers will visually inspect the round prior to chambering to ensure the presence of less-lethal ammunition only.

 

c)            When deployed outside the vehicle, the shotgun shall be carried in the ‘low ready’ position. The safety will be in the ‘on’ position at all times and fingers kept outside of the trigger guard until the shotgun is to be intentionally discharged.

 

d)            Department issued shotguns are only authorized for on-duty use.

 

C.            Handgun (Issued) – (Primary):

 

                1.            The following type and model of handguns are issued:

 

                                a)            Glock model 21SF (.45acp)

 

                                b)            Glock model 36 (.45acp)

 

                2.           On-duty, primary-use handguns will be inspected, approved, and issued

                            by the police department armorer at the direction of the chief of police. They are authorized for off-duty carrying    in accordance with Florida State Statutes.

 

 

 

D.            Handgun (Personally owned and off-duty use):

 

                1.            Only semi-automatic handguns meeting all of the following criteria will be considered for authorized off-duty use:

 

a)            Double action only or double action first round, single action second round (transition trigger);

 

b)            A manual de-cocking device is required unless the firearm is double action only;

 

c)            External manual safety, with applicable factory configuration;

 

d)            9 mm, .40 caliber, or .45 caliber for use as a primary weapon in uniform duty;

 

e)            Must be of .380, 9 mm, .40 caliber, or .45 caliber for plainclothes use (additional caliber approval will depend upon the requirement of the situation);

 

f)             Must have a firing pin lock mechanism.

 

2.            Revolvers can be carried as off-duty weapons if they are a .38 or .357 caliber and are not single action only.

 

3.            An officer desiring to carry a personally owned handgun in place of the issued firearm must:

 

              a)            Apply in writing to the chief of police for approval;

 

b)            Successfully complete the CJSTC approved course of fire with the approved firearm. Said qualification must be instructed by an F.D.L.E. certified firearms instructor approved by the chief of police.

 

c)            Have the department armorer inspect and approve the handgun intended to be carried;

 

4.            A copy of the chief’s written approval for an officer to carry a personally owned handgun will be retained by the officer and the department armorer. When an approved firearm is sold or disposed of by the officer, the officer will submit a written statement of disposal or sale to the department armorer.

 

 

E.            Secondary Handgun:

 

1.         Secondary handguns are small, easily concealed handguns that are carried in addition to any on or off-duty handgun. Secondary handguns may be a revolver or semi-automatic pistol, with a caliber of .22 Long rifle, .25, .32, .380, .38 Special, .357, 9 mm, .40 S&W, .357 Sig, or .45 A.C.P. and must meet the requirements listed in the above paragraph ‘D’, sub paragraphs 2-4.

 

2.            Secondary handguns may be carried with the understanding that the handgun is to be used only in cases of a loss of the primary firearm, complete malfunction of the primary firearm, or complete expenditure of carried ammunition for the primary firearm.

 

3.            Barrel lengths of secondary firearms shall not exceed 3.5 inches for concealment purposes.

 

4.            Secondary firearms shall be carried on an officer’s person, completely and safely concealed to prevent loss or accidental discharge.

 

5.            An officer desiring to carry a secondary firearm must demonstrate his/her knowledge and proficiency in the use of the weapon to a department firearms instructor.

 

F.            Rifles:

 

                1.            AR-15, M-16, Mini-14, Mini-30, M-1 Carbine, or M-14 rifles may be issued to personnel at the direction of the                       chief of police. Accessories  for such weapons are dependent upon their designed use and shall be used with the                   weapon only with the approval of the chief.

 

                2.            Deployment:

 

                                a)            Rifles shall be carried and deployed in the same manner as shotguns.

 

                               b)            Only officers who have satisfactorily completed an approved  course of instruction and qualified with a                                     rifle may deploy a rifle while on duty.

 

                                c)            Issued rifles are only authorized for on-duty use.

 

 

 

 

G.           Holsters:

 

                1.            With the exception of concealed secondary handguns, all issued and personally owned on-duty and off-duty                            handguns must be carried in a holster.

 

                 2.            Only those holsters which incorporate a minimum of one security feature including a design which covers the                           handguns trigger guard or hammer is authorized for use.

 

                3.            Only those holsters issued or a comparable safety style, are authorized for use for primary handguns by officers                       in  uniform.

 

X.            FIREARM MAINTENANCE:

 

                A.            All firearms shall be kept clean, lubricated as recommended by the manufacturer, and in proper working order.

 

                B.            Beyond what is necessary for routine field striping, cleaning and maintenance, only the armorer, or a civilian gunsmith                                      approved by the armorer, may disassemble an issued or approved firearm.

 

                                1.            In the absence or unavailability of the police department armorer, authority for emergency gunsmith repairs                                                        may be made by the officer’s division supervisor.

 

                                2.            Authorized repairs will be specified on a repair order submitted to the gunsmith.

 

                C.            No modification or alteration to any issued or approved firearm or ammunition will be made without prior consent and                                    approval from a department armorer and the chief.

 

                D.            The date and description of all repairs, modifications, or alterations of issued or approved firearms and ammunition shall                                  be recorded in the respective firearm record maintained by the armorer.

 

XI.           INSPECTION:

 

A.            Supervisors will conduct periodic visual inspections of all issued or approved weapons, as defined in the general order          titled ‘Quality Assurance.’  Less-lethal weapons will be inspected, at a minimum, annually to ensure expiration dates are       not exceeded. 

 

 

 

B.            Weapons instructors will inspect all issued or approved weapons and will verify firearm serial numbers during weapons qualifications. Inspection and training records and scores will be copied by the range master in charge of a qualification session and submitted to the training coordinator for inclusion in department training records.

 

C.            Any weapon determined to be unsafe during an inspection conducted by a supervisor, weapons instructor, armorer, or the officer to whom it is issued shall be immediately removed from service for repair or disposal.

 

1.            If the weapon is a firearm, the armorer shall be contacted as soon as practicable by the officer in regard to                  scheduling a date and time for official inspection, repair, or replacement.

 

2.            If the weapon is a non-lethal weapon, a designated weapons instructor shall be contacted as soon as practicable      by the officer to schedule a date and time for official inspection, repair or replacement.

 

3.            The weapon removed from service will be replaced with a similar weapon with which the officer may be required    to be re-certified or re-trained prior to resuming official duties in which the weapon is required.

 

4.            Only issued or approved weapons will be replaced by the armorer (or designated training officer if the weapon is      a  non-lethal weapon.)

 

XII.         NON-UNIFORM OFFICERS:

 

A.            All non-uniformed officers, unless specially authorized by a supervisor for a specific duty assignment, should carry firearms concealed from public view; in accordance with General Order 16.

 

B.            A non-uniformed officer is any officer whose job description does not require a police uniform to be worn in the execution of their primary police duties. This includes any officer who is on duty not wearing a uniform and is performing a police function.

 

1.            All department issued firearms and other authorized issued non-lethal weapons are to be carried concealed by non-uniformed officers, unless authorized by a supervisor for a specific duty assignment.

 

2.            The weapons will be carried in a method which conceals the weapon from public view. It includes but is not limited to ankle holsters, belt holsters, and shoulder holsters concealed by clothing.

 

3.            Practical concealment methods should be employed without sacrificing safety and the ease of the availability to the weapons.

 

4.            Personnel will be in possession of appropriate department issued identification while carrying a firearm on or off duty, as a Longwood police officer.

 

5.            Firearm concealment efforts will be designated to prevent accidental loss and discharge.

 

XIII.        AUTHORIZED LESS-LETHAL WEAPONS

 

  1. Chemical Spray – Oleoresin Capsicum and CS solution 

 

  1. Expandable Baton 

 

  1. Taser Conducted Energy Weapon 

 

  1. Less-Lethal 12 Gauge Impact Munitions

 

            NOTE: The listed less-lethal weapons are only authorized for on-duty use.

 

 

XIV.     LESS-LETHAL WEAPON REVIEW AND SELECTION PROCESS

 

  1.  Less-lethal weapons will be tested and evaluated by personnel who have completed an agency approved instructor level course   in the use of the weapon being evaluated. 

 

  1.    The written results of the instructor’s evaluation will be submitted to the Chief of Police.  

 

  1.    The Chief of Police may use the instructor’s evaluation of the weapon to approve its use, may order further testing, or may disapprove the use of the less-lethal weapon.

 

 

XV.       CHEMICAL AGENT SPRAY:

 

A.            Chemical Agent Spray: A 2 ounce individual aerosol canister which contains an agent designed to temporarily incapacitate a resistant subject. Aerko model Freeze +P, with a 0.01% oleoresin capsicum +.01%CS solution, is the less-lethal chemical agent authorized for use by the department. They shall be issued, carried and deployed only by officers trained in their use.

 

 

 

B.            Methods of Use:

 

1.            The use of a chemical spray should supplement, rather than replace, other tactics and control techniques.

2.            The use of a chemical spray is authorized after verbal dialogue has failed and the only other alternative would be to take physical control of a resistant suspect into custody. The use of chemical spray is a level # 3 response, which is utilized to control a subject exhibiting a level # 3 or greater resistance. Department issued chemical agent sprays shall be carried and deployed in a manner consistent with agency approved training.

 

C.            Confronting Persons Armed with Chemical Spray:

 

                In the event a suspect or other person confronts an officer with any       such weapon, officers should be aware, that within range, any chemical spray discharge can be immediately disabling with potentially disastrous consequences.

 

D.            Off-Duty Use of Chemical Agent Spray:

 

                Officers will not carry chemical agent spray while off-duty unless the officer is in uniform and working enforcement related off-duty details.

 

 

XVI.        EXPANDABLE/RETRACTABLE BATON (A.S.P.):

 

                A.            Armament Systems and Procedures (A.S.P.): Model F21 is the less-lethal expandable baton purchased and issued by the                                  police department.

 

                B.            Authorization: Only those expandable batons issued by the police department are authorized                                                                                  for use. It shall be issued, worn, and used only by those officers trained in its use.

 

                C.            Methods of Use:The expandable baton serves as an intermediate weapon when empty-handed control becomes                                             ineffective, and the situation does not merit deadly force. This is a level # 5 response utilized to control a subject exhibiting                              a level # 5 resistance. Department issued expandable batons shall be carried and deployed in a manner consistent with                                     agency approved training.

 

                D.            Upon routine inspection, if the baton is discovered damaged, the weapon will be turned in to the employee’s supervisor                                  with an explanatory report requesting replacement or repair.

 

                E.            Officers will not carry an expandable baton while off-duty unless the officer is in uniform and working enforcement                                            related off-duty details.

 

XVII.      TASER (CONDUCTED ENERGY WEAPON):

 

                A.            The Taser International X-26 Taser: is a defensive weapon approved by the department. It transmits electrical impulses                                    that affect the sensory and motor functions of the central nervous system.

 

                B.            Authorization:

 

                                Only Tasers issued by the police department are authorized for use. The Taser shall be issued, worn, and used only by                                      those officers who have completed a department approved user certification course. Issued Tasers are only authorized                                      for on-duty use.

 

                C.            Methods of Use:

 

                                An issued Taser may be used when level # 4 or higher resistance is encountered. The Taser may be used to control a                         dangerous or violent suspect and a suspect who, through actions, demonstrates he or she is resisting, opposing, or attempting                        to flee from an officer who is making a lawful arrest or detention.  Department issued Tasers shall be carried and deployed in a                        manner consistent with agency approved training.

 

                D.            Medical Considerations:

 

                                1.            Following deployment, the officer should remove the probes at the earliest opportunity. The probes should only                                            be removed by officers who have completed agency approved training in the use of the Taser,  fire rescue, or                                                        trained medical personnel.

 

                                2.            Taser probes that have penetrated a person’s body shall be considered a bio-hazard and shall be handled in                                                           accordance with G.O. 22. Employees removing or handling Taser probes shall use medical gloves.

 

                                3.            The officer shall visually examine the area struck by the probes to determine if an injury was sustained. If an                                                          injury is sustained, fire rescue personnel will be summoned to the scene to examine the subject.

 

                                4.            Taser probes that have struck the face, neck, groin, or a female’s breasts shall be removed by fire rescue or                                                            medical personnel.

 

                                5.            Photographs will be taken of the Taser probe entry site prior to, and after probe removal. All related injuries will                                                  be photographed. The photograph(s) will be submitted with the officer’s Response to Resistance Review.

 

                                6.            Probe strikes in sensitive areas, such as the groin or breasts, shall be photographed by an officer of the same sex                                                  as the subject. These photographs will be taken in an area out of public view.

 

                E.            Training:

 

                                1.            Officers must complete an eight hour department approved user certification course.

 

                                2.            Officers must complete a two hour refresher course each year.

 

 

                F.            Taser Maintenance:

 

                               1.            A Taser function test should be completed once every 24 hours or prior to the start of the employee’s shift.  Prior                                               to the beginning of each shift the officer should, in an appropriate location, draw the Taser and remove the                                                          cartridge. The Taser should be activated and cycled for 1 second.  As long as the officer observes a visible spark                                                    between the electrodes it is not necessary to extend the duration. This will ensure the Taser is functioning                                                            properly.

  2.            Wipe out the air cartridge firing bay with a dry cloth.

 

                                3.            Check the power magazine level and cartridge expiration regularly.

 

                                4.            Keep the Taser secured in a protective holster.

 

                G.           Cartridge Management Following Deployment:

 

                                1.            Following the discharge of a Taser cartridge, the cartridge, its wires, and its probes will be submitted into                                                              evidence at the Longwood Police Department. This procedure will not apply to authorized training deployments.

 

                                2.            Taser probes that have penetrated a person’s body shall be considered a bio-hazard and shall be handled in                                                           accordance with G.O. 22. Employees removing or handling Taser probes shall use medical gloves.

 

                                3.            The Taser probes should be separated from the conductive wire. Taser probes shall be collected and packaged in                                                 a bio-hazard (Sharps) syringe container. They shall be packaged in the same manner as a syringe with a needle,                                                   (E.P.P 11, VII B.) The container will be sealed with tape and  clearly marked with the words ‘Caution, Taser                                                             Probe.’

 

                                4.            The empty Taser cartridge and wires will be packaged separately and submitted into evidence.

 

                                5.            The serial number of the empty cartridge will be listed on the property and evidence form and the property                                                          page of the officer’s report.

 

XVIII.     LESS-LETHAL IMPACT WEAPONS AND MUNITIONS:

 

                This section addresses the use of extended range less-lethal weapons and projectiles.  The Longwood Police Department                             administration recognizes combative, non-compliant, armed, and/or violent subjects cause handling and control problems requiring              special training and equipment. Thus, the Longwood Police Department has adopted the less- lethal force philosophy to assist in                    the de-escalation of these potentially violent  confrontations.

 

                                A.            Definitions:

 

                                                1.            Less-lethal Force Philosophy: A concept of planning and force application, which meets operational                                                                        objectives, with less potential for causing death or serious injury than conventional methods.

 

                                                  2.            Kinetic Energy Impact Projectiles: Flexible or non-flexible projectiles, which are intended to                                                                                     incapacitate a  subject with a minimal potential for causing death or serious physical injury, when                                                                            compared   to conventional   projectiles.

 

                                                3.            Safety Priorities: The Longwood Police Department’s safety priorities are established as follows:

 

                                                                a)            Hostages

 

                                                                b)            Involved non-subject civilians

                                

                                                                 c)     Police officers

                

                                                                d)            Subject – The person who is the focus of the police operation

 

                                

 

                             B.            Authorization:

 

                                                Only those less-lethal weapons and ammunition issued by the police department are authorized for use. Issued                                                   less-lethal weapons and munitions are only authorized for on-duty use.

 

                                C.            Munitions:

 

                                                1.            Less-lethal Extended Range Impact Munitions:

 

                                                                There are many projectiles considered ‘less-lethal.’ The primary type used by the Longwood Police                                                                           Department is a flexible projectile.

 

                                                2.            Technical Aspects – Kinetic Energy Impact Projectiles

 

 

  3.            Flexible 12 gauge drag stabilized rounds:

 

                                                                a)            The authorized 12 gauge less-lethal rounds are manufactured by Combined Tactical Systems,                                                                                     Inc. and these rounds are referred to as the 2581 CTS 12 gauge Super Sock rounds.

 

                                                                b)            The standard round has a clear plastic cartridge bearing  the words ‘SUPER SOCK’ and the                                                                                       numbers ‘2581’ in bold black print. The round is compatible with cylinder and improved cylinder                                                                            12 gauge shotguns chambered for 2.75” and 3” cartridges. The overall height of the round is 2.4”,                                                                              and its overall weight is 56 grams. The weight of the projectile is 40 grams.

 

                                                                c)            The standard bag exits the barrel at approximately 280 feet per second and delivers                                                                                                     approximately 112ft/lbs. of kinetic energy at that range.

 

                                                                d)            The tear shaped bag projectile is white in color. It is a shot filled ballistic fiber reinforced                                                                                             flexible sock.

 

                                                                e)            Less-lethal rounds shall only be deployed from designated, properly marked, 12 gauge                                                                                              launching  platforms (shotguns). These shotguns are designated by orange stocks and fore                                                                                          grips.

 

                                                4.            Evaluation of Projectiles:

 

                                                                Kinetic energy impact projectiles will be evaluated on the following criteria:

 

                                                                a)            Accuracy:

 

                                                                              This is the primary consideration, since proper shot placement greatly assists in controlling the                                                                        other two evaluation criteria. This will be evaluated based on the anticipated ranges of deployment.                                                                       A minimal standard of accuracy for such rounds is:

 

                                                                                                (1)          12 inch group at 15 yards for the 12 gauge system.

 

                                                                                                (2)          This standard is achieved from a secure test.

 

                                                                b)            Effectiveness:

 

                                                                           This is the potential of the round to cause incapacitation and reduce the subject’s ability to                                                                                    continue their inappropriate behavior. The level of energy necessary to cause incapacitation                                                                                     creates the potential for injury, but when properly deployed, with a low probability for causing                                                                                  serious physical injury or death.

 

                                                                c)            Potential for Causing Death or Serious Physical Injury:

 

                                                                                (1)         The potential for causing death or serious physical injury with such projectiles is a                                                                                                      reality. This potential is greatly reduced when impacts to the head and neck are                                                                                                           avoided, and when appropriate medical examinations are provided in cases where the                                                                                               subject is struck in an area  that might conceal a closed injury. These include such                                                                                                         areas  as the chest, back, thoracic, abdominal cavity and the groin.

 

                                                                                (2)          When engaging a target, the officer should evaluate the effectiveness of each round                                                                                               during the volley. Compliance and/or incapacitation are the desired goal, and alternative                                                                                            target areas/response should be considered when rounds are not effective. Alternative                                                                                              target area/response considerations will be based on the circumstances the officer is                                                                                                   encountering and the established department safety priorities.

 

                                D.            12 Gauge Less-Lethal Shotgun Platforms:

 

                                                                1.            Dedicated System:

 

                                                                                                a)            The issued shotgun being used as a less-lethal platform will be dedicated to                                                                                                                 less-lethal projectiles only. It is identifiable by the guns synthetic orange                                                                                                                          stock and for grip.

 

                                                                                                b)            Officers assigned will disassemble such weapons, and visually/physically                                                                                                                      inspect the chamber and magazine, each time the weapons come under their                                                                                                              control (beginning of shift, and/or any time the weapon was out of their                                                                                                                          direct control), to ensure the total absence of lethal ammunition.

 

                                                                2.            Transition System:

 

                                                                                Transitional systems involve the use of both lethal and less-lethal rounds being launched from                                                                                   the same platform. The transitional system is prohibited by the department. Dedicated                                                                                             shotguns, (orange stock and fore  grip), should never be loaded with lethal ammunition.

 

                                                E.            Deployment Areas:

 

                                                                                1.            The less-lethal projectiles will be delivered to suspect target areas based on the                                                                                                             circumstances, the established safety priorities, and the level of force authorized.

 

                                                                                2.            The Less-Lethal Munitions Chart (Appx. 1), is the recognized Longwood Police                                                                                                              Department model for determining contact areas for kinetic energy impact                                                                                                                    munitions, based on potential for injury.

 

                                                                                3.            Green Acres: These areas will be considered when incapacitation is necessary and a                                                                                                     minimal potential for injury is the appropriate response.

 

                                                                                4.            Yellow/Red Areas: These areas will be considered when an escalation of force above                                                                                                green (areas) is necessary and appropriate, acknowledging an increase in the potential                                                                                                for death or serious physical injury.

                                

                                                                                5.            Head/Neck: Intentional impacts to these areas will be avoided unless the use of                                                                                                            deadly force is justified, necessary, and appropriate.

 

                                                F.            Response to Resistance Matrix:

 

                                                                The Longwood Police Department recognizes six distinct levels of force. The uses of kinetic energy                                                                   impact projectiles are considered a level five response to resistance when deployed to areas of the                                                                          suspect’s body that are considered unlikely to cause death or serious physical injury.

 

                                                G.           Deployment Issues to Consider:

 

                                                                1.            The level of force being confronted

 

                                                                2.            The proximity/access of subject to officer

 

                                                                3.            The department safety priorities

 

                                                                The deployment and use of less-lethal munitions are actions that could assist in achieving the goal of                                                                  protection of life and/or the restoration of order. They should be considered whenever there use could                                                                 reduce the risk of injury to officers,  innocent citizens, and/or suspects. Circumstances justifying the uses                                                                of these munitions include, but are not limited to:

 

                                                                                a)            The suspect to be arrested has the immediate ability to cause great bodily harm or                                                                                                       death.

 

                                                                                b)            Situations wherein the authorizing person believes deadly force would otherwise be                                                                                                  justified in the absence of a less-lethal option, (i.e. in the face of imminent death or                                                                                                     great bodily harm to self or others.)

 

                                                                                c)            Subduing vicious animals that could cause great bodily harm or endanger the lives of                                                                                                  officers involved.

 

                                                                                d)            A suspect makes overt, hostile, attacking movements with or without a weapon                                                                                                            which may cause injury to the officer or others.

 

                                                                                *Note:  In an attempt to avoid occurrences of sympathetic fire, officers will announce their                                                                                     intention  to deploy less-lethal rounds. The announcement will  occur prior to deployment                                                                                     and include repeating the words ‘less-lethal’ in a loud voice.

 

                                                                            *Note: Lethal cover should be used in all cases involving any armed and/or dangerous                                                                                              subjects, even if no firearms are involved. This is consistent with the safety priority safety                                                                                       system placing the safety of the officer above that of the subject. The second or subsequent                                                                                     officers arriving at the scene would then provide the less-lethal option.

 

                                                                                *Note: There is no requirement to use less intrusive force, (less-lethal), when deadly force is                                                                                     required for protection.

 

                                                H.            Training:

 

                                                                All 12 gauge shotgun delivery systems equipped with less-lethal munitions will be maintained and                                                                        deployed only by officers who have successfully completed a training and qualification program. Training                                                               in the use of extended range kinetic energy impact projectiles will consist of an approved department                                                                    certification course and annual re-certification.

 

                                                

  1.              Medical Considerations:

 

                                                                When a suspect is struck by a less-lethal projectile, they shall be transported to a medical facility for                                                                        examination and medical clearance.

 

                                                J.             Reporting:

 

                                                                When an officer deploys less-lethal impact munitions on a person, a Response to Resistance Review                                                                       will be completed. The report should be completed by the end of the officer’s shift and be forwarded                                                                    to the chief of police by way of the chain of command. Following the deployment, the suspect should                                                                   be examined for injuries, and the impact area(s) and any injuries will be photographed. The photographs                                                                will be submitted with the Response to Resistance Review form.

 

 

 

 

 

                                                K.            Cartridge/Projectile Management Following Deployment:

 

                                                                The spent less-lethal projectile(s) and cartridge(s) will be recovered from the scene following                                                                                    deployment. They will be packaged and submitted to the evidence custodian at the Longwood Police                                                                      Department. This should be documented in the officer’s incident report.

 

                                                L.             Notifications:

 

                                                                If not present at the scene, the on-duty supervisor will be notified immediately following the                                                                                    deployment of less-lethal munitions.