Use of Force

Use of Force: Officers may face circumstances where it becomes necessary to affect an arrest; diffuse an escalating situation; protect property; and protect others, fellow employees or themselves from serious injury. In such cases, officers will only use that amount of force that is reasonable and necessary to overcome resistance for the protection of property and lives. Reasonableness shall be based on the facts and circumstances known to the officer/s at the time the event is transpiring. Necessity shall be based on the active resistance or credible threat from the offender, effectively to overcome the offender’s resistance.

The University of Redlands Department of Public Safety has authorized the use of force continuum to include: physical presence verbal warnings, persuasion, or commands; physical force; and less lethal weapons as authorized by the Department of Public Safety (ASP and pepper spray).

     • De-Escalation – Taking action in order to stabilize a situation and
       reduce the immediacy of the threat so that more time, options and/or
       resources become available. The goal is to gain the voluntary
       compliance of the subject, when appropriate and consistent with
       personal safety, to reduce or eliminate the necessity to use force.

When appropriate and consistent with personal safety, officers will use deescalation techniques to safely gain voluntary compliance from a subject to reduce or eliminate the necessity to use force. In situations in which this is
not safe and/or appropriate, officers will use only the reasonable force necessary to gain control or custody of a subject.

The use of force should be reserved for exceptional circumstances only.

The requirement to use force can be viewed as an escalating or de-escalating continuum. This continuum generally has many levels, and officers are instructed to respond only with a level of force appropriate to the situation at
hand, acknowledging that the officers may move from one part of the continuum to another in a matter of seconds. Unless circumstances demand otherwise, officers should solicit assistance from the Redlands Police
Department, or employ the non-use of force options of ‘officer presence’ and ‘verbal command’ prior to any use of force.

In all situations where physical force is used, Redlands Police Department shall be requested to respond to assume custody of the offender.

In situations when physical force is applied, an officer must escalate or deescalate to the amount of force which reasonably appears to be necessary to overcome the suspect's resistance and to gain control. The use of chokeholds or carotid restraints are strictly prohibited.

In determining whether the use of force is reasonable, Public Safety Officers should consider the following:

     • Has law enforcement been contacted?
     • Estimated response time for law enforcement once contacted
     • The nature and severity of the crime/circumstances
     • Actions taken by the subject
     • Duration of the action
     • Immediacy of the perceived threat or harm to the subject, Public
        Safety Officer(s), and/or bystanders
     • Whether the subject is actively resisting custody, if custody is
         authorized and appropriate in the situation
     • Whether the subject is attempting to evade arrest by flight if arrest is
         authorized and appropriate in the situation
     • Number of subjects in comparison to the number of Public Safety
        Officers present
     • Size, age and condition of the subject in comparison to the Public
        Safety Officer(s)
     • Subject’s violent history, if known
     • Presence of hostile crowd or agitators
     • Subject apparently under the influence of a stimulant/narcotic which
        would affect pain tolerance or increase the likelihood of violence.

Three preconditions must be present prior to the application of force. These are intent, opportunity, and ability. When any one of these factors are absent, the use of force is not justified.

     • Intent: A potentially hostile or aggressive individual must clearly
        indicate, by their actions and words, that they represent an actual
        threat to a Public Safety Officer or another person.
     • Opportunity: An individual must be within sufficient proximity to a
        Public Safety Officer or another person to have the opportunity to
        cause bodily harm.
     • Ability: The individual must possess the actual ability to inflict bodily

Employees are prohibited from carrying firearms, Tasers, or other unauthorized less lethal weapons while on duty. Knives as approved by the supervisor or manager may be carried for utility purposes.

Use of Force for the Protection of Property: The use of force to protect property, such as the prevention of a trespass or the unlawful carrying away of tangible property, should be reserved for truly exceptional circumstances,
when the value of the property is great and the likelihood of later identifying the suspect through investigation is minimal. When considering the use of force for the protection of property, Officers must exercise good professional
judgment in balancing the value of the property against the risk of injury to the Officer(s) or the suspect and the potential for negative exposure for the University of Redlands.

Nothing in this policy shall prohibit an officer from using that force which is reasonable and necessary to protect themselves and others from serious bodily injury or death. It shall be the officer’s responsibility to thoroughly
articulate any use of force.

Appropriate Medical Aid for Use of Force: Should officers resort in using force, they shall ensure that immediate and appropriate medical care is provided to the offender for any injuries or complaints of pain.

Should officers resort to using Department issued pepper spray, they shall ensure the affected area is thoroughly washed or flushed with water immediately. Medical aid shall also be requested.

Excessive Force: The level of force used should escalate or de-escalate based on the offender’s actions and responses. Any force that extends beyond that amount which is necessary and reasonable is excessive. Excessive force is strictly prohibited.

Reporting Use of Force: When officers use force during the performance of their duties, they shall immediately report the use of force to the on-duty supervisor, Assistant Chief, or Chief. If a supervisor is not available, the officer shall ensure the on-duty dispatcher makes the immediate notification by telephone. At a minimum the report shall be made verbally. The supervisor may direct the involved officer/s to document their use of force in a written report. A written report shall be submitted whenever an employee:

     • Takes an action that results in, or is alleged to have resulted in, injury or death of another person;
     • Applies force through the use of less lethal weapons;
     • Applies weaponless physical force.

The written report shall be submitted within a specific time frame as determined by the supervisor and/or manager. The report shall include but may not be limited to:

     • The circumstances leading up to the use of force;
     • A detailed description of the level(s) of force used;
     • The reason/s for the force used;
     • Any injuries to suspect, officers or others;
     • What, if any, medical aid was provided;
     • If an arrest resulted and what the charges were;
     • Photographs shall be taken in all reportable use of force incidents
        that result in an injury, or a complaint of injury. If practicable,
        photographs of the subject and the injury should be taken after the
        injury or wound is cleansed by medical personnel and before
        medical treatment, if any is necessary. Care should be taken to
        protect the subject's personal privacy interests. Any possible
       concerns should be discussed with a field supervisor prior to taking
       the photographs.
    • Any physical evidence.

Supervisor Responsibilities:
The supervisor shall review the report and discuss the incident with the involved employee. If applicable, statements shall be obtained from witness officers. The supervisor shall submit through the chain of command a written Administrative Review of the incident to determine whether the use of force was within policy and/or justified. The
supervisor shall use the Supervisor Administrative Review form located in the Supervisor file in the “I” drive. The review will include if other options may have been available and if additional training may be required for the employee.

The supervisor is also responsible for completing an Incident Report as required by the State of California, Bureau of Security and Investigative Service (BSIS) within seven days. The form can be accessed from the BSIS website or in the Public Safety “I” drive Supervisors folder. Once completed, the form can be e-mailed to

When a use of force results in any injury, the supervisor shall notify the Assistant Chief, the Chief, the Administrator On Call (AOC), if a student is involved, and the Environmental Health and Safety Manager as soon as
practical. Circumstances may require Redlands Police Department to respond, and as appropriate, conduct an investigation.

Refer to “Less Lethal Force Weapons,” Section II-17.

Use of Force Training
Annual use of force training will be conducted for members of the Department of Public Safety. Training will consist of:
     • De-escalation techniques
     • Use of force policies and procedures
     • Personal protection techniques
     • Non-lethal use of force techniques authorized by this policy