The Dublin Police Department recognizes the value of human life and is committed to protecting those the department serves. Officers regularly complete training in de-escalation and response to resistance (also known as “use of force”) to ensure officers understand and are appropriately analyzing interactions with the public. Training includes both classroom policy review and practical scenario-based exercises.
Force: Force means any violence, compulsion or constraint physically exerted by any means upon or against a person or thing (ORC 2901.01). Minor hand-to-hand control techniques, such as those used in handcuffing, physically touching, or gripping to overcome minor resistive tension or pointing of a firearm or Taser with no physical contact, are not considered a use of force.
De-escalation: Taking action or communicating verbally or non-verbally during a potential force encounter in an attempt to stabilize the situation and reduce the immediacy of the threat so that more time, options and resources can be called upon to resolve the situation without the use of force or with a reduction in the force necessary. De-escalation may include the use of such techniques as command presence, advisements, warnings, verbal persuasion and tactical repositioning.
- Officers are trained to attempt de-escalation techniques before considering the application of force to resolve a situation involving a person who is non-compliant, actively resistant or actively aggressive.
- De-escalation is continually occurring when a Dublin Police officer is in any of those situations. De-escalation can be employed before and after any response to resistance action.
- Officers of are not allowed to carry a weapon for any reason outside of training until they have understood department policies and received the proper training. It takes an officer about one and a half years to be fully serviceable on their own in the field.
- Dublin Police officers complete annual weapons qualification checks as well as demonstrate proficiency throughout the year in the use of approved weapons, understanding related department polices, and during agency training sessions.
Active resistance: Physical, confrontational behavior with a purpose of directly obstructing the lawful efforts of a law enforcement officer.
Active aggression: Behavior with a purpose of causing physical harm to another.
Objectively reasonable: The reasonableness of an officer’s use of force will be determined by the totality of the circumstances known to the officer at the time of their actions and decisions. “Objectively reasonable” includes determining the necessity for and appropriate level of force, including, but not limited to, the seriousness of the crime, the level of threat or resistance presented by the subject, and the danger to the community. [Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989)]
All Dublin Police officers are issued body-worn cameras, review the agency’s related policy, and receive training about camera operation. Regular reviews of body camera footage are conducted in order to assist with criminal and administrative investigations, as well as for employee review.
- It is Dublin Police policy that uniformed officers and supervisors be equipped with body-worn cameras when working Patrol, Community Impact Unit — Traffic, certain special events and special assignments. Cameras shall be activated as soon as practicable:
- for all enforcement and investigative contacts with the public including stops and interview situations,
- for any other contact that becomes confrontational after the initial contact, unless to do so would jeopardize the officer’s safety,
- and for any other specific time periods while on duty when a supervisor requires an officer to keep their body-worn camera on.
- Body camera footage is reviewed for investigative reports (such as interviews with a suspect), performance evaluations of officers (including employee recognition), pursuits, response to resistance incidents, and formal or informal complaints.
- Body cameras provide the agency with an increased opportunity for accountability between officers and their supervisors, and they reinforce positive interactions and transparency among officers and the public.
- Learn more about Dublin Police’s body-worn camera program.
Response to Resistance Consideration
Dublin Police officers receive training in the use of de-escalation tactics, hand-to-hand control techniques, Oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray, Tasers, batons and firearms.
A subject would have to be actively resisting and/or actively aggressive in order for a Dublin Police officer to deploy a Taser.
A baton is considered a defensive weapon and can only be used when a subject is exhibiting active aggression.
Dublin Police officers are not authorized to use OC spray on a passive subject as a pain-inflicting device to ensure compliance.
Use of Lethal Force
Lethal force many only be used by a Dublin Police officer in order to
- defend themselves from a reasonably perceived threat of serious physical harm or death,
- defend another person from a reasonably perceived threat of serious physical harm or death,
- or to capture, or prevent the escape of, a suspect, if there is a substantial risk that a suspect will cause death or serious physical harm if their apprehension is delayed.
The use of neck restraints is not allowed by the Dublin Police Department except where deadly force would be objectively reasonable.
Use of Less Lethal Force
The use of Tasers, batons and Oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray are only allowed when they are the objectively reasonable level of force to effect an arrest, detention or mission-specific seizure.
Response to Resistance Reporting and Review Process
Any time an officer uses force in an effort to gain compliance from a person, the \ officer is required to complete and submit a Response to Resistance and Subject Control Report, and each instance of force will be comprehensively reviewed.
Officers will report any use of force involving a lethal or less-lethal weapon immediately to the on-duty shift supervisor and will, as soon as practical, file a Response to Resistance and Subject Control Report.
The department also conducts an annual analysis of response to resistance to identify trends, improve training and employee safety, and provide timely information for the agency in addressing any use of force issue that could arise.
- Anytime someone uses force, it initiates an investigation. The supervisor on duty is required to respond and investigate; the subject is allowed to provide a statement; all witnesses and evidence is evaluated to provide a recommendation, if that use of force is legally justified, is within policy and is consistent with the training of the department. It is then reviewed by a defensive tactics instructor, Bureau Commander and the Chief of Police.
- It is Dublin Police policy that officer-involved shooting incidents and any use of force incident which results in or is likely to result in the death of another or any in-custody death be investigated with the utmost thoroughness, professionalism and impartiality to determine if officer actions conform with the agency policy and the law. Investigations of this nature will be conducted by an outside agency.
- In order to ensure there is no perception of partiality or bias, an outside law enforcement agency (normally the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation) will be called in to conduct any such investigation involving a member of this agency. The investigating agency will communicate information, as it deems appropriate, to the assigned prosecutor. Concurrently, the Dublin Police Department will conduct an administrative investigation and review of any incident of this type involving a Dublin Police officer to ensure all policies of this agency have been followed.
Response to Resistance Analysis
On an annual basis, the Dublin Police Department conducts a documented Response to Resistance Analysis that includes a review of use of firearms, use of Taser, use of specialty impact munitions (SIMS), and Response to Resistance and Subject Control Reports. The purpose of this analysis is to determine any patterns or trends that could indicate training needs and/or policy modifications.