Raptor Principles of Use of Force Analysis
Law enforcement is a unique profession in which split-second decisions, especially those involving force response options are evaluated in a protracted fashion and from every conceivable angle. As a result, the ensuing investigation may produce forensic fact patterns which are substantially dissimilar from those experienced by the officers at the time that critical decisions resulted in the responses to a perceived threat. The resulting investigatory judgments based upon weeks, months or years of microscopic focus on a police officer’s actions, which typically occur within seconds or milliseconds, are in constant danger of unintentional hindsight bias, attributional errors and leading justice astray.
The application of force on citizens by law enforcement officers is extremely important to Canadians. The proper and healthy functioning of a free and democratic society such as ours certainly depends upon the establishment of laws to govern acceptable behaviour. And the establishment of laws is pointless without a requisite mechanism to enforce those laws. The consequence of these factors then, is that law enforcement officers are essential to upholding the Rule of Law and that the application of force in furtherance of the enforcement of those laws or in the defense of citizens or the officer will sometimes be required. Therefore, of immense interest to police executives, civilian oversight bodies, police commissions and indeed, all citizens of Canada, is ensuring that police agencies have sound training and policy reflecting the ‘ethos’ of what it means to be a law enforcement officer and how that understanding guides officers in making decisions reflecting the highest ethical and moral expectations the public ought to have of the police officers who serve this Country.
Raptor Protection & Safety Services Inc. has been dedicated, since 2004, to advancing the professionalism of law enforcement in the arenas of use of force training, objective, neutral fact-finding investigations and expert witness testimony. This has been, and continues to, be accomplished through the application of multiple critical factors, specifically:
- the basic philosophy of the use of force,
- a high-level view of the existing case law pertaining to the application of force and how to properly interpret the use of force,
- the development, understanding and application of use of force models / frameworks,
- the categories of force techniques and the possible risks of their use,
- risk assessments, heuristics, decision making and decision errors,
- situational factors unique to the context of each incident,
- officer impact factors,
- action / reaction, time to start / time to stop and speed of assault principles,
- the usefulness, dangers and limitations of video in the investigative process,
- interviewing considerations for maximizing memory accuracy while limiting memory errors and confabulations.
For more information or to request a consultation on a use of force file, contact Chris Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org.