6 - November 18, 2011 | Salem Community Patriot
Force Tactics in Police Work Discussed at Citizen Police Academy
Sgt. Rob Morin uses the “goose neck” technique on Sgt. Shane Smith which is used as control over a subject who does not wish to comply with an officer physically, but has not completely become a physical threat.
by Andrea Ganley-Dannewitz The Salem Police Department’s Citizen Police Academy class reviewed the department’s Force Continuum last week and discussed all uses of force. Sergeant’s Shane Smith, Rob Morin, and Mike Wagner are all use of force instructors. Not present at the class but also use of force instructor’s at Salem Police Department are Officers Mike White and Mark Babbitt. “Constant training is essential in keeping officers on their
toes,” Sgt. Morin said. This is not just limited to firearms training though. Any time an officer has to hold onto a subject, handcuff them, use a Taser or a K-9 that is a use of force. As a result a use of force report is completed and reviewed by the team to see if the use of force was necessary, within the policy (force continuum) and what could be done better.
In the event that deadly force is used by Salem Police Department they are not who investigates and reviews the incident. That is done by the Attorney Generals Office and the State Police Major Crimes Unit. This is state standard in every town and city in the State of New Hampshire. The Force Continuum is like a circle in constant motion.
Really, an officer’s presence is the first step and that would be enough for most people to obey an officer. Unfortunately, that does not work for everyone. In the event a subject isn’t influenced by an officer’s presence verbal direction and commands to tell the subject what the officer expects is used, that also may not be enough. Soft and hard hand control is a use of force and there are many defensive tactics used in law enforcement to gain control of an unruly or uncooperative subject. When soft or hard hand control is not enough OC spray, the Taser, a baton (the ASP) or K-9 may be used to apprehend the subject. Officers also have less lethal weapons such as a beanbag gun that could be used and in the worst case scenario there is always a gun on scene. The use of deadly force is every officer’s worst nightmare.
They train regularly to use it but all hope that never in their career do they ever have to. In February an incident on South Policy Street came under severe scrutiny by the public. Yet, members of the public
Sgt. Mike Wagner observes with the class as Sgt. Rob Morin uses a defensive tactic on Sgt. Shane Smith.
force situation, where obviously the officer’s presence is not enough and there is no time to use any other technique,” Morin added. The public can criticize the police department all they
want, but there is no bigger critic than the agency that has been involved in a deadly force situation. Here are some interesting facts the public may not know:
• A knife or sword does penetrate a bullet proof vest, thus making a subject armed with a knife a deadly threat.
• During a high stress situation fine motor skills diminish, no matter how tough you think you are.
• A 40 Caliber bullet can travel up to one mile. • A police officer in any situation whether any type of force needs to be used or not has about a millisecond to make decisions.
• Officers use minimum force to effect detainment. • In a deadly force situation where death is imminent an officer is trained to stop the situation, not “work with it.”
were evacuated from their homes, the Soule School was placed into lock down and the public was not present. The Attorney General along with State Police investigated the incident and the circumstances that led to the shooting and it was found to be justified. In any deadly force situation an officer is not trained to shoot at a subject’s knee. Why? There is no body mass. The odds of that bullet missing and striking someone or something that should not even be in harm’s way is more likely to happen than for that bullet to penetrate some one’s knee. All law enforcement nationwide are trained to shoot at the center of body mass. No one wants to kill anyone, but the law on the use of deadly force states that to stop an imminent threat of death of the officer or a nearby civilian, when that officer or any reasonable person believes that the threat of death is imminent that officer has the right to use deadly force. If one is not convinced take the time to research New Hampshire law RSA 627:5, physical use of force in law enforcement. It covers every type of use of force New Hampshire law enforcement may use. Sadly, across the state and the country the use of deadly force is rising, and statistically it is being looked into not just in New Hampshire but everywhere. “Every situation is different,” Sgt. Rob Morin said. “The use of force continuum, being like a circle in motion does not mean that there is a step by step guide on how to use force on a subject. If an officer arrives on scene and a subject is charging him with a large knife that becomes a deadly
by Pat Blodgett You’ve heard that
man’s best friend is his dog. This morning I spent a cheery two hours chatting with dog’s best friend - Lori Bertrand, who has helped organize Granite State Dog Recovery (GSDR). Lori linked up with Holly Mokrzecki of Manchester, who for years has been searching for lost dogs at her own expense. The problem of lost dogs is huge, and Holly searches at all hours of the day and night. Lori realized this project could benefit from structure in order to meet the demands and set out to form a Board, a core steering group, increase the number of volunteers, and thanks to the pro bono services of Attorney Kristen Yasenka, enable GSDR to apply for nonprofit status and officially form this new group. GSDR now has a Website and blog, uses Craig’s List for help, added its wish list on Amazon.com
, designed a program to track the lost and found dogs and joined Facebook to enlist 2,875 helpers, with a goal of 25,000. Lori, who was President of Salem’s animal shelter for 11 years, is savvy about all things related to animal care, animal rescue, and animal advocacy, and through the years has developed an impressive network of supporters, veterinarians, and rescue groups. It is mindboggling to learn of the expenses incurred in the searches for missing dogs. Searchers use cameras, feeding stations, Have- A-Heart traps, oversized net “guns”, night vision cameras, binoculars, ER checkups, CO2 cartridges, catch poles, two-way radios, gasoline for searchers’ vehicles, and as Lori says with a smile, “those rotisserie chickens that we use to coax the dogs to us - those aren’t cheap!” Since April, GSDR has been
Front Porch From My
the Pomeranian is named Cooper, the white poodle is Casper, Max is the one-eyed Persian cat, and Buttons is the one-eyed dog in Lori’s arms.
involved in 407 searches. Lori talked about “a black lab who was newly adopted, got loose, and 11 months later a woman who feeds feral cats reported to Holly that she spotted her. Holly set up her camera, and after watching for 12 nights with two other helpers, they rescued this dog one day before she had been gone for a year.” Lori helped a group of 20 in Concord who searched for days for a Husky that was seen running back and forth between highway lanes. The group, fatigued after hours of watching, left to get a hot meal. They asked their waitress to microwave their leftovers and then took them out
to where the lost dog had been seen. “That Husky dove into those clams and fish like it was her favorite meal, and we made the rescue.” It’s not like Lori has time on her hands to chat with me for two hours. She has two pet businesses in addition to volunteering and promoting GSDR and educating the public about pet safety. I hope to persuade Lori to give a lecture soon about her rescue experiences and the success of GSDR. Until then you can learn all about Granite State Dog Recovery at www. granitestatedogrecovery.com
or follow them on Facebook. Final advice from Lori: “If your dog goes missing, don’t wait, doing nothing, hoping your dog comes home. Immediately post to GSDR’s Facebook wall and Craigslist, get posters up with your pet’s picture within a wide radius, inform Animal Control, enlist all your friends to canvas the area and never give up! And the most important thing to do before your dog goes missing? Get it micro chipped now to protect your dog in the event it is suddenly lost.”
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