This linear progression model was first introduced in the United States in the 1980’s as a use of force policy. The objective was to establish a “stair stepping approach” for escalating force in a manner that was matched by or equivalent to the corresponding level of resistance offered by the subject. In training, the officer is taught to escalate and de-escalate their level of force to match the subject’s actions.
Here is what an escalation of force model looks like:
Level I: The Physical Presence of The Officer
Level II: The Use of Soft Hands (control and restraint techniques)
Level III: The Use of Non-Lethal Weapons (Mace, Baton, Taser, etc.)
Level IV: The Use of Hard Hands (punching, kicking, takedowns, etc.)
Level V: The Threat of Deadly Force (verbal threat while pointing firearm)
Level VI: The Use of Deadly Force (shooting to kill)
A common problem officers are faced with is dealing with a subject who passively refuses to obey a verbal command. An example of this would be when an officer instructs a subject to put their hands behind their head but instead, the subject crosses their arms while stepping away from the officer. Over the years I have invented two control and restraint devices that help officers deal with this type of scenario in a way that complies with levels II, III, and IV of the aforementioned continuum. Although I believe the force level continuum offers many important objectives to our citizens, its importance should never supersede another crucial objective, which is to get these heroes in blue home safely--each and every night.