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Crime to Court: Police Officer's Handbook, December 1999

NCJ Number
Joseph C. Coleman
Date Published
22 pages
This booklet reviews police use of deadly force (with a case study), a new tool for drug recognition experts and processing evidence in cases of sexual assault.
The key to lawful use of deadly force is reasonableness. But that is more a legal definition than a practical guide. The officer on the scene needs a working knowledge of factual circumstances that will help determine what is acceptable conduct. The booklet describes Sigman v. Town of Chapel Hill, actions by city police officers and their defense of their actions, witnesses' statements and opinion of the court. The article includes a test for use by a discussion leader in reviewing the case and "lessons learned." A brief reference to prosecution of DUI or DWI cases concerns acceptability of evidence from Drug Recognition Experts. An article on processing evidence in cases of sexual assault provides suggestions on filling out paperwork, requesting laboratory tests and processing evidence. Examples were derived from procedures used by the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division.