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Demonstration Dilemma: The Need for Tactical Transition

NCJ Number
Campus Law Enforcement Journal Volume: 31 Issue: 2 Dated: March/April 2001 Pages: 27-29
Gregory Connor; Rick Kalimayer
Date Published
3 pages
This article describes a process that balances the roles and goals of law enforcement with the parameters presented by contemporary demonstrations.
The primary dilemma in policing demonstrations is the degree of force that should be used to maintain order. If too little force is used, the control of disorderly behavior is compromised; on the other hand, if excessive force is used, needless officer and citizen injuries can occur, police-community relations will suffer, and litigation may be triggered. Law enforcement officers have the responsibility to enforce the law. This may involve the use of force. The use of force should be commensurate with the degree of subject noncompliance with appropriate officer commands within the confrontational context. "Tactical transition" is the ability of an officer to accurately assess the degree of subject non-compliance and circumstances of threat, followed by an objectively reasonable response to gain compliance and control. This article describes and photographically illustrates the "hand rotation technique," a transition tactic that enables two officers to quickly subdue a non-compliant subject while ensuring officer/citizen safety and control effectiveness. The transition tactic is described for a variety of confrontational contacts.