What use of force options are available to a South Orange Police Officer?


Per agency policy and the Attorney General Guidelines on Use of Force, “Sound judgment and the appropriate exercise of discretion will always be the foundation of police officer decision-making in the broad range of possible use of force situations. It is not possible to entirely replace judgment and discretion with detailed policy provisions.” The following Use of Force options are available to a South Orange Police Officer:

  • Constructive Authority - Constructive authority does not involve actual physical contact with the subject, but involves the use of the law enforcement officer’s authority to exert control over a subject. Examples include verbal commands, gestures, warnings, and un-holstering a weapon. Pointing a firearm at a subject is an element of constructive authority to be used only in appropriate situations.
  • Physical Contact - Physical contact involves routine or procedural contact with a subject necessary to effectively accomplish a legitimate law enforcement objective. Examples include guiding a subject into a police vehicle, holding the subject’s arm while transporting, handcuffing a subject and maneuvering or securing a subject for a frisk.
  • Physical Force - Physical force involves contact with a subject beyond that which is generally utilized to affect an arrest or other law enforcement objective. Physical force is employed when necessary to overcome a subject’s physical resistance to the exertion of the law enforcement officer’s authority, or to protect persons or property. Examples include wrestling a resisting subject to the ground, using wrist locks or arm locks, striking with the hands or feet, or other similar methods of hand-to-hand confrontation.
  • Mechanical Force - Mechanical force involves the use of some device or substance, other than a firearm, to overcome a subject’s resistance to the exertion of the law enforcement officer’s authority. Examples include the use of a baton or other object, canine physical contact with a subject or chemical or natural agent spraying.
  • Deadly Force - Deadly force is force which a law enforcement officer uses with the purpose of causing, or which the officer knows to create a substantial risk of causing, death or serious bodily harm. Purposely firing a firearm in the direction of another person or at a vehicle, building or structure in which another person is believed to be constitutes deadly force. A threat to cause death or serious bodily harm, by the production of a weapon or otherwise, so long as the officer’s purpose is limited to creating an apprehension that deadly force will be used if necessary, does not constitute deadly force.

Deadly force may only be used when the officer reasonably believes that such action is immediately necessary to protect the officer or another person from imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm.

A South Orange Police Officer is under no obligation to retreat or desist when resistance is encountered or threatened. However, a law enforcement officer shall not resort to the use of deadly force if the officer reasonably believes that an alternative to the use of deadly force will avert or eliminate an imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm, and achieve the enforcement purpose at no increased risk to the officer or another person.

The South Orange Police Department does not authorize, equip, train, or use the following means/methods of Force: tear gas (CN/CS), distraction (flash-bang) devices, canine (K9), conducted energy devices (Taser), less lethal force (rubber or bean bag bullets), chokeholds/strangleholds/carotid restraints.

Show All Answers

1. What is the hiring process like to become a South Orange Police Officer?
2. What type of continuing education and or training does a South Orange Police Officer receive during their career?
3. Why is the word PROUD written on the back of all of the department’s police vehicles?
4. Do South Orange Police Officer’s currently wear body worn cameras?
5. What is the Primary function of the Internal Affairs Unit at The South Orange Police Department?
6. Does the South Orange Police Department have an early warning system which identifies problematic behavior or actions prior to them becoming a much larger issue?
7. Can an anonymous person file a complaint against a South Orange Police Officer?
8. Does the South Orange Police Department have a Use of Force policy?
9. Are South Orange Police Officers trained to verbally de-escalate a situation before resorting to using force?
10. Are there any circumstances where a South Orange Police Officer is permitted to use excessive force?
11. Can a South Orange Police Officer shoot at or from a moving vehicle?
12. Are South Orange Police Officers required to intervene if they witness another officer using excessive force?
13. Are South Orange Police Officers required to report incidents where they have used force?
14. What is the difference between a Use of Force Report and a complaint of excessive force?
15. What use of force options are available to a South Orange Police Officer?
16. Under what circumstances may a South Orange Police Officer use physical or mechanical force?
17. Under what circumstances may a South Orange Police Officer use deadly force?
18. Are South Orange Police Officers permitted to use chokeholds?
19. If a South Orange Police Officer uses force during an encounter, are they trained to administer the necessary medical aid to the subject should it be required?
20. Do the South Orange Police Department’s policies and procedures regarding Use of Force align with the “8 Can’t Wait” campaign?
21. Does the South Orange Police Department have any options in place to redirect juvenile offenders out of the criminal justice system?
22. What is the level of police involvement with youth and in schools (specifically, DARE, LEAD, SROs, and athletics)?
23. Does the South Orange Police Department currently have a civilian review board?
24. What types of calls for service does a South Orange Police Officer respond to? What other resources does South Orange have to reduce the number of calls to the police?
25. Does the racial makeup of the South Orange Police Department reflect the community it serves?
26. How can I obtain a copy of a police report?
27. How do I apply for a firearms ID card and/or a handgun permit?