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POLICY 300.4 USE OF FORCE

Officers shall use only that amount of force that reasonably appears necessary given the facts and circumstances perceived by the officer at the time of the event to accomplish a legitimate law enforcement purpose.

The "reasonableness" of force will be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene at the time of the incident. Any evaluation of reasonableness must allow for the fact that officers are often forced to make split-second decisions about the amount of force that reasonably appears necessary in a particular situation, with limited information and in circumstances that are tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving.

Given that no policy can realistically predict every possible situation an officer might encounter, officers are entrusted to use well-reasoned discretion in determining the appropriate use of force in each incident.

SOP 107.4 DEADLY FORCE

(a) Deadly force shall not be used on a person unless the person applying the deadly force reasonably believes that the person poses an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to an officer or any other person.

Renton Police Department Comments

The reasonableness of the force used is legally judged on the necessity and level of the force at the time that it was used and based on the information available to the officer at that time. If an officer used lethal force at a time when a reasonable alternative existed, that lethal force would be deemed unreasonable and excessive. Conversely, it is relatively common for officers to use alternative tactics when lethal force would be legally reasonable due to the level of threat to their safety. If an officer is making reasonable decisions, they will not be using lethal force when an alternative exists, nor will they be using an alternative when a situation calls for lethal force. Our officers are trained to use the appropriate force option for the circumstances, including those in which non-force tactics such as de-escalation and negotiation have been ineffective or are inappropriate.


Eight Can't Wait

Data proves that together these eight policies can decrease police violence by 72%

Ban Chokeholds and Strangleholds

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Require de-escalation graphic

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Require warning before shooting graphic

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Exhaust all alternatives before shooting

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Duty to intervene graphic

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Ban shooting at moving vehicles graphic

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Use of force continuum graphic

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Require comprehensive reporting

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