Use of Force – Totality of the Circumstances

In response to an incident, a security officer enters the “force continuum” at the level appropriate to the incident. He actively attempts to calm the situation and lower the necessary force level. Where he enters the continuum is dictated by circumstances.

These could include:

  • Relative size
  • Relative strength
  • Type of crime
  • Weapons
  • Suspicion of alcohol or drugs by the suspect
  • Number of suspects vs. number of officers
  • Immediacy of danger
  • Exceptional skills (e.g., martial arts)
  • Environment

Think of using the Use of Force Continuum like an elevator. You may need to enter any floor and go up, but you always want to return to the ground level.