The purpose of this order is to establish Standard Operating Procedures and reporting requirements for use of non-deadly force by police officers.  This procedure is intended to apply to the use of force for purposes of overcoming resistance to arrest or for defense against physical assault.


A police officer, in the course of effecting or attempting to effect an arrest, or of preventing or attempting to prevent the escape from custody of a person whom he reasonable believes such to be necessary to effect the arrest, or to prevent the escape from custody, or to defend himself, or a third person from what he reasonable believes to be the use or imminent use of physical force.


All officers will adhere to Article 35 of the New York State Penal Law.


Prior to engaging in non-deadly force with a person, the officer should, if feasible in the initial stages of the confrontation, attempt to resolve the matter by use of verbal persuasion.  If the situation escalates further, officers should limit their response to what is necessary to accomplish their lawful objectives.  This would include verbalizing at a safe distance until reinforcements or specialists could arrive on the scene if at all possible.  In any event, officers should use discretion when using non-deadly force.


  1. NON-DEADLY FORCE – necessary force which is NOT LIKELY to cause death or great bodily harm.
  2. RESTRAINING FORCE – use of physical force which is limited to holding and restraining a person.
  3. PHYSICAL FORCE – the necessary application of submission holds to overcome resistance.
  4. DEFENSIVE FORCE – the necessary infliction of physical battery to overcome violent resistance or to protect self or others from assault or injury.


  1. OFFICER PRESENCE/VERBALIZATION – Being on-scene and utilizing verbal persuasion in an attempt to defuse a situation.
  2. RESTRAINT TECHNIQUES – Those techniques an officer feels necessary to use to effect “take down and control holds” by using his hands, handcuffs or impact weapon.

C.    NON-LETHAL WEAPON – a weapon that is explicitly designed and primarily employed so as to incapacitate a subject while minimizing fatalities, permanent injury, injury to personnel and undesired damage to property and the environment.


TASER ® (Electronic Control Device) in the “Drive-Stun”and/or direct contact mode - When both are used as a subservient.

D.    PERSONAL WEAPONS – Punching, kicking, etc, which an officer may have to resort to accomplish his lawful objectives.

E      IMPACT WEAPONS – any instrument used as an impact weapon by the officer

      (ASP and Monadnock Expandable Batons).



  1. Any officer using Physical Force or Defensive Force pursuant to his duties whether on or off duty, shall report or cause to be reported, all facts relative to the incident on a Use of Deadly Physical Force Report Form (APD140).
  1. Only issued or approved equipment will be carried on duty and used when applying any level of Non-Deadly Force, except in emergency situations when an officer must use any resources at his disposal
  2. Use of restraining devices is mandatory on all prisoners, unless in the officer’s judgment or unusual circumstances exist which make the use of restraining devices impossible or unnecessary (e.g.; prisoner is very elderly or handicapped etc.).  The mere placing of handcuffs on a prisoner will not be construed to be a use of Physical Force.  However, when the handcuffs become an appliance to exert force necessary to further subdue a prisoner or where the suspect physically resists the application of handcuffs, a use of Physical Force has occurred, and the necessary reports must be completed.


  1. After any level of Non-Deadly Force is used, an officer shall immediately evaluate the need for medical attention or treatment for that person upon whom the force was used and arrange for such treatment when:
  1. The officer shall immediately notify his on-duty supervisor of the incident.  If the incident happens off –duty the officer will notify his immediate supervisor as

soon as possible, and the local authority, (if necessary) if the incident occurred in another jurisdiction.

  1. The on-duty supervisor shall respond to the scene of the incident immediately.
  2. The officer shall attempt to locate and identify any witnesses, documenting their statements.
  3. The officer shall prepare and submit the reports required by current directives.  If more than one officer is involved in a Use of Force incident, each officer shall add narrative to the incident report outlining their actions and observations in the incident. 
  4. The on-duty supervisor shall insure that officers receive any necessary assistance, including medical treatment.  He shall also insure that any injuries to officers are properly documented.
  5. The on-duty supervisor shall insure the medical treatment for the defendant is evaluated per section 5, sub D, page 3.
  6. The on-duty supervisor shall determine if the Sergeant should respond to the scene and the level of ID services to be utilized (including photos, measurements, and diagrams).  If an injury or complaint of pain exists, supervisors are encouraged to obtain photographs.
  1. If determined that Restraining Force was used by subordinate personnel, the on-duty supervisor shall investigate the incident.  When use of Restraining Force has been made necessary by resistance without violence, and when there are not significant injuries, reports of the use of restraining force shall not be made mandatory.  The arrest incident and resisting arrest charges shall be left to the discretion of the arresting officer and Supervisor.
  2. Upon notification of the use of Physical or Defensive Force by subordinate personnel, the on-duty supervisor shall initiate an investigation into the incident.


TOP – Enter incident number, date & time.

# 1 – Enter the location of incident and check if incident was on duty or off duty.

# 2 – Defendant Info: Name, DOB, Address & Phone #

# 3 – Witness Info: Name, Address & Phone #

# 4 – Nature of injuries before force used: Describe any injuries, cuts, scratches, or bruises that the defendant had before force was applied.  If none- indicate.

# 5 – Nature of injuries after force used: Describe all injuries received by the defendant during application of force (include complaints of injury or discomfort).

# 6 – Condition of defendant: Check the appropriate box which most accurately describes the condition of the defendant at the time of force being applied.

# 7 – Treatment: check the appropriate box

# 8 - Defendant transported to hospital: Check the appropriate box.  If police
vehicle, give car number, or in other (private vehicle, etc.)

# 9 – Name of hospital: Enter the name of the hospital defendant was taken and the Doctor’s name that treated the defendant.

# 10 – Evidence work performed: Check the appropriate box and list the officer’s name.

# 11 – Names of other officers at the scene: List the names of all other officers who were present at the scene, participated, or witnessed the application of physical force.  Indicate whether or not any officers were injured.  (related injury reports will be made out for each employee injured on duty).

# 12 - Narrative: Briefly describe the reasons:

#13 – Oleoresin Capsicum Warning (O.C.):  If OC was used this section needs to be read to defendant, he/she needs to acknowledge that they understand and initial in appropriate space.

#14 – ECD and/or Taser Deployment: Answer all appropriate questions in this section pertaining to ECD deployment.

#15 – Defendant Current Medical Condition: Ask the defendant all of the questions in this section and mark the appropriate answers.  It should be noted  

when the defendant refuses to answer a question.  Upon completion of this section the defendant needs to initial and date that they have been asked.  If the defendant

refuses to initial and date the form, it should be noted by the officer by writing refused in the defendant’s initial box.

#16 – Reporting officer’s signature and date

#17 – On-duty supervisor’s signature and date.

#18 – Chief of Police’s signature and date.


7.       All sworn personnel will be instructed in the policies governing Use of Physical Force annually.




                                                                                                                              Paul E. Griffith

                                                                                                                              Chief of Police


The purpose of this order is to establish clear guidelines for officers regarding the use of “Deadly Physical Force”. 


All officers will adhere to Article 35 of the New York State Penal Law.


DEADLY PHYSICAL FORCE – “Deadly Physical Force” as used in this policy is defined as that force which is intended to cause death or serious physical injury or which creates some specified degree of risk that a reasonable and prudent person would consider likely to cause death or serious physical injury.

SERIOUS PHYSICAL INJURY – means physical injury which creates a substantial risk of death, or which causes death or serious and protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of health or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.

REASONABLE CAUSE TO BELIEVE – Reasonable cause to believe that a person has committed an offense exists when evidence or information which appears reliable, discloses facts or circumstances which are collectively of such weight and persuasiveness as to convince a person of ordinary intelligence, judgment and experience that it is reasonably likely that such offense was committed and that such person likely committed it.  Except as otherwise provided in Chapter 70 of the Criminal Procedure Law, such, apparently reliable evidence may include or consist of hearsay.


The value of human life is immeasurable in our society.  Police officers have been delegated the awesome responsibility to protect life and property and apprehend criminal offenders.  The apprehension of criminal offenders and protection must at all times be subservient to the protection of life.   The officer’s responsibility for protecting life must include his own.  Members of the Alfred Police Department shall use only the force necessary to affect lawful objectives.  Members of the Police Department may use deadly physical force ONLY when the officer has reason to believe that the action is in the defense of human life, including the officer’s own life, or in the defense of any person in immediate danger of serious physical injury.

The fact that a police officer is justified in using deadly physical force, does not allow reckless conduct by a police officer, if the use of deadly physical force may injure innocent persons whom he is not seeking to arrest or retain in custody.


An officer may discharge a firearm only under the following situations:

  1. Confrontation Situations

To DEFEND the officer or another from what the officer reasonably perceives as an immediate threat of death or serious physical injury.

  1. Apprehension and Pursuit Situations

The foundation of this policy is found in Section 35.30 of the Penal Law as modified by the recent holding of the United States Supreme Court in Tennessee v. Garner.

  1. Injured Animal

To kill a dangerous animal or an animal so badly injured that it should be destroyed to prevent further suffering.  All other options shall be exhausted, however, before shooting the animal all other departmental procedures governing same must be adhered to.  If feasible, the on duty supervisor shall be notified before a weapon is discharged.  An incident report and an Animal-Firearm Discharge Report (APD 42) will be filed for every weapon discharge.

  1. Firearms Practice and Testing



     A.  JuvenilesNo distinction shall be made relative to the age in regards to the use of deadly physical force.  Self defense and imminent threat shall be the only procedural guidelines for employing deadly physical force.

     B.   Moving Vehicles: Discharging a firearm at or from a moving vehicle is prohibited unless the occupants of same are using deadly physical force against the officer, or another and the officer reasonably believes that he will not endanger innocent persons.

     C.   Warning Shots: A police officer is not justified in using his firearm to fire a warning shot.

     D.   Firing Shots for Alarm: Firearms shall not be discharged to summon assistance except where the police officer’s safety or that of another is seriously endangered and he believes there is no reasonable alternative.  Extreme care must be exercised in such situations to prevent injury to the officer or other persons.

     E.      Drawing or Displaying: An officer shall draw or display a firearm ONLY if there is reason to fear for the personal safety of the officer or others.



  1. In every instance in which an officer uses deadly physical force and where such use of force results in death, alleged bodily injury or bodily injury to another person, the following steps shall be taken:
  1. Assignment to Administrative Duty

When a member is involved in a shooting or use of force that results in serious physical injury, the Chief of Police or his designee will assign that member to administrative duty.  The assignment to administrative duty does not imply guilt or innocence of the officer involved.  The administrative duty will not place the officer in a position where the use of force may be necessary due to the nature of the assignment.  Administrative duty assignment will be made in the best interests of the department and the officer, pending departmental and grand jury review and disposition of the incident.

       Refrain from any public discussion of his administrative assignment or circumstances related to his use of force.





By order of


Paul E. Griffith

Chief of Police