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  • Defensive Tactics

    is a system of controlled defensive and offensive body movements used by CRIMINAL JUSTICE OFFICERS to respond to a subject's aggression or resistance.

    defensive tactics are based on a combination of

    martial arts, wrestling, and boxing.

    fitness, strength, agility, balance and flexibility are vital to the development of

    defensive tactics

    the role of defensive tactics in LEO and corrections is to assist the officer in

    restraining or arresting a subject

    The CMS criminal justice defensive tactics course provides

    basic recruits with training in the physical skills necessary for the use of force in controlling subjects and for self-defense

    defensive tactics is a physical endeavor, students should change their daily habits, students should eat a

    nutritious diet, get adequate rest, and stay sufficiently hydrated to maximize the benefit of this training

    flexibility reduces the risk of


    begin and end each session with

    stretching exercises

    a warm up session elevates the

    heart rate and increases blood circulation to the muscle, which saturates the muscles with oxygen. this helps the body prepare itself for the physical activity.

    a cool down after physical activity

    redistributes the blood flow, causing the metabolic rate to decrease. this process helps the muscles to relax and prevents the tightening of muscles, which is vital to body recover

    stretching usually begins with a warm up such as

    running in place, jumping jacks, push ups, or any calisthenics exercises that last for 5-7 minutes.

    stretching generally begins at the

    top of the body and moves down to the bottom, vice versa.

    stretch until you feel mild to

    moderate tension

    All the stretches she be held for

    10-20 seconds

    cardiovascular training

    is any exercise the elevates the HEART RATE to a range between 60 to 85 percent of the maximum rate

    heart disease

    the leading cause of premature death for both men and women.

    cardiovascular exercise includes

    walking, jogging, running, jumping rope, bicycling, swimming, and step aerobics.

    a nutritious diet and an adequate intake of water

    are necessary for optimal performance in defensive tactics training.


    provides energy; builds and repairs body cells; is part of various enzymes, hormones, antibodies
    SOURCES: poultry, fish, eggs, legumes(lentils), milk, and milk products, vegetables, grains


    provides energy needed by the brain, nervous system, red blood cells, and other cells
    SOURCES: breads, cereal grains, pasta, rice, fruit, vegetables, milk, sugar


    provides energy and essential fatty acids; carries other fat-soluble nutrients (vitamins); is part of cell membranes, membranes around nerves, hormones, bile
    SOURCES: meat, poultry, fish, milk and milk products, nuts and seeds, oils, butter, margarine, salad dressing

    Chapter (776) FORCE

    governs all use of force by criminal justice officers. even though the statue refers to "law enforcement" officers, the legal guidelines regarding use of force apply equally to corrections and correctional probation officers. the statue identifies two general areas in which an officer's use force is justified; to apprehend a subject and make an arrest, or to defend self or others.

    section 776.05 Florida Statue addresses the issue of an officer using force to make an arrest

    A law enforcement officer, or any person whom the officer has summoned or
    directed to assist him or her, need not retreat or desist from efforts to make a
    lawful arrest because of resistanceโ€”or threatened resistance to the arrest. The
    officer is justified in the use of any force:
    (1) Which he or she reasonably believes to be necessary to defend himself or
    herself or another from bodily harm while making the arrest;
    (2) When necessarily committed in retaking felons who have escaped; or
    (3) When necessarily committed in arresting felons fleeing from justice.
    However, this subsection shall not constitute a defense in any civil action
    for damages brought for the wrongful use of deadly force unless the use of
    deadly force was necessary to prevent the arrest from being defeated by
    such flight and, when feasible, some warning had been given, and:
    (a) The officer reasonably believes that the fleeing felon poses a threat of
    death or serious physical harm to the officer or others; or
    (b) The officer reasonably believes that the fleeing felon has committed
    a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious
    physical harm to another person

    Section 944.35, F.S. provides:

    (1)(a) An employee of the department is authorized to apply physical
    force upon an inmate only when and to the extent that it reasonably
    appears necessary:
    1. To defend himself or herself or another against such other imminent
    use of unlawful force;
    2. To prevent a person from escaping from a state correctional institution
    when the officer reasonably believes that person is lawfully detained in
    such institution;
    3. To prevent damage to property;
    4. To quell a disturbance;
    5. To overcome physical resistance to a lawful command; or
    6. To administer medical treatment only by or under the supervision of
    a physician or his or her designee and only:
    a. When treatment is necessary to protect the health of other
    persons, as in the case of contagious or venereal diseases; or
    b. When treatment is offered in satisfaction of a duty to protect the
    inmate against self-inflicted injury or death.

    objective reasonableness

    to describe the process for
    evaluating the appropriateness of an officer's response to a subject's resistance.

    Appropriate force

    is the amount of force reasonably necessary to make an arrest.

    To determine if an officer's actions were objectively reasonable

    the courts
    look at the facts and circumstances the officer knew when the incident occurred.

    Courts recognize that criminal justice officers must make split-second judgments about the
    amount of force needed in a particular situation under circumstances that are tense

    uncertain, and rapidly evolving

    The Supreme Court has made clear
    that use of force is a seizure under the

    Fourth Amendment

    Correctional officers must also consider that use of force may violate the

    Eighth Amendment's prohibition against
    cruel and unusual punishment.

    Much litigation against criminal justice officers is not about the amount of force used,

    but whether the use of force was permitted at all. Though the law grants criminal justice officers the right to use force, this right is
    conditioned on their official authority.

    Correctional officers have full-time authority over inmates due to the

    inmates' adjudication and suspension
    of civil rights.

    A law enforcement officer's authority to use force is established by the officer's reasonable belief
    that a crime has been,

    is being, or is about to be committed.


    is the verbal and/or physical yielding to an officer's authority without
    apparent threat of resistance or violence

    Escalation, de-escalation, and disengagement are important concepts in making

    legally and tactically sound,
    reasonable responses to resistance.


    is increasing the use of force or resistance


    is decreasing the use of force or resistance.


    is discontinuing a command or physical use of
    force, for example, by breaking away from a subject.

    Officers are legally permitted to escalate their use of force
    as the

    subject escalates his or her level of resistance

    The officer's choices are determined by the subject's actions

    and the risk of physical harm posed to the officer or others.

    Once the officer achieves control or compliance,

    he or she must de-escalate the use of force

    Under certain circumstances, disengagement may be the best tactical option, for example,

    when the officer is waiting for backup, when the officer is injured or outnumbered,
    or when the suspect has superior firepower

    3 force levels

    escalation, de-escalation, disengagement

    Force Guidelines

    provide a framework for making decisions involving the reasonable use of force
    by criminal justice officers. The structure of the Force Guidelines is based on constitutional considerations
    and case law and describes appropriate decision making in a fluid and dynamic situation. The Guidelines
    consider the relationship between subject resistance and various situational factors in determining the
    officer's response options.

    resistance levels (4)

    Passive resistance
    active resistance
    aggressive resistance
    deadly force resistance

    Passive resistance

    is a subject's verbal and/or physical refusal to comply with an officer's lawful direction
    causing the officer to use physical techniques to establish control.

    Some examples of passive resistance include the following:

    The subject refuses to move at the officer's direction.
    โ€ข The subject peacefully protests at a political event in a public location.
    โ€ข The subject refuses to take his hands out of his pockets or from behind his back

    Active resistance

    is a subject's use of physically evasive movements directed toward the officer such as bracing,
    tensing, pushing, or pulling to prevent the officer from establishing control over the subject.

    Some examples of active resistance include the following:

    โ€ข The subject physically anchors himself to a person or object to prevent himself from being removed.
    โ€ข The subject braces or pulls away from the officer when the officer grips the subject's arm.
    โ€ข The subject attempts to run when the officer touches or attempts to grab the subject's arm or shoulder.

    Aggressive resistance

    is a subject's attacking movements toward an officer that may cause injury but are not
    likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the officer or others.

    Some examples of aggressive resistance include the following:

    โ€ข The subject balls up his fist and approaches the officer.
    โ€ข The subject pushes the officer back as the officer tries to take the subject into custody.
    โ€ข The subject grabs any part of the officer's body.

    Deadly force resistance

    a subject's hostile, attacking movements with or without a weapon that create a
    reasonable perception by the officer that the subject intends to cause and has the capability of causing death
    or great bodily harm to the officer or others.

    Some examples of deadly force resistance include the following:

    A subject refuses to drop a knife when ordered to by the officer and moves toward the officer.
    โ€ข A subject shoots or points a gun at an officer or other person.
    โ€ข A subject tries to use a vehicle to run down an officer.

    Officers should try to resolve a situation with the

    least amount of force necessary

    Command presence and verbal communication

    often will defuse many volatile situations.

    Physical force includes (3)

    physical control, the use of nonlethal weapons, and deadly force.

    Physical control

    is achieving compliance or custody through the use of empty-hand or leverage-enhanced
    techniques, such as pain compliance, transporters, restraint devices, takedowns, and striking techniques.

    A nonlethal weapon

    is a weapon that is not fundamentally designed to cause death or great bodily harm.
    Some examples of nonlethal weapons include electronic control devices (ECD), dart-firing stun guns such as
    a TASERยฎ, expandable batons, flashlights, and chemical agent sprays.

    Deadly force

    is force that is likely to cause death or great bodily harm. Some examples of deadly force include
    use of a firearm, eye gouges, empty-hand strikes to the throat, and impact-weapon strikes to the side of
    the neck.

    Section 776.06, F.S. states:

    (1) The term "deadly force" means force that is likely to cause death or great bodily harm, and
    includes, but is not limited to:
    a. The firing of a firearm in the direction of the person to be arrested, even though no intent
    exists to kill or inflict great bodily harm; and
    b. The firing of a firearm at a vehicle in which the person to be arrested is riding.

    Section 776.07, F.S., states:

    (2) A correctional officer or other law enforcement officer is justified in the use of force, including
    deadly force, which he or she reasonably believes to be necessary to prevent the escape from a penal
    institution of a person whom the officer reasonably believes to be lawfully detained in such
    institution under sentence for an offense or awaiting trial or commitment for an offense.

    Deadly force does not necessarily mean that someone died from the force used. It can cause great

    bodily harm or no harm at all. For example, returning fire is deadly force even if the officer misses the target.

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