Why We Use Less Lethal
DOI link for Why We Use Less Lethal
Why We Use Less Lethal book
The development of less lethal options was originally driven by the fact that law enforcement and military forces were limited in their response to unruly individuals. Put simply, how do we fill the gap between ordering them to comply and shooting them with bullets? Although their use is sometimes controversial, Sid Heal cites six advantages of less lethal options over lethal ones. They are more humane, provide an early control of a situation, offer flexibility, help to de-escalate the incident, improve public perception of trying to solve a conflict with minimal force, and force an adversary to declare intentions. This last advantage affords the individual or crowd the opportunity to retreat or continue to fight with hostile intent. An important, but often overlooked, benefit of less lethal options is their use as a force multiplier, allowing an engagement with combatants using fewer officers (Figure 2.1). Given all of the advantages that less lethal options present in de-escalation, it is public pressure based on negative outcomes that drives the necessity and subsequent evolution of these devices .