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FAIRFAX COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT

GENERAL ORDER

SUBJECT: NUMBER:

USE OF FORCE 540.0

EFFECTIVE DATE: REVIEW:
MARCH 31, 2017 JANUARY 21, 2019

RESPONSIBLE ENTITY: Planning and Research Bureau CALEA

• New Directive • Replaces:
• Revised

ACCREDITATION STANDARDS:

I.

II.

PURPOSE

TOPIC:

ADM.05.01, 05.03

The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines and reporting requirements for the use of force by members of the Fairfax County Police Department.

POLICY

It is the policy of the Fairfax County Police Department that officers hold the highest regard for the sanctity of human life, dignity and liberty of all individuals. Force is to be used only to the extent it is objectively reasonable to defend oneself or another, to control an individual during an investigative or mental detention, or to lawfully effect an arrest. Force should be based upon the totality of the circumstances known by the officer at the time force is applied, without regard to the officer’s underlying intent or motivation, and weighs the actions of the officer against their responsibility to protect public safety as well as the individual’s civil liberties. Force shall not be used unless it is reasonably necessary in view of the circumstances confronting the officer. The application of deadly force should only be used in the most extreme circumstances where all lesser means of force have failed or could not reasonably be utilized.

Access to medical treatment shall be provided to any individual who complains of injury, has obvious injuries, or who requests medical attention.

In all situations, officers are expected to act within their training and exercise sound judgment. Any force used shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The involved officer must be able to clearly articulate the reasons for using force.

General Order 540 – Use of Force Page 1 of 55

PURPOSE AND POLICY

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FAIRFAX COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT

GENERAL ORDER

SUBJECT: NUMBER:

USE OF FORCE 540.1

EFFECTIVE DATE: REVIEW:
MARCH 31, 2017 JANUARY 21, 2019

RESPONSIBLE ENTITY: Planning and Research Bureau CALEA

DEFINITIONS

• New Directive • Replaces:
|x| Revised

ACCREDITATION STANDARDS:

I. DEFINITIONS

ADM.05.01, 05.03, 06.01

TOPIC:

  1. Canine Handler: An officer who is trained and certified by the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy or another Fairfax County Police Department approved basic canine school who is assigned to work with a specific patrol dog.
  2. Deadly Force: Any level of force that is likely to cause death or serious injury.
  3. Electronic Control Weapon: A device which disrupts the sensory and motor nervous system of an individual by deploying battery-powered electrical energy sufficient to cause sensory and neuromuscular incapacitation.
  4. Excessive Force: Any force which is determined not to be objectively reasonable.
  5. Felonies Involving Violence: Crimes under this definition are murder, manslaughter, mob-related felonies, malicious wounding, felony kidnapping or abduction, robbery, carjacking, felony criminal sexual offenses, escape with force, and any felonies involving the discharge of a firearm. [Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-297.1]
  6. Firearm: Any handgun, shotgun, or rifle that will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material. [Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.2:2] For the purpose of this definition, no Kinetic Energy Impact Systems constitutes a firearm.
  7. Force: Any physical strike or instrumental contact with an individual, or any significant physical contact that restricts an individual’s movement. Force does not include escorting or handcuffing an individual who is exhibiting minimal or no resistance. Merely placing an individual in handcuffs as a restraint in arrest or transport activities, simple presence of officers or patrolGeneral Order 540 – Use of Force Page 2 of 55

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FAIRFAX COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT

is GENERAL ORDER

SUBJECT:

NUMBER:

540.1

TOPICS:

USE OF FORCE DEFINITIONS

dogs, or police issuance of tactical commands does not constitute a reportable action.

H. Institutional Integrity: The condition whereby order is maintained in a detention facility. Force options may be used in a detention facility to prevent the following:

  • Violations of law
  • Threatened assault to others
  • Attempted or threatened suicide
  • Failure of prisoners to respond to lawful commands to do any acts which are necessary for safety concerns of the facility.
  1. Less-Lethal Force: Any level of force not designed to cause death or serious injuries.
  2. Medical Treatment: Any action taken by Emergency Medical Services (EMS), personnel approved by the Fairfax County Police Department’s Office of the Medical Director (OMD), or medical facility personnel to medically assess an individual or physically mend an injury (e.g. dress a wound, stitches, etc.) resulting from an accidental injury and/or a use of force. Access to medical treatment requires direct contact between the patient and one of the above defined competent medical authorities. Routine decontamination does not constitute medical treatment.
  3. Modified Ready: A one- or two-handed grip of a firearm held against the body with the muzzle pointed toward the ground, de-cocked, and the trigger finger straight along the frame. This position is used when maneuvering in close proximity to other officers or individuals thereby preventing the inadvertent pointing of the firearm at a person while also maintaining a tactical advantage.
  4. Objectively Reasonable: The level of force that is appropriate when analyzed from the perspective of a reasonable officer possessing the same information and faced with the same set of circumstances. Objective reasonableness is not analyzed with the benefit of hindsight, but rather takes into account the fact that officers must make rapid and necessary decisions regarding the amount of force to use in tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving situations.General Order 540 – Use of Force Page 3 of 55

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FAIRFAX COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT

111

GENERAL ORDER

SUBJECT:

NUMBER:

540.1

TOPICS:

USE OF FORCE DEFINITIONS

  1. Patrol Dog: A dog trained to track, apprehend, bite and hold on command, and locate people, property, and evidence.
  2. PepperBall System: A high-pressure air launcher that delivers projectiles from a distance. Typically, the projectile contains PAVA powder which has similar characteristic to Oleoresin Capsicum.
  3. Probable Cause: Facts and circumstances which, taken together with rational inferences therefrom, would lead a prudent person to believe:
    • To arrest: that a crime is being, has been, or is about to be committed and that a particular person committed it
    • To search: that evidence of a crime or contraband is in the place to be searched.
  4. Ready Gun: A firearm presented toward a threat area with the muzzle lowered from the officer’s eye level sufficient to see the threat area clearly. If an officer is covering an individual, the firearm is lowered sufficiently to see an individual’s hand and waist area. The officer’s eyes are open with their trigger finger straight along the frame and the firearm is de-cocked. When an officer utilizes a shotgun or rifle, the safety is engaged. The ready-gun position is used to search a location or object or to cover a threat area (high or low), depending on the environment (e.g., up or down a stairwell).
  5. Serious Injury: An injury which creates a substantial risk of death, disfigurement, prolonged hospitalization, impairment of the functions of any bodily organ or limb, or any injury that medical personnel deem to be potentially life-threatening.
  6. Tactical (Tac) Ready: A firearm presented toward a threat area with a one- or two-handed grip. The firearm is close to the officer’s body at sternum level with the muzzle parallel to the terrain. If the firearm is fired, a round should strike the center mass of an average-sized threat. This position presents a compact profile and helps prevent telegraphing the officer’s location when working corners or making room entries.General Order 540 – Use of Force Page 4 of 55

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FAIRFAX COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT

GENERAL ORDER

SUBJECT: NUMBER:

USE OF FORCE 540.2

EFFECTIVE DATE: REVIEW:
MARCH 31, 2017 JANUARY 21, 2019

RESPONSIBLE ENTITY: Planning and Research Bureau CALEA

DE-ESCALATION

• New Directive • Replaces:

[xl Revised

ACCREDITATION STANDARDS:

I. DE-ESCALATION

Not Applicable

VLEPSC
Not Applicable

TOPIC:

A. De-escalation is the result of a combination of communication, tact, empathy, instinct, and sound officer safety tactics. The ultimate goal is to help achieve a positive outcome by reducing the need for force.

B. When possible, officers should seek to utilize de-escalation strategies to prevent situations from deteriorating to the point where they would need to use force. Officers should attempt to gain voluntary compliance and reduce the level of force required in a situation through verbal communication efforts. When force is applied, officers will adjust the amount of force used to overcome an individual’s resistance and to gain control.

General Order 540 – Use of Force Page 5 of 55

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FAIRFAX COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT

GENERAL ORDER

SUBJECT: NUMBER:

USE OF FORCE 540.3

EFFECTIVE DATE: REVIEW:
MARCH 31, 2017 JANUARY 21, 2019

RESPONSIBLE ENTITY: Planning and Research Bureau CALEA

• New Directive • Replaces:

IEI Revised

ACCREDITATION STANDARDS:

I. DUTY TO INTERVENE

Not Applicable

TOPIC:

Any officer present and observing another officer using force that is clearly beyond that which is objectively reasonable under the circumstances shall, when in a position to do so, safely intercede to end and prevent the further use of such excessive force. Additionally, officers have the duty to intervene in all other situations where an officer is acting in violation of laws, orders, policies, or ethical conduct and immediately notify an on-duty supervisor or commander.

General Order 540 – Use of Force Page 6 of 55

DUTY TO INTERVENE