Less-Lethal : A Comparative Look at the Strengths and Weaknesses of Current Options and Future Technologies in Law Enforcement
Baker, Benjamin D.
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Today, Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) have access to a wide range of less-lethal weapons and tactics (LLWT), including Chemical Agents and Irritants, Kinetic Impact Munitions, Conducted Energy Devices, and Direct Action/Control Techniques. Though the effects of current options is contested, it is estimated that the use of LLWTs decreases the incidence of police and civilian injury by 25 to 62 percent. While LLWTs can provide many benefits to both LEOs and the greater community, it is important not to overlook their limitations; which include indiscriminant deployment, inefficacy in stopping locomotion, the infliction of permanent wounds and the possibility of death in rare circumstances. Current LLWTs and future developments, despite these limitations, represent important progress in policing, and it should be the continued goal of the scientific community and the greater law enforcement community to create new technology that focuses on effective and safe use for the officer, subject, and other involved individuals.