1st Edition

Risk Management of Less Lethal Options Evaluation, Deployment, Aftermath, and Forensics

By R.T. Wyant, Thomas Burns Copyright 2014
    334 Pages
    by CRC Press

    334 Pages 234 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Force used to quell out-of-control demonstrations or detain unruly individuals can result in litigation and bad press for law enforcement agencies. Injury or loss of life can best be avoided if agencies have accurate knowledge and proper training in less lethal options. Risk Management of Less Lethal Options: Evaluation, Deployment, Aftermath, and Forensics discusses how lessons learned from major disturbances have helped law enforcement professionals develop concepts and techniques that police departments can apply to increase successful outcomes, manage risk, and limit liability.

    The methods presented in this book were developed over a decade of testing, training, evaluating, deploying, analyzing, and testifying related to the use of these tools. Topics include:

    • The evolution of the less lethal paradigm through the analysis of the outcomes of major incidents

    • Categories of less lethal options—including impact, chemical, electrical, and distraction

    • Riot-control agents (RCAs), which produce rapid sensory irritation or disabling physical effects that disappear within a short time

    • Less lethal impact munitions (LLIMs) that deliver blunt trauma, including the study of their capabilities and limitations

    • Important factors for developing a successful less lethal training program

    • Challenges caused by arrest-related death, in-custody death, and Excited Delirium Syndrome (ExDs)

    • The use and forensic analysis of conducted electrical weapons (CEWs)/Tasers

    • Effective post-event report writing, evidence collection, and court preparation

    Risk management of less lethal options requires a complex, multi-tiered approach. This volume provides law enforcement professionals with guidelines to manage risk from the street to the courtroom when utilizing less lethal options to subdue offenders.

    Praise for the Book:

    This is an incredible resource that is easy to read and extremely informative.
    —Dan Savage, Captain, Grand Rapids Michigan Police Department

    Overall, this is essential reading for all involved in law enforcement who use, authorize, or oversee less lethal policy, training and deployments.
    —Chief Constable (Retired) Ian Arundale, Association of Chief Police Officers, lead on policy and training relating to UK firearms, ‘Less Lethal’ and Conflict Management (2001-2013)

    What the authors have done in this comprehensive publication is present the operational and technical issues associated with selecting, deploying, and managing the consequence of less lethal options in a very readable way. ... It should be on the reading list of all who have an interest in gaining insight into law enforcement and less lethal options.
    —Colin Burrows, QPM, UK-based International Adviser on Critical Intervention

    Police officers, supervisors, incident commanders, managers, administrators and senior executives had all better have a solid grasp of the issues presented in this book.
    —Joel Johnston, Sergeant, Vancouver Police Department, Canada (Retired 2013); Principal, Defensive Tactics Institute (www.dtidefensivetactics.com)


    Police De-Escalation Tactics- A Personal Account. Why We Use Less Lethal. Prevailing Less Lethal Options for Law Enforcement. RCAs: Chemical Irritants (OC, CS) and Flammability Testing with ConductedElectrical Weapons (TASER). Less Lethal Impact Munitions: The Forensic Testing Model. Validating the LLIM Testing Model, Documenting Wounds/Injuries. Training for a Successful Less Lethal Program. Arrest-Related Death, In-Custody Death, and Excited Delirium Syndrome. Forensics: Conducted Electrical Weapons (TASER). Aftermath: Post-Event Report Writing, Evidence Collection, and Court Preparation. Risk Management for Law Enforcement in Modern Society. Index.


    R. T. Wyant has been a forensic scientist since 1994 and currently supervises the forensic firearms unit at the Washington State Patrol-Seattle crime laboratory. He is court-qualified in firearm/tool identification, crime scene analysis, less lethal devices, and trajectory reconstruction. He has developed testing protocols for CEW (conducted electrical weapon), OC-pepper spray, and less lethal impact munitions. Wyant’s testing and analysis procedures have been adopted by other crime laboratories and manufacturers. He has established foundational criteria for the admissibility of forensic TASER evidence under the Frye standard. His testing protocols have been presented to agencies, SWAT teams, and attorneys in the US and abroad including the UK, Canada, Australia, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

    Tom Burns has worked as an officer with the Seattle Police Department since 1989. During that time, he has been assigned to patrol, anticrime team, SWAT, and a proactive bicycle patrol unit. During his tenure in SWAT, he was a member of the chemical agent/less lethal cadre and was cadre leader for two years. He developed the concepts for the chemical agent response teams (CART) and was a lead instructor for the WTO riots in Seattle in 1999. Tom has also helped develop patrol level protocols for addressing Excited Delirium Syndrome (ExDs).