Part of the Lexipol Police Reform Webinar Series

View On Demand (recorded March 4, 2021)

A police use of force incident is caught on video and creates anger within the community. The officer(s) actions are ultimately deemed to be legal, which results in further community outrage. Is “legal” enough for agencies to feel vindicated—or can we do more? 

As law enforcement leaders and reformers grapple with how we can reduce such incidents, it is police use of force policies that often dominate the discussion.  

But is it the policy—and the legal standard of objective reasonableness—that needs reform? Or are reform efforts better focused on the decisions and tactics of the officers that led up to the use of force? Police officers are frequently forced to respond to imminent threats that leave them no reasonable choice but to use force. But can we limit those instances to only those where the officer has no “discretionary time”? Are there instances where officers can and should use available discretionary time to make better tactical decisions? 

This webinar will use recent cases to shed light on the differences between policy and tactics, encourage attendees to consider how their actions may be construed by others, and identify ways officers can make decisions that minimize use of force and enhance officer safety.

You’ll learn:

  • How the concept of legitimacy relates to police policy and tactics
  • Why changing policy language does not automatically change behavior
  • Specific cases that illustrate how officer actions can contribute to the need for the use of force
  • To distinguish between incidents where officers have discretionary time vs. when they don’t and how time influences tactics 

Presented by:

Chief (Ret.) Mike Ranalli 
Program Manager
Laura Scarry
Partner, DeAno and Scarry
Attorney, Lexipol 


Register now