ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The Allentown Police Department has released its use-of-force policy, as people nationwide have called for police reform.
The order provides officers with guidelines on the use of force, deadly force, and less lethal force. Officers should only use "only that force that is reasonably necessary to effectively bring an incident under control, while protecting the lives of the officer and others," the policy says.
The policy says officers should only use the amount of force which is necessary and reasonable to control the situation, effect an arrest, overcome resistance to arrest, or defend themselves or others from harm. The policy forbids officers from using unreasonable or excessive force.
The policy includes parameters for the use of deadly force. The policy outlines three instances in which a police officer may discharge a firearm at another person. An officer may do so when he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to themselves or to another person.
The officer can also do so when he or she believes that no other alternative exists to affect the arrest, to prevent the person fleeing from arrest or police custody, and when the officer has probable cause or reasonably believes that the person fleeing possesses a deadly weapon which he has used or indicates he is about to use.
An officer can also do so if the person fleeing has indicated that he will endanger human life or inflict serious bodily injury unless arrested without delay.
The policy says that, if feasible, an officer will identify themselves and give warning before discharging a firearm in any of the above situations.
The Bethlehem Police Department also released its policy recently.