Justified Force Theory & Use-of-Force Report Writing


Use-of-Force/Officer Safety


Justified Force Theory & Use of Force Report Writing

Class Level

All Levels




Force without authority is a criminal assault. Any professional who may be required to ‚Äúlay hands on‚ÄĚ a member of the public must be well versed on his or her legal rights, limitations and obligations to do so.

Justified force theory instructs high-risk professionals on how to assess and respond appropriately to a resistive or aggressive situation in a manner that is reasonable, appropriate and legally justified.

In a physical altercation, it is not enough for the employee to respond appropriately. Equally important is their ability to ‚Äúarticulate‚ÄĚ their actions and the reasons for them.

Failure to explain and set the context for one’s application of force can result in legal and civil liability, public criticism and disciplinary consequences.


In this course, students will learn:

The difference between incremental and situational use-of-force models and the myth that one policy is better or safer than the other.

The four essential criteria that MUST be addressed in any and all applications of force.

The importance of ‚Äúpre-thinking‚ÄĚ and the psychology of how a use-of-force policy actually works in a real-world, stressful encounter.

The three factors that are associated with a professional’s lawful authority to apply force.

The need for and the amount of force required by a professional is determined by the subject’s behaviour. They require a method to assess and evaluate a subject‚Äôs behaviour in order to formulate a reasonable and appropriate response.

The three factors of ‚ÄúThreat Assessment‚ÄĚ that must be present before a threat can be considered imminent and legitimate.

Knowledge of their own response options and how to deal with varying degrees of subject behaviour. They must understand how to ‚Äúpreclude,‚ÄĚ or rule out, lower levels of force on the basis of them being ineffective or inappropriate to the situation.

No two resistive situations are exactly the same. Each will contain impact factors that make a situation unique and will affect the employee’s decisions about the most appropriate way to respond in a particular situation.

The employee is criminally liable for applying force that is deemed excessive. They must understand the four evaluation criteria that must be applied in determining whether force was excessive or not.

The employee will learn the importance of responding appropriately in an arrest or self-protective situation and being able to articulate and document their actions and the perceptions that existed at the time of the incident that lead them to respond the way that they did.

A use-of-force reporting method that is structured in alignment with the criteria they will be evaluated against in a criminal investigation, judicial proceeding, or disciplinary review.

Course Length

4 – 8 hours (depending on whether the reporting block is included)

Class Size

20 Students

Delivery Requirements

Classroom Set Up
Whiteboard & Markers