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Library: Policy

340:25-3-5. Use of force

Revised 7-1-09

     Peace officers have the right to use reasonable, necessary force to defend themselves and others against life-threatening, violent, and dangerous personal attack.  Force may only be used by peace officers within applicable laws and the limits given in (1) - (4) of this subsection.

  • (1) The degree of force used must be the minimum necessary to defend oneself or others as described in (2) of this subsection and may include physical apprehension and restraining techniques which result in an application of less than deadly force.
  • (2) Deadly force is that which is applied with the intent of causing, or which a reasonable person should know would cause, death or serious bodily harm. Deadly force is only used in:
    • (A) self defense to prevent death or serious injury to oneself; or
    • (B) defense of others to prevent death or commission of a violent offense threatening serious bodily harm to others.
  • (3) Firearms may not be used to attempt to stop or disable a vehicle.  However, if a vehicle is being used as a weapon, firearms may be used toward the driver of the vehicle, but not after the vehicle is no longer in a position to threaten the peace officer.  • 1 

Revised 7-1-09

1.(a) Application of the levels of response must be consistent with the severity of the situation encountered by the peace officer.

(b) Instruments of restraint may not be used for punitive purposes.

     (c) Any use of physical force or restraint must be documented and forwarded to the immediate supervisor within 24 hours following the incident, or on the next work day.

(d) The discharge of any firearm, outside normal training, whether an accident or a deliberate act, is a serious matter and must be thoroughly investigated.Any peace officer of Oklahoma Child Support Services (OCSS) who discharges a firearm while on duty or is aware of such an incident must report the incident to his or her supervisor within 24 hours.The supervisor confirms the incident and makes a report to his or her supervisor and to the OCSS director as soon as possible after the confirmation of the incident.The OCSS director designates one or more peace officers to conduct an independent investigation of the incident and make a report to the OCSS director.The investigation is concurrently conducted with any investigation conducted by a law enforcement agency.

(e) Any person who discharges a firearm without authorization is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination, in accordance with Oklahoma Department of Human Services policies relating to personnel actions.

(f) Persons are responsible for their own conduct in handling firearms.They must observe safety precautions and must: 

(1) regard all firearms as being loaded; 

(2) never aim or point a firearm unless they intend to use that firearm; 

(3) never use a firearm to play tricks, games, engage in any other form of horseplay, or allow themselves to become involved in unauthorized acts; 

(4) know and use all the safety devices of firearms they carry; 

(5) first identify the target and ensure a clear field of fire before discharging a firearm; 

(6) promote firearms safety through their actions; 

(7) be cautious when loading and unloading a firearm; 

(8) never arm themselves with a firearm they are not fully qualified to use; and 

(9) ensure a firearm is properly secured and that access is denied to others at all times.

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