No. The Rockford Police Department does not use a use-of-force continuum. Rockford Police Officers are required to use reasonable force when any force is used to accomplish lawful objectives. Rockford Police Officers receive continuous training using examples of what constitutes reasonable force under varying circumstances. The Rockford Police Department demands all officers abide by the objectively reasonable force standard established by the United States Supreme Court in Graham v. Connor. Rockford Police Officers are required to de-escalate force to a lesser level when the lesser level of force becomes appropriate. Officers who use excessive or unreasonable force will be subject to discipline and could face possible suspension from duty or termination from employment.
GRAHAM V. CONNOR
The standard used to determine objectively reasonable force is articulated in the United States Supreme Court decision, Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989). The Graham decision holds that the reasonableness of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, without regard to the officer's underlying intent or motivation. The determination of reasonableness must be based on the totality of circumstances and must include a consideration that police officers are often forced to make split-second decisions in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving. The determination of reasonableness is not based on the 20/20 vision of hindsight. Personnel is not required to use the least assertive option and shall consider the following criteria when determining which level of force to use: 1. The officer's legal justification for stopping the suspect; 2. The severity of the crime known to the officer at the time force was used; 3. Whether the subject was an immediate threat to the officers or others; 4. How the subject was actively resisting arrest; and 5. How the subject was attempting to evade arrest by flight.