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Jun 1st, 2015
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Law Enforcement are permitted to use deadly force when they are defending a individual or self-defense. The International Association of Chiefs of Police has described use of force as the "amount of effort required by police to compel compliance by an unwilling subject" (Police Use of Force, 2015, par. 2). Individuals should receive guidance from the Law Enforcement Agency they work in. No two officers are the same, nor do they use the same amount of force; however, Law Enforcement Officers should also know that when deadly force is used lawsuits generally come after.

According to Ryan (2007) “Most of these claims are received in federal courtsascivilRights claims based upon the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. These actions are broughtUnder a federal statute “42 U.S.C. § 1983 which creates civil liability when a person, acting under color of law, violates federally protected rights of another, causing damage. Under § 1983, a governmental entity, specifically a town, city or county are not liable for all of the actions of their employees” (par.1). § 1983 has turned into a maze of procedural and substantive standards. Entangling matters much further is the way that new issues are continually rising, and the protected rights at the foundation of all.

Analysis of Popow v. City of Margate

It is important to provide an all-round training to the law enforcers. It is not proper to have an untrained officer carrying out security duties that may cause danger to innocent civilians. In the Popow v. City of Margate, an officer shot an innocent person as he pursued a kidnapper on foot. The court ruled that the training offered to the enforcement officer was inadequate. The case is influential in law enforcement training in that it provides for the areas under which officers are supposed to be trained on. It shows that the training on the use of deadly force alone is not sufficient in some situations. Officers need training in handling moving suspects. They also require training on shooting in areas that have low lighten (Ryan, n.d). The training should consider the aspect of shooting at residential areas; the officers need to know how to operate under those areas that put innocent people at risk.

Analysis of Zuchel v. Denver

The Zuchel v. Denver case is about officers responding to a disturbance case in a fast food restaurant where one officer ended up killing a suspect who would otherwise have been arrested by the other officer. The case provides a situation that shows that the officers did not have sufficient training. The case shows that the methods used for training are not sufficient enough; the use of films and lectures is not comprehensive enough for an officer to handle some situations. The case brings out another aspect of training whereby training of the officers must put into consideration the environments that officers may face while on duty. It also emphasizes on regular firearm training (Ryan, n.d). A critical area that needs to be introduced is the training of decision-making skills. The skills are to help the officers in deciding the situations that require deadly use of force, which will help agencies avoid liabilities.

What must a municipality or agency ensure in order to limit their liability?

A municipality or agency should ensure a couple of actions in order to limit their liability. One of the key issues is to have adequate resources to enable the municipality to maintain quality training programs (Petrowski, 2002). The training should not just be the usual enforcement officer training, it should be tailor made to fit in the current trends. The agency needs to pick up the developing issue that can cause liability and train the officers on those as they come. None of the developing issues should be ignored, as it may turn up to be disastrous over time.

  The agencies and municipalities need to have updated policies on training. The polices should be reviewed from time to time to ensure that they are relevant in the current times (Shtmllair et al., 2011). The policies created need to be able to adapt to change. For example, the officer in the Zuchel v. Denver case had training on shoot and don’t shoot, which was not enough to handle the situation as the officer needed decision making skills.

  The municipalities and agencies need also to be ready to spend on certain topics that may be expensive, but very important in the short or long run. The expensive trainings can be spared for some officers and only them can handle cases in such areas. It is also important to have a continuous in house training program to promote continuous improvement (Petrowski, 2002).  The trainers should think of all possible scenarios and try and find ways that will help the officers to handle such cases without causing a liability to the municipality or the agency.

If the organization’s training is deemed inadequate, is the liability of the organization affected by whether or not the individual acted outside the limits of his or her training?

If the organization’s training is deemed inadequate, the liability of the organization is affected by whether or not the individual acted outside the limits of his or her training. It is expected that officers must get the ideal training in order to handle different cases. In some cases, the officer is supposed to use common knowledge to deal with a situation in which case the agency is not liable. In the event that the officer acts in a way that would have been as a result of inadequate training, then the agency or the municipality’s liability is affected.


Regarding the matter of claims no organization is invulnerable. With proper documented training a police agency can avoid a liability. A Law Enforcement Officer can make a better decision once they are properly trained. The law ensures the judgment of a cop in circumstances where dangerous power is redundant. Probable cause needs to be established, and reasonable circumstances proved for being reasonable. There is investigation after a deadly force incident and the rule of the law are applied. A Law Enforcement Officers  sacred rights, need to be secured. Police are held to an elevated expectation. What matters is the rule of the law, does not weaken every defensive right. As long as the facts known to the officer at the time of their decision to use force were objectively reasonable, then the use of force will be lawful.

As stated by Dwyer (2010) “Officers who adhere to their training and agencies that have sound and up-to-date use of force policies in place should never have to fear the specter of cheap politics and grandstanding” ( p. 3). 



Dwyer, T. P. (2010, May 7). Reviewing and analyzing police use of deadly force - PoliceOne. Retrieved from www.policeone.com/.../2059075-Reviewing-and-analyzing-police-us... - Similar

Petrowski, T. D. (2002). Use-of-Force Policies and Training a Reasoned Approach. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 71(10), 25

Police Use of Force | National Institute of Justice. (2015, August 13). Retrieved from www.nij.gov/topics/law-enforcement/officer...force/.../welcome.

  Ryan, J. (2007). Training liability in use of deadly force. Retrieved from


Shtmllair, J. P., Pollock, J., Montague, D., Nichols, T., Curnutt, J., & Burns, D. (2011).

  Reasonableness and Reaction Time. Police Quarterly, 14(4), 323. Doi: 10.1177/1098611111423737

please double check make changes is there enough under If the organization’s training is deemed inadequate

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