Continuum of Force
The concept of non-lethal weaponry is not new. Law enforcement has long operated with what is called a "continuum of force." It provides guidance to law officers for selecting the type of weaponry to use in a variety of situations. The continuum normally begins with asking a subject to respond to voice commands. If the subject does not respond, the continuum may advise that the next level of force (in many cases, CAP-STUN) be deployed. Or, if the subject is wielding a firearm, the continuum may advise that lethal force be utilized.
Law enforcement officials have long recognized that a wide and dangerous gap exists in the range of tools available to them. The baton or gun may be either too weak or too strong a response to some situations. Until the introduction of CAP-STUN, many security experts say, no reliable OC or non-lethal weaponry existed for law enforcement.
While law enforcement has long recognized the gap in the force continuum, the concept of a gap is new to the military. As world events have changed the character of conflict, military forces find themselves more involved in peacekeeping and other non-combat operations. Today’s soldier must be equipped and trained for peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance operations, such as those involving U.S. forces in Bosnia, Haiti and Somalia.
In March 1996, The American Defense Preparedness Association (ADPA), an association made up of executives in the defense industry, military leaders, and high-ranking government officials, held a conference on non-lethal weaponry in which the chairman of the conference, Dr. John Alexander, said:
"We have engaged in peace support operations. We must therefore provide our soldiers, sailors, and airmen the tools appropriate for these difficult missions. To accomplish their missions, supported by precise and extremely lethal force, they urgently need non-lethal options. These non-lethal systems must be effective, reliable, easy-to-use, and most importantly trusted by the troops."
The American Defense Preparedness Association (ADPA) Conference on non-lethal weaponry in March 1996 was organized to discuss the utilization of tools that could be used by soldiers, sailors, and airmen to accomplish their missions without the need for lethal force. The conference's chairman, Dr. John Alexander, highlighted the need for reliable, easy-to-use, trustworthy non-lethal weapons to successfully carry out peacekeeping operations. mNon-lethal options are a desirable alternative where deadly force would ordinarily be employed due to their ability to restrain hostile individuals or groups in a manner that does not cause permanent damage or death. These weapons range from rubber bullets, pepper spray and tasers to sonic cannons and lasers that induce dizziness and nausea. Non-lethal weapons are gaining traction as more countries recognize their potential for use on battlefields around the world such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. utThe development of these advanced technologies has been encouraged by NATO's doctrine of Responsible Force which seeks to minimize harm inflicted to both combatants and civilians alike by providing troops with an array of force options when engaging hostile forces during conflict situations. NATO’s doctrine also emphasizes the importance of restraint over excessive use of force while maintaining the capability critically needed in times of war. o In light of this changing landscape, governments are investing heavily iF research into non-lethal technology in order to equip their armed forces with effective means for subduing adversaries without causing death or serious injury. This technology is being designed with an eye towards precision targeting that limits collateral damage when deployed in urban environments or other close quarters scenarios where lives may be at risk if lethal force is utilized instead. Overall, non-lethal weapon systems represent an important tool for militaries around the globe who seek a balance between protecting their own troops while also exercising restraint and avoiding any unnecessary civilian casualties during conflict operations - something that D. John Alexander spoke about back at ADPA’s conference two decades ago. Used is Based on the Amount of Subjects Resistance
Ultimately, it is important that all personnel receive proper education on the responsible use of non-lethal weapons. This education should include information on the capabilities, limitations, and potential risks associated with these weapons. Additionally, personnel must be aware of the legal implications around their use in order to ensure that they are used responsibly and safely. Finally, all individuals operating non-lethal weapons should adhere to proper safety protocols at all times to minimize the risk of injury to both bystanders and personnel using the weapon. By following these steps, non-lethal weapons can become invaluable tools in managing public safety during critical scenarios.
Lethal Force (Firearms)
Impact Weapons (Batons)
Defensive Body Tactics (Hand to Hand Combat)
Passive Control (Escorting Subject)
Verbal Command (Officers Voice Command)
Office Presence (Uniform Presence)
Escalation of force above Vexor or CAP-STUN can lead to officers and subjects' injury or death.
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