|| Rob Carroll
|| Support Services
|| President’s Cabinet
|Date of Approval:
|| May 12, 2015
|Date of Last Revision:
|Next Review Date:
The authority to use force on and detain individuals carries with it the need for accountability in order to respect the rights of members of the university community and preserve the integrity of Heritage University.
Reason for Policy/Purpose
The information contained herein provides guidance to security officers with authority to use force and efforts to detain individuals. These guidelines are intended to reflect Heritage University’s commitment to a community-friendly approach to security services. In applying these guidelines, it should be recognized that each situation is unique. Therefore, good judgment and common sense should form the fundamental basis for all decisions pertaining to pursuit, use of force and efforts to detain.
These guidelines are not intended to be contractual in nature and they should not be construed as creating a legal duty, or a standard of safety or care. They are for internal use only and are not intended for use in any criminal or civil proceeding. Violations of these guidelines may form the basis for decisions internal to Heritage University, but only violations of the law may form the basis for civil or criminal sanctions in a recognized court or administrative proceeding.
Who Needs to Know this Policy
The use of force policy is for the safety of all security officers employed by Heritage University so that they may have specific standards to guide them while on duty. Heritage University security officers are not commissioned police officers and rely upon the local police department for emergency services.
Website Address for this Policy
Director of Maintenance and Operations
Washington Criminal Code
RCW 9A.16.010 – Definitions
RCW 9A.16.020 – Use of Force – when lawful
Use of Force – Individual circumstances will govern the appropriate order, combination(s) and level(s) of force to be applied to any given situation. However, a security officer should only use that level of force which the officer reasonably believes is necessary, given the facts and circumstances perceived by the campus security personnel at the time of the event, to effectively bring an incident under control.
“Reasonableness” of the force used must be judged from the perspective of a person with the training and experience of a security employee who is on the scene at the time of the incident. Any interpretation of reasonableness must allow for the fact that campus security personnel are sometimes forced to make split second decisions in circumstances that are tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation.
A Heritage University security officer should use only that force which the officer reasonably believes is necessary, but not limited to:
- To detain an individual when a felony has been committed and the officer has grounds to believe that the person being detained has committed it; or
- When the officer reasonably believes use of force is necessary to prevent serious bodily injury and/or death to the individual, the officer or other(s).
The following continuum generally describes increasing types of force employed by security officers.
- Physical presence of a Heritage University security officer in uniform
- Verbal commands
- Soft hands
- Hard hands used in a manner designated for greatest likelihood of compliance with least likelihood of injury.
- Weapons of defense (i.e. Handcuffs or Baton)
Under unique circumstances it may be necessary and appropriate to consider other methods and/or instruments of force, but only when the officer reasonably believes immediate potential for serious bodily injury to the officer, self or others.
Reporting — Heritage University security officer shall immediately submit a written report to the Director of Security Services whenever there is a use of force beyond the use of soft hands on the use of force continuum. The report shall contain:
b. Date and time of event
c. Location of event
d. Description of individual(s) involved in event
e. Names of University personnel responding to event
f. Description of all facts and circumstances surrounding event
g. The order, level(s) and justification for force used
h. Description of injury or alleged injury
i. Names of independent witnesses if available
This policy is not intended by Heritage University to form a contract between it and any person or entity. These procedures may be amended by authorized University officials at any time without prior notice.
An annual review will be conducted on all use of force incidents which resulted in a review by the Emergency Response Team and an incident report being forwarded to the President. The purpose of the review will be to examine use of force incidents which may be useful in identifying University policy and/or training needs.
Related Policies and Resources
Use of Force Policy