Use of Force


Police officers, including Camp Hill officers, are authorized by both state and federal law to use force upon individuals under certain limited circumstances.  Camp Hill Police Officers are provided training and policy guidance regarding the legal and appropriate use of force.

Officers have a range of force options available to them in any Use of Force encounter.  These options are found on a Use of Force Continuum as follows:

  1. Officer Presence                                                                                                              Lowest
  2. Verbal Persuasion or Commands                                                                                        
  3. Empty Soft Hand Control                                                                                                     
  4. Taser                                                                                                                                    
  5. Empty Hard Hand Control                                                                                                              
  6. Intermediate Weapons (impact weapons, bean bag)                                                                     
  7. Deadly Force                                                                                                                   Highest

The Use of Force Continuum encompasses options available to police.  Officers must be able to escalate or de-escalate the level of force applied almost instantaneously based upon the resistance or threat posed by a subject.  In any case, an officer shall use the minimum amount of force necessary to make an arrest or defend him/herself or another from the threat of force or injury.

Camp Hill officers are required to notify a supervisor without delay of an incident where any degree of force has been used or alleged to have been used by the officer.  The supervisor shall then investigate the incident and complete a Response to Resistance / Use of Force Report if warranted.  That report is then forwarded to the Mayor and Chief of Police for administrative review and classification as either an approved response to resistance/use of force or placed under further review for legal or administrative purposes.

The Camp Hill Police Department takes any police use of force very seriously.  We have taken steps to insure officers have the training, policy guidance and supervision to apply force legally and reasonably when warranted.  We have taken the additional step of sharing our department Use of Force Policy on the department website (Camp Hill  We will also be posting Response to Resistance / Use of Force Summary Reports on a monthly basis in an effort to be transparent about one of the most potentially volatile aspects of policing.

Hopefully this information will serve to reassure the public that the Camp Hill Police Department is committed to serving the community, adhering to the rule of law and fair and impartial policing.

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