The Largo Police Department is committed to providing professional and honorable service with an obligation to respect the lives and welfare of all individuals.
As a State- and Nationally-Accredited agency, the Largo Police Department is committed to the highest standards and ensures methods for commendation and complaint procedures, bias-based policing, and reporting to Internal Affairs. Bias-based practices establish that every individual regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, economic status, background, age, or culture deserves the highest level of service available and equal treatment under the law.
In an effort to promote transparency, the Largo Police Department has added the information below to help answer commonly asked questions related to the response to resistance by officers. The Largo Police Department and the City of Largo are actively looking for community partners to assist in facilitating conversations on the topic of equity and individual perspectives with our residents.
Any additional questions may be directed to [email protected].
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The Largo Police Department requires de-escalation a core principle of Directive 4-1: Response to Resistance
- The lawful execution of legal duties requires the reasonable application of force in those situations that cannot otherwise be controlled, where de-escalation and all reasonable alternatives to the use of force have been exhausted or would be ineffective. Only that force which is reasonable and necessary to accomplish lawful objectives will be used in compliance with this directive and legal requirements.
- De-escalation: The strategic slowing down of an incident in a manner that allows officers more time, distance, space, and tactical flexibility during dynamic situations on the street.
- TASERs may be used upon a subject who is threatening self-harm if the person has the apparent ability to do so. Other force options and de-escalation techniques should be utilized first when appropriate.
The Largo Police Department incorporates a Recommended Response to Resistance/Levels of Resistance Matrix into Directive 4-1: Response to Resistance
- There are innumerable situations that require officers to use less lethal force to lawfully perform their duties. In order to provide guidance for proper response to resistance decision making, the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission Use of Force/Resistance Level matrix is incorporated to demonstrate proper responses to varied levels of resistance.
- Resistance Levels are identified as Presence, Verbal Resistance, Passive Physical Resistance, Active Physical Resistance, Aggressive Physical Resistance, and Aggravated Physical Resistance.
- Officer Response Levels are identified as:
- Level 1- Officer Presence
- Level 2- Communication (De-escalation, Verbal Direction, Touch)
- Level 3- Physical Control (Restraint Devices, Transporters, Take Downs, Pain Compliance, Counter Moves)
- Level 4- Intermediate Weapons
- Level 5- Incapacitating Control
- Level 6- Deadly Force
- Authorized Less Lethal Weapons
- Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) spray is authorized for use in situations involving acts of active, aggressive, or aggravated physical resistance to prevent or minimize injury to the officer or others.
- The Autolock Expandable Baton is authorized for use in situations involving active, aggressive, or aggravated physical resistance to prevent or minimize injury to the officer of others.
- The deployment of a TASER is a serious use of force and will utilized in compliance with Florida State Statute 943.1717. The TASER may be considered for use in arrest or custodial situations during which the person who is the subject of the arrest or custody escalates resistance to the officer from passive physical resistance to active physical resistance or higher AND the person:
- Has the apparent ability to physically threaten the officer or others; or
- Is attempting to flee or escape when other response to resistance options have been or would likely be ineffective.
- The Less Lethal Modified Remington 870 Bean Bag Weapon is authorized in situations involving active, aggressive, or aggravated physical resistance to prevent or minimize injury to the officer of others.
The Largo Police Department Directive 4-1: Response to Resistance Section IV (H) prohibits the use of chokeholds, strangleholds, or neck restraints except in cases where aggravated physical resistance (deadly force) is encountered.
Largo Police Department Directive 4-1: Response to Resistance addresses the issuance of warning prior to the use of deadly force:
- The use of deadly force is predicated upon an imminent threat of death or great bodily harm. With this restriction in mind, officers will make every effort to provide verbal warnings prior to the use of deadly force unless circumstances dictate otherwise.
Largo Police Department Directive 4-1: Response to Resistance addresses shooting at moving vehicles:
- Firing at or from a moving vehicle is prohibited unless the occupants represent a direct threat to the life of an officer or other person.
Largo Police Department Directive 4-1: Response to Resistance addresses the use of deadly force:
- Authorized Uses of Lethal Force:
When the officer reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to the officer or another person.
To prevent the escape of a person whom the officer has the strongest probable cause to believe has committed a forcible felony, and if allowed to escape, would pose an imminent threat of death or great bodily harm to the officer or another person after all reasonable means of apprehension have been exhausted.
Largo Police Department Directives 1-1: Philosophy of Policing Ethical Standards and 4-1: Response to Resistance addresses a member’s duty to intervene.
- If a member observes unethical, improper, or unlawful behavior by a colleague, she/he is required to determine the facts, attempt to rectify the situation, and if appropriate, report the incident to their immediate supervisor or the Office of Professional Standards for investigation and action. Members who fail to take legally prescribed action when confronted with misconduct share the burden of guilt.
- In accordance with Directive 1-1: Philosophy of Policing and Ethical Standards, all members of the Largo Police Department have an ethical, moral, and legal duty to intervene and stop the use of any force outside of the guidelines presented in this directive.
Largo Police Department Directive 4-1: Response to Resistance establishes procedures for comprehensive reporting.
- In addition to required offense reports, Response to Resistance Reports are required in the following circumstances:
- The discharge of a firearm, on or off duty, intentionally or accidentally, other than for training or lawful recreational activities.
- Actions are taken that result in, or is alleged to result in, the injury or death of another person.
- Force is applied through the use of any weapon
- Physical force is applied at any level above non-resistive handcuffing, including pointing a firearm or TASER at another person or the use of a Spit Sock Hood.
- A Response to Resistance Report will be independently completed by each officer who applies force in an incident and submitted prior to the termination of their tour of duty when force was used.
- Irrespective of jurisdictional boundaries, as soon as possible following an incident requiring the completion of a Response to Resistance Report, a supervisor will be notified.
- As soon as possible following the stabilization of response to resistance incidents, all reasonable steps will be taken to ensure that any injured parties receive appropriate medical assistance, including but not limited to the provision of aid up to the member's level of training and summoning Fire Rescue.
- In addition to the requirements to photograph subjects against whom certain weapons have been used, any injuries or areas where injuries are alleged will be carefully photographed.
- Response to Resistance Reports will be reviewed by supervisors in the submitting officer's chain of command. If the supervisor concludes that the response to resistance was proper, he/she will sign the sheet and forward it to the next level of supervision. If the supervisor concludes that the response to resistance was improper, he/she will initiate corrective action.
- Response to Resistance Reports will be forwarded to the Office of Professional Standards where the Internal Affairs Sergeant will conduct a documented review and the reports compiled for statistical analysis
- Annually, in January, the Office of Professional Standards Lieutenant will conduct an administrative review and analysis of policies, practices, and the Response to Resistance Reports required under this section from the previous year to discover any trends indicating training needs, equipment changes, or directive revisions.