Are security guards risking our security? |

Are security guards risking our security?

Dear Editor:

I would like to bring a point to the table in hopes of avoiding a potential disaster.

Given that this valley doesn’t have the best record with use of excessive force (homeless woman being Tased), I was wondering why security guards at Carbondale’s Oktoberfest were carrying concealed firearms.

I have my concealed-firearms permit and know first-hand that it only takes $90 and two hours of “training” to get. I would like to know if Carbondale has an agency’s use-of-force policy and or training protocols. The first step to managing use-of-force liability and maintaining public safety is to maintain a legally sound, up-to-date policy.

Even though police use-of-force is statistically uncommon, tremendous liability and potential for injury comes with each force situation.

In the nearly two-decade history of Graham v. Connor, courts have refined the three-prong Graham test and applied a number of additional factors.

For example, courts may also consider the immediate availability of less-lethal tools. However, an officer or agency cannot be held liable for the agency’s failure to purchase and deploy a particular less-lethal technology. The suspect’s history of mental illness, or level of impairment from alcohol or drugs, also contributes to the analysis of the threat posed by the suspect.

But a great policy is worthless if personnel are not trained in constitutional limitations on the use of force and the parameters of the agency’s policy. How many agencies require firearms qualification two or more times each year, but never provide training on the latest court decisions or statute changes that govern use of force? How many agencies provide regular in-service training of non-lethal or less-lethal perishable skills, such as defensive tactics? Are your agency’s officers trained to recognize and respond to exited delirium syndrome?

Adam Mercer


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