UNC Police: General Order 01-01R17 - Use of Force


UNC Police: General Order 01-01R17 - Use of Force

Document Information

Document Information Table
Subject Use of Force
Date September 10, 2020
Number 01-01R17
Amends November 7, 2019
Supersedes 01-01R16
Approved by David L. Perry, Chief of Police
CALEA Standards 4.1.1 Use of Reasonable Force, 4.1.2 Use of Deadly Force, 4.1.3 Warning Shots, 4.1.4 Use of Authorized Less Lethal, 4.1.5 Rendering Medical Aid Following Police Actions, 4.2.1 Reporting Use of Force, 4.2.2 Written Use of Force Reports and Administrative Review, 4.2.3 Operational Assignment, 4.2.4 Analyze Reports from Use of Force, 4.2.5 Assault on Sworn Officer Review, 4.3.1 Authorization: Weapons and Ammunition, 4.3.2 Demonstrating Proficiency with Weapons, 4.3.3 Annual/Biennial Proficiency Training, 4.3.4 Prerequisites to Carrying Lethal/Less Lethal Weapons, 4.3.5 Firearms Range, 33.1.5 Remedial Training, 33.5.1 Annual In-Service Training Program, 33.7.1 Non-Sworn Orientation, 33.7.2 Non-Sworn Pre-Service and In-Service Training
CALEA Communications Standards 5.2.6 Annual Retraining, 6.2.7 Procedures for Handling Difficult Callers, & 6.3.1 Radio Communication with Field Units


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) Police Department recognizes and respects the value and sanctity of each human life and dignity without prejudice to anyone. The primary duty of members of this department is to preserve the life of all individuals, including the lives of individuals who are in the custody of law enforcement. Vesting UNC-CH police officers and UNC-CH non-sworn security officers with the lawful authority to use objectively reasonable Force and to protect the public requires monitoring, evaluation, and a careful balancing of all interests.


It is the policy of the UNC-CH Police Department that UNC-CH police officers must consider the Proportionality of the use of Force that is necessary to effectively bring an incident under control, while protecting the lives and safety of everyone involved in the incident. UNC-CH police officers and security non-sworn officers must use De-escalation techniques to prevent or reduce the need for Force when the officer or non-sworn security officer Reasonably Believes it is safe and feasible to do so based on the totality of circumstances.

Units Affected

UNC-CH Police Department Sworn and Non-Sworn Personnel


  • Graham v. Connor (490 U.S. 386 (1989))
  • Guiding Principles on Use of Force (March 2016), Police Executive Research Forum
  • North Carolina General Statute (N.C.G.S.) §15A-401 Arrest by Law Enforcement Officer
  • North Carolina General Statute §116-40.5 Campus Law Enforcement
  • North Carolina General Statute §160A-168 Privacy of Employee Personnel Records
  • The National Framework Use of Force
  • UNC-CH Police Department General Order (G.O.) 00-02 Oath of Office, Code of Ethics and Duty to Intervene
  • UNC-CH Police Department General Order 01-02 Firearms Policy
  • UNC-CH Police Department General Order 01-03 Officer Involved Shootings, In-custody Deaths or Serious Injuries
  • UNC-CH Police Department General Order 01-04 Agency Jurisdiction
  • UNC-CH Police Department General Order 01-05 Law Enforcement Use of Discretion
  • UNC-CH Police Department General Order 01-06 Departmental Authority
  • UNC-CH Police Department General Order 01-07 Defensive Weapons
  • UNC-CH Police Department General Order 03-09 Disciplinary Procedures
  • UNC-CH Police Department General Order 03-24 Critical Incident Stress Management System
  • UNC-CH Police Department General Order 03-25 Staff Duty Officer
  • UNC-CH Police Department General Order 04-01 Patrol Operations
  • UNC-CH Police Department General Order 04-05 Mobile Vehicle Recording System
  • UNC-CH Police Department General Order 04-19 Interactions with Mentally Ill Persons
  • UNC-CH Police Department General Order 06-01 Critical Incident Management and Operations
  • UNC-CH Police Department General Order 06-03 Body Worn Cameras
  • UNC-CH Police Department General Order 11-01 Communication Administration
  • UNC-CH Police Department General Order 11-09 Compliant Control System
  • UNC-CH Police Department General Order 12-01 Records Management
  • UNC-CH Police Department Use of Force Report
  • UNC-CH Police Department Record Management System (RMS)

Description and Definitions

Analysis: A systematic, structured process for dissecting an event into its basic parts to identify any patterns or trends. Analysis should reveal patterns or trends that could be predictive or could indicate program effectiveness, training needs, equipment upgrade needs and/or policy modification needs.

Deadly Force: Any use of Force that creates substantial risk of causing death or Serious Physical Injury, including, but not limited to, the discharge of a firearm.

Deadly Weapons: Weapons that, through normal and intended use, are likely to cause death or Serious Physical Injury.

De-escalation: When reasonable and practicable, officers attempts to identify options and determine the best course of action to reduce the probability of having to use Force in their interactions with subjects. This includes various types of communication, distance and cover, repositioning, calling for a supervisor, etc.

Excessive Force: The application of an amount and/or frequency of Force greater than that required to compel compliance from a willing or unwilling subject.

Intermediate Weapon: Batons, Tasers, and OC spray are often called Intermediate Weapons. Department issued Intermediate Weapons may be used in situations where the subject’s actions constitute active resistance or assaultive behavior(s).

Imminent: An event that is about to occur at any moment.

Non-Deadly Force: Any use of Force other than that which is considered deadly force.

OC Spray: Aerosol spray based on the active natural ingredient oleoresin capsicum, a derivative of various species of cayenne pepper.

Force: To compel by physical means; physical contact or action beyond mere restraint (use of handcuffs), or when a subject allows themselves to be searched or escorted.

Proportionality: Considers whether particular police use of Force is proportional to the threat faced by the officer and given the totality of the circumstances.

Reasonably Believes: The facts or circumstances that would cause a trained law enforcement officer to act or think in a similar way under similar circumstances.

Review: To examine or study; less formal that an Analysis.

Serious Physical Injury: An injury that creates a substantial risk of death, causes serious and protracted disfigurement, or results in long-term loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ or limb.

Taser: (Conducted Energy Weapon - CEW) A weapon that uses electricity to override voluntary motor responses or apply pain in order to gain compliance or overcome resistance. Commonly referred to by the brand TASER.

Weapon of Opportunity: An object, other than the officer’s issued weaponry, which can be converted into a weapon during a use of Force situation if necessary.


I. Statement of Authority

  1. Officers must use only the amount of Force which is objectively reasonable under the totality of the circumstances known to the officer at the time the Force is used. Force may appear necessary at the time the Force is used given the facts and circumstances perceived by the officer at the time of the event to accomplish a legitimate law enforcement purpose.
    1. Whenever possible, UNC-CH police officers should use De-escalation skills during a conflict, so as to use the lowest amount of Force reasonably possible to resolve the situation.
  2. A description of all situations where the use of Force, whether Non-deadly Force or Deadly Force, would be justified is not feasible. The standard used by courts to determine whether or not the use of Force is justifiable is outlined in Graham v. Connor (490 U.S. 386 (1989)), where the court explained:

    "The reasonableness of a particular use of Force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than the 20/20 vision of hindsight, and its calculus must embody allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split second decisions about the amount of Force necessary in a particular situation."

    In Graham, the United States Supreme Court emphasized facts and circumstances that courts examine in determining the reasonableness of the use of Force, which includes:
    1. The severity of alleged crime at issue;
    2. Whether the suspect poses an immediate threat to the safety of officers or others; and
    3. Whether the offender is actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight.
  3. A law enforcement officer is authorized to use Non-deadly Force upon another person when the Force is, or Reasonably Believes to be necessary (N.C.G.S. §15A-401(d)(1)):
    1. To prevent the escape from custody or to effect the arrest of a person who the officer Reasonably Believes has committed a criminal offense; or
    2. To defend themselves or a third person from what the officer Reasonably Believes to be the use or Imminent use of physical Force while effecting or attempting to effect an arrest or while preventing or attempting to prevent an escape.
  4. Officers are always encouraged to slow down or stabilize a given situation through De-escalation techniques to create more time, space, utilize available resources, and/or options to resolve the incident without using Force as long as it doesn’t compromise officer safety.
  5. A law enforcement officer is authorized to use Deadly Force upon another person ONLY when the officer Reasonably Believes that Force is necessary (N.C.G.S. §15A-401(d)(2)):
    1. To defend themselves or a third person from what the officer Reasonably Believes to be the use or the Imminent use of deadly physical Force; or
    2. To effect an arrest or to prevent escape from custody of a person who the officer Reasonably Believes is attempting to escape by the means of a deadly weapon, or who by their conduct or any other means indicates that they present an Imminent threat of death or Serious Physical Injury to others unless apprehended without delay.
  6. In the event an officer uses Deadly Force, UNC-CH Police Department G.O. 01-03 - Officer Involved Shootings, In-custody Deaths or Serious Injuries must be followed.
  7. Excessive Force
    1. Any use of Force which is NOT reasonably necessary in conformance with the North Carolina laws, Federal laws and the Constitution of North Carolina and the United States is prohibited.
    2. Nothing in this policy must be construed to permit, excuse, or justify the use of unreasonable or Excessive Force. Excessive Force is PROHIBITED. (UNC-CH Police Department G.O. 00-02 - Oath of Office, Code of Ethics, and Duty to Intervene).

II. Limits on the Use of Force

  1. UNC-CH police officers and non-sworn employees may carry and only use those weapons which have been issued by the UNC-CH Police Department, or which have been specifically authorized in accordance with UNC-CH Police departmental G.O.’s and by the UNC-CH Chief of Police.
  2. Officers are PROHIBITED from discharging firearms for the purpose of firing “warning shots."
  3. Officers are PROHIBITED from shooting at or from a moving vehicle unless someone in the vehicle is using or threatening to use Deadly Force by a means other than the vehicle itself. Discharging a firearm in this circumstance is never authorized when it is reasonable to believe that the vehicle may contain an innocent passenger, or it is reasonably apparent that the vehicle may careen out of control and injure an innocent bystander. When confronted with an oncoming vehicle, an officer should not position themselves into the path of the vehicle but must take all reasonable steps to move out of the way.
  4. The use of neck restraints or similar techniques are PROHIBITED unless Deadly Force is warranted.
  5. The use by an officer of a baton or other impact weapon to strike an intentional blow to a person’s head is PROHIBITED except when the officer Reasonably Believes there is an Imminent threat of Serious Physical Injury or death to themselves or a third person, and that they have no other reasonable alternative for defending themselves or a third person.

    The baton can be used to strike non-lethal areas only on a resisting subject if appropriately based on the level of resistance. Depending on the method of use and other circumstances, a flashlight, handgun, baton, or similar objects used as a club to strike a head blow could be considered Deadly Force.
  6. Oleoresin Capsicum (OC Spray) is a chemical weapon authorized for use by the UNC-CH Police Department. UNC-CH police officers and UNC-CH non-sworn full-time security employees may only carry or use OC Spray canisters purchased and issued by the UNC-CH Police Department.
    1. OC Spray used in compliance with these guidelines is lawful, Non-deadly Force.
      1. OC Spray cannot be used against a person who is expressing a mere verbal disagreement that does not threaten or incite others to threaten an officer or non-sworn security employee and is not significantly delaying or obstructing discharge of duty.
      2. Verbalizing a warning is required before OC Spray is used, if circumstances allow without risk to the safety of the UNC-CH officer, non-sworn employee, or others. A warning is not required when there is a risk of safety of the UNC-CH police officer, a non-sworn employee, or others.
      3. Non-sworn employees are not authorized to make arrests or forcibly detain someone. They are only authorized to use OC Spray in situations in which they are defending themselves or a third person from Imminent bodily harm.
      4. OC Spray must not be administered by multiple officers or non-sworn employees simultaneously.
      5. OC Spray use is a reasonably necessary progressive step in the use of Force to effect the arrest, to secure an arrestee, provide for the safety of the officer or others, or if physical restraint of a person is not reasonable to bring the person under control without risk to injury to the person or the officer.
      6. The use of OC Spray or any other physical Force is not be immediately deployed where a person or group of persons are participating in a passive non-violent protest unless there is an Imminent threat to an officer or another person’s safety.
  7. CEW (Taser)
    1. The CEW may be used by UNC-CH police officers for the following reasons:
      1. To control actively resisting or assaultive subjects when an officer Reasonably Believes that Deadly Force does not appear to be necessary; or
      2. To prevent a subject from harming themselves or others.
    2. The CEW should not generally be used when a subject is in in a location where a fall may cause Serious Physical Injury or death.
    3. Due to additional risks involved, the CEW must NOT be used on the following group of people unless urgent circumstances exist:
      1. Children believed to be under the age of 12;
      2. Elderly persons that are believed to be 65 years or older;
      3. Women that are believed to be pregnant; and
      4. Visibly frail persons.
    4. The CEW must NOT be used under the following circumstances unless the officer Reasonably Believes there is an Imminent threat:
      1. On any person who is in control of a vehicle that is in gear or in motion;
      2. On a subject who is being actively sprayed with any chemical agents to include OC Spray;
      3. On a passive subject; and
      4. On a handcuffed person.
    5. Under NO circumstances is an employee of the UNC-CH Police Department authorized to carry a CEW while off-duty except during travel between the employee’s home and the department. UNC-CH Police Department employees must notify their supervisor if the employee accidentally discharges their CEW while on-duty or off-duty.
    6. Only one officer can activate a CEW against a subject at a time unless there is a failure of the initial device operated by the initiating officer.
    7. Officer discharging the CEW does not assist in handcuffing the subject.
  8. Firearms
    1. An officer may point a firearm at another person if the officer Reasonably Believes that Deadly Force may become necessary. An officer need not wait until the threat becomes Imminent before pointing their firearm at a person. However, an officer must be able to articulate why they believe that Deadly Force may be necessary. Nothing in this section is intended to take away an officer the ability to defend themselves or another person from Serious Physical Injury or death.
      1. If an officer must defend themselves with the use of a firearm and a subject is injured, the incident must be handled in accordance with UNC-CH Police Department G.O. 01-03 - Officer Involved Shootings, In-custody Deaths, or Serious Injuries.
    2. Anytime a UNC-CH Police Department officer discharges a firearm in another agency’s jurisdiction, the department provides its full cooperation to the agency investigating the incident.
    3. The discharge of any firearm on-duty or off-duty that is either deliberate or unintentional (except during approved firearms training or recreational shooting) must be immediately to a supervisor.
    4. Based on the totality of the circumstances, discharging a firearm could constitute a greater risk to innocent human life then the subject’s actions. For example, discharging a firearm into a crowd or shooting into a building or through a wall, where the subject is not clearly identified and it is unknown if there are other occupants present.
    5. The use of Deadly Force against an animal is justified for self-defense, defense of a third person, or to relieve a badly injured undomesticated animal from greater suffering.
      1. UNC-CH police officers must NOT fire a weapon to destroy any wild animal, unless the weapon can be fired safely with respect to human life and other property. The UNC-CH police officer is responsible for arranging the removal or appropriate disposition of the animal prior to leaving the scene.

III. Use of Force Options

A. The use of Force options which are dictated by the situation are as follows:

1. Presence

The mere presence of an officer(s). In addition, this includes any outward sign or symbol of police officer’s authority (i.e. an officer’s badge, uniform, firearm, patrol vehicle, etc.).

2. Verbal Commands

Must be given in a concise manner likely to be understood by the subject. The subject must be allowed an opportunity to comply with verbal commands unless violence or other circumstances are already occurring which would make total reliance on verbal commands inappropriate.

3. Physical
  1. Soft Hand Techniques: Control techniques that have a minimal probability of injury if the subject resists the technique such as holding, grasping, compliant handcuffing, escorting, etc.
  2. Hard Hand Control Techniques: Control techniques that have a greater potential of injury and include pain compliance, joint manipulation, pressure points, takedowns and striking the subject with officer’s personal body weapons (hands, knees, elbows, etc.). Officers are NOT allowed to utilize strikes or restraints about the neck or head unless actions meet the criteria for Deadly Force.
4. Chemical: OC Spray
  1. There is non-compliance to a lawful command and the suspect has begun to make aggressive actions toward or against the officer or a third person; or
  2. When the suspect continues to refuse to comply with the officer’s lawful efforts to affect an arrest and the continued physical resistance presents an increased threat.
5. Intermediate Weapons

Includes expandable police baton, specialty impact munitions (SIMS), which includes the less lethal shotgun, the 40mm launcher and the CEW (UNC-CH Police Department G.O. 01-07 - Defensive Weapons).

  1. Intermediate Weapons may be used only when an officer is confronted with active resistance that is occurring or is Imminent, against themselves or a third person.
6. Deadly Force

Any actions that would likely result in death or Serious Physical Injury including, but not limited to, firearms (UNC-CH Police Department G.O. 01-02 - Firearms Policy).

  1. Officers are NOT allowed to utilize strikes or restraints about the neck or head unless actions meet the criteria for Deadly Force.
  2. Weapons, Tactics or Techniques of Last Resort

    In certain circumstances, where the safety or survival of an officer is in jeopardy, the use of objects or implements not designed or approved as weapons, or unconventional or otherwise unapproved tactics or techniques.

    Incidents involving such objects, implements, techniques or tactics are closely examined to determine the degree of exigency, the totality of the circumstances, and the existence of absence of other alternatives at the time the Force was applied.

B. Examples of Subject Resistance

  1. Verbal Non-compliance: Dialogue in the form of verbal resistance, the unwillingness to comply or cooperate and/or threats. This includes non-verbal actions (body language), as well as speech and tone of the subject.
  2. Passive Resistance: This is a disobedience technique where a subject does not take action to prevent being taken into custody and their resistance is in the form of non-compliance or inaction, e.g. a subject being taken into custody that lets their body go limp and the subject must then be carried away upon arrest.

    Taking control of a subject such as evasive actions, tensing of muscles, pulling away, bracing, grasping an object, etc. The subject’s actions never rise to the level of being assaultive towards the officer, but they nevertheless is resistive, requiring sometimes substantial Force to overcome.
  3. Active Resistance: This is assaultive behavior by the subject with personal or other weapons not perceived to be deadly or cause Serious Physical Injury. It includes verbal threats of Imminent assault or associated body language consistent with a substantial step toward that assault.
  4. Assaultive: This is assaultive behavior by the subject with person or other weapons perceived to be deadly or may cause Serious Physical Injury. This involves actions where the subject is assaulting or threatening an Imminent assault to the officer or someone else with a weapon, techniques or object that is likely to cause Serious Physical Injury or death.

IV. Training

  1. Personnel who carry and use any authorized less lethal weapons are required to demonstrate proficiency through attendance at annual training, which includes Review of this policy and UNC-CH Police Department G.O. 01-07 - Defensive Weapons. In addition to those just listed, officers must also receive annual policy training on the UNC-CH Police Department G.O. 01-02 - Firearms Policy; UNC-CH Police Department G.O. 00-02 - Oath of Office, Code of Ethics and Duty to Intervene; and UNC-CH Police Department G.O. 01-03 - Officer Involved Shootings, In-custody Deaths or Serious Injuries (awareness training). Officers must also complete a written test on the Use of Force policy on an annual basis.
    1. Officers must achieve proficiency through a UNC-CH Police Department approved training class by the appropriate certified or specialized instructor(s).
    2. Training and proficiency records must be documented in the officer’s training file.
    3. The training sergeant must notify the administrative services commander of any officers that fail to achieve proficiency or that fail to attend qualifications.
  2. A UNC-CH Police Department firearms instructor is responsible for proper training and safety on the firing range, and that proper and adequate training programs are instituted in safety, care and maintenance, and qualification in the use of weapons.
  3. Non-sworn security employees must show proficiency in OC Spray when they are hired and through annual training.
  4. The following less-lethal weapons require proficiency training when UNC-CH police officers are initially hired:
    1. OC Spray;
    2. Collapsible police baton;
    3. Riot baton;
    4. CEW;
    5. Foam projectile;
    6. Bean bag round; and
    7. Other equipment approved by the UNC-CH Chief of Police that is designated to incapacitate, but not designed to deliver Deadly Force.
  5. UNC-CH Police Department telecommunicators must receive annual training on the importance of information gathering, as well as providing responding personnel with relevant information prior to the officer’s arrival on scene. This training should include some type of scenario training.
  6. Officers must train in weaponless control techniques every two years. Proficiency training must be monitored by a certified defensive tactics instructor.
  7. Training for less-lethal weapons occurs every two years except for CEW, which occurs annually. Proficiency training must be monitored by a certified specialized instructor.
  8. Personnel who do not maintain proficiency with an authorized less lethal weapon must be provided remedial training. Following remedial training, personnel who still cannot maintain proficiency with an authorized less lethal weapon are no longer be allowed to carry such weapon and may be subject to disciplinary action that could include termination for inability to maintain a vital job performance standards.
  9. Tactical training should have a strong emphasis on communication, De-escalation techniques, maintaining cover and distance, assessing threats through a structured process and allowing for the time needed to resolve an incident safely for everyone.

V. Rendering Medical Assistance Following a Use of Force Incident

  1. Prior to processing a subject who is under arrest or releasing them, officers must obtain medical attention for any person to whom Force has been applied who:
    1. Exhibits signs of physical distress;
    2. Has sustained visible injury;
    3. Expresses a complaint of injury or continuing pain; or
    4. Was rendered unconscious.

    In such situations, officers must ensure that the person is monitored until medical attention is obtained.
  2. Medical Emergencies

    Persons who exhibit extreme agitation, violent irrational behavior accompanied by profuse sweating, extraordinary strength beyond their physical characteristics, and imperviousness to pain (sometimes called “excited delirium”), or who experience a protracted physical encounter with multiple officers to be brought under control, may necessitate special medical consideration.
    1. Calls involving these persons may be considered medical emergencies. Officers who reasonably suspect a medical emergency must request medical as soon as practicable and have medical personnel stage, if appropriate.
  3. Providers of Medical Attention

    Based upon the officer’s initial assessment of the nature and extent of the subject’s injuries, medical attention may consist of examination by fire personnel, EMT’s paramedics, hospital staff, or medical staff at the jail.
  4. Refusal of Medical Attention

    If any individual refuses medical attention, such a refusal must be fully documented in related reports and, whenever practical, should be witnessed by another officer and/or medical personnel. If a body worn camera (BWC) recording is made of the contact or an interview with the individual, any refusal should be included in the BWC recording, if possible.
  5. When an officer Reasonably Believes that there is a medical risk to a person following any use of Force, the on-scene supervisor, or if unavailable, the primary officer must ensure that any person providing medical care or receiving custody of such person is informed that the person was subjected to Force. The notification must include a description of the Force used and any other circumstances the officer Reasonably Believes would be potential safety or medical risks to the subject (e.g. prolonged struggle, extreme agitation, impaired respiration, etc.).

VI. Officer Responsibilities During and After a Use of Force Incident

  1. Any use of Force used by an officer must be objectively reasonable. The officer must evaluate each situation in light of the known circumstances, including, but not limited to, the seriousness of the crime; the physical make-up of the parties involved; the level of the threat or resistance presented by the subject; actions of third parties who may be present; any potential injury that an officer(s), citizen(s), or suspect(s) could sustain; and the potential for risk of escape. UNC-CH Police Department Use of Force Reports must be completed for, but not limited to, the following occurrences:
    1. Whenever an officer discharges a firearm or disengages their departmental issued weapon from their holster to include during traffic stops and building searches, etc., where the public may or may not be aware the firearm has been drawn;
    2. Whenever weaponless techniques are used that exceed the mere touching of a subject in order to handcuff. For example, taking a suspect to the ground in order to complete an arrest;
    3. Whenever OC Spray is used;
    4. Whenever striking techniques are used on a subject;
    5. Whenever a CEW is disengaged from the officer’s CEW holster, pointed at someone, activated, or when the CEW is directed on a subject; or
    6. Implied use of any weapon.
  2. Force should only be used by an officer when all other means of resolving the situation have been exhausted or are clearly inapplicable.
  3. Officers have a duty to intervene per UNC-CH Police Department G.O. 00-02 - Oath of Office, Code of Ethics, and Duty to Intervene when an officer believes another officer is Imminent danger of using Excessive Force.
  4. Once scene has been rendered safe and control has been established, officers must notify the on-duty supervisor, if they are not already on scene, that one or more officers used Force.
  5. For any Deadly Force incidents or those involving in-custody deaths or Serious Physical Injuries, officers should refer to UNC-CH Police Department G.O. 01-03 - Officer Involved Shootings, In-custody Deaths, or Serious Injuries.
  6. Assess if the individual(s) involved in the incident need any medical attention or if they are having a medical emergency.
  7. Digital photographs must be taken which, at minimum, depict the involved officer(s) and the civilian(s) involved in the incident to include any injuries sustained during the incident.
  8. Any and all motor vehicle recordings (MVR) or BWC recordings of the incident must be downloaded, tagged and referenced in the incident report. Tag should include use of Force.
  9. Use of Force reports must be completed, scanned, and attached to the incident report in UNC-CH Police Department’s record management system (RMS) as well as any other documents or photos, by the end of the officer’s shift.
  10. UNC-CH Police Department non-sworn security personnel must have an officer complete an incident report if they are involved in a use of Force incident.

VII. Supervisor Responsibilities During and After a Use of Force Incident

  1. An on-duty supervisor should immediately respond upon the call being dispatched to the following types of incidents to potentially help reduce the use of unnecessary Force but not limited to the following:
    1. Where a weapon (including firearm, edged weapon, rocks, or other improvised weapon is reported;
    2. Where persons experiencing mental health crises are reported; or
    3. Where a dispatcher or other member of the department believes that there is potential for significant use of Force.
  2. Once on scene and if circumstances permit, supervisors should attempt to huddle with officers before responding to develop a plan of action that focuses on De-escalation where possible.
  3. On-duty supervisor must also respond to the scene of all use of Force incidents that would require the completion of a UNC-CH Police Department Use of Force Report.
  4. Notify the staff duty officer when practical, who notifies the UNC-CH Chief of Police.
  5. Verifies that all MVR or BWC recordings associated with the incident are downloaded and tagged.
  6. On-duty supervisor must Review BWC footage and include this Review in a supplemental incident report prior to the end of shift or within a time frame approved by the on-call staff duty officer (UNC-CH Police Department G.O. 06-03 - Body Worn Cameras).
  7. On-duty supervisor Reviews and approves documentation associated with the incident.
  8. The on-duty supervisor forwards the reports through the chain of command, to both the patrol services commander and the administrative services commander. The hard copy of the UNC-CH Use of Force Report is given to the UNC-CH Police Department Records Manager.
  9. If a supervisor is involved in a use of Force incident, a supervisor of the same rank or higher who was not involved in the incident must Review the all incident related documentation.

VIII. Documentation Requirements and Review of Incidents Involving Force

Any use of Force by a member of the UNC-CH Police Department must be documented promptly, Completely, and accurately in a UNC-CH Use of Force Report. Officer(s) must articulate the factors perceived and why they believed the use of Force was reasonable under the circumstances. Off-duty officers are subject to the same notification and reporting procedures as on-duty officers. When an off-duty officer uses Force, they must notify the on-duty or on-call staff duty officer.

  1. Required documentation for incidents that involve an officer(s) using Force.
    1. Any officer(s) that is involved in a use of Force incident is required to complete the following paperwork (if applicable) based on their involvement in the incident:
      1. Incident report(s);
      2. Supplemental report(s) to the incident report(s);
      3. Use of Force Report(s) (each officer must complete a report); or
      4. Arrest report(s), citation report(s), etc.
    2. Hard copies of all UNC-CH Police Department Use of Force Reports are maintained by the UNC-CH Police Department records manager.
  2. UNC-CH Police Department Use of Force Report(s) are not public records or records of a criminal investigation. The report(s) are considered part of an employee’s personnel file in accordance with N.C.G.S. 160-168. The report(s) are used to document and evaluate employee performance. The report(s) are evaluated to determine whether the use and level of Force was appropriate under the totality of the circumstances, was done for lawful purpose and was consistent with departmental training and policy. Each incident that involves an officer using Force is Reviewed by the administrative services commander and the training sergeant and each Review is documented.
  3. If death or Serious Physical Injury results from the officer’s actions or applications of Force, the officer must be removed from their assignment in order to protect the interests of the individuals involved, pending the investigation. If a non-serious injury occurs during a use of Force incident, removal from active duty may be imposed by the UNC-CH Chief of Police based on the circumstances surrounding the incident. In both cases, the officer could be placed on administrative duty or investigatory suspension with pay per the policies and procedures in UNC-CH Police Department G.O. 03-09 - Disciplinary Procedures.
  4. The administrative services commander forwards a copy of each incident and incident evaluation to the UNC-CH Chief of Police.
  5. Annual Review and Analysis of UNC-CH Police Department Use of Force Reports and incidents:
    1. In order to reveal patterns of behavior, training needs, trends, equipment upgrades, or the need to modify existing G.O.’s, an Analysis must be conducted annually of all use of Force activities. The administrative services commander conducts this documented Analysis. The Analysis should identify:
      1. Date and time of incidents;
      2. Types of encounters resulting in the use of Force;
      3. Trends or patterns related to race, age and gender of subjects involved;
      4. Trends or patterns resulting in injury to any person including employees; and
      5. Impact of findings on policies, practices, equipment, and training.
    2. As part of the annual Analysis, the administrative services commander or administrative conducts a Review of all assaults on law enforcement officers to determine trends or patterns, with recommendations to enhance officer safety, revise policy, or address training issues.

UNC Police Use of Force

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Article ID: 132101
Thu 4/8/21 9:23 PM
Fri 10/6/23 4:18 PM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
UNC Police
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Chief of Police
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
11/01/2024 12:00 AM
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
08/04/2023 7:47 PM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
09/12/2020 7:47 PM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
09/12/2020 7:47 PM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
03/04/2020 9:50 AM