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Does unholstering your weapon require a use of force report?

What constitutes a use of force report? Heard of one dept. that required officers to file a use of force report if they unlatch their holster lock. Another department in my area drew their weapons several times in a shift for precautionary purposes. What's your insight on what a use of report is, how long it takes to write, and if mgmt. can be arbitrary with those reports?


  • We have to do paper if we index a target with our weapon. ANY use of force at my agency requires supervisor notification. Even if its just a slight escort to the ground. My advance is more for hands on fighting than using our batman belt. I disagree to a point with that as I recently broke my hand in a scuffle that didn't rise to the "active assault or threat of assault" level to use the taser or pepper. Personally, I hate the UOF continuum. Each case is diff. and so should the requirement for a report.
  • We have to generate some type of "report" when we draw our weapon or place handcuffs on someone. Initially, the report was at the least an incident report. Our POA fought back quick with that stating that it prevents an officer from safely doing their job if they have to document each time they draw their weapon or place someone in handcuffs during a detention. We now just enter it into our CAD call notes when we clear a call if no formal report was generated.
  • In my academy we were trained that we could draw our weapon "when you believe the tactical situation may lead to great bodily injury or threat of death." In LA, that is like every other call...
  • Here you actually have to use force or have a sign of injury. Simply pointing/ drawing a gun does not qualify as a use of force. Pull the trigger and now IA, Homicide, the whole chain of command is involved. A more ordinary UOF is a statement and Sgt. level investigation.
  • In Queensland-Australia, we have policy that require officers to comlete a use of force report for presenting or using our accoutrements, our previous policy did not require a use of force report. I guess it helps the department heads justify the tools/powers that are given to police and generates statistics. What would we do without statistics. Stay safe out there.
  • Yes,I was trained that unholstering your weapon as a visual/physical show of force and that a report must to be written. If your not planing to use it then it shouldn't be removed from your holsters,if the level of threat is such than a report is to protect you and justify your reasoning for unholstering your weapon. It may seem like a pain to write but it protects all that you've worked hard for.
  • Our Response to Resistance report is utilized for everything except when we draw our service weapon. When the Taser was introduced some years back, we were required to document each time we drew it and utilized it on a "Use of Force" report along with our Case Report. This was initially for statistics to prove that just the mere sight of the Taser brought compliance with suspects. Our Use of Force Policy requires officers to document anything more than the mere taking in to custody of a subject. We continue to document the un-holstering of the Taser, use of OC, baton, physical force, but do not have to document the un-holstering of our service weapon.
  • edited 11 Mar 2013
    we only require a report if force is actually used. We do not define unholstering or pointing your weapon as a use of force, so no report required.
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