Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Policing

Less-than-lethal refers to weapons or tactics that are designed to incapacitate or immobilize a person without causing death or serious bodily harm.

These weapons or tactics are used by law enforcement agencies, military forces, and other security personnel in situations where the use of deadly force is not necessary or justified.

Less-than-lethal weapons and tactics can include many options, such as pepper spray, stun guns, rubber bullets, bean bag rounds, and tasers. These weapons are intended to temporarily incapacitate a person, allowing law enforcement officers to apprehend them or diffuse a potentially dangerous situation safely.

While less-than-lethal weapons are designed to minimize the risk of death or serious injury, they can still pose a risk to the person being targeted, especially if they are used improperly or excessively. In some cases, using less-than-lethal weapons has been associated with serious injuries or even death.

As a result, law enforcement agencies and other organizations that use less-than-lethal weapons and tactics are generally required to follow strict protocols and guidelines to ensure that they are used appropriately and only in situations where the use of deadly force is not justified.

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Last Modified: 03/09/2023


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