Scottish and US Police Forces Working Together for Solutions to Avoid the Use of Deadly Force

The last few years have been trying ones in the USA over the use of deadly force by police in the country. Incidents in Ferguson and Baltimore even led to large scale rioting and unrest. Of course, there are two sides to every story too and people should not forget that police officers put their lives on the line every day and most certainly have the right to defend themselves. Recently, 125 veteran police officers met with Scotland’s Assistant Chief Constable to discuss ways that might help mitigate the use of deadly force by US police departments.

Why Scotland? Because they are known to have one of the most peaceful police forces on the planet. As a matter of fact, less than 2% of the men and women in the Scottish Police Force even carry firearms. The rest are issued what consists of a type of pepper spray, an extendable baton and handcuffs. Remarkably, there has not been a member of the 17,000 strong Scottish police force killed in the line of duty since 1994. This certainly does suggest that their methods may help reveal some tactics that can certainly be put to use in the USA.

Scottish PoliceA lot of what the Scottish police officers did not understand was the apparent use by many US police forces of the unwritten but often assumed “21 foot rule.” The rule states that a police officer has to make the decision to use deadly force before the suspect gets within 21 feet of them, otherwise they will not have time to react and defend themselves. Studies by several police forces show that in most cases, if an attacker is less than 21 feet from an officer, that officer will not have time to fire off two rounds and then evade the attacker’s momentum towards them.

Many police departments refute that there is such a rule, but others acknowledge it and admit officers are trained using the method in some academies. It is also hard to deny its widespread use when it appears in police training videos and training manuals too.

Are people more even tempered and good natured in Scotland than they are in the USA? According to Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins, who led the conference, that was hardly the case. In the years since the last Scottish police officer’s death, there have been thousands of incidents that have been recorded where Scottish police have been attacked with a variety of weapons.

Assistant Chief Constable Higgins said he believes one of the problems with US police departments is they are trained to resolve a situation quickly and need to shift the focus to resolving a situation safely like the Scottish police force does. Any advice that will help cut down on the use of deadly force by US police officers will certainly be welcome advice because when these incidents happen it divides the country and often times spikes racial tensions too.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Craig Smith

Craig has been writing for several years but just recently made freelance writing a full time profession after leaving behind 26 years working in the swimming pool construction industry. He served four years in the US Air Force as an Imagery Interpreter Specialist in Okinawa, Japan and at SAC Headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. As a staunch supporter of law enforcement personnel, emergency medical technicians, firemen, search and rescue personnel and those who serve in the military, Craig is proud to contribute to the US Patriot blog on their behalf.
Craig Smith
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1 thought on “Scottish and US Police Forces Working Together for Solutions to Avoid the Use of Deadly Force

  1. “Are people more even tempered and good natured in Scotland than they are in the USA?”

    Speaking as a Glaswegian, no.

    The main difference I’ve noticed is that the USA has a much higher and more pervasive level of fear than Scotland (and the UK in general). I suspect that helps incidents escalate to lethal levels more quickly. Glasgow is notoriously violent, but there’s rarely any intention on either side to actually kill anyone. Giving them a kicking for supporting the wrong team/coming from the wrong area/spilling my pint is usually enough.

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