Police and Citizens Closely Agree on Reasonable Use of Force According to National Survey Conducted by Response to Resistance

Share Article

RTR survey results show there is very little disagreement or variance between what citizens and trained officers believe are “objectively reasonable” responses to resistance regardless of race, age or gender. People instinctively know what is reasonable when they see it.

RTR Founder & CEO

RTR Founder & CEO

The current national turmoil regarding the purported disproportionate use of force by law enforcement against minorities is fueled by the fact that there is not a hard and fast definition of what constitutes 'objectively reasonable force'.

The Response to Resistance Survey was created to support the public safety community and aid their efforts to safeguard the citizens they are sworn to serve and protect. The company has a goal of over 1 million participants. According to Sam Faulkner, RTR founder and CEO, the current national turmoil regarding the purported disproportionate use of force by law enforcement against minorities is fueled by the fact that there is not a hard and fast definition of what constitutes “objectively reasonable force” or how “reasonable officers” respond to resistance, assault and aggression as mandated by the US Supreme Court in Graham v. Connor.

Faulkner’s focus on response to resistance spans 20+ years with over 60,000 law enforcement, corrections and civilian surveys completed. The database is growing daily as more individuals and police agencies take the RTR survey at http://www.responsetoresistance.com. Faulkner has over 27 years of experience in law enforcement serving as a Chief of Police and Principal Defensive Tactics Instructor at the Ohio Peace Officer’s Training Academy under the auspices of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. He is the author of the Action-Response Continuum© used by many law enforcement departments. Faulkner has used the research and qualified as an expert witness in over 350 use of force cases nationwide including 120 cases involving the use of firearms. The research supporting the Action-Response Continuum© has been evaluated by the Wright State University Graduate School, the University of Cincinnati PhD program, an intramural research project through the U.S. Justice Department, National Institute of Justice; peer reviewed by the American Criminology Society, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and presented to the National Association of Attorney Generals (NAAG) on two separate occasions. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has also published a book about the research.

The Survey takes about 8 minutes and presents five different scenarios regarding reaction and response to resistance ranging from simply failing to obey an officer’s instruction to use of a knife or firearm against the officer. The results for both law enforcement and civilians are analyzed and compared. Amazingly, there is very little disagreement or variance between what citizens and trained officers believe are “ objectively reasonable” responses when viewing the exact same scenario regardless of race, age or gender. In other words, people instinctively know what is reasonable when they see it. In fact, current survey data reveals less than a 1% variance regarding responses that are considered reasonable when an officer is confronted by a suspect using hands, fists, feet, knives or a firearm to seriously injure or kill. Faulkner has surveyed community members in town hall meetings following use of deadly force incidents with similar results. Even prison inmates surveyed after the Lucasville (OH) prison riot in 1993 indicated that use of a weapon against an officer justifies use of deadly force.

RTR can establish a specific agency code for law enforcement departments that take the survey to determine their overall belief system regarding the use of force. Based on the results, the department can identify specific areas where training may need clarity or improvement. The survey provides tremendous benefits to the department and community at large from a social responsibility, legal and risk management perspective. For complete transparency, the results can be shared with local citizens who can take the exact same survey for comparison purposes. For example, one of the largest police departments in the United States required each of their officers to take the survey and subsequently adopted the “Action-Response Continuum.”

RTR offers law enforcement agencies expert legal, training and policy analysis services. Take the survey at http://www.responsetoresistance.com.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Lissa Mitchell
109 Marketing
+1 (937) 360-6820
Email >
Response To Resistance, LLC.
Like >
Response to Resistance

Visit website