Statement on Use of Force

The Schubert Center supports developmentally-informed police practices and the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s statement on Use of Force quoted below:

“Managing use of force is one of the most difficult challenges faced by law enforcement agencies. The ability of law enforcement officers to enforce the law, protect the public, and guard their own safety, the safety of innocent bystanders, and even those suspected or apprehended for criminal activity is very challenging. For these reasons, law enforcement agencies develop policies and procedures, as well as conduct extensive training, to ensure that any use of force is carefully applied and objectively reasonable considering the situation confronted by the officers.

Law enforcement officers are trained to treat all individuals, whether they are a complainant, suspect, or defendant, with dignity and respect. This is the bedrock principle behind the concepts of procedural justice and police legitimacy.”

The Schubert Center for Child Studies has been an active partner in seeking to improve police-youth interactions, including developing crisis intervention, de-escalation and use of force policies for the Cleveland Division of Police in response to the Cleveland Consent Decree. Recognizing how children and young people are developmentally different from adults and how these differences can impact police-youth interactions, our center’s policy recommendations focus on the importance of age-appropriate responses, use of discretion, environmental context, and use of a proportional force continuum to mitigate the use of force with young people.