The law enforcement officers have been justified to use lethal weapons in their operations. However, the same is being countered by the main requirement of saving lives at all the time. The law enforcement officers operate at a very tricky environment where they are expected to combat crime and even disarm individuals who are equally armed and at the same time avoid killing people. As a way of meeting their priority requirement of promoting life, the law enforcement officers are set to benefit from the availability of the non-lethal weapons. The paper will lay an explicit focus on the non-lethal options that are available for use by the law enforcement officers.
The use of light as a weapon
The law enforcement officers have continuously used the intense beam lights as weapons. The light beams and the flashing strobes are mainly used to produce very intense light flashed into the eyes of an individual with the main purpose of disorienting them. When the light is flashed into the eyes of an individual, the law enforcers disorient and disable the suspect (Murgado, 2013). The best thing about this light is that it can enable the law enforcers to approach the suspect without the suspect noticing whether the officer is so near. The light weapon works by disabling the senses of the opponent and painting a fiction picture. It is one of the most harmless weapons that are available for use by the law enforcers (Murgado, 2013).
The chemical weapons.
The most common forms of non-lethal weapons that are mainly used by the law enforcers are the chemical agents. The chemical weapons commonly used are the CS and the OC. The various chemical weapons tend to produce almost the same effect. The suspect experiences a lot of irritation on the skin in all the mucous membranes that have been exposed to the chemical (Newcombe, 2015). One also experiences a lot of pain and a serious burning sensation. Some of the chemical weapons also have the ability to affect the eyes of an individual in a way that the suspect does not see properly. Some of the weapons that have an effect on the mucous membranes are designed in a way that they affect the breathing of an individual. In some cases, the OC and the CS can be combined with water, and they form a very effective chemical weapon (Newcombe, 2015). When using the chemical weapons, one should have in mind the effects that will arise from the chemical.
Conducted electric weapons
There are very many institutions that are currently using conducted electric weapons. The weapons are so special in that they send electrical impulses to the suspect’s body, and this prevents the transfer of impulses between the brain and the body muscles. The electrical weapons interfere with the normal communication network (Murgado, 2013). The resultant is the impairment of the motor functions accompanied by involuntary muscle contraction (Murgado, 2013). These weapons have been known to be very effective, and they are the second most effective non-lethal weapons from the OC. They have been known to defeat the suspect so easily especially at close range.
Advantages of the above weapons
The above weapons have enabled the enforcement officers to get hold of criminals without endangering the life of the criminals. These weapons cause less or no injury to the criminals when compared with the let weapons such as guns (Newcombe, 2015). These weapons only disable the movement of the suspect and their chance of using weapons against the officers. The weapons have promoted the safety of the officers and at the same time, they have enabled the officers to save a lot of lives.
The weapons have also helped the law enforcers to apprehend a large number of criminals since it is very easy to immobilize a group of suspects at the crime scenes.
Some of the weapons have been criticized on the basis that they can cause death. For example, the electric weapons have been criticized by international bodies for the deaths that they cause on suspects. Even though they are classified as less lethal the electric weapons kills (Newcombe, 2015).
The weapons can endanger the life of the officers since the officers use them against armed suspects. Some of these weapons are also known to be overpowered by the suspect and thus the officer may need other advanced skills in such a case (Bulman, 2011).
Others such as the chemical weapons are known to have adverse effects on the suspect, and they may cause a lot of injury to the suspect.
81mm Non-Lethal Indirect Fire
One of the nonlethal weapons being developed is the 81mm Non-Lethal Indirect Fire Munitions. The weapon is well designed to deny access to an area and even suppress individuals. The weapon will be useful in allowing the military to carry out its operations without harming civilians (Newcombe, 2015). The main concerns surrounding the technology are whether the weapon will have negative effects on the suspect. The policies on the proper use of the lethal weapons should be applied. On the other hand, the existing policies by the state should also be strictly followed when using the non-lethal weapons (Murgado, 2013).
There is a growing need to save lives among the law enforcers. Due to this demand, the law enforcers have resulted in the use of non-lethal weapons. Some of these weapons include the light weapons, chemical weapons, and the electrical weapons. These weapons cause less damage to suspects but on the other hand, they have some side effects such as death.
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