PPCT Use of Force

Pressure Point Control Technique
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Explain the history of the Pressure Point Control Technique System.
PPCT stands for Pressure Point Control Tactics. PPCT was founded in 1979 by Bruce Siddle. PPCT Management Systems is a corporation that specializes in providing research based training for law enforcement, military, corrections, and industrial security, designed to minimize the ever present risk of liability. The PPCT Training System has been a great success and has been adopted by many major agencies in this country and the world.
Identify the components of acceptability
Tactically - From a Tactical Standpoint
Medically
Legally
Tactically - From a Tactical Standpoint
All of the techniques within the PPCT System are designed around the "Three Minute Rule," which means if an officer cannot learn the basic mechanics of a technique in three minutes or less, in all probability, the officer will not be able to retain or use the technique in the stress of an actual resistance. Hick's Law states that "less is best."
Stimulus-response training is direct or indirect training that may determine one's actions under stress. Currently there are three methods of training when survival skills are taught. They are: Static Training - Where gross muscle movement is taught without any stimulus initiating action. Techniques are practiced in a slow motion manner without any type of stimulated resistance allowed. No more than 25 repetitions should be needed. Fluid Training - Practicing a technique that is now accompanied by stimulated but relaxed resistance. The resistor gives the officer the most common type of resistance that is applicable to the control method being practiced. This type of training shortens the officer's reaction time and prevents mental stalls. Dynamic Training - This phase of training is designed to duplicate actual resistance the officers may incur. Dynamic training must be practiced with restraints and supervision to prevent injury, or keep injury to a minimum. One benefit is that this type of stimulation separates techniques into those that work and "those that work only in the gym."
The techniques implemented are all gross motor skills. There are three categories of motor skills: Gross Motor Skills - Large muscle movement; explosive or strength events (ex. Squat, thrust); pushing and pulling muscles; working on appendages (legs and arms); five or less repetitions needed. Fine Motor Skills - Small muscle movement; dexterity skills and accuracy skills (fingers and hands); typing and playing piano. Complex Motor Skills - Series of movements; hand/eye coordination skills (ex. Shooting, hitting baseball, child walking, riding a bike).
Stress is a matter of perception, but it is known that competency based training (skills used on street) which will usually be gross motor skills are those that will be used the most in high stress situations.
Medically
The PPCT System is the first of its kind to completely explore the medical implications of each technique. The techniques are broken down into two categories: Normal Use - Technique used at normal speed with no resistance. Accelerated Use - Technique done at full speed and with full resistance.
In an officer's use of force, as it relates to the in-custody death of a subject, one or more of the risks listed below was a contributing factor.
1. Heavy alcohol intoxication
2. Extraordinary physical strength
3. Poor color
4. Panic
5. Hyperthermia - red face and high body temperature
6. Sudden tranquility or lethargy
7. Paranoia
8. Cocaine intoxication
9. Obesity - large bellies
10. Aggressive or bizarre behavior
11. Apparent ineffectiveness of chemical spray
The officer should also be aware of the possibility of a subject hyperventilating. Continued rapid breathing or any breathing difficulty may result in the subject losing consciousness. If the officer is unable to restore normal breathing, he/she should summons medical assistance. In case of unconsciousness, subject should be treated by EMS.
Custody related deaths
1. Positional Asphyxia - A lack of oxygen and increase in carbon dioxide in the blood of the subject, brought about by a subject being in a position that restricts breathing.
2. Cocaine Induced Excited Delirium - Also called cocaine psychosis.
3. Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) - Characteristics are similar to cocaine induced excited delirium but NMS usually occurs in psychiatric patients who are taking anti-psychotic medication
4. Cocaine Abuse/Toxicity - Cocaine is an agent that stimulates both the central nervous and cardiovascular systems. Cocaine constricts blood vessels, elevates heart rate, raises blood pressure, and increases body temperature.
5. Excited Delirium - a state of extreme mental and physiological excitement, characterized by extreme agitation, hyperthermia, hostility, exceptional strength, and endurance without apparent fatigue.
Legally
PPCT has developed a force continuum based upon existing non-lethal force and lethal force case law. From this research, the PPCT Force Continuum was designed to teach officers what methods of control are reasonable for specific types of resistance.
Identify the four most common types of resistance.
The following categories represent the most common types of resistance that an officer will encounter:
i. Resistance from the escort position.
ii. Resistance while applying handcuffs.
iii. Passive resistance.
iv. Active aggression.
Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989)
stated that all claims that law enforcement officials have used excessive force in the course of an arrest, investigatory stop or other "seizure" of a person are properly analyzed under Fourth Amendment's "objective reasonableness" standard. So it can be said that all force used must be reasonable and necessary under existing circumstances. The Graham Case made it clear that the standard for an officer's use of force upon a "seized free citizen" was whether the officer's force was "objectively reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.
Use of Force Guidelines
i. All force must be reasonable.
ii. All force must be necessary.
iii. Officer's actions will depend on the subject's actions, variables of the situation and the officer's knowledge of his/her own physical abilities.
The levels of resistance
a. Psychological Intimidation - Nonverbal cues indicating a subject's attitude, appearance, and physical readiness. (Ex: Karate stance, the finger, fist to palm, up your arm)
b. Verbal Noncompliance - Verbal responses indicting unwillingness or threats. (Ex: "Go to hell," "I'm not going," "I'm going to kill you.")
c. Passive Resistance - Physical actions that do not prevent officer's attempt to control. (Ex: Passive demonstrator sitting on the ground)
d. Defensive Resistance - Physical actions that attempt to prevent officer's control, but never attempt to harm the officer. (Ex: Pulls away from officer, walks away from officer)
e. Active Aggression - Physical actions of assault. (Ex: Subject punching or kicking officer)
f. Deadly Force Assault - Deadly force encounter. (Ex: Suspect trying to stab officer with knife)
The levels of control
a. Officer Presence - Identification of authority.
b. Verbal Direction - Commands of direction or arrest.
c. Empty Hand Control
i. Soft Empty Hand Control - Techniques that have a minimal chance of injury. (Ex: Touch pressure and joint locks)
ii. Hard Empty Hand Control - Techniques that have a probability of injury. (Ex: Leg strikes, hand strikes, and neck restraints)
d. Intermediate Weapons - Intermediate weapon control includes impact weapons, chemical agents, and electronic disruption devices. The use of an intermediate weapon is justified when the officer believes that empty hand control will be insufficient, but the use of deadly force is not justified. Intermediate weapons are used only with the intent to temporarily disable the suspect and not with the intent to cause permanent injury to the suspect.
e. Deadly Force - Deadly force actions (can occur by using personal weapons, impact weapons, or firearms).
The elements of deadly force
a. Deadly Force - A force that is likely to cause great bodily harm or death.
b. The three requirements for use of deadly force in self-defense are:
i. Ability - The capability or means to cause great bodily harm or death.
ii. Opportunity - In a position to cause great bodily harm or death.
iii. Jeopardy - An overt threatening move or gesture that could cause great bodily harm or death.
c. There is no golden rule to cover every situation. The circumstances and variables are normally different and can change. An officer will usually have only seconds to make a decision on the street.
Identify case law that has impacted the use of deadly force in law enforcement
a. As a direct result of Tennessee v. Garner, 105 S. Ct. 1694 (1985), there are specific justifications in which deadly force can be used.
b. Deadly Force Justifications:
i. To prevent death or serious injury to officer or another.
ii. To prevent escape:
1. Where the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a threat of serious physical harm, either to the officer or others, it is not constitutionally unreasonable to prevent escape by using deadly force. Thus, if the suspect threatens the officer with a weapon or there is probable cause to believe that he/she has committed a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm, deadly force may be used if necessary to prevent escape, and if, where feasible, some warning has been given.
iii. The officer should not unreasonably or unnecessarily endanger himself/herself or the public in the application of deadly force.
iv. The officer should use verbal commands of authority and deterrence whenever feasible.
Identify the force continuum variables
a. These variables may affect an officer's decision in escalating or de-escalating the level of control:
i. Type of Crime
ii. Officer/Subject Size and Gender
iii. Exigent Conditions
iv. Reaction Time
v. Access to Weapons
vi. Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
vii. Injury or Exhaustion of Officer
viii. Weather or Terrain Conditions
ix. Special Knowledge
Identify the responsibility of reporting use of force.
a. These are some of the details that should be used in the report writing format for use of force incidents:
i. Officer Arrival
1. Marked unit versus unmarked
2. Uniform versus plainclothes
3. Number of officers
ii. Approach
1. What officer observed
2. Officer's initial verbal commands
iii. Subject's Action
1. Subject's verbal responses
2. Subject's body language
3. Subject's physical actions
iv. Officer's Action
1. Type of control methods used
2. Duration of resistance
3. Type of de-escalation methods used
4. Handcuffed and double locked
v. Transport Procedure
1. Subject's demeanor and actions
2. Where transported to
3. Length of transport
b. If supervisors will not allow the officer to record all of the above information, the officer needs to write a separate statement for personal use later. Some courts feel that if it is not documented, then it never happened. If an officer is involved in a critical incident, it is stressed to always write supplemental reports to the incident after sleep and rest. This should be done in 24 and 48-hour increments, due to the effects of critical incident amnesia. This condition can cause the officer to forget essential details of the incident.
Identify the principles of controlling resistive behavior
a. Generally, all subject control techniques use one of these principles to control resistive behavior:
i. Pain Compliance - The use of the stimulus pain to control resistive behavior.
1. Stabilize body part
2. Use pressure/counter pressure
3. Use repetitive, loud verbal commands
4. Alleviate pressure when commands are obeyed
ii. Distraction Technique - Control techniques that weaken motor action by changing the thought process.
1. Distraction techniques should precede all escort position resistance
2. Primary distraction is the knee strike
3. Distraction will take less than three seconds
4. Follow up control technique
iii. Balance Displacement - Control techniques that displace balance through principles of leverage.
1. Distraction techniques will also serve as Balance Displacement techniques
2. Leverage should be used with pressure applied to the joints
3. Officer must destroy the suspect's center
4. Officer must be aware of his/her balance by controlling their own center
iv. Motor Dysfunction - Control striking techniques that over-stimulate motor nerves, causing temporary muscle impairment.
1. Strikes must be delivered to muscle mass
2. Strikes should be delivered using the Fluid Shock Wave Principle
3. Strikes should be delivered with total hip rotation
4. Lasts 30 seconds to several minutes
v. Stunning - Stimulation of overwhelming sensory input.
1. Average stun lasts 3-7 seconds
2. Stunning techniques require immediate follow up control
3. The suspect should be monitored and should receive medical attention if unconsciousness occurs.
Define the stages of reaction time
a. Reaction time is the time it takes an officer to perceive a threat and then react to it physically. When examining what actually happens when an officer reacts to an action, it can be broken down into different stages.
b. Stages of Reaction Time:
i. Perception - Using the perceptual senses to recognize resistance or aggression.
1. Identify pre-attack cues
2. Expect resistance
3. Play the "what if" game, so that reaction time will be faster
ii. Analyze/Evaluate - Analyzing or evaluating what has been obtained through the senses.
1. There are five senses plus ESP
iii. Formulate Strategies - Develop and formulate a plan to counter the offender's aggression.
1. Based on prior experiences and training
2. Without either one, the officer may experience a mental stall
iv. Initiate Motor Action - Brain transmits a message directing the body to respond in a certain manner. Without a plan, this final step will likely not occur.
c. All of these stages occur and are completed within seconds. In a non-stressful situation average reaction time takes anywhere from 0.5 to 2.0 seconds.
Define the Autonomic Nervous System
a. The Autonomic Nervous System controls involuntary actions and is divided into two branches:
i. Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) - operates in mainly a quiet, non-stressful condition.
ii. Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) - acts to prepare the body to react to stressful situations.
iii. Homeostasis - Balance
Identify SNS activation triggers
a. Objective Threat Perception
i. The threat is within close proximity.
ii. The time needed to control the threat is minimal.
iii. The officer is not confident in his/her ability.
iv. The treat perception is a new experience.
b. Objective Fear Perception
i. Fear of death
ii. Fear of injury
iii. Fear of killing
iv. Fear of making incorrect decisions
v. Fear of failure
vi. Fear of fear
c. Physical Exhaustion
i. ATP/PC depletion
ii. Inadequate nutrition
d. Startle Response
i. Threat is spontaneous
ii. Threat is unexpected
iii. Threat is within close proximity
iv. Unexpected loud noise
v. Unexpected impact/touch
Identify the physiological changes that result from SNS activation
i. Adrenal Activity
1. Immediate increase in heart rate
2. Immediate increase in respiration
ii. Vascular Activity
1. Vasoconstriction
2. Vascular flow re-directs away from extremities
iii. Perceptual Narrowing
1. Auditory exclusion
2. Selective attention
Identify the relationship between activation of the sympathetic nervous system and combat performance
i. Vision
1. Tunnel vision
2. Loss of near vision
3. Loss of ability to focus
4. Loss of monocular vision
5. Loss of depth perception
6. Loss of night vision
ii. Motor Skills Classification
1. Fine
2. Complex
3. Gross
4. Inverted-U Law (Peak performance at 115-145 BPM)
5. Hicks Law
iii. Cognitive Abilities
1. Perceptual Senses
2. Memory Framework
a. Short Term Sensory Store
b. Short Term Memory
c. Long Term Memory
3. Hypervigilance
Recognize the triggers of PNS Backlash
i. The threat perception has diminished.
ii. The perception of injury.
iii. Trauma to a vital system.
iv. Exhaustion of aerobic and anaerobic systems
Recognize symptoms of a PNS Backlash
i. Dizziness from the sudden drops in blood pressure and heart rate.
ii. Excessive bleeding.
iii. Symptoms of shock; paleness, nausea, excessive sweating, clammy skin.
iv. Overwhelming sense of exhaustion.
v. Excessive muscle tremors.
Describe the effects of critical incident amnesia
a. Critical Incident Amnesia is a form of temporary amnesia resulting from the activation of the SNS.
i. Timetable to Memory Recovery:
1. Memory before the first sleep period includes general characteristics of incident, weapon, and assailant.
2. Memory after the first sleep period will increase by 50% to 90%.
3. Memory after second sleep period is most complete and final.
ii. Incident Reporting:
1. Understand that writing may be difficult due to PNS backlash.
2. First report should be verbal and titled "preliminary" report.
3. "Supplemental" debrief/report should not occur until after first sleep period.
4. Final report should not occur until after second sleep period.
Identify combat performance variables
i. Mindset
1. Belief in mission
2. Committed to complete mission
3. Willing to sacrifice
4. Refuses to give up
ii. Motor Skill Selection
1. Simplicity = Confidence = Fear Management
iii. Nutrition & Hydration
1. Fatigue leads to fear
2. Fear activates SNS
3. Carbohydrates
a. Fast burning carbohydrates = increased fatigue
b. Slow burning carbohydrates = energy
4. Protein
5. Fats
6. Hydration
iv. Fitness
1. Fatigue = Fear = Activation of SNS
2. Energy Systems
a. ATP/PC - Fuel source is limited to 10 to 15 seconds. Once ATP/PC is exhausted, performance drops to 45% within 30 seconds.
b. Lactic Acid - Lactic Acid Systems active from 15 seconds to 2 minutes.
c. Aerobic System - Aerobic system is dependent on conditioning.
v. Belief System
1. Personal relationships
2. Killing v. Murder
3. Faith
Identify survival stress symptoms
i. Rapid Breathing
ii. Cottonmouth
iii. Muscular Tremors
iv. Increased Heart Rate
v. Sweaty Palms
vi. Visual Difficulty
vii. Loss of Ability to Concentrate
Identify methods to reduce survival stress effects
i. Confidence Factor
1. Institute a training psychology directed at developing confidence quickly.
2. Incorporate stimulus response training.
ii. Motor Skill Selection
1. Select gross motor skills whenever possible
2. Minimize the number of response options. (Hicks Law)
iii. Tactical Breathing
1. Incorporate tactical breathing techniques to control heart rate.
iv. Visualization Drills
1. Prepares one mentally and physically for combat.
2. Mental preparation reduces anxiety, allowing for enhanced performance.
3. Tunes the nervous system, which enhances reaction time.
v. Faith Factor
1. Creates a state of mind that controls escalating heart rates when confronted with imminent danger.
Demonstrate the various positions of the fighting platform
a. The stance that all tactics will be built on is the "fighting platform." The fighting platform is established by placing the feet shoulder-width apart and dropping the gun side foot straight back ½ step to the rear. It is maintained by focusing the "all weapon systems towards target" analogy. This means that all weapons of the officer will remain focused (visually and tactically) on his/her target (suspect). This includes the officer's personal weapons (hands, feet, and center) as well as weapons used from the duty belt. The hands will be kept above the belt, near the officer's center, and will not be tied up by folding the arms or placing the hands in the pockets, etc. This stance will maintain the officer's ability to use focused movement and dynamic hip rotation in all control principles, while maintaining integrity of the handgun. The field interview stance and the defensive high guard stance are both initiated from the basic fighting platform.
b. Once the officer's fighting platform has been established, his/her balance will be enhanced. Bending the knees and lowering the center (keeping the head over the shoulders over the hips) will further enhance this balanced position. Balance can be altered by moving the position of the head, the hips, or the shoulders out of alignment.
Demonstrate the fighting platform principle of all weapon systems towards the threat
a. The "all weapon systems towards the target" principle can be applied to all aspects of the fighting platform. Once the stance has been established, only the delivery system of the 'weapons' will be a variable, depending on the threat that the officer is faced with.
i. Empty Hand Control - This delivery system is the officer's "personal weapons." Personal weapons are classified as anything attached to the body (hands, feet, knees, etc.). The fighting platform will reflect all personal weapons pointing towards the threat, which will enhance the officer's ability to use focused movement and dynamic hip rotation in the execution of empty hand strikes.
ii. Intermediate Weapon Control - This delivery system is the officer's intermediate weapons. The baton, OC spray, and the electronic disruption devices are examples of intermediate weapons. The fighting platform remains the same, with the intermediate weapon focused towards the threat as well.
iii. Firearms - This delivery system is the officer's firearm. The fighting platform remains the same, with the firearm focused on the target (threat).
Demonstrate patterns of movement from the fighting platform
a. Once the fighting platform has been established, it will remain constant throughout all movements made by the officer; it remains the same no matter which direction the officer moves, or which delivery system of control he/she is using.
i. Rearward Movement - from the established fighting platform, the officer's rear foot will move first, and the front foot next. Whatever distance that rear foot moves, the front foot must move the exact distance to maintain the balance and power of the stance.
ii. Forward Movement - from the established fighting platform, the officer's front foot will move first, the rear foot next. Whatever distance the front foot moves, the rear foot must move the exact distance to maintain the balance and power of the stance.
iii. Lateral Movement - from the established fighting platform, the foot placed in the lateral (side) direction the officer chooses to move is the foot that moves first, the opposite foot next. For example, lateral movement to the right means that the officer's right foot moves first, left foot next. Lateral movement to the left means that the officer's left foot moves first, right foot next. Whatever distance the lead foot moves, the other foot must move the exact distance to maintain the balance and power of the stance.
iv. Tactical "L" Pattern of Movement - the Tactical "L" movement is a combination of rearward movement with lateral movement. The officer's environment will determine which direction he/she will be able to move. From the established fighting platform, a Tactical "L" to the right means that the officer will take at least two steps to the rear and at least two steps laterally to the right. A Tactical "L" to the left means that the officer will take at least two steps to the rear and at least two steps laterally to the left.
Demonstrate the levels of tactical positioning while maintaining the fighting platform
a. Tactical positioning is a method of tactically analyzing an officer's position in relation to the suspect. The officer needs to understand the importance of each position that follows, relative to the officer's safety in an encounter with a suspect. The fighting platform is maintained throughout all positions around the suspect, still focusing all of the officer's weapon systems towards the threat.
i. Inside Position - directly in front of the suspect
ii. Level I - field interview/interrogation position, with officer positioned at the frontal oblique of the suspect
iii. Level II - directly beside suspect
iv. Level II ½ - escort position, off of the suspect's rear oblique
v. Level III - directly behind the suspect.
Demonstrate the reactionary gap and the reactionary gap options to resistance
a. A reactionary gap is a safety zone between the officer and the suspect, which affords the officer more time to react to an act of aggression. The average distance should be approximately six feet. That means the officer should not be closer to a suspect than six feet, which is about double arm's length away.
b. An officer penetrates the reactionary gap to attempt a control technique. If the suspect penetrates the gap, the officer can disengage to create distance, or if the level of resistance dictates, a defensive counterstrike may be necessary. Time, space, and distance are often required for escalation by the officer. The officer should remember that six feet is an average reactionary gap, and this distance will vary if the suspect is armed with a weapon, and distance will depend on the type of weapon the suspects possesses.
Summary
a. The Force Continuum - Levels of Resistance/Levels of Control is a very useful resource to the law enforcement community. The potential for a civil action against a law enforcement agency is no longer a possibility but a probability. With these lawsuits floating around, officers can no longer sit back and hope that they will not encounter a volatile situation. Officers have to not only worry about inappropriate actions, but also inaction as well.
b. The purpose of the PPCT system is to teach officers how to control resistive behavior with techniques that have a minimal chance of injury, hopefully imparting on the officer the knowledge and the skills to deal with any type of the use of force situation that may arise.