Less Than Lethal Weapons

Submitted By dannyboijones
Words: 924
Pages: 4

Homework Assignment 8
CRJ: 120 Intro to Law Enforcement
Ryan Webb

Professor Follet
20 January 2012

In my search for less than lethal weapons, I found that they come in a very wide variety with a wide range of uses. They range from those that are deployed to stop an individual, all the way up to the less than lethal weapons that are used to stop a vehicle. The ones that I have found to be most interesting will be discussed. Also, those that are most useful or controversial will be discussed. The first of these less than lethal weapons is one that is currently used by some police forces to control rioting crowds. This weapon is the water cannon. The water cannon is a vehicle based high pressure water cannon similar to those that are used by firefighters. The advantages of the water cannon are that they can be used to help subdue riotous crowds without the use of chemicals that will also affect civilians in the area. Another advantage is that the officers can react and subdue incapacitated members of the crowd. One of the disadvantages of the water cannon is that you are limited by the amount of water that you have available. Also, since it is such a high pressure stream of water, a person can literally be knocked off of their feet, which can cause injury or death if they were to strike something as they fall. One of the more interesting is scent control weapons. This is a form of riot control weapon that uses the water cannon to disperse a liquid scent to disperse riotous crowds. In 2008 the Israeli Defense Forces began using Skunk spray for crowd control. It is a highly mal-odorous scent that sticks to whatever it touches and is not easily washed off. One of the biggest problems with this type of weapon is the fact that it is going to smell up the entire area where it was used. This is going to be very unpleasant for anyone who lives or works in this area for a while. Therefore, you are not only stopping the people that are breaking the law, but you are also punishing the people who were not involved, which is a definite negative effect. Chemical weapons are losing some popularity due to the fact that the long term effects of exposure are not truly known. These weapons include tear gas, pepper spray, and mace. All three of these are chemicals that are used to incapacitate the perpetrator. Tear gas is a fired or thrown canister that releases the gas as a cloud into the area and subdues or disorients anyone in the area of the cloud. There is a constant risk of this being employed in an area and people that are not involved with the criminal act being caught in the cloud. Pepper spray and mace are both handheld aerosol sprays that contain chemicals that are used to incapacitate suspects. They are limited in range. Also, because of the fact that they need to be sprayed in the face to be most effective, sometimes they could be taken by the suspect and used on the officer. Although this is an unlikely event, it is a possibility. Less than lethal ammunition is the last that I would like to discuss. This is a type of ammunition that is fired from a weapon with the intention of incapacitation rather than death. There are multiple types of these rounds. Almost everyone has heard of beanbag rounds, which are rounds fired from a shotgun that flatten out