Less-Lethal = Non-Lethal

Less-Lethal Devices

In the course of their duties, police officers sometimes need to exercise control over violent or combative situations.  Their actions under such circumstances are governed by use-of-force protocols.
Less-lethal technologies give law enforcement and corrections personnel an alternative to lethal force by temporarily incapacitating, confusing, delaying, or restraining subjects in a variety of situations. Less-lethal devices currently in use include stun guns, bean bag rounds, pepper spray, or flash-bangs (projectiles that make loud noises and flash bright lights), electronic control devices, batons and restraints.

These technologies are especially valuable when lethal force—

  1. Is not appropriate;
  2. Is justified and available for backup, but lesser force may resolve the situation;
  3. Is justified, but its use could cause serious injury to bystanders or other unacceptable collateral effects.

Less-lethal DevicesThe goal of the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) less-lethal program is to provide law enforcement and corrections officers with devices which protect them and the general public, reducing the possibility of injury or death. 

NIJ collaborates with international experts from various fields (e.g., medical, biochemistry, military) when conducting or coordinating research.

The INLDT/WPSTC less-lethal program follows and supports NIJ's research, development, testing, and evaluation process.