photo from the Laconia police Facebook page

Jan 26, 2016 1:45 PM

Laconia police say statistics show their 'use of force' during arrests is low

LACONIA - Numbers from the police department show its use of force during arrests is down compared with last year and remains low compared with other police departments in the state.

According to the Laconia Daily Sun, the use of force is described as use of a firearm, use of a firearm on an animal, display of a firearm, baton strikes, use of a baton for control of a person, use of pepper spray, use of a closed fist during an arrest, use of an open hand during an arrest, deployment of a Taser, the display of a Taser, a knee strike, K-9 bites, and other types of force not specified.

Capt. William Clary said force was involved in 2 percent of the department's arrests, down slightly from last year.

Of the 106 total uses of force in 2015, nine involved officers using more than one kind of force and seven involved multiple officers using force.

Clary said Laconia's officers have received extra training and have been more effective using "verbal judo" than physical force to de-escalate many situations.

Clary said the department has always been in the 2 to 3 percent range for use of force compared with other departments that consider a 5 percent use of force as an acceptable standard.

Other departments in the state have been as high as 10 percent, he said.

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