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Use of Force Annual Review

The Port of Seattle Police Department responds to more than 24,000 calls on an annual basis.  Most of those calls result in providing assistance to a community member or passenger, a police investigation, or a referral to medical first responders or another local law enforcement jurisdiction.

Approximately 30 calls per year result in a “Use of Force” incident. A “Use of Force” incident includes any actions taken by an officer through the use of physical control tactics, weapons, equipment and/or other instruments to assist in controlling a situation or the behavior of others.

Each year the Port Police Department reviews all use of force incidents.  The review helps the department determine employee development needs, equipment issues, and recognize trends or patterns.  The review helps the department determine if current policies and procedures should be modified.  The data may also contribute positively to a broader discussion about policing best practices.

The Port makes these reports available to the public.  The public may request police records and additional information through our Online Records Request System.

Use of Force Reviews by Year:
Weaponless techniques

Any technique that is performed without the use of a weapon.  This may include but not limited to: open-handed strikes, closed fists, kicks, knees and/or elbows.  A knee strike is a strike utilizing the knee.

Leg Restraints

Physical restraints, typically made from nylon or plastic, that are applied to a person’s lower legs. These types of restraints are used in conjunction with handcuffs to limit the subject from kicking aggressively and injuring himself or herself, the officers and bystanders, or destroying property.


A physical technique performed by the officer that involves using leverage and timing to knock a person off-balance and bringing him or her to the ground while under control to minimize injury. The effectiveness of the technique relies upon using the ground itself as a form of control by limiting a person’s movement and thereby reducing the likelihood of escape and possible injury to all parties involved.

Taser “probe deployment” and “drive-stun application”

Probe deployment- involves the use of darts and does not require close quarter deployment. Drive-stun application is direct contact without the use of darts most commonly used in close quarters.

OC spray

Oleoresin capsicum-similar to ‘pepper spray’ or ‘mace’ used to temporarily stun or incapacitate.

Vascular Neck Restraint

Application of bilateral compression to the sides of the neck structure, impacting the circulatory system while leaving the airway unobstructed and protected during a confrontation.  VNR differs from a chokehold, which applies pressure to the front of the neck, critically reducing or preventing air and/or blood flow from passing through the neck.

40MM Launcher

A 40MM launcher is a device that allows the user to fire less-lethal projectiles at short and intermediate ranges. The launcher is designed to provide a high degree of accuracy. It is a single shot device that requires the user to load it manually each time. Launchers are equipped with electronic sights to aid in hitting the target.

40MM Kinetic Energy Munitions

A crushable foam or sponge material, less-lethal round. These munitions are designed to have consistent velocities for use in short and intermediate ranges. The nose of the munition may be loaded with CS powder to provide irritant effects to the threat.

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