The Force of the Law

Posted: January 12, 2014 at 5 a.m.

A Springdale Police officer watches a doorway during an active shooter training scenario Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014 at Shiloh Christian School in Springdale. Several members of both police and fire departments and many people serving as students and teachers in the school helped in the training. Police used airsoft guns and others loaded with blanks.

Fallon Frederick called Rogers police for protection. Minutes later, an officer shot and killed her.

By the Numbers

Use Of Force

Use of force numbers aren’t comparable because departments define force and track its use differently.

• Bentonville had four reports on record for use of force among police officers in 2013. Seventeen instances, mostly involving deer, were reported in 2012.

• Springdale police filed 76 action reports on use of force among its officers in 2012, compared with 38 reported last year.

• Rogers police filed 76 reports about use of force in 2013. Police reported 52 incidents of use of force in 2012.

• Fayetteville police documents revealed about 125 use of force reports for last year. The department had about 196 reports in 2012.

• Washington County Sheriff’s Office reported 27 instances of use of force among deputies in 2013, compared with 37 reported in 2012.

• Benton County Sheriff’s Office doesn’t track the use of force.

Source: Staff Report

At A Glance

Reasonable Belief

A law enforcement officer is justified in using nondeadly physical force or threatening to use deadly physical force when the officer “reasonably” believes force is necessary to arrest someone, prevent escape of an arrested person, defend himself or other people while attempting an arrest or preventing an escape. An officer is justified in using deadly physical force when he believes deadly force is necessary to make an arrest or prevent an arrested person who has committed a felony and is armed and dangerous from escaping and to defend himself and others from what he reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical force.

Source: Arkansas Code 5-2-610

This story is only available from our archives.