In Defense of Self and Others comprehensively addresses the issue of the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers. Beginning with a survey and analysis of the legal standards that define the authority of law enforcement officers to use deadly force, the book provides a detailed discussion of the practical elements that affect an officer's capacity to perceive a threat and to respond in an appropriate and timely fashion. For example, observing that law enforcement officers are always in a reactive mode and responding to the actions of others, the book explains how and why officers are compelled to make quick decisions under severe time constraints where “action beats reaction.” Moreover, a thorough discussion of “wound ballistics” illustrates why officers do not possess a reliable means of instantaneously stopping a perceived threat and explains how that affects tactics, training and risk assessments.
There are additional chapters that discuss tactics and training, physiological factors of high intensity stress, suicide by cop, the effects of policy and training on the ability of officers to make appropriate decisions regarding the use of force, and much more. Numerous case histories are cited to illustrate the points made.
Undoubtedly, the most unique aspect of this book is the expertise of the authors. Acquired during almost 60 years of combined law enforcement experience, Patrick and Hall's expertise reflects a blend of the legal with the practical that is unprecedented. The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that an officer’s decision to use force must be reviewed from the “perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene.” The object of this book is to provide insight into that perspective by placing the reader in the shoes of an officer on the scene. The book stands alone as a source of information for the law enforcement, legal, and educational communities. It will also be of great interest and benefit to the media, and to the general reader who is interested in this important and frequently controversial topic.
Praise for earlier editions:
"In Defense of Self and Others... would make a very good text in any number of criminal justice related classes.” — ACJS Today
“[This book] is admirably clear and easy to understand. It combines John's unique depth of knowledge of the law with Pat's comprehensive and extensive practical expertise in weapons and deadly force factors. Reading it will make for better cops, and for cops who will be more likely to return home alive at the end of watch after having done good work while on duty.” — Tom Clancy, from the Foreword
“[A] gem of a book ... Considered by many to be an authoritative tome, it gives the reader a comprehensive overview of the complexity and responsibility of the armed LE officer and citizen ... This book belongs on every LE officer's bookshelf or in their locker, and should be required reading for every department legal advisor.” — Officer.com
If you are a professor teaching in this field you may request a complimentary copy.