Use of Force [2023]

Course Preview

Course Author(s)

Randy Means J.D. - Randy Means & Associates (

Course Summary

This Use of Force course provides officers with a sound roadmap for the preparation needed to navigate the complex interplay of law, human nature, physical ability, and specific weapon proficiencies. The training highlights four keys to winning with the use of force, which provide a framework for this course.

The first key, Managing Emotion and Interpersonal Communication, instructs officers on topics such as self-awareness and self-monitoring and deconstructs the art of communication.

Next is the second key, Assuring the Legal Validity of the Core Transaction. Three types of citizen contacts are discussed: voluntary contact, investigative detention, and arrest.

The third key, Maintain Proportionality and Manage Force Escalations, offers a discussion on standards and policies, additionally instructing the officer on essential officer characteristics and the 14 Personal Force Factors or Situational Dynamics.

Last is the fourth key, Avoiding Peripheral Poisonings. This section emphasizes understanding how officer behavior may influence others’ perception of the situation, and illustration is provided through a reenacted case study. The importance of accurate documentation is also discussed.

Course Syllabus

  • Module 1 - Course Introduction

    • Course Introduction and Overarching Goals
    • General Introduction by Randy Means
    • Overall Goal of This Course by Greg Seidel
    • Overview of the Four Keys of Use of Force
  • Module 2 - Key One - Managing Emotions and Interpersonal Communication

    • Module Objectives
    • Module Introduction by Randy Means
    • Managing Emotions
    • Steps to Managing Behavior
    • Monitoring Our Thoughts and Self-talk
    • Tactical Interpersonal Communications
    • The Art and Science of Officer-Citizen Contacts - Part 1
    • The Art and Science of Officer-Citizen Contacts - Part 2
    • Summary
    • Module Assessment
  • Module 3 - Key Two - Assure the Legal Validity of the CORE Transaction

    • Module Objectives
    • Module Introduction by Randy Means
    • The Voluntary Contact
    • Investigative Detention Part 1
    • Investigative Detention Part 2
    • Arrests and Non-consensual Entry Into Private Premises
    • Entry Scenarios
    • Summary
    • Module Assessment
  • Module 4 - Key Three - Maintaining Proportionality

    • Module Objectives
    • Module Introduction by Randy Means
    • Federal Constitutional Standards and the Objective Reasonable Test
    • Use of Deadly Force
    • Maintaining Proportionality
    • The Complete Officer Model
    • 14 Personal Force Factors
    • Force Factors
    • Common Variables
    • The Need For a Use of Force Policy
    • Managing Use of Force Escalations and Personal Conditioning
    • Weapon Proficiency and Mindset
    • Summary
    • Module Assessment
  • Module 5 - Key Four - Avoiding Peripheral Poisonings

    • Module Objectives
    • Module Introduction by Randy Means
    • Use of Force Critical Junctures and Examples
    • Role of Force Documentation
    • Truthfulness, Character and Reputation
    • Summary
    • Module Assessment
  • Module 6 - Final Assessment

    • Module Introduction by Randy Means
    • Module Assessment