Mid-Valley Sunday Headline News

1999-08-15T00:00:00Z Mid-Valley Sunday Headline News Albany Democrat Herald
August 15, 1999 12:00 am

Ryan Gardner/Mid-Valley Sunday Cpl. Jack Burright of the Benton County Sheriff's Office fires a blast of Cap Stun pepper spray at Reserve Deputy Sean O'Donnell-Field after teaching a class on the appropriate use of the spray. Burright said the sheriff's office wants everyone who carries Cap Stun to know how it feels to be hit with the spray so he will be better prepared to act if it gets turned on him.

Corporal's resume leads to confidence

Burright's experience includes training an Olympic security force.

By John Butterworth

Mid-Valley Sunday

Benton County Sheriff Stan Robson has good reason to be confident in his department's training on use of force.

Cpl. Jack Burright has a list of accomplishments and activities that would make most departments envious. He provided training to the 2,000-officer security force at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, and he's scheduled to do the same in Sydney, Australia, in 2000.

Karl Maasdam/Mid-Valley Sunday

Burright says the Atlanta Olympics made him understand how force varies from place to place.

"The Atlanta experience gave me a fairly broad understanding of how use of force differs around the world, and even from the East Coast to the West Coast," Burright said.

In addition to the international security force learning about U.S. police methods, they learned about a variety of potential security threats. The language barriers for a multinational force required 10 to 12 hours of training per day prior to the Olympics.

"We tried to make them understand the constitutional rights we have in the U.S.," said Burright. "They often asked why - the civil liberties in their countries weren't quite the same as ours."

One thing that surprised Burright was the difference in applications of force across the nation.

"Things are better here in training and for all use-of-force application," he said. "It shows in our officers' skills."

At the Oregon Police Academy, he's been part of developing the use-of-force policy for cadets. He's responsible for teaching arrest and control tactics, proper use of deadly force, use of non-deadly force, and high-risk patrol tactics.

Reserve deputies wash their eyes after being sprayed.

Burright is also an instructor for the criminal justice program at Linn-Benton Community College. He has been a martial arts instructor since 1988 and a firearms instructor since 1995.

As an expert witness in the use of force, Burright has been called to testify in two local cases.

At the sheriff's office, Burright's responsibilities have included being an instructor for baton and impact weapons, Cap Stun, and defensive tactics. He's been a supervisor and firearm trainer for the patrol division, a SWAT team member for six years, and a field-training officer.

Levels of Force

The "Use of Force Continuum" varies among law enforcement agencies, though it follows a basic design.

Officers must follow and later document each step up the continuum - the steps in levels of force - or be able to justify why steps were skipped. Once the level of physical contact is reached, reports must be filed and investigated for each incident.

1. Presence: Display of force options include body language, demeanor and identification of authority.

2. Verbal: Methods of force include direct orders, questioning and persuasion.

3. Physical contact: Methods of force include directions through contact and taking a position of escorting.

4. Physical control: Methods of force include inflicting pain through techniques or escort holds including pulling hair to take a person down to the ground, using joints for leverage to take a person to the ground and using pressure points.

5. Serious physical control: Methods of force include sprays that burn the eyes making it difficult to see, electrical stun, focused blows from a fist, impact weapons such as a police baton, K-9 (bite), carotid (neck) restraint or any form of force less than lethal.

6. Deadly force: Any force readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury.

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