Price comparison lethal vs. nonlethal weaponsOrganizations considering implementing less lethal weapons must measure the overall welfare effects of substituting traditional firearms in the use of force. They must evaluate the overall costs associated with the use of traditional ammunition in confrontations versus less lethal solutions.
Police are under increased pressure
Police forces are given authority to use lethal force against suspects, but are only supposed to do so after having exercised other options. Depending on the situation, firearms might be the only option if the suspect presents a risk to the officers or others. In the past, police forces only had traditional firearms as a final choice to confront an aggressive suspect. Currently, police forces are under increased pressure to find alternatives to the use of deadly weapons.
Less lethal has been introduced more recently
Over the last several years, less lethal weapons have been introduced as standard equipment in most of the developing world. As an example, electrical neuromuscular incapacitation devices by Conducted Electrical Weapons (CEW), are deployed by an increasing number of national police forces.
Organizations considering implementing less lethal weapons must measure the overall welfare effects of substituting traditional firearms in the use of force.
Cost Benefit Analysis for Lethal vs Nonlethal Weapons1
Below is a list of variables to consider when doing a price comparison lethal vs. nonlethal weapons:
|Cost Position||Description||Cost Estimate||Frequency|
|Medical Treatment||Emergency rescue, operation, medicine||high||low|
|Medical Rehabilitation||Treatment, downtime, long term injuries||high||low|
|Administration||Documentation, administrative efforts||high||medium|
|Legal Action||Legal action, suit and proceeding||high||high|
|Compensation||Payments for indemnities||high||medium|
|Psychological Treatment||Treatment of mental effects||high||medium|
|Staff Downtime||Paid service interruption||high||medium|
Lethal has a high cost due to physical injury
The above chart describes lethal force in terms of cost and frequency. The goal of using less lethal weapons would lower the high cost estimates as it relates to physical injury.
Less lethal costs can be kept down if risks are mitigated
We must consider that less lethal forces have risks and costs associated with it as well. In the case of less lethal ammunition, individuals can be maimed or killed if the right rules of engagement have not been established. Injury cost reduction might be reduced on one level, however costs may increase do to frequency of use.
Two risk factors that could raise the cost of less lethal ammunition are:
1) Officers might be less inclined to talk down suspects
2) Officers have not been properly trained in applying force.
A police force should not find itself in a situation where costs of using less lethal force go up in certain categories, such as legal action and medical rehabilitation, because of a poor application of less lethal force. The key to keeping costs down for less lethal weapons is a strong training program and strict operational guidelines.
The above risk factors illustrate why it is critical to have less lethal tools like the 40mm BIP Standard, but also the training program associated with our product. Our training ensures that risk factors to law enforcement organizations are kept to a minimum.
1 Medical-Economic Welfare Effects From Substituting Police Forces Traditional Ballistic Weapons With Non-Lethal Alternatives: A Comparative Analysis; N. Grove, C. Kaiser, O. Peschel, N. Kunz.
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