Police officers received this Wednesday an internal communiqué in which the national director of the PSP, Magina da Silva, demonstrates great concern with the need for agents to defend themselves against “the increase in the intensity of violence used to commit serious and violent crimes, namely with to white and firearms weapons”.
According to the statement to which PÚBLICO had access, Magina da Silva thus announced the distribution of 4600 new defense aerosols (neutralizing gas known as “pepper gas”), which can be used in all environments, indoors and outdoors. , selectively (with no side effects other than those caused to the target) and at a greater distance from the suspects, the distribution of 295 batteries and 1201 real charges to the tasers.
With regard to neutralizing gas, PÚBLICO knows that it has been in short supply for more than a year, as this “means of low lethal potential” and which is in third place on the scale of levels of force that the police can apply, it was not provided to the agents of the 16th and 17th PSP courses.
In addition to the distribution of equipment, Magina da Silva also says that she intends to “consolidate and intensify training in police intervention techniques and self-protection measures, including in educational establishments, in order to prevent attacks on police officers and mitigate the risks of occurrence. of physical injuries to third parties” and which therefore “determined the restructuring and intensification of training in this area, which will have a visible effect from next year”.
Speaking to PÚBLICO, Paulo Santos, president of the Union Association of Police Professionals (ASPP/PSP) stated that “the police mission is increasingly complex, demanding and risky, and as such, a cross-sectional vision is imposed, as if they also impose concrete and effective measures”. For the union leader, “the policy of human and material resources, the question of training, the operational framework, and also the question of adjusted intervention, depending on the social contexts, are something that must be changed”. “What has been announced is not enough, it is necessary to demand more from the political power and not subject the police to everything”, he maintained.
Worried about “injuries”
In the statement, the PSP’s top official begins by recalling the information he sent on July 6, 2020 and stresses that “unfortunately”, almost three years later, it remains more current than ever because “there is an increase in the intensity of violence used to committing serious and violent crimes, namely using cold weapons and firearms”.
Silva’s Magic he informed the agents about safety and self-protection procedures because “in the course of various police interventions, injuries of varying severity had occurred to the police officers involved”, which it was urgent to “prevent”.
“Most of the injuries”, according to the director of the PSP, had “occurred due to physical contact resulting from repeated attempts to use free-hand techniques, in relation to suspects”.
Thus, Magina da Silva recalls the order in which the police can resort to weapons and “means of low lethal potential in escalating the levels” of force to be applied, in order to guarantee their physical integrity.
Firstly, agents should use “empty hands” techniques of restraint or impact, secondly metal handcuffs or other handcuffing devices, and then only thirdly should they use neutralizing gases.
In fourth place are the immobilizing or stunning electrical weapons or devices, known as tasers. The baton is in fifth place and less lethal ammunition (namely 12 caliber weapons, with the exclusive use of projectiles called rubber pellets) comes in sixth.
The statement also stresses that agents must maintain a distance of two meters from “suspects of committing crimes, aggressive or psychologically altered” and that they must “issue clearly and unequivocally audible orders that suspects must comply with”.
Furthermore, handcuffing should only be carried out if it is legally permissible and safe. “If empty-handed techniques are not effective, prolonged physical contact and repeated attempts to use them should be avoided, a safe distance should be adopted and the less lethal weapons and means available should be used”, it reads.