Springfield Police Chief Williams Bans Neck Restraint Tactic

The Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint (LVNR) is used by many law enforcement entities across the United States and has been shown to be an effective tool in stopping a violent assailant, but Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams is no longer allowing officers to use that technique.

The LVNR, which applies pressure to the sides of the neck to slow down the flow of blood to the brain, is not like a chokehold in that it does not cut off the airway. (The chokehold was already banned for use by SPD.)

Despite showing community members, including the Springfield NAACP, that the technique was safe to use, Springfield chief Paul Williams told Springfield City Council during the Council’s retreat he had removed the LVNR from the department’s “use of force continuum”, which effectively bans the use of the technique.

“It didn’t result in any injuries on anyone when it was used here,” Chief Williams told Council, “but what we heard from communities, especially minority communities, if you put your arm around someone’s neck, that is bad.”

He said a lack of understanding of the difference between a chokehold and the LVNR is contributing to the problem.

The Chief also addressed guns in the community by lamenting Missouri’s Constitutional Carry. He said gun crime rates have been rising every year since the law’s implementation because situations that would have been settled with an argument or perhaps fist fight are now being settled with a gun.

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