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The Journal Gazette

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Thursday, January 17, 2019 1:00 am

FWPD to halt neck restraint technique

Safety concerns cited over tactic to subdue offenders

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

The Fort Wayne Police Department has temporarily dropped its use of the lateral vascular neck restraint because of potential safety concerns.

Known as the LVNR, the tactic – used to subdue resistance, particularly violent resistance – was introduced to the department in October 2014, according to Sgt. Jim Seay of the department's community relations division.

“It's not a chokehold,” Seay said Wednesday after the police department issued a statement saying the tactic wouldn't be used. “There's nothing across the windpipes at all.”

Seay said the suspension of the restraint technique was a local decision. “Nobody on the street was injured,” he said

“The strength of the technique is that it is less injurious than a traditional strike, and historically a low probability of injury to the offender and officer. The technique is utilized to quickly, safely and efficiently take offenders into custody,” the statement said.

When asked, Seay would not say what the potential safety concerns are.

The statement issued by police said, “The Fort Wayne Police Department shall continue to strive in making public safety, as well as officer safety, a priority. Understanding that both defensive tactics training and real world application of force have a certain level of risk attached, we will continue to strive to mitigate any unnecessary risk to the public or our officers.”

jduffy@jg.net