Case Law TAYLOR v. TAINTOR Document 

Tips For Our Members

The following information is provided as a service for all Bail Enforcement Agents to protect themselves from bodily harm and unnecessary lawsuits:

1. Surveillance, surveillance, surveillance, and finally, more surveillance. There can be no substitute for your personal observations.
No matter how tempting it is to go through the door of the fugitive's primary residence, don't if there is any reasonable way to avoid it. If it takes more time, days or weeks to avoid a forced entry take the longer, safer route. Remember, the criticism of many federal and local law enforcement apprehensions was that there was a lack of patience and therefore a longer surveillance to avoid the unnecessary loss of life.

2. Do not make an excessive display of weapons! If you are going to take a weapon or weapons with you, do not make them look excessively dangerous and foreboding and do not brandish.
Although intimidation and the appearance of superior force may be preferable to the agent, it can be totally unlawful. It can cause panic, produce excessive reactions and most probably cause an excessive negative reaction where none would have otherwise occurred.

3. Leave the military and the SWAT attire with the combat boots to the military and the swat teams.

4. Keep copious notes concerning all your actions.
Take video or photographs wherever possible. Write down your personal observations about the conditions as observed and the reactions of the people present. Do so as soon as possible, while your memory is fresh and keep those records for five years.

5. Be aware of the type of fugitive you are persuing, you are a Bail Enforcement Agent, and as such, you are permitted to think and to reason on your own accord, use your most awesome weapon, your brain.

6. Always be totally cognizant of the way in which others may perceive you, your bearing and your action.
Endeavor to create a firm, responsible, safe and commanding presence, not a menacing presence. Handle yourself so that you will be perceived being in complete control of the situation, rather than merely as an irresponsible danger to society.

Choosing To Carry A Gun

If you choose to carry a gun you must first decided if:
  • You are willing to shoot and possibly kill someone who threatens your life or the life of another person who is with you
  • You are capable of making the on the spot decision to use deadly force
  • You thoroughly know the law on the use of deadly force
  • You are able to live with your decision after injuring or killing someone


    If you have doubts about any of these issues, then you are not prepared to carry a gun during the performance of your apprehension. You must resolve any questions you have about your willingness and ability to use deadly force before you carry a gun. If you fail to make these important decisions now, you will jeopardize your own life, and the lives of other people with whom you work. You cannot view the gun as just a threat that you will not actually use. You must be willing to take another persons life if the situation requires this action.


    • The decision to use a gun is a personal choice that is made by you.
    • Before carrying a gun, you must thoroughly understand the law of the use of deadly force.

    Use Of Deadly Force:

      • "Homicide - By other person - When justifiable"
      • "Homicide is justifiable when committed either


      In the lawful defense of the slayer, or his or her husband, wife, parent, child, brother, or sister, or of any other person in his presence or company, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design on the part of a person slain to commit a felony or to do some great personal injury to the slayer or to any such person, and there is imminent danger of such design being accomplished; or In the actual resistance of an attempt to commit a felony upon the slayer, in his presence, or upon or in a dwelling, or other place of abode, in which he is. "


      • The law does not allow you to use deadly force to prevent a property crime.
      • The law allows you to use deadly force to defend your life. The law allows you to use deadly force to defend another person's life.


    Escalation Of Force:

    The circumstances that may lead to the use of force or deadly force by a Bail Enforcement Agent cannot be predicted but they will probably arise out of an apprehension situation. If during a bail arrest the agent is assaulted during the apprehension, you can use reasonable and necessary force in order to stop the assault and to successfully apprehend the criminal.

    The key concept is that you may use only as much force to prevent the escape of the suspect or the continuation of the assault. A reasonable application of force would begin with verbal (voice) commands such as " stop! " and continue with hands - on attempts at control.

    If the defendant were to draw a pistol or other deadly weapon when confronted, and threaten the agent with a pistol or edged weapon then the agent is justified in using deadly force in self - defense. Note the agent is not permitted to use deadly force to stop or detain the defendant.

    The level of force used must correspond to the amount of force used to attempt to escape or assault, plus whatever additional force is required to overcome the escape of assault.


      • Any use of force by you must be no more than that which is necessary and reasonable to overcome resistance to your lawful order.


    Use Of Force Continuum & Resistance:

    RESISTANCE - What the Suspect does - RESPONSE - What the BEA does

    Aggressive and Danger
    Giving Directions
      Setting Expectations
      Setting Limits/Giving Choices


    Strength Techniques
    Control Point
    Counter Joint
      Hair Holds
      Pepper Spray


      Body and Other Impact Weapons
      Lateral Vascular Neck Restraints
    * IMPEDE*


    AGGRESSIVE Lethal Force

    This continuum includes many different kinds of skills and types of weapons. If you do not have these available to you then you have fewer choices. The point of this continuum is that the level of force you use must be directly related to the force used against you.


      Responsibilities After Using Force:

      • You are not required to talk to the police before you have a chance to obtain legal advice.
      • You should administer first aid to someone you have injured, when it is safe to do so.
      • You must call for medical and police assistance as soon as possible.
      • You should identify yourself clearly and pose no threat to the police in order to reduce the chance that you will be mistaken for a criminal.

      Criminal Penalties For Unlawful Use Of Force:

      • Your employer is not criminally responsible for your actions with a firearm.
      • Pointing a firearm at another person, without a legitimate reason to do so, is an assault.
      • Recklessness by you that results in the death of another is manslaughter.
      • Intentional and unlawful killing of another person is criminal homicide.


      Civil Liability For Use OF Force:

      • Someone whom you injure may sue you for monetary damages if you have used force recklessly or illegally.
      • Your best defense against a civil suit is knowledge of the law, good judgment, and adequate training with your weapon and on use of force.


    Bail Enforcement Agents Take Note:

      A License To Carry A Concealed Weapon IS NOT A License To Use It!

      If you choose to carry a firearm ( concealed carry, etc. ) check first with the Local Jurisdiction as to the laws concerning that carry.

      Remember...KEEP WITHIN THE LAW!


    **Special Note for Bail Enforcement Agents Licensed in the State of Connecticut:

    Federal law permits persons traveling through the state to "transport" unloaded firearms (including handguns). See USC, Title 18, Sections 926A. The Law in no way allows the "carrying" of a firearm on one's person. Further, Connecticut General Statute (C.G.S.), Section 29-35, specifically prohibits the carrying of a firearm upon one's person except by persons issued a carry permit by a local or state police jurisdiction of this state. Law Enforcement officers are also entitled to carry firearms on their person pursuant to this statute. The BEA licensing statute goes further in requiring that any person that wants to carry a firearm (including handguns) on their person while engaged in the duties of a bail enforcement agent, must in addition to obtaining a state carry permit, complete 8 hours of training approved by the Commissioner of Public Safety and be issued a BEA supplement firearms permit. Refer to C.G.S. 29-28 and 29-152m concerning details for obtaining these permits.