DATE: June 5, 2023
SUBJECT: Policy on the Use of Force
- PURPOSE. This Order establishes Treasury policy on the use of force; sets a uniform standard for the use of force, the use of deadly force, verbal warnings, and training and proficiency standards; and provides broad guidelines for the Treasury Law Enforcement Bureaus.
- SCOPE. This Order applies to all bureaus, offices, and organizations in the Department of the Treasury. The provisions of this Order shall not be construed to interfere with or impede the authorities or independence of the Offices of Inspector General.
- DELEGATION. Pursuant to the authorities vested in the Secretary of the Treasury, including the authority vested by 31 USC Section 321(b), I hereby establish a Treasury policy on the use of force, guided by Fourth Amendment principles and constitutional law, as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court. The policy set forth herein is intended to set a uniform standard for the use of force and to provide broad guidelines for the Treasury Law Enforcement Bureaus. The provisions of this Order apply to all Treasury Law Enforcement Officers.
- Treasury Law Enforcement Officer, for the purposes of this Order, includes any Treasury employee who has authority to make arrests and/or carry, or use, firearms and/or other weapons.
- Treasury Law Enforcement Bureau, for purposes of this Order, includes any bureau or office within the Department of the Treasury that employs Treasury Law Enforcement Officers.
- Deadly Force is any force that carries a substantial risk of causing death or serious physical injury.
- USE OF FORCE POLICY.
- It is Treasury policy to value and preserve human life. The primary consideration in the use of force is the reasonable application of force required to establish and maintain lawful control, restrain, overcome resistance, or gain compliance or custody of another. This reasonableness will be based on the facts and circumstances known to the law enforcement officer at the time force was used. Treasury Law Enforcement Officers may use force only when no reasonably effective, safe, and feasible alternatives appear to exist and may use only the level of force that a reasonable officer on the scene would use under the same or similar circumstances.
- The respective Treasury Law Enforcement Bureau heads shall set forth guidelines for less lethal devices, lethal weapons (including firearms), and lethal weapons with non-lethal munitions, in accordance with that bureau's law enforcement mission.
- USE OF DEADLY FORCE POLICY.
- Deadly Force. Treasury Law Enforcement Officers may use deadly force only when necessary, that is, when the officer has a reasonable belief that the subject poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer or another person. The use of deadly force by Treasury Law Enforcement Officers will be reviewed by their respective Treasury Law Enforcement Bureau heads and may ultimately be reviewed by a court. In determining whether the use of deadly force was reasonable, courts consider that an officer’s decision is often made in a split second under tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving circumstances. Reasonableness will be reviewed in light of the circumstances known to the officer at the time the force was used.
- Fleeing Subjects. Deadly force may be used to prevent the escape of a fleeing subject where the officer has probable cause to believe that the subject poses an imminent threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or another person and such force is necessary to prevent escape.
- Verbal Warnings. If feasible and if doing so would not increase the danger to the officer or others, a verbal warning to submit to the authority of the officer should be given prior to the use of deadly force.
- Use of Chokeholds and Carotid Restraints. Treasury Law Enforcement Officers are prohibited from using a chokehold or a carotid restraint unless the standard of necessity for the use of deadly force is satisfied.
- DE-ESCALATION. Officers will be trained in de-escalation tactics and techniques designed to gain voluntary compliance from a subject before using force, and such tactics and techniques should be employed if objectively feasible and they would not increase the danger to the officer or others. When feasible, reducing the need for force allows officers to secure their own safety as well as the safety of the public.
- AFFIRMATIVE DUTY TO INTERVENE. Officers will be trained in, and must recognize and act upon, the affirmative duty to intervene to prevent or stop, as appropriate, any other officer from engaging in excessive force or any other use of force that violates the Constitution, other federal laws, or Department policies on the reasonable use of force.
- AFFIRMATIVE DUTY TO RENDER MEDICAL AID. Officers will be trained in, and must recognize and act upon, the affirmative duty to request and/or render medical aid, as appropriate, where needed.
- TRAINING AND PROFICIENCY STANDARDS. Each Treasury Law Enforcement Bureau shall:
- require newly appointed Treasury Law Enforcement Officers to satisfactorily complete either Criminal Investigator Training Program or Uniformed Police Training Program, as administered by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center or other approved academy, unless otherwise authorized by the bureau head or their designee, prior to being authorized to carry or use a firearm;
- be responsible for establishing training standards which ensure that Treasury Law Enforcement Officers are proficient in the use of control tactics and less lethal devices as authorized by that bureau; and
- consistent with its mission, establish qualification and firearms familiarization standards that require Treasury Law Enforcement Officers to establish and maintain their proficiency in the use of authorized firearms. The Secretary or their designee may grant an exception to this subsection upon a showing of good cause.
- BODY-WORN CAMERAS AND NO-KNOCK ENTRIES. Any Treasury Law Enforcement Bureau that regularly conducts patrols, routinely engages with the public in response to emergency calls, or otherwise encounters the public during pre-planned law enforcement operations shall ensure that it maintains a policy regarding the use of body-worn camera recording equipment that is equivalent to or exceeds the requirements of the policy issued by the Department of Justice on June 7, 2021. Any Treasury Law Enforcement Bureau that executes warrants in private dwellings shall ensure that it maintains a policy regarding “no knock” entries that is equivalent to or exceeds the policy issued by the Department of Justice on September 13, 2021.
- IMPLEMENTATION. Treasury Law Enforcement Bureaus may supplement this Order with policy statements or guidance consistent with this Order.
- RIGHTS OF THIRD PARTIES. Nothing in this Order is intended to create or does create an enforceable legal right or private right of action.
- 31 USC 312(a)(2)(A)
- 31 USC 321
- CANCELLATION. Treasury Order 105-12, “Policy on the Use of Force,” dated October 17, 1995, is superseded.
- OFFICES OF PRIMARY INTEREST. U.S. Mint, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Internal Revenue Service, Treasury Office of the Inspector General, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery, and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
Janet L. Yellen
Secretary of the Treasury