Oleoresin Capsicum (OC Spray) as a Police Force: An Overview of Research Findings and Policy

Sunghoon Roh, Sam Houston State University

Despite nationwide popularity of OC spray (or "pepper spray") as a less-than-lethal weapon for subduing a violent suspect, OC spray has received little scholarly attention. The purpose of this study is to review and analyze the previous studies on OC, focusing upon five issues: debate over safety between ACLU and IACP, evaluation of effectiveness, correlates affecting the application of OC, policies of law enforcement agencies, and recommendations for future study and policy. As far as policies are concerned, an application of force continuum, medical aid, use-of-force reports, and training requirements are discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006