Can Deadly Force Be Restrained?

Chief Scott Tomson of Camden, NJ.
One of the major struggles between police and community members is often police use of deadly force. J. Scott Tomson of the Camden County Police Department has done a noteworthy job of modeling reform in this area. The above video captures two incidents that in many city would result in the death or serious injury of the persons involved.

The video above shows that uses of deadly force can be reduced through training, policy, and leadership.

Tomson was sworn in as chief of the Camden County Police Department on May 1, 2013. Prior to that, he had worked his way up the ranks of the former city department and had served as their chief since 2008. He began his law enforcement career in 1992. He holds an M.A. in Education from Seton Hall University and a B.A. in Sociology from Rutgers University.

He received the coveted Gary P. Hayes Memorial Award from the Police Executive Research Forum for innovation and leadership in policing and provided testimony for the President’s Task Force Report on 21st Century Policing on using community policing to reduce crime.

He was an Executive Fellow for the Police Foundation in Washington, D.C., a member of the Harvard University Law Enforcement Summit Executive Leadership Group and currently serves as President of the Police Executive Research Forum in Washington, D.C.

  • Read this article, too.
  • An interview with Tomson HERE.







  1. I wrote about this two years ago. Why aren’t there more police departments releasing video to show and ‘Celebrate’ SAVES when they happen? I’m certain that there are more ‘SAVES’ (when an officer could legally use deadly force-but didn’t) than there are actual fatal shootings. See page 14 ‘Commentaries’ in Las Vegas Tribune edition February 25-March 3, 2015.


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