Use of force
A use of force doctrine is employed by police forces, as well as soldiers on guard duty, to regulate the actions of police and guards. The aim of such a doctrine is to balance security needs with ethical concerns for the rights and well-being of intruders or suspects.
United States soldiers on guard duty are given a "use of force briefing" by the sergeant of the guard before being assigned to their post, outlining what situations allow application of non-deadly and deadly force.
- "The only difference between lawful force for police and civilians is that peace officers are not given the option of fleeing the scene to avoid confrontation."
Indeed, soldiers on guard duty will be severely punished for "abandoning their post" if they leave before being "properly relieved".
New York City
- The guidelines prohibit an officer from firing his weapon at a suspect except as a last resort to save a life, according to the New York City Police Department Patrol Guide. To fire, the officer must have reason to believe the suspect is armed. He must also have reason to believe the fleeing felon poses an immediate threat of serious physical injury to the officer or that failure to apprehend the fleeing felon poses a threat of serious physical injury to others, the guidelines state. 
The use of force is controversial. Pacifists believe that one should never use force to defend oneself, or even to defend another person. Among those who accept the legitimacy of using force to defend others from harm, there are disputes about how much force may be used and what kind of force.
The recent wide availability of the Taser pistol has raised the question of what sort of cooperation a prisoner should be required to give when being arrested by police. For example, is it legitimate for a police officer to punish a suspect with a taser shock for refusing to place his hands behind his back for handcuffs? For refusing to stand up and walk after being handcuffed?
During interrogation of a foreign terrorism suspect, how much force may legitimately be used to coerce the prisoner into giving information about terrorist activity? Since around 2005, the use of waterboarding (to make a prisoner fear that he is drowning) has come under public scrutiny.