Does the PPD ban chokeholds and strangleholds?

Chokeholds and Strangleholds are not allowed by the policy or procedures of the Pasco Police department. No physical maneuver that restricts an individual’s ability to breath for the purpose of incapacitation is allowed unless lethal force is authorized.

Pasco Police Officers have been trained in the use of the Vascular Neck Restraint procedure.

Pasco Police Use of Force Procedure
Use of Force Policy

B.  Definitions

Vascular Neck Restraint (VNR) - VNR is a specific method of applying pressure to the side of a subject’s neck to overcome resistance and allow safe control. This technique is used only in accordance with official departmental training and policy.

Authorized Force Tools, Description, Requirements, Uses and Considerations

F.  Vascular Neck Restraint

There are three levels to applying the VNR.  Level One begins with Low-Level Force and may progress to the Intermediate based on the subject’s actions.

Level of Control: 

Low-Level Force --      VNR Level One (minimum restraint)

Intermediate Force -- VNR Level Two (medium restraint)

VNR Level Three (maximum restraint)


The VNR is a control technique in which the carotid arteries on the sides of the neck are compressed, limiting blood flow to the brain, causing the subject to momentarily pass out.

Certification Requirements:

  • Entry Level Training as provided by PPD trained instructors.

No officer will use the VNR without first completing the certification course provided in the police academy or by PPD instructors.

  • Training will be provided by certified VNR instructors only.  
  • All commissioned officers in the rank of Sergeant and below will receive training in the VNR. 
  • Officers certified in the VNR will be required to complete recertification. 
  • Any officer requesting an exemption from VNR training due to medical reasons must obtain a medical exemption from their physician. 
  • This exemption must be obtained immediately upon requesting the exemption and at the beginning of each calendar year thereafter, and be forwarded to the Director of Risk Management. 

Approved Use:

  • This tool will be used only in accordance with policy and department training.
  • The  VNR  is  a  defensive  tactic  to  quickly  and  safely  stop active/aggressive resistance. 

Disapproved Use:

  • Will not be used on subjects that have been exposed to OC spray or who are experiencing difficulty breathing.  
  • Officers will not use any technique that involves a neck restraint.

Tactical Considerations:

  • When applying the VNR, only the amount of force necessary to bring the subject under control will be used. 
  • Upon the subject being brought under control the VNR will be relaxed.

Additional Considerations:

  • Summon medical attention on all use of VNR Level 2 and 3, and/or any incident where a subject is injured and/or complains of injury.
  • Notify a supervisor when VNR has been used.
  • Inform detention/corrections personnel VNR has been applied on the subject. 
  • Any application of VNR on a subject is a reportable Use of Force Report.

Show All Answers

1. Is de-escalation required by PPD officers?
2. Do PPD Officers use body worn cameras?
3. Are PPD Officers required to provide warnings before using deadly force?
4. Do PPD Officers have a duty to intervene?
5. Does the PPD ban shooting at moving vehicles?
6. Is it required for PPD Officers to use a Use of Force continuum?
7. Does the PPD require comprehensive reporting of use of force?
8. Does the PPD ban chokeholds and strangleholds?
9. Are PPD Officers required to give medical aid?
10. Does PPD Investigate their own officer-involved shootings?