Police Procedures Use of Force Expert Witness

Provides Opinion & Testimony In:

Citizen v. Citizen self-defense cases (personal weapons, knives, and firearm usage), Use of force in patrol and in jails, De-escalation techniques, Incidents involving the mentally ill, Vehicle and foot pursuits, Emergency Code 3 driving, Handcuffing injuries, Officer-involved shootings both lethal and less lethal weapons, General patrol tactics and police practices, Use of the TASER and Pepper spray, Evidence examination, evaluation, and analysis., Wheelchair user suspects: contact and control, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as it relates to law enforcement, Incident and arrest report writing, Security guard duties v. sworn peace officer duties, Use of Spit mask or Hood


With thirty years of experience encompassing patrol, jail/custody, and investigatory procedures, Expert 983 is now a police and jail procedures consultant for attorneys, public agencies, and the media.  He has provided Rule 26 expert reports, as well as expert testimony in deposition and at trial in United States District Courts and California, Arizona, and Nevada state courts. Subjects have included:

Use of force
•    Patrol
•    Custody (jail and prison)
•    Less-lethal and lethal
•    Citizen v. Citizen self-defense
•    Citizen’s right to resist excessive force by the police

Use of the TASER – patrol and custody

Police practices – patrol and custody
•    Handcuffing and handcuffing injuries
•    Arrest warrant operations
•    Exigent v. Non-exigent police entry
•    Emergency vehicle operations
•    Sexual assault investigations
•    Evidence collection in firearms cases

Jail and prison/custody
•    Inmate housing
•    Jail suicide
•    Forced cell removal
•    Major inmate disturbances
•    Contraband
•    Gang v. Non-Gang attacks on staff
•    Jail-made weapons – carrying, using, and manufacture
•    Food Service
•    Safety checks and California Title-15 safety checks
•    Inmate medical care – access, sick call, inmate refusals
•    Jail medical and mental health intake procedures
•    Solicited v. Non-solicited inmate reading material

•    Possession for sales
•    Under the influence
•    Minimum use quantities
•    Sales
•    Possession (street and prison)
•    LSD, cocaine, heroin, barbs, PCP, methamphetamine, marijuana
•    “Rectal stashes” and safe gathering of evidence

Use of private security guards
•    Deployment + duties

Designated as a police practices expert by the Los Angeles County Superior Court Committee of Superior Court Judges who have been appointed to maintain a Panel of Expert Witnesses.  Expert 983 has opined in criminal defense cases for the Public Defender’s Office in Riverside County, San Bernardino County, San Diego County, Kern County, San Luis Obispo, Monterey County, Orange County, and for the Federal Defender’s Office.  He has opined in a criminal prosecution case for the District Attorney’s Office in Merced County.

Expert 983 served as a Lieutenant for various Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department patrol stations as well as correctional facilities throughout Los Angeles County, and commanded large-scale operations during major natural disasters such as wildfires and earthquakes. Other positions held include Sergeant (supervising 20 – 200+ deputies per shift), Narcotics Investigator (co-sworn as a federal agent with federal powers of arrest), Detective, Patrol Deputy, and Training Officer.

Over the course of his 30-year career, Expert 983 analyzed use of force in patrol and in the jails, including the use of the TASER, by his subordinates to determine if the force used was proper, reasonable, and within policy, performing many full “force reviews” of deputy personnel as well as investigating complaints from private citizens and inmates concerning allegations of deputy misconduct.  He has instructed his subordinates in the cognitive aspects of the use of force.

Expert 983 commanded and investigated pursuits and was a participating member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Pursuit Evaluation Committee.  He instructed his subordinates in the cognitive aspects of emergency driving, investigated numerous traffic accidents involving emergency and non-emergency responses and has driven ambulances and marked patrol cars code 3 (red lights and siren) over 4,500 times as an Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedic, Deputy, Sergeant, and Lieutenant.

Commanded numerous high-risk barricaded suspect operations, approving the use of the SWAT Teams and K9s after dangerous suspects when necessary and additionally ensured that all staff followed proper protocol and procedures concerning high-risk incidents, barricaded suspects, officer involved shootings, vehicle pursuits, etc.

In a custody environment, Expert 983 was responsible for the station jail (Lancaster) that received over 14,000 bookings a year and commanded responses to over 100 major inmate disturbances/riots within large correctional facilities (up to 4,000 inmates). He dealt with barricaded inmates, forced cell removals, medical emergencies, fires, evacuations, and earthquakes. Expert 983 has experience with the use of the restraint chair, three and four point medical restraints, the Total Appendage Restraint Position (TARP), and is certified in the use of the WRAP restraint.  He ensured that proper inmate discipline hearings were carried out by sergeant personnel as mandated by California Title-15 Regulations.  He lectured regularly at the POST certified Jail Incident Command School on jail emergencies, major disturbances, and cell extractions.

Expert 983 commanded responses to attempted and completed jail suicides by hanging, cutting, and jumping; he authored and instituted a policy that resulted in the reduction of feigned jail suicides by 50%.  He also developed a policy that reduced the use of force by 50% when dealing with hostile inmates.

Years of service as a custody Sergeant and Lieutenant have left Expert 983 well-versed in the policies and procedures of classification (including upgrading inmate security levels to administrative segregation and housing area racial demographics), housing of inmates, protecting inmates from harm by other inmates and in ensuring that California mandated Title-15 security checks and inmate medical care policies and procedures were followed.

Expert 983 frequently provides media entities with information and perspective concerning law enforcement policies and procedures.  He has designed and written emergency procedures, evacuation plans, response plans, and operations plans.  In the private sector, Expert 983 has planned and managed security at large-scale events, and has provided close-in protection for numerous individuals.  He has also conducted assessments to gauge effectiveness of security measures and recommends adjustments to reduce or eliminate security breaches.
A lifelong learner, Expert 983’s frequent continuing education/training consists, in part, of: use of force, both less-than-lethal and lethal, TASER, firearms, less-than-lethal weapons, excited delirium, jail suicides, suicides in the field, as well as “suicide by cop,” and deliberate indifference topics, to name a few.



Private Company, consultation services to law firms, public agencies (law enforcement, public defenders, and prosecutors) and media
Santa Clarita, California – 2008 to present
•    July 2014, provided information to the Denver Sheriff’s Department Independent Monitor, Nicholas Mitchell, about how to conduct jail safety checks.
•    July 2012, met with the Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California to give explanation of the importance of evaluating “fight dynamics” in police use of force cases.
•    Use of force expert testimony, which included the use of the TASER, was cited in the May 30, 2012, published opinion of the Court of Appeal of the State of California, Second Appellate District, Division Eight, Alma Mendoza v. City of West Covina, et al., (2012) 206 CAL APP 4th, 702, (Los Angeles County, Superior Court). In this opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment for the plaintiff, in part due to Mr. Lichten’s testimony.
•    May 2012, provided recommendations to reduce allegations of improper use of force in Los Angeles County Jails to a team of attorneys from Gibson, Dunn & Cruther working on behalf of the Los Angeles County Citizen’s Commission on Jail Violence.
•    June 2012, provided technical advice to author Matthew Quirk during manuscript development for a novel involving prisons.
•    November 2011, provided technical advice during the script development for the movie, The Assassination of a Citizen by Moritz Rechenberg, Reflektiv Film Company, Los Angeles, CA.
Los Angeles County Sheriff, North County Correctional Facility (Watch Commander)
Castaic, California – November 2001 to February 2008
Los Angeles County Sheriff, Lancaster Station (Watch Commander and Station Jail Manager)
Lancaster, California – August 1997 to November 2001
Los Angeles County Sheriff, North Facility (Watch Commander)
Castaic, California – March 1996 to July 1997
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station
Santa Clarita, California – March 1992 to March 1996
North County Correctional Facility
Santa Clarita, California – July 1989 to March 1992
Narcotics Investigator (co-sworn as a federal agent for border interdiction):
Los Angeles County Sheriff Detective Division
Los Angeles, California – November 1986 to June 1989
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station
Santa Clarita, California – January – November 1986
Patrol Deputy and Training Officer:
Los Angeles County, California –1978 to 1986
–    Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station – April 1984 to January 1986 (Patrol deputy + FTO)
–    West Hollywood Station – February – March 1984 (2 months)(Patrol duty)
–    Carson Sheriff Station – February 1981 to February 1984 (Patrol duty)
–    Los Angeles Men’s Central Jail – June 1978 to February 1981 (Custody duty)
–    Los Angeles County Sheriff Academy – March to June 1978



Over span of 30 years, has instructed and trained personnel in:
Use of force in patrol
Use of force in the jails
Use of force – when/when not to use the TASER
De-escalation techniques
Tactical command skill in tense situations
Proper patrol procedures
Emergency skills preparedness and training
Officer safety
Incident report writing
Handling of public interactions
California penal codes
Supervision and leadership skills


Media Interviews as of March 2016:

Available Upon Request

Television news – local and national     47
Newspaper/Magazine     93
Radio –  U.S. , New Zealand, and Canadian radio    6


Available Upon Request


Peace Officer
Basic Certificate
Basic – Specialized Certificate
Intermediate and Advanced Certificates
Specialized Training Certificates
Supervisory Peace Officer Certificate
Middle Management Certificate


Note:  Selected from the more than 100 formal and/or written commendations in recognition of Expert 983’s law enforcement and emergency/rescue service to the community

Outstanding Service to the Community, 1993 & 1994

Meritorious Service Award, 1994

Sheriff’s Commendation, 2006

Sheriff’s and Fire Department Commendation


Professional Peace Officers Association (PPOA)
Association of Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS)
International Police Association (IPA)
Americans for Effective Law Enforcement (AELE)
Institute for the Prevention of In Custody Deaths (IPICD)
American Jail Association (AJA)
American Correctional Association (ACA
California Narcotic Officers’ Association (CNOA) (former member)


Certified Litigation Specialist (CLS)
Americans for Effective Law Enforcement (AELE) – 2013
The Americans for Effective Law Enforcement (AELE) is the largest law enforcement litigation information organization in the nation.  Continues to actively participate in this professional organization, attending seminars in police practices as well as jail practices and civil rights laws dealing with law enforcement.  Received CLS after completing required training in:
•    Lethal and Less Lethal Use of Force
•    Arrest-Related, Excited Delirium, Sudden In-Custody Death, Jail Suicide
•    Management, Oversight, and Monitoring of Use of Force, including ECW (TASER) Operations and Post-Incident Forensics
•    Discipline and Internal Investigations

Certified Instructor in the Prevention and Management of Suicide in Law Enforcement
(patrol, including “suicide by cop,” and in the jails)
Institute for the Prevention of In-Custody Deaths (IPICD) – 2014

Private Security Guard And Protective Agent – professionally trained and certified to perform security guard duties with and without an exposed firearm
Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS), Sacramento, California

Associates in Administration of Justice
College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita, California – 2004

Los Angeles County Paramedic
Los Angeles County, California – 1976 – 1978

Training Received while with the Sheriff’s Department:

Available Upon Request


Other Specialty Officer Safety Training (1979 and 1981):

Twice attended the week-long Specialized Officer Safety Training Program at the California Specialized Training Institute (CSTI) at San Luis Obispo, California, in Officer Safety Tactics.  40 hours.  Courses included:
•    Patrol tactics and officer responses
•    Officer safety: mindset and fitness
•    Arrest and control skills
•    Building entry and search tactics
•    Weapon retention
•    Tactical response scenarios
•    Marking cartridge scenarios
•    Tactical/combat shooting
•    Explosives awareness
•    Ambush awareness


Continuing Education since starting Private Company:

Available Upon Request



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