By CBS3 Staff

DELAWARE COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) — The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office has banned all deputies from using choke holds during any physical altercation while working. The department announced the decision Thursday as a result of recent incidents and the current “scrutiny” law enforcement agencies are undergoing throughout the country.

“In order to ensure that the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office follows protocols that assure the highest degree of professionalism in the execution of their duties, Sheriff Jerry L. Sanders Jr. has issued a directive to his deputies banning all choke holds during any physical altercation with persons they encounter in the course of their duties, ” the office said in a statement.

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On Tuesday, the Sheriff emphasized to deputies they should only use force when interacting with the public and incarcerated individuals when necessary and to only use approved use-of-force tactics in order to ensure the safety of all involved.

“I acknowledge that any interaction with a suspect or prisoner has inherent dangers, but I insist that all deputies react professionally and in a manner that reasonably safeguards both their own safety and health and that of the individual they are handling,” Sheriff Sanders said.