Deadly Force

Since this is a huge topic today, thanks to our media, I will give you some insight into why the Deadly Force option to a Peace Officer is their last resort.
The media makes those who have the difficult, dangerous job of enforcing the law come out to be a group of lawless hitmen or assassins out to kill the innocent with impunity. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I am not here to talk about any particular case because I wasn’t there and neither were most of you. What I will say is that I don’t leave my home each day, head in to work to change into my uniform, badge and duty belt with the intention of using any force on anyone. That is true for the majority of my fellow brothers and sisters in blue, although I cannot speak for all of them.
In my almost eight years in my career, I have not had a Use Of Force incident yet. That is something pretty hard to do in my profession. Have I come close? You bet, numerous times.
A Peace Officer is reactionary by nature. Everyone in contact with an Officer are the ones that usually determine the outcome of that contact, whether it be positive or negative. I’ve had thousands of contacts with people and I can tell you from my own experience, it really is a “Split-Second decision” (a common term you hear all the time) that I’ve had to make many times throughout the years, and it is extremely stressful. In these types of encounters, most of them escalated in very few seconds and some of them took time to escalate.
It’s really easy to “Monday Night Quarterback” any incident, especially with Deadly Force incidents. The media, the average citizen, who have no knowledge or experience of what an officer goes through during these incidents think they know the correct way of handling that particular incident. Usually none of these experts were present during the incident.
I myself do my absolute best to de-escalate a situation if possible and it shows with my record so far. I am always prepared to defend my life and the lives of those I swore to protect and I cannot hesitate if it ever comes to that.
Why don’t I want to get into a UOF and especially a OIS (Officer Involved Shooting) incident? There are many reasons. First of all, I do not ever want to take another person’s life if it can be avoided. In any UOF, no matter how minor, I can be injured. Injuries can end my career and livelihood for me and my family. What most people don’t know is the level of scrutiny the involved Officer comes under from the investigation by the department, the District Attorney and nowadays the media and general public. I highly recommend that you watch the first two episodes of Flashpoint, a Canadian police show that focuses on their Strategic Response Unit. That show in my opinion, shows the process of what an Officer goes through after an OIS. Once a thorough investigation by all parties is over, you are either cleared or you will face criminal charges if you weren’t justified in your UOF, discipline by your department if you weren’t within policy. It definitely isn’t like what you hear from the pundits who think that the departments cover for their officers. If there was a mistake made, then there will be consequences for those actions. If you’re cleared by your department and the DA, you’ll still face civil action by family members of the person whose life was taken.
As you can see, this is why my Deadly Force Option is my absolute last resort to end a contact with any person.
This is why I constantly train myself physically and mentally, so that I will make the best possible decision whenever I need to make them. It is said, ” You do not rise to the occasion, you fall back on your training.”
With all the negativity and public outcry and scrutiny LEO’s come under nowadays, why do we keep going 10-8?
It’s because for many of us, it’s a calling and we take pride in what we do each day and night.

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