Last week I talked about the need to train for up close and personal deadly force confrontations. So, what happens following a deadly for encounter where one of your officers has shot someone?
Are you educating your officers, starting in the recruit academy, about what to expect after the shooting?
Do they understand the officer involved shooting protocols in place in your jurisdiction? Will it be your agency doing the investigation or an outside agency?
Have they been told that some investigator or supervisor may seize their gun? This may happen at the scene or at the office. Ideally the officer will be given a replacement gun but officers need to be warned that may not happen.
Have you educated your officers on the effects of stress on memory? Do they understand the important of rest following an event and prior to completing their statement?
Do they know who to call for competent legal representation? Is that phone call their responsibility or will some else automatically make that call for them such as a representative from the union, association, FOP, or PBA?
Have you trained your supervisors about their roles and responsibilities following a shooting?
Have you done your best to ensure the people tasked with investigating the shootings have attended the Force Science Institute certification course (www.forcescience.org).
Have you educated your administrators about the science and the realities of combat and the effects of stress? Have you educated your public information officers, Chiefs and Sheriffs about more desirable things to say to the media following an officer involved shooting?
Too often officers get training in how to take the shot, and when the law allows them to take the shot and are left on their own to figure out what happens after the shot. This is a critical moment in an officer’s career and their life and is far too important to be left to chance. Do the research and make sure you educate your officers about what they need to do for themselves after the shot.
For access to a great resource on OIS protocols click on this link and download the handout from John Bostain’s presentation at IACP. OIS Protocol Handout