Coast Officers Get Some Tough Training Involving Shootings
When Darren Wilson fatally shot 18 year old, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri, officer involved shootings were thrust into the spotlight. Captain Jim Adamo of the Biloxi Police Department says, "Any time an incident like that happens, it affects everybody. It affects the community, it affects the police department, it affects the individuals. It’s just such a wide-ranging incident that we have to be prepared for it."
Thursday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Regional Counterdrug Training Academy, and Gulf Coast HIDTA put on a seminar hosted by Biolxi Police to inform officers from across the region what to do in a situation in which they’re forced to shoot. Tim Rutledge, Director of Training for the Regional Counterdrug Training Academy, says, "There are few people talking about this issue in the law enforcement community. I think it’s vital that we get the word out to cops, this is how we think you should do it."
About 70 representatives from four states were present, talking about following the law, dealing with the community in the aftermath, and coping with emotional issues that officers would face both in the moment and in the following investigation. These incidents may occur more often than you think. On average, once every 11 days there’s a shooting with a police officer involved.
Just three weeks ago, an officer was involved in a shooting in Gulfport. A traffic stop turned deadly when the man pulled over was ordered out of the car and instead of complying, reached for his gun. Capt. Adamo closes, "The better we are at being prepared for it, the better we’ll deal with it when it happens, because it’s not a matter of if it’s going to happen, it’s a matter of when."
While every officer hopes they’re never in that situation, training sessions like these ensure they’re prepared.