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K.C. police chief to rethink one-officer policy

June 13, 2007
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K.C. police chief to rethink one-officer policy

Editor’s note: What are your thoughts on a decision like this? On the one hand, two-officer units require more personnel and can be a budgetary strain. In smaller jurisdictions, a two-officer policy may also result in some areas not being patrolled as consistently, or at all. On the other hand, two-officer units that work as a team can be a safer tactical option, allowing for contact/cover techniques to be employed and allowing for immediate back-up if things go bad, like they did in Kansas City. Two-officer units can also help deter an offender from attacking when he otherwise might have if only one officer was on the scene.

A decision like this can be a difficult one to make sitting in the Chief’s chair. What are your thoughts? Share your comments below.

The Associated Press


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Police Chief Jim Corwin says he's rethinking the department's policy of 1 officer per car, after 1 of his men was wounded in a shootout.

Corwin says that shooting and two other violent attacks on officers since March have prompted him to reconsider the 54-year-old single-officer rule. Police released audio and video of the June fifth gunbattle in which an officer was shot in the foot.

Are one-officer squads acceptable?
PoliceOne Poll Results

No, officers should always be partnered.    32%
Yes, unless it's a high-risk district.             51 %
Only if budget/personnel availability
leave no option.                                    17 %
Total 816

Corwin praised the officer for using his radio to give instructions to other cars, even though he had been shot by a nine-millimeter semiautomatic machine gun. The officer returned fire, causing the gunman to flee.

The chief says he wants to gather information and decide whether officers in pairs could be more effective than those riding alone.

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