By PoliceOne Staff
Here’s what we’ve got: A drunk off-duty officer at a bar. Two on-duty officers respond to her location to help get her “under control” and get her home. One of the officers is dating the off-duty officer in question, who is irate at the fact that the uniforms are taking her away from the bar. She’s put inside a squad. She’s got a gun in an ankle holster. Apparently the responding officers don’t know that — or aren’t worried about it. She draws the gun and fires, apparently accidentally, into the squad floorboard.
Lessons to be learned here? You bet. You can draw your own conclusions, but while you think about this incident, ask yourself these questions:
• Would you have done the same thing? Would you have known she had a gun? Would you have cared?
• What’s a better way to approach this situation, given the recipe you’ve got: drunk fellow officer, one of the officers responding is dating her, she’s irate. What’s the smart approach?
• Big question: WHY did she draw the gun? Was she planning to use it as a “shallow” threat? If she unintentionally discharged into the floorboard, what would have happened if in her drunken state she had pointed that gun at an officer…even if she never consciously planned to fire it? To say the results could have been unimaginably tragic is an understatement.
Sometimes in law enforcement, officer safety steps can be considered “over the top” or “paranoid” but as the tactically wise always say, even the most unimaginable things CAN and DO happen. Could this have happened to anyone? Could it happen to you? Think about it ...and plan accordingly.