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Forget the 'Hollywood' dialogue

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January 24, 2011

Forget the 'Hollywood' dialogue

Submitted by:
Rich Von Voigt
Riverhead, New York

In recent weeks we’ve seen a number of officer-involved shootings involving simulated hand guns — one even involved a hose nozzle. When dealing with a gun call, don’t let Hollywood dialogue make you the victim. Officer training should be straightforward.

Keep it short and to the point — identify yourself and give the command — with things like “Police! Don’t Move!” or “Police! Drop the weapon!”

Keep the profanity, the, “I’ll blow your head right the [BLEEP] off” stuff out of it. The longer it takes you to communicate what you want them to do, the better the chance of them getting off the first shot. That is what you are trying to avoid. When you’re “short and to the point” all it takes to draw and fire is a split second, make sure you are ready to use deadly force in an instant.

Too many officers die second guessing, “Should I or shouldn’t I?” If you believe it’s a weapon and it looks like a weapon and the person is threatening and not following direction — well, then you act accordingly.

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