Sunday, March 27, 2011

Why are more Police being killed

Excellent article from George at MerCop

Why are more police being killed?
from Modern Combative Systems Blog by George

Over the last several days, I have seen this question posed on TV and the Internet. What follows is my opinion on the answer.

Many things have changed in law enforcement over the years, but one thing has remained the same. At some point the officer has to put cuffs on the bad guy and take him to jail, and some will kill to keep themselves from going back to jail. Of course for some, it is a premeditated conscious decision that they are willing to kill an officer. But in most cases, I believe, it is just a spontaneous violent reaction, in a long, long line of them. Our bad guys still grow up in a violent world where you fight for everything. On the other hand, more than ever before, we are getting officers who have never been tackled, punched in the face, or even had the breath knocked out of them by another human. This lack of inoculation to violence is coupled by the strick guidelines for people who wish to pursue a career in law enforcement. These days a defending of yourself in middle school will likely get you suspended or worse. More suppression of the natural reaction to defend yourself even when attacked.

Fast forward and the same person decides a government job would provide a decent pension after 20-25 years of age. Being free of anything in their background that would lead anyone to believe they have a violent streak, they are hired and sent to the academy.

The goal of a police academy, in theory, is to teach the police officer everything they need to know to be effective and to defend themselves and others. The reality is that they have dedicated themselves to protecting themselves from liability, instead of protecting the officers from the dangers they will face. It is not the fault of the academy staff, but rather bosses and politicians.

Firearms training is vital to the police officer, but the vast majority of situations begin with physical contact between the officer and suspect. Most systems for arrest & control or defensive tactics taught in academies become inside jokes due to their lack of effectiveness in real situations. Much of this training relies on pain compliance which is all but worthless on people under the influence of drugs and alcohol, or even against someone with an adrenaline dump. So now they bring no skills with them to the academy, and pick up techniques. So what happens is that they become dependent of things like pepper spray, the Taser, and the gun. It is no wonder why most allegations of excessive use of force involve the use of weapons besides firearms. None of which they are likely to have in their hands when inside grappling range with a suspect. Then one day they encounter a suspect who fights to kill them so they can walk away, instead of all the others who fought so they could run away.

These problems are best dealt with in in-service training, but sadly much of that time is taken with courses on cultural diversity or how to use the new computers in the car. To the bosses who are reading this, you need to also understand that realistic training for your officers will result in loss time injuries. Common sense and prevention will keep these to a minimum. But you cannot prepare for combat without incurring some bumps and bruises.

The other side of the coin is that good solid police who meet confrontation head on and don’t hesitate to use appropriate force, sometimes faster than their peers, are singled out by supervisors. Sooner or later even the most dedicated officer cannot ignore the fact that every time they use force it brings criticism. Eventually this leads to hesitation, and hesitation kills.

So to all those who are wringing their hands over why police are being killed, spare me. Just accept the fact that police need to know how to be effectively violent in the blink of an eye. This officer is not a danger to the citizen. He is an obstacle to the criminal who wishes to harm him and those whom he protects.

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