Re: Military Training Methodologies
I think it depends on the officer, and depends on the shooting. I know guys who have no trouble at all with the thought of having "dumped" someone - virtually ALL of their issues are with administrative follow up and screwed up policies afterwards - from virtually ignoring there was a shooting at all (in this day and age, believe it or not!) to having an officer on admin leave after a shooting call daily and "check in" in a demeaning way, to an administrator without credibility.
That officer was "saved" because people congratulated him and told him he did a good job.
There seems to be a trend in LE Administration to address all shootings by all officers as the same kind of traumatic event - a cookie cutter that all shootings screw all people up.
Truth is, some people are more than willing to shoot people that need shot. In fact, doing so is a validation of their training. Not because they "wanted" to shoot someone, but because for some, that is the ultimate challenge to face in LE and they want to be known as rising to the occasion when the occasion justified it, rather than shrinking from it.
These kinds of guys scare administrators. Example: during Katrina, a number of our guys wanted to volunteer to go down to New Orleans to help - going through the necessary channels to make it offical.
They were summarily told "No," and it got back that the reason was "our people aren't going down there to shoot people."
Or the bank robber/hostage taker shot in the face by an officer - only to have the media told it was in the chest, because "we can't have people thinking we shoot people in the head."
I know for a fact the officer had no problem with doing what he had to do. The heartburn came from administrative dissembling, hand wringing, and excessively "poor baby"-ing a guy who was perfectly OK with what he did.
Sure, some aren't keen on ever facing that challenge, but do it if they have to.Those may have some problems.
Some are willing, but second guess whether they "should have" under their particular circumstances. Also a potential problem.
Some never, ever want to face it, and indeed run from it. They are not indicative of the profession as a whole. And tend to have the worst problems.
As I say, most cops carry a gun to defend themselves, not to step in harm's way to defend others. Most will do it if they have to, but for some, it is the driving purpose of the profession. To Serve and Protect. Some are more servants, some are more protectors.
I think addressing them all as if they are all the same is the primary issue. I don't have the answer, but I think the dialogue is a good one. All views just have to be brought to the table.
I've nver seen anything as bad as your "under arrest for murder" situation - yikes!