Train­ing never stops to han­dle ag­gres­sion

The Covington News - - LOCAL - BRYAN FAZIO bfazio@cov­

Ev­ery of­fi­cer-use-of-force sit­u­a­tion is a volatile and dan­ger­ous af­fair for the of­fi­cer, the sus­pect and the com­mu­nity.

Of­fi­cers have sev­eral op­tions of force, from 1) a show of force – sev­eral of­fi­cers; 2) ver­bal com­mands – for a sub­ject to stand down or show his hands; 3) phys­i­cal force – with an ASP ba­ton; 4) use of an elec­tronic con­trol de­vice – Taser; 5) chem­i­cal agent – pep­per spray; 6) non-lethal weapon, such as bean bag am­mu­ni­tion; or 7) lethal force – a Glock hand­gun, ri­fle or shot­gun.

For all uses of force there are state guide­lines pro­vided by Peace Of­fi­cers Stan­dards and Train­ing (POST), in which the CPD has adapted its stan­dard op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dure for po­lice re­sponse to ag­gres­sion/resistance.

An of­fi­cer’s knowl­edge at start of the job

Upon be­ing hired each of­fi­cer goes also goes through a psy­cho­log­i­cal assess­ment to see if that per­son is suited for law en­force­ment.

Along with the psy­cho­log­i­cal assess­ment, the abil­ity to know the depart­ment’s ag­gres­sion guide­lines is a must for any­one to be­come an of­fi­cer.

“When we bring an of­fi­cer into the depart­ment from Day One they go to the range and they qual­ify,” CPD Capt. Craig Tread­well said. “Be­fore they do that, they have to cover this pol­icy from top to bot­tom on use of force, so that they know what is ex­pected of them and how they should per­form and when they can and can’t use deadly force.”

Of­fi­cers are trained on ev­ery weapon, lethal or not, at the CPD’s dis­posal.

On the job, con­tin­u­a­tion of train­ing

The CPD says its of­fi­cers go through 114 hours of train­ing a year, in var­i­ous as­pects of the job. In­cluded is how to use force.

Twice a year CPD of­fi­cers go to the range for qual­i­fi­ca­tions train­ing, where they are put in “real world sit­u­a­tions.” Not only are of­fi­cers trained in how to han­dle an in­crease in force, but also pre­pare to de­crease force, at times go from fir­ing shots, to talk­ing a sus­pect down and switch­ing from pis­tol, to Taser, to ba­ton and down to com­mands.

“We’re not just go­ing to stand and shoot at a static tar­get and say you pass qual­i­fi­ca­tion,” Tread­well said. “That way you can fire your firearm and then switch to Taser if you have to.”

Af­ter a shoot­ing sit­u­a­tion

Af­ter any use of force, of­fi­cers use their first aid train­ing to tend to the sus­pect.

Fol­low­ing the sus­pect be­ing taken to seek ad­di­tional med­i­cal help, the of­fi­cer is then de­briefed, go­ing over the en­tire sit­u­a­tion. In the case of lethal force a doc­tor sits down with the of­fi­cer within a cou­ple of days.

CPD pol­icy puts the of­fi­cer on paid ad­min­is­tra­tive leave fol­low­ing use of force. While on leave the su­per­vis­ing of­fi­cer will con­tact the em­ployee on a daily ba­sis, “and make sure he is do­ing good and mon­i­tor them and make sure there is any­thing we can do to help them if they are hav­ing dis­tress,” Tread­well said.

Ac­cord­ing to CPD pol­icy the re­lief from duty serves:

To ad­dress the per­sonal and emo­tional needs of the em­ployee in­volved in the fa­tal po­lice re­sponse to ag­gres­sion/resistance.

To as­sure the com­mu­nity that the in­ci­dent is be­ing fully and pro­fes­sion­ally in­ves­ti­gated.

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