Monday, June 9, 2008


I just thought I'd take this opportunity to dispel a few myths.

1) Police officers are trained to shoot to kill.

Actually, we are trained to shoot at the center of mass to stop the threat. If the bad guy happens to die, that is just an unfortunate side effect.

2) Police officers are trained to empty the magazine when they shoot.

No, we are trained to shoot until the threat no longer exists. Sometimes two rounds is enough, sometimes it's not. This explains why officers sometimes fire 13 rounds instead of one or two.

3) Police officers could just shoot the gun out of the bad guy's hand.

If you believe that horse shit, you have seen waaaaayyyyy too many movies. In the heat of battle, most cops are lucky to hit a human sized target, let alone something as small as a hand. Training helps, but when the excrement hits the circulator we find that we are still human, with human reflexes.

4) A city cop can't stop me on the freeway.

I hear this one regularly, and I assure you, yes we can.

5) Highway Patrol can't stop me on a city street.

Again, yes they can. A peace officer is a peace officer, anywhere in the state. We all enforce the same laws.

6) You are out of your city. You can't write me a ticket.

Once again, yes, I can.

7) If a cop is chasing me and I run out of his jurisdiction, he has to stop chasing me.

Depending on the reason I'm chasing you, I can chase you until the wheels fall off if I so choose.

8) If I give the cop enough guff for stopping me, he will be scared I am going to take him to court and he won't write me the ticket.

Actually, this will likely EARN you the ticket. Believe me, it's been tried many times.

9) The cops shot an unarmed man.

That "unarmed man" is often armed with a vehicle, or a bat, or a knife, or he may have a simulated weapon. Just because there's no gun there doesn't mean he's unarmed. Also, just because he may not be "armed", per se, does not mean he is not a threat.

Let me put it this way, if we are separated by a fifteen foot high fence and I see you on the ground with someone kicking you in the head repeatedly, but he has no gun or other "weapon", would you want me to shoot him, spend thirty seconds climbing or running around the fence so I could hit him with my baton, or just stand there on the other side of the fence and yell at him to "Please stop, sir"? I, for one, would want you to shoot him to keep him from killing me by kicking me in the head. In thirty seconds, he could kick me another thirty times.

So don't automatically assume we killed an unarmed person just because that's what the news said. Get all the facts first.

Okay, I'm done for now...


TheBronze said...

Great post Smitty!

It should be required reading by all DemocRats.

Angie said...

Once again, a very good post. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Great post. The problem is that the drive-by media has a agenda to make law enforcement lokk like cold blooded thugs. And it is a shame they have that attitude. I want a officer to do what ever it takes to help me or ny family. Even if it means shooting someone.
God Bless and Protect you and your fellow officers.

Edwin said...

Yeah, someone kicking me in the head? Shoot their ass!

And I'm a democrat; don't get the pansy political correct lefty wingnuts confused with some of the more practical dems, k?

Mrs. "Smith" said...

Thank you, Edwin!!! Some of us Dems do "get it". Just like you can't base all republicans by Ann Coulter's crazy ass, or the neo-cons.

*Goddess* said...

Depending on the reason I'm chasing you, I can chase you until the wheels fall off if I so choose.

LOL! I love that response.

Officer "Smith" said...

This was a non-partisan post. Stupid people are registered in ALL parties.

TheBronze said...

Very true.

The reason I wrote what I wrote is because most things come down to political leanings, one way or the other.

How often do you think Conservatives (or Republicans) are going to say "He should've just shot him in the hand" or "He didn't have to kill him, he only had a knife"?

I can almost guarantee that 9x out of 10 they won't be Conservative's or Republicans saying that.

But it's very true that there are idiots on both sides of the aisle.

Jay said...

Great post and so true but you can still leap tall buildings in a single bound right?

Officer "Smith" said...

It usually takes about a bound and a half, but yes... that one's true.

Me said...

I have been told many times that I could not stop someone where I had stopped them, or for the reason that I had stopped them.

My response: "Well you can certainly go make that argument to the judge. Sign here, please. Press hard--you're making three copies."

Dark Nights said...

I wrote a little something on my blog after reading all these comments. I just felt it would have taken too much space here. Hope everyone enjoys.

COPPER said...

I'm Glad someone finally posted these issues. Very well written!
One of my favorite misconceptions is that "Cops spend too much time at the Donut Shop". This is COMPLETE Crap! Any self respecting Police Officer will go through the drive Thru! : )

makeumdothechicken said...

Or, After finding drug paraphernalia in the car in a search incident to arrest they say,"My glove box is locked you can't search it without a warrant."

Tell your attorney all about it.

Berserk said...

At my agency, our training is to take headshots if we think we can hit that target, center mass shots if there's some doubt, and pelvic girdle shots if deadly force is justified and they're fleeing. Of course, all of this is trumped by the rule "shoot what's available."

One could make a case that training officers to prefer headshots is training them to shoot to kill. The idea is that disconnecting the wetware is the most reliable way to stop the threat. I guess it comes back to that, though: the primary objective is to stop the threat.

Officer "Smith" said...

COPPER - Thank God for Krispy Kreme huh?

makeumdothechicken - More than once, I have pried open a glovebox to search it because the smartass didn't want to give up the key.

Berserk - Here they teach us to shoot at center mass, and then, if that fails, go for the head shot. The idea is that when you get that big adrenaline dump, your fine motor skills go out the window. The bigger the target, the better.

USAincognito said...

Excellent post!