|Matters of Life and Death
At a designated point during your police
academy training, you’ll be issued your
handgun and begin firearms training.
You’ll view the event as a pivotal point in
your training; however, you probably
won’t appreciate its true importance.
The only purpose for your handgun is
the application of deadly force.
Fortunately, the odds are with you.
Outside of training, you’ll probably never
have to pull that trigger in the line of
duty. However, every day of your career,
you’ll have to live with the possibility that
the odds will fail you.
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|Copyright © 2017 Barry M. Baker
You will encounter life and death
situations in varying forms. For instance,
you will encounter children and vulnerable
adults existing in squalled environments
of physical and sexual abuse. But for
your intervention, the future existence of
these victims would be dire indeed. You
will encounter victims of serious assaults
or accidental injury where your life saving
aid can mean the difference between life
and death. Every time you seize a
handgun from a career criminal, you’ll
increase the odds for a future victim to
continue living. Likewise, your arrest of a
drunk driver, very often a person who
would otherwise never be a threat to
another human being, will eliminate the
possibility of a needless tragedy. You’ll
never know how many people will escape
life and death situations that don’t
materialize simply because of your
presence at the right time and place.
Most importantly, you must always
remain aware that your actions, no
matter how well intended, do not place
innocent people in jeopardy of serious
injury or death. A perfect example of
potential tragedy is the police vehicle
pursuit. Every year, innocent people die
for no other reason than being in the
wrong place at the wrong time when a
vehicle being pursued by police inflicts
injury or death. Even worse is when the
police vehicle is the striking vehicle.
Before you pursue a vehicle, you must
weigh the importance of the pursuit
versus possible outcomes.
These few examples can only begin to
give you an idea of the responsibilities
you’ll assume when you become a police