OFFICER DOWN INCIDENTS
Officer Down Incident
Have you trained for an Officer Down Incident?
With the countless responsibilities of the law enforcement officer the common items to stay sharp in are: case law, policies and procedures, fitness, and tactics. An officer down incident should be in the training rotation and not forgotten. The unfortunate truth is police work is a dangerous career field and officers sometimes don't make it home. In 2018, 52 officers were killed by gunfire and we are currently up to 36 officers for 2019.
You and/or other officers begin to take fire, "11-99 Officer Down!" To most, this radio broadcast will give you chills. Have you and your team/shift prepared for this moment? How will you and other officers on the scene react? Well, you won't really know until it happens. Running basic training scenarios can help lock in a good foundation of training.
I don't mean sitting around and talking about it. Prior mental planning does have a strong place in any training program but getting repetition and introducing stress is where you learn.
A few things to consider:
- Is the threat still active?
- Is the scene secured? (Are you still taking fire?)
- What are your transport options (Airship, EMS Vehicle, or patrol car)?
When an officer goes down usually the scene is still active and reaction kicks in. Remember your zones: Hot means you're still taking fires, warm means you can still be shot at but are behind cover/concealment, cold means usually away from immediate danger.
If you find the injured officer in a hot zone, move them to safety ASAP. You might find out how hard this simple task really is. Yes, your partner is loaded down with gear and usually, you have nowhere to grab. If possible, grab one more officer to help you with this task. Render immediate aid to gunshot wounds (TQ, direct pressure, etc.) and transport.
While you were busy taking care of the officer, the threat still needs to be addressed. If additional officers are on scene when the officer goes down, designate or delegate assignments. If you're on a tac team this has already been discussed ahead of time.
Equipment For Officer Down Incidents
In this day and age if you do not carry a tourniquet in your IFAK (individual first aid kit), shame on you. If you can carry more that’s never a bad thing. An academy instructor always told the class, "Be skilled with your equipment." So be skilled with it and practice, practice, practice. Do you have a way to transport an injured officer safely, effectively, without putting you in a comprised position? If the answer is no, explore some options.
Lion Defense has developed the 11-99 Rescue Cobra Buckle and 11-99 Rescue Strap. These two products allow an injured police officer or person to be pulled to safety. Check it out here!
Officer down incidents are a part of the job and should not be taken lightly. We at Lion Defense are not training experts or members of a special operations team. But if our law enforcement experience and training, can help you make a better decision or consideration, we did our job. Continue to train and we will take care of the gear.