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Deadly Force Use


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Buckeye flag Mudflap 293 posts

Hey, Gunfighter. I’ll try to make this short but still answer your questions.

I’ve pulled my weapon on several suspects. A lot of those instances would not have justified deadly force at that particular time without more escalation from the suspects, but I was ready if it happened. There were some adrenalin filled standoffs with both me and a suspect holding weapons that definitely would have justified deadly force. And a couple of times where the other guy had a firearm and I had nothing but a bad, bad feeling. “Justification” to use deadly force didn’t always mean it would have been “correct” to have used deadly force, though.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge those events don’t bother me like they did right after they happened… too many “coulda shoulda woulda” scenarios since then have probably muddied the actual facts if you knowhutimean. I remember the phrases “WTF is that dumb SOB doing?” and “Oh, s***!” flittered through my mind, and I don’t remember exactly everything that went through my head… but fear of an investigation wasn’t one of those thoughts and I don’t remember fear of repercussions. I knew I was on solid footing.

In most instances I believed I could still respond even if things went bad. Heck, I KNEW I could still respond if things went bad. Adding to the mix that I knew a couple of the people, and I suppose I held off because I wanted to give them every opportunity to realize what was about to happen.

Heck, at times I didn’t have many option except to start talking. And I did. But after those incidents were under control I had no idea what I said to those guys. (“The good Lord looks after little kids and dumb cops.”)

If a young cop doesn’t think he can pull the trigger he needs to find a different line of work and, even though I never had to pull the trigger, I learned quickly that I was willing. I knew what my response was going to be if those guys didn’t do exactly what I told them to do when I told them to do it.

Hope that helps. By the way, I also believe that someone else standing in my shoes could have said the exact same things I said and did the exact same things I did and the results could have been dramatically different.

Male user Gunfighter 21 posts

I’ve not been in a situation as a CO where deadly force would have been an option. As a sheriff’s deputy there have been times when deadly force would have been justifiable, but looking back on those situations I can’t say that I SHOULD have used deadly force. I felt that I would be able to respond, even though it crossed my mind that I may have taken a bullet or caught some buckshot.

Mudflap, Since you would have been justified to take a life, why didn’t you? What went through your mind to hold back on the trigger? Fear of investigation? Court reprucussion? I am interested??

Male user 125.25 16 posts

Hello fellow readers,
my favorite topic deadly force, i would like to direct this to miss chad, you now taking criminal justice so theres something pulling you into this field, ‘the calling’, as anyone who is in law enforcement will tell you its a bitter sweet relationship, you hate the the day to day life, but love it so much you wouldn’t dare leave. Don’t abandon the calling. the day may come when you have to decide to take a life in the name of justice,ask the fellow officers who took a life or better yet ask the serviceman who daily have to make that decision. Here’s how it works in the academy you are taught to use force when necessary and in the service your are taught to kill the decision will be yours, no matter what relegion you believe and you will make the right choice.

Female user chad 1 post

I am just a student right now majoring in Criminal Justice and I have not yet narrowed my profession of choice down. Its hard to decide because there are so many options.

Use of Deadly Force- If the only option is my life and the offender’s life, I will most definetly use as much force as necessary (deadly). I will have to face this type of decision at some point in my career, anyway. !!!knock on wood!!! I don’t feel comfortable spirtually, with the taking of a life, but I don’t want to be the cause of other innocent lives being taken when it could have been avoided (by me). This is what comes with the territory (Law Enforcement).

I really applaud all those whom have been doing this line of work for years, because this line of work isn’t for everybody (as I have observed from students in my classes). TO ALL U.S. LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS: Thank you for the services that you have provided to my family and I throughout the years!!!

Thinblueline riggsville 39 posts

Let me join Mudflap and welcome you back SSG Eakes and thank you for your service! In retrospect, I am most thankful that I can answer the question “NO”. If the answer was “yes” I don’t know if I could sleep at night because someone would have died due to not using DF.

Be Safe,

Buckeye flag Mudflap 293 posts

Good attitude, SSG Eakes. And welcome back!

Flag shakey 191 posts

The question was not have you used deadly force but " Has there ever been a time in your correctional careers where looking back on the situation and thinking about it, you should have used deadly force to resolve the attack or incident on an inmate but did not?", All of us most likely will use deadly force if the situation comes to that point ( I hope) I just can’t see the point of looking back and thinking “maybe I should have”. Now I would have a different outlook if I had died or some one else had but no one did some myself and whoever was with me did the right thing at that time.

Male user SSG Eakes 4 posts

I haven’t worked corrections but I have used deadly force in iraq, but I feel bad about it but the lives of my men were harms way and to me they are like my children. And I can’t and won’t let anything happen to them. So could I have not used ddeadly force and the answer is no!!!!!

Buckeye flag Mudflap 293 posts

Gunfighter asked Has there ever been a time in your correctional careers where looking back on the situation and thinking about it, you should have used deadly force to resolve the attack or incident on an inmate but did not? Briefly speak of your incident and Explain your reasons for not using deadly force.

I’ve not been in a situation as a CO where deadly force would have been an option. As a sheriff’s deputy there have been times when deadly force would have been justifiable, but looking back on those situations I can’t say that I SHOULD have used deadly force. I felt that I would be able to respond, even though it crossed my mind that I may have taken a bullet or caught some buckshot.

My mindset today is the same as it was then: I will do whatever it takes for me and my partners to go home at the end of shift. Whether armed or not, I’m very anal about who is on my strong side and won’t hesitate to talk with a fellow CO who gets careless, whether he’s armed or not.

Flag shakey 191 posts

This topic scares me. I have been wearing a badge for almost 28 years, 9 of it in law enforcment. and to sit here and try to think back and say should I have killed the bad guy instead of taking him or her to the ground to resolve the situation is plane assinine. To have that thought is not in the best interest of the public you are sworn to protect, maybe the best interest to you but not the public. There is a very important clause that stops the over zealous officer from taking matters in their own hands and thats “the least amount of force nessary to control the situation” if that involves taking the life of another then thats what needs to be done. To do anthing else means you’ll be my porter for a few years.

Think like a GUNFIGHTER and you will act like one, Think like a professional and you’ll act like one also, your choice.

Your hired to do a job run by policies and regs with a litle gray area, this I think is a lttle out of that area.

But this is only my view and why Andy only gave Barney 1 bullet.

Thinblueline riggsville 39 posts

I hear ya. It is more difficult pushing the stuff up hill cuz we all know how stuff rolls. That was one reason I came out of our training section and came back to operations. As a Sergeant I have the ability to make a safer atmosphere for the Officers assigned to me. I hold front line supervisors partially responsable for whatever the mindset is. Good or Bad. However, if the General Orders or Operational Orders aren’t there, it is harder to change the atmosphere.

April 2013 is my DROP date. I want to leave my Officers prepared to carry on safer. “We go home the way we came to work”.

Be Safe Brother.

Male user Gunfighter 21 posts

Riggsville, That is the mindset and mentality I have been attempting to change for 12 years now. I was a police officer for the first half of my career and you were expected to be a professional and carry a survival mindset at all times. Now that I have walked behind the walls I do not see the same desire to be professionals or have a survival mentality and administration likes it that way. I am with ya brother, not against ya, we wear the same seal on our uniforms. We need more officers like yourself in our ranks, remember this. Slow Steady pressure applied over time, creates change. I need more officers like yourself to help me push and I think we will get it done. Train hard brother, I got your back.

Thinblueline riggsville 39 posts

Gunfighter, this is what we have to change…Our mindset…Please look at the thread I posted “Professional Gunfighters?” I think you will see that we are on the same page. Gone are the days of “I’m JUST a guard.” Here at the JSO, we worked for years to even get our own Dept. to recognize us as professional, law enforcement officers. When I started, we were not authorized to carry off duty. They didn’t want a bunch of “Lone Rangers”. We got that changed. It just makes sense. We have changed the way our department looks at us.

But now is the time to CHANGE HOW WE LOOK AT OURSELVES. How we carry ourselves. Our habits. Our training.

On December 7, 1941 our parents’ and grandparents’ (Heck maybe even some of our lives) lives changed forever. On 9/11 there was another change…Just this year, Ft. Hood and Lakewood, Wash. have been another wake-up call.

We (Corrections Officers, Sworn LEO and Military) work at a job (life calling?) were we see things that man was not created by God to see. We do this willingly SO OUR LOVED ONE DON’T HAVE TO SEE THEM. There are creatures walking this earth that should NEVER SEE THE OUTSIDE OF A CELL. If we are going to be counted among the “sheepdogs” , we HAVE TO HAVE EACH OTHER’S BACK.

I have chosen to live my life by the Bushido Code for one. Oh, I do consider myself a non-exemplary Christian, but the principles go hand in hand.

More Later, Be Safe,

Male user Gunfighter 21 posts

My Point exactly, Most criminals play on the fact that we have rules and we fear consequences more than they do. Hence the prison setting, lol. But I want officers to understand that there is a time to kick in the monster and a time to turn it off. Its dufficult knowing when an inmate is just resisting you and then attempting to kill you and both can be one in the same. But we need to know the difference and take appropriate actions. The will to survive and the desire to do so are so very different. Its one thing to have a police allowing it and another to be able to carry it out.

Thinblueline riggsville 39 posts

The State of Florida has adopted “Response to Resistance” rather than “Use of Force” verbage. And specifically mentions the “Totallity of Curcumstances”. Not pickin a fight here (pun intended), but I understand gunfighter’s point. I don’t care if it is a 12 yo “thug” or 70 yo granny. It is THEIR actions that I respond to. Back when we taught the old linear continum, even then we were authorized one level ABOVE their force.
Again, it is MINDSET…and heart.
My Officers KNOW that I would fight and die for them. I KNOW that they would do the same for me. HOWEVER, beyond that (don’t read anything into this, I am going to go out on a limb here), hear me well, in a deadly force situation and one of my Officer’s or my life is at stake, I WOULD KILL FOR ONE OF MY OFFICERS OR MY LIFE.
I been there. I used deadly force. He (the inmate) stopped fighting. We both survived without going to the hospital.

Male user Gunfighter 21 posts

I know what the policy says but the main intention of the article was to give officers an understanding of when and how. When you have an officer killed by three inmates and none of the inmates go to the hospital afterwards you have to wonder if the officer ever knew, or ever decided to use thise allowed policy skills. Did it ever cross his mind to choke one of them to death? How about poke his finger into one of thier eyes? You just have to wonder.. It is one thing to know about it but it is another thing to know when. Now consider the administration backlash and investigations afterwards you have to hear officers say, “I am not touching anyone.” So ask yourself, do officers really know about deadly force or are they just wolfing during roll call???

Flag shakey 191 posts

Ok, Gunfighter being that Marion Juvenile closed, are you still with DR&C, If you are and you happened to have transfer to the Adult sysytem, then you know that yes, you can use anything at your disposal to stop the threat in all the situations you high lighted in the article you wrote. Look at the threat code RED and see the situations in that area for the authorized use of deady force. The lines have been redrawn the last couple of years, to give us a greater understanding as to what we can do in the given situations and freed up the “we can only do this for them doing this” mentality. We have the backing and the States accepted experts to back us…. But then again we all know what that means

Male user Gunfighter 21 posts

Feel free to print, share or use any of my training articles for anything, that is why I started writing them. I feel corrections is not prepared or trained as properly as they could be. Thanks for the compliment! Train hard brothet!

Thinblueline riggsville 39 posts

Just read your article…COULD NOT HAVE SAID IT BETTER. The situations you gave are real life. I could see each one of them in my mind’s eye. I had envisioned each of them and the locations at each of our three facilities. With your permission, I wish to share this with my officers. I saw the share button and have shared it on my facebook page.

Thanks Brother…And I take that word seriously.

Male user Gunfighter 21 posts

It is not often when I get to think about how all this warrior and survival training concepts got started. I was a police officer a long time ago when I was introduced to the book the tactical edge and I have a good friend now that I just found out was in that book. I think corrections just miss the boat when it comes to the warrior spirit. Our administrators have a more, lets call it a cover thier ass mentality, as it pretains to our safety. I look forward to you reading all my articles on my page and then talking about what we deal with each day. Train hard and be well.

Thinblueline riggsville 39 posts

Gunfighter, first the answer to your question, no. Do I believe we need to be more…Oh, I don’t know…“open minded” to that option? You bet your @ss we do! One of my certifications is firearms instructor, for both our Police side and Corrections side. When we go through the safety portion in the classroom, at one point I mention the Warrior Spirit. I have them imagine a scerino where they are under attack and the bad guy has gotten the first shot off. Imagine, I tell them, that hollywood is wrong. “YOU AIN’T GONNA DIE CUZ YOU GOT SHOT. YER GONNA KEEP FIGHTING AND WIN. WHAT EVER THAT TAKES.”
Sadly, alot of the “old timers” on the CO side get that glassy eyed look, they have it in there mind “it ain’t never happened here”.
That thinking led to a Corrections Officer being raped in our law library for over 2 hours. Now THAT was worthy of Deadly Force.
One more final point. Deadly Force Fighting = NO RULES, NO HOLDS BARRED…DO NOT FIGHTFAIR”.
Be Safe.

Male user Gunfighter 21 posts

I just posted an article I wrote called the Delivery of deadly force in a correctional setting on my webpage.


My question to you after you read it is this article: Has there ever been a time in your correctional careers where looking back on the situation and thinking about it, you should have used deadly force to resolve the attack or incident on an inmate but did not? Briefly speak of your incident and Explain your reasons for not using deadly force.

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