Should a police officer come upon a person with an item which appears to be a gun the officer should not assume that it is a gun, it may be a toy gun.
If the officer is able to determine that the item is not a toy gun do not assume that what looks like a real gun is loaded (asking the person with the item whether the item is a toy gun or an actual gun will indicate to the person with the item that the police officer is attempting to build trust with a member of the community—now might be a good time to ask the person with the item what the police did to make him or her so angry).
If the officer is able to determine that the gun is loaded because shots are fired do not assume that hearing shots means that bullets were fired, blanks may have been fired.
If the officer is able to determine that bullets have been fired because glass has been shattered or holes now appear in the side of the officer’s cruiser do not assume that the shots were aimed at the police.
If the officer is able to determine that the shots were aimed at the officer because the officer is now bleeding from a gunshot wound do not assume that the shots were intended to be life threatening since all officers are required to wear bullet proof vests which have been provided to protect the officer’s vital organs from gunshots.
If the officer is able to determine that the shots are indeed life threatening because the officer has been hit in the head by one or two shots (preferably two in order to confirm that the shots were not accidentally discharged) the officer should then immediately contact headquarters for instructions (the officer should not allow the witnessing of shots being fired at another officer to influence his or her decision to follow these guidelines).
Contacting headquarters will start three separate actions:
1) The information received from the officer allegedly under fire will be sent to the appropriate committee which can then initiate possible disciplinary action against the officer,
2) The information received from the officer allegedly under fire will be forwarded to the community police board and the mayor’s office so that work can begin on drafting an apology to the community for police actions,
3) The information received from the officer allegedly under fire will be sent to a police action committee which will begin work on the appropriate field recommendations which can then be relayed to the officer in a timely manner.
Once the recommendations of the police action committee are relayed to the officer allegedly under fire he or she will be free to remove the weapon from his or her holster: It is very important that the officer keeps the weapon safety on until further instructions are received from the police field recommendation committee.
If the fire directed at the officer continues, permission for the officer to take the safety off of his or her weapon may follow from the committee if the committee is confident that the officer is trying to establish a dialogue with the alleged shooter in order to diffuse the situation. The committee at this time may determine that the best path is to let the alleged shooter simply run out of ammunition which would then negate the need for deadly force on the part of the officer.
The community/police relations board believes that following these police firearms guidelines will allow trust to be developed between the community and the police department by allowing the community to see that the police are trying to truly live up to their motto: “ To Serve and Protect and Pander”.