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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221145 Find in a Library
Title: Emergency Within an Emergency
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:34  Issue:11  Dated:November 2007  Pages:86,88,90
Author(s): Lindsey Bertomen
Date Published: November 2007
Page Count: 4
Type: Report (Technical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article briefly describes the four tactically acceptable situations in which the headshot firearm tactic is a viable option: exposed target, failure, hostage rescue, and antiterrorist measures.
Abstract: When using the headshot tactic, the reasonable officer’s decision to use lethal force has already been made. In an exposed target scenario, the head is the only target available to the officer and the officer must engage. The failure drill or Mozambique drill consists of three shots: a rapid double tap to the torso and a deliberately aimed one to the head. The deliberately aimed headshot is based on the officer’s assessment of the situation, not his reactions. The hostage rescue and antiterrorist situations are two obvious situations where the headshot should be first. In the hostage rescue, the officer delivers an incapacitating shot. This is due to the hostage being threatened, negotiations have failed, and the officer must take action. The antiterrorist shot is a response to a person threatening the public in an unconventional manner with a destructive device. This scenario requires an unhesitating headshot. Law enforcement officers are trained and paid to make microsecond decisions. The headshot may not sound like a politically correct concept, but is a viable use of force when appropriately applied. This article describes several tactically acceptable situations where the headshot is a viable option. These include: exposed target, failure, hostage rescue, and antiterrorist measures. In each situation, the purpose is to deliver an instantaneous effect to a suspect, that if he/she continues their current course of action for even a microsecond, it would produce catastrophic effects.
Main Term(s): Police weapons use
Index Term(s): Firearm training; Lawful use of force; Police emergency procedures; Police responsibilities; Police tactical deployment; Police use of deadly force; Police weapons
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