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NCJ Number: 52133 Find in a Library
Title: WE HIRE OUR OFFICERS FROM THE HUMAN RACE
Journal: ENGAGE/SOCIAL ACTION  Dated:(NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1978)  Pages:29-34
Author(s): L RANCK
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Engage/Social Action
Washington, DC 20002
Sale Source: Engage/Social Action
100 Maryland Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE ADOPTION OF A REVISED FIREARMS POLICY BY THE PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, MD., POLICE DEPARTMENT ARE REVIEWED. THE PATROL OFFICER'S SIDE OF THE FIREARMS CONTROVERSY IS PRESENTED.
Abstract: THE NEW POLICY, WHICH FORBIDS WARNING SHOTS, WAS ADOPTED AFTER TWO INCIDENTS IN WHICH UNARMED SUSPECTS WERE KILLED BY WARNING SHOTS. BECAUSE BOTH SUSPECTS WERE BLACK AND THE POLICE WERE WHITE, CHARGES OF RACISM WERE MADE, AND A GREAT DEAL OF EMOTIONALISM SURROUNDED THE EVENTS. THE PROBLEMS OF POLICE MORALE WHEN THE PRESS PRINTED PIECEMEAL RUMORS ABOUT THE NEW POLICY ARE DISCUSSED ALONG WITH THE GENERAL PROBLEMS INVOLVED IN DRAFTING A FIREARMS POLICY, AND THE IMPORTANCE OF TRAINING AS PART OF POLICY IMPLEMENTATION ARE REVIEWED. IT IS POINTED OUT THAT AN OFFICER MUST BE ALLOWED TO USE HIS GUN UNDER CONTROLLED CONDITIONS BECAUSE OF THE DANGERS ENCOUNTERED. A NUMBER OF INCIDENTS IN PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY IN WHICH THE OFFICER WAS KILLED OR SERIOUSLY WOUNDED ARE REVIEWED. THE POLICY DOES NOT FORBID THE USE OF ARMS AGAINST JUVENILES BECAUSE JUVENILES ARE OFTEN ARMED, INEXPERIENCED, AND COULD BE VERY DANGEROUS. THE FACT THAT THE POLICY IS MORE RESTRICTIVE THAN MARYLAND LAW IS POINTED OUT AND THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN VARIOUS JURISDICTIONS ARE REVIEWED. THE DISCUSSION CONCLUDES BY POINTED OUT THAT THOSE WHO CRITICIZE POLICE USE OF FIREARMS DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE HUMAN PROBLEMS FACED BY OFFICERS USING HUMAN JUDGMENT TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITY. (GLR)
Index Term(s): Citizen grievances; Firearms; Handguns; Management; Police internal affairs; Police weapons
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