Officer Involved Shooting - One or Two Day Course

Officer involved shootings are typically the most controversial investigations we find ourselves involved in. Officers are required to effect arrests and enforce the laws using only the force necessary.  Anytime an officer uses deadly force, the community expects a thorough investigation to ensure the use of force was justified, especially in those instances where the suspect sustained serious bodily injury or death.  Any perceived violation or abuse of the use of force can create serious social problems within the community, and can create an atmosphere of mistrust between the police and the community.

Investigators are responsible for conducting a thorough investigation into an officer’s use of deadly force to determine if it was in compliance with federal, state, and local laws, as well as department policy.  The investigation must be fair and impartial.  The goal, as with any investigation, is to determine the truth.

Actions that can result from officer involved shootings include criminal charges against a suspect, possible criminal charges against the officer, or referral of charge decisions to a grand jury.  Criminal charge decisions depend on accurate and thorough investigations.  Also, civil actions are common with officer involved shooting cases and the investigation is generally significant in the civil proceedings.

The purpose of this course is to teach the procedures and investigative techniques that are necessary for conducting a thorough investigation into an officer involved shooting. This includes the criminal aspect of the investigation conducted by investigators, as well as the administrative investigation conducted by Internal Affairs investigators.  These are two separate, but necessary investigations and each has its unique characteristics, requirements, and limitations.  This course will provide instruction on how to begin an officer involved shooting call out by gathering information, making assignments, and notifications.  It will provide instruction on how to conduct on-scene responsibilities and how to effectively cooperate with all investigative agencies, such as the District Attorney, Police Integrity Division and the Medical Examiner's Office.  The course is designed to provide an understanding of both the criminal and internal aspects of an officer involved shooting.

At the conclusion of the course, the investigator will:

  • Determine when a Homicide investigation is required for an officer involved shooting.
  • Gather the necessary information to initiate a call out for an officer involved shooting and make all necessary notifications.
  • Identify typical procedures and investigative requirements that are followed during officer involved shooting scenes.
  • Understand how to process the crime scene function of the investigation as well as identification of the witness and suspects, and conducting the appropriate interviews and interrogations.
  • Understand the specific requirements and procedures that are necessary for the IAD follow up investigation of officer involved shootings.

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