Local police departments explain use of deadly force

Local

In less than a week, we’ve seen three deadly officer involved shootings in Central Texas.

In Killeen on Wednesday, and in Fairfield and Waco on Friday.

The use of deadly force is nothing new, but it is rare.

Police Chief’s in the area say it’s necessary when all other attempts have been exhausted.

“Each situation is different, we’re going to do what we have to do to stop the aggression,” said Chief Phillip Prasifka with the Robinson Police Department.

Though most police officers will go through an entire career without discharging their weapon, it’s something that can happen at any time.

“Are you ever 100% mentally prepared? You know, until an event happens I don’t know that you can answer that question, you hope you can but you don’t know that you can,” said Chief Prasifka.

Chief Prasifka says in his nearly 35 years in law enforcement, he’s never had to use deadly force, but he’s never ruled it out.

“Basically we are going to use the force necessary for the particular situation we’re dealing with and if that’s deadly force, then that’s deadly force,” said Chief Prasifka.

“There are times were it’s just going to have be used but we try to use all the alternatives we possibly can before we have to resort to that, but sometimes circumstances present themselves where that is the only option that you have available to you,” said Chief James Devlin, with the Hewitt Police Department.

Chief Devlin says police officers are trained to shoot to stop, not shoot to kill.

“Officers are trained to shoot center mass because that’s the most likely area to stop that type of deadly resistance that the suspect may have. It is difficult to shoot a limb, and we hear that often, just shoot them in the leg or things of that nature, officers are just not trained to do that,” said Chief Devlin.

When an officer must shoot, it’s procesure to place them on administrative leave for a minimum of three days.

“It distances that officer from the day to day stuff and it’s just a good way, one to help the officer, two for transparancy,” said Chief Prasifka.

“It’s just that time frame that allows us as adminstration of the department to catch our breath, get all the pieces in place that need to be put in place for this investigation and begin to start to work on that,” said Chief Devlin.

All, to keep you safe.

“You never want a situation like that to occur but you have to understand that it will and it can,” said Chief Prasifka.

Both police Chief’s also want to advise the public to be patient.

They say it takes a lot of time and energy to investigate officer involved shootings, but when information is available, the public does have a right to know what happened.

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