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  • Detective story

    I've written a detective story and in one scene 3 detectives working a case are involved in a shootout with a suspect (over-the-top movie stuff, I know). I recently found out that any officers involved in shootings are given 72 hours off work and are offered counselling (I think that's how it works, anyway).

    My question is this: if, as in my story, 3 detectives working on a single case were involved in a shooting, would they all be required to take the time off work at the same time? If so, I assume their case would either be on hold for 3 days or other detectives would temporarily take over.

    Any help you can give me will be much appreciated.

  • #2
    The time off given (when involved in a shooting involving the death or injury of a suspect) is for the emotional/mental well being of the officer(s) involved. Although this policy is common, it isn't a legal requirement or the same for every police agency.

    If something like this occurred at the agency where I worked, the officers' responsibility towards the investigation of whatever the suspect was involved in would probably be placed on hold for a few days. The act(s) by the suspect that led to the shooting and the legality of the shooting itself would be investigated by others. If the shooting involved officers from a very small agency, a larger (outside) agency would be requested to conduct this investigation, usually from the local Sheriff's Department, Office of the District Attorney, State Attorney General's Office or State Police.
    "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

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    • #3
      If officers were involved in a shootout where no one was shot and where the suspect(s) escaped, would the same 'time off' procedure be adhered to? or would the officers return to work immediately? (assuming the agency in question requires officers to take time off).

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      • #4
        Originally posted by pulicords View Post
        The time off given (when involved in a shooting involving the death or injury of a suspect) is for the emotional/mental well being of the officer(s) involved. Although this policy is common, it isn't a legal requirement or the same for every police agency.

        If something like this occurred at the agency where I worked, the officers' responsibility towards the investigation of whatever the suspect was involved in would probably be placed on hold for a few days. The act(s) by the suspect that led to the shooting and the legality of the shooting itself would be investigated by others. If the shooting involved officers from a very small agency, a larger (outside) agency would be requested to conduct this investigation, usually from the local Sheriff's Department, Office of the District Attorney, State Attorney General's Office or State Police.
        X2

        Depending on the circumstances of the shooting the officers may be on leave for more than 3 days or assigned to admin duty for a period of time.

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        • #5
          Here in Colorado, officers are disarmed and taken in for a urine test, before being interviewed by SD/DA investigators.

          Back in Los Angeles, counseling with a psychologist is not "offered." It's required - the officers can't do field duty until they see the doctor. The sessions are not intended to open up childhood trauma or sexual fantasies. It's an opportunity to educate the shooter as to what emotions they may expect to experience in the aftermath of a deadly force incident.
          "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

          Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

          Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

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