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How often do situations escalate to the use of your gun?

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  • How often do situations escalate to the use of your gun?

    I am not afraid to shoot somebody but I am strongly against violence (that is one reason why I want to be a cop) and I was wondering how often is a gun used to subdue a person? (I know it varies from place to place but any response is greatly appreciated.)

  • #2
    It's not as often as one would think. Everything on TV makes it seem like cops draw a lot more than we really do. Drawing your weapon is dependent on the current situation. If John Smith is mouthing away at you but following your orders, chances are you won't need to. If he's not speaking a word and not following your orders (aka hands out of your pockets) it would be reasonable to expect he has his hand(s) on a weapon(s) and therefore you would want to draw on him.
    sigpic

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    • #3
      Being strongly against violence is somthing that may prove to be a problem for you in your path towards law enforcement. Violence is somthing that as a police officer you have to react to without hesitation. That is NOT to say that the police are kamakaze in our tactics rushing head first and full speed into a fight.

      However violence is also somthing that as a police officer you have to be willing to resort to without hesitation. People snap on you in the street in a second. You have to be willing and able to come down on ANY level of resistance hard and fast and END IT immediatly to save your life and the lives of your fellow police officers.

      Is it always life or death? No. To more directly answer your question Fire arms can be used daily or rarely. Now it depends on what you concider "useing' your fire arm is. I could draw and point my gun at people due to varying circumstances 20 times in a shift. However simply pointing your gun at someone for tactical advantage is NOT A USE OF FORCE. Some people due to the crime you suspect them of commiting or the actions they are taking towards you need to look down the barrel of a gun to get the idea that they are going to submit and they need to do it now.

      Actually shooting someone is going to be rare if EVER in your career. The place you end up working is going to determine your odds of doing that. Just look up the statistics in the area you want to work to get and idea. The county where I work has a very high officer involved shooting rate compared to most palces. Thankfully the district my city falls under is not the place where most of them happen. However I am always armed with the knowlege that violence is rampant in the county I work and a deadly use of force scenerio is very possible any day I go to work.

      Do I want to point my gun at someone? No. Do I want to shoot someone? No. If someone presents me or another person with a threat to their life will I hesitate even for a second to pull the trigger and end the threat? Absolutly not.

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      • #4
        Actually shooting a gun.....not very often. Drawing your gun..... could be quite often where I work.

        What PI Davis said is good info.

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        • #5
          if you're stongly against violence, i doubt this profession is for you. not only will you have to use violence, but you'll see it a lot on calls.

          you'll be trained on escalation of force, but sometimes you go straight from verbal to lethal force. your main objective is to go home safely at the end of the shift and your partners too.

          lethal force is the last resort, but it can happen any time.however you'll be using a lot of physical force and other non-lethal options. like fuzz said, you'll be drawing your gun a lot ..basically any felony hot calls you get and more

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          • #6
            If you're strongly against the use of violence, you should seriously reconsider law enforcement as a career choice. The simple fact of the matter is, this is a violent profession in a violent world.

            Statistically, it's likely that you will never have to use deadly force as a police officer. On the same token, you must have absolutely no hesitation in doing so if the situation demands it. Hesitation places you, your fellow officers, and the public in general at risk. I don't know an officer who wants to kill another human being, but as a police officer, we must be absolutely willing to do so without doubt or hesitation.

            You also have to consider other forms of violence. If you're of a pacifist nature, you should understand that, no matter if you find the most Mayberry little town in America to work in, you're virtually guaranteed to have to use physical violence during the course of your career.

            Don't go into this profession thinking that, statistically, you probably won't have to take a human life or cause serious physical harm to another in defense of yourself or an innocent third party. Statistics mean nothing when the feces impacts the rotating cooling device. You either can or can't do what's necessary. If you can't, I'd encourage you to consider something more along the lines of counciling as a profession.
            "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
            -Friedrich Nietzsche

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            • #7
              How old are you?

              Originally posted by futurecop28 View Post
              I am not afraid to shoot somebody but I am strongly against violence (that is one reason why I want to be a cop) and I was wondering how often is a gun used to subdue a person? (I know it varies from place to place but any response is greatly appreciated.)
              If you are strongly against violence you dont need to be a cop because you are exposed to it a great deal no matter where you work and that doesn't where you work. City is faster and with more exposure. County you drive faster but slower pace with criminal element. Guns are used more often than the old timers who I used to hear talk about their guns never left their holsters because of stupid people and sometimes routine like building searches that isn't the case. Im strongly against bullies and people who want to live in peace not being allowed to do so. Thats why im a cop.
              "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The MARINES don't have that problem." ....Ronald Reagan

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              • #8
                Just be advised, if you draw your weapon, be prepared to use it, as a police officer you can NEVER back down, you must maintain control of any and all situations so that you GO HOME at the end of your shift. A word of advice, most career criminals know that unless they produce a weapon or threaten the life of a officer, they will not be shot, so be careful out there.
                law dog

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                • #9
                  What has been said thus far is good information. Using your firearm or any other intermediate weapon could be as frequently as several times a shift or not at all. I've known officers that have had a 30 year career and said they never had to draw their gun. I on the other hand draw my handgun almost every day if not several times a shift. Since the middle of March my dept has had 4 officer involved shootings. That is way more than we would like but in each case the use of deadly force was justified. Almost every night someone has to use a taser or O.C. spray on someone. And the physical force i.e. hands on could be every arrest.

                  I agree with the others that have posted. If violence is something you want to fight against you should probably find another way to do it. Police work is a violent profession. Whether we are the ones having to use violence to do our job effectively or we are exposed to it on calls.

                  You might consider being kind of family violence advocate or other form of counsler. Of course you could always be a Fireman.
                  The views I share are my own, and do not represent the opinions of my employing agency.

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                  • #10
                    If you are strongly against violence I would lean towards a different career.

                    Violence is a tool that police officers use just like anything else they carry, Baton is violent, Taser is violent, Pepperspray is violent, Guns ar violent. I'm not saying cops go out and shoot people because well..... they just don't there is too much paperwork.

                    A smile and and some nice encouraging words don't always work.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by patroldog View Post
                      Just be advised, if you draw your weapon, be prepared to use it, as a police officer you can NEVER back down, you must maintain control of any and all situations so that you GO HOME at the end of your shift. A word of advice, most career criminals know that unless they produce a weapon or threaten the life of a officer, they will not be shot, so be careful out there.
                      There are many times that as a police officer, "backing down" is best tactical option, and can often be the best way to maintain control of the situation. Do not get into the mindset that you must always stand your ground no matter how untenable a situation may become. That's what is often referred to as "Superman Syndrome" and it gets officers killed.

                      In response to the original post, violence is a necessary part of this job. If you're uncomfortable with violence, then you should seriously re-evaluate your goals. As the great Col Grossman says, police officers are those members of society with a gift of violence AND love for their fellow man.
                      Originally posted by kontemplerande
                      Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SRT936 View Post
                        There are many times that as a police officer, "backing down" is best tactical option, and can often be the best way to maintain control of the situation. Do not get into the mindset that you must always stand your ground no matter how untenable a situation may become. That's what is often referred to as "Superman Syndrome" and it gets officers killed.


                        True. Often thinking before you speak or act can avoid making you look like an ***** should you have to backup momentarily. Just don't make threats you are not fully prepared to immediately deliver on...that will put you out on the tiny branches fast.

                        ...and like everyone else said....think twice if you don't like violence
                        An impressionable child in a tumultuous world, and they say I'm at a difficult stage... --Meat Loaf

                        Professional Stupidity Recognition Technician

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                        • #13
                          As far as the escalation of force to the use of a firearm, the frequency depends on where you work and the tactical situation your involved in. I think we've all had days of sheer boredom and then the ones were we swear we were in a movie.

                          I would have to agree with everyone else, you need to seriously rethink police work if you have an aversion to violence. Just simply being on the job, you are going to experience violence done to others on a consistant basis by simply handling the radio. While, it's noble to become involved in law enforcement to assist people who have had violence visited upon them, that's only facet of police work.

                          There are going to be times when you must violently take suspects into custody or subdue people due to their combative nature. These times can be either events in which you have time to make a decision and plan out your strategy or more than likely, immediate instances were you must simply react. Either way, you must be prepared to use violence and can not hesitate or have any hestation to do so. It could mean your life, or worse, your partners.

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                          • #14
                            I've been a Police Officer for a little over a year and can't tell you how many times I've had to draw my weapon. Hands on a few times also. Not just a pat down or directing someone, i mean physical fights. If you don't like violence you don't wanna do this job. I don't know anywhere in FL you won't draw your gun, taser or go hands on reguarly. Good luck with your choice. I would suggest maybe fire fighter or emt.

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                            • #15
                              It is highly dependant on the area you work. I have to draw my gun just about every night.

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