The Main Stream

Jun 3, 2011 9:36 PM

Psychological effects on officer-involved shootings

TUCSON - Since the beginning of the year, there have been five officer involved shootings, three in the city, and two in the county.

Officials say it's tragic for the family who has lost their loved one and its tragic for the officer who is faced with the burden of having taken a life. Lt. John Stuckey says, "It's a very scary experience you're face with an eminent threat to your life. If I don't do something now I could die."

Lt. Stuckey speaks from experience. He's been forced to take deadly action three times over his 16 year career with the Pima County Sheriff's Department.

Lt Stuckey says, "If the bad guy chooses to pull a weapon and try to shoot at an officer we really have no choice it's to defend ourselves and defend those other innocent parties." He says that's why it's so important to train so they're prepared for whatever situation they have deal with.


Brett Klein is Assistant Chief for the Tucson Police Department, he says "I think it's probably the most difficult thing a police officer would ever have to do is to take another one's life". He adds, the people at the scene aren't the only ones affected. "It's very trying for the families when you hear the officers have to make that phone call home because one of the things we make sure that they are able to do is contact their loved one and assure them that they are O-K."

Both agencies provide counseling and support to officers and their families.

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