Officer Created Jeopardy: Defining the Problem with Matt from Spartan Cops

What is “officer created jeopardy”?

It can be defined as a situation where an officer deviates from established tactics or policies and his behavior unnecessarily places him (and/or others) at greater risk of harm because of his actions. For example, an officer stepping in front of a fleeing vehicle and then shooting because he is now in danger of being run over.

Police work is a dangerous business. There are times when we will have to place ourselves in danger to save someone else. However, we have set procedures and proven tactics that are designed to reduce our risks and stack the deck in our favor. We all agree that the first rule of policing is to go home alive at the end of the shift. Unfortunately, police officers are human beings and will occasionally make mistakes. To improve ourselves, our fellow officers, and our employees (if you are in a supervisory position) while attempting to eliminate unnecessary risks, we should review and then de-brief minor and major use of force incidents, identifying both the good performances and the poor decision making in an effort to learn from them.

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