Watch: Training for Life and Death Decisions
Lexington, S.C. (WOLO) — An instant, caught on camera that will be scrutinized, analyzed and aired for days, weeks, and months after the incident.
Act too late and you might night make it home; act too soon and you could face civil or criminal charges. Not to mention you’ll be tried in the court of opinion.
“You just make the best decision you can based on the facts that you know and what you observe,” explains Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon.
The county’s top law enforcement officer says many of these decisions are made in a split second, which makes training a critical component for the job.
The recent string of officer involved shootings across the nation leaves many asking what standard officers are taught regarding the use of deadly force.
According to Koon all law enforcement is trained to, “Use the appropriate, reasonable amount of force to accomplish your lawful objective.”
This might sound straight forward and simple, but that could change when the threat is armed and ten feet in front of you
Luckily law enforcement officers go through extensive training. In addition to the 12 week academy for recruits, Lexington deputies have two weeks of training each year to address changing challenges.
Sgt. David Pritchard tells ABC Columbia”We have to be careful that the heightened sense of awareness or alertness doesn’t not cause us to over react, but by the same token we don’t want to under react either.”
This solidifies a system officers hope will ensure safety for law enforcement and the communities they serve.