Police discuss dealing with deadly threats

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SAVANNAH, Tenn. — When an officer is faced with a life-threatening situation, local law enforcement says there is protocol for that. In light of a recent alleged attack on an officer in Jackson, causing the officer to kill that alleged attacker, law enforcement in West Tennessee said this is something they continuously prepare for. “They do what they need to do until the threat is neutralized. That means they stop being a threat,” Savannah Police Chief Gary Will explained. Chief Will said officers go through simulations to prepare for these instances, but one can never know what they are faced with until they are in the field. “We can sit there and tell an officer, ‘if this happens, you do this, and it’ll work,’ that’s not always possible. There are so many variables that go into it you don’t even know at the time,” Chief Will explained. Officials said weapons they are threatened with are sometimes just the initial danger. “If they drop their weapon, that threat is gone, and we move into whatever the next threat is. If they totally give up, it’s done and over with,” Chief Will explained. Although it may take months to analyze how an officer responded to a situation, officials said most people do not realize that most of the time officers only have seconds to decide how they’re going to react. “We want to make sure we do a thorough investigation every time so that we can, if it was preventable, find a way to prevent it in the future and we work hard at that in law enforcement,” Chief Will said. Officials say training does not just stop at the academy, but there is continuous training and classes throughout a first-responder’s career.

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