Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Experienced Cop Shoots Self in Foot Raises Questions About Public Safety

An experienced police officer in Canada’s largest city accidentally shot himself in the foot during a routine training exercise yesterday, making you wonder just how safe it is to have this fellow wandering the streets with a gun.

The 33-year-old police officer’s gun accidentally went off as he put it back in his holster, after a gun range exercise at the Toronto Police College, in Toronto, Canada.

Rest assured, the cop is going to be okay, according to police, he was alert and breathing when taken to hospital, with non-life-threatening injuries. All that appears to really have suffered his is pride.

Or more likely, the public’s perception of just how safe it is to have gun wielding cops in the city.

All of “Toronto’s finest” have to go through the yearly gun range drills to carry their firearm – even the highest cop in the land, the chief must do the annual gun range.

Yet, there is no word as to what happens when a police officer – especially an experienced one – fails the drill.

Not that we are questioning the need for law enforcement officers to protect themselves and the public by carrying guns. One of the unfortunate ills of our modern society is the level of weaponry criminals have at their disposal – from pistols and sawed off shotguns, to fully automatic weapons with armour piercing rounds – crime reports read like movie scripts, but the firepower is anything but fiction.

However, when an experienced cop shoots himself during a regular drill, one must question just how effective the training is?

Most police in cities and towns across North America never have to draw their weapon. And those that have, often say they never want to do that ever again.
But when a police officer holsters his or her sidearm before heading out on their shift, we trust that police officer knows how to use that sidearm impeccably well. Because all it takes is one mistake, and innocent lives could end instantly.

We wish the officer from the Toronto Police Service well, and hope he gets better soon. And we hope that this incident alerts the top brass at that police service that maybe, just maybe, they should take a long, hard look at their weapons training program, to make sure embarrassing incidents like this don’t turn into public tragedies.
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