(WMC) - One week after Germantown police officers shot and killed a war veteran, questions are being raised about when law enforcement officers should and should not shoot.
WMC Action News 5's Ben Watson was put through a simulation that put him in the position many police officers find themselves in while on the job. For the demonstration, Shelby County sheriff's deputies had Watson play the role of a deputy who was called to a restaurant about a man pacing with a knife in a threatening manner.
Fitted with a bullet proof vest, a helmet, and a paint ball gun, Watson's assignment was to convince the man to drop the knife and calm down. But in doing so, the suspect lunged at him. In that scenario, Watson shot the man holding the knife.
"So that you could, you could kind of understand how quickly it happens," Sheriff Bill Oldham said. "You can understand the choices you have to make."
So how did Watson do? In the debriefing, Watson learned he made two mistakes. The first mistake he made was by holding his gun with one hand instead of using two. Second, he was too close to the suspect. Deputies say it would have been safer for him to be farther away.
For those interested in learning more about law enforcement training, Shelby County Sheriff's Office offers a citizen's academy at different times throughout the year. The current session is currently wrapping up, but keep your eye on the SCSO website for information about how you can join the next one. Click here for information: http://www.shelby-sheriff.org/resources/programs/citacad.html