Chief responds to report on officer-involved shootings

A study of officer involved shootings in Kansas City found they were relatively rare and showed no pattern, police chief Darryl Fortè said last week.

One of his goals is to keep them as low as possible, he said in his blog, and he ordered a study of them over the last decade.

It’s findings:

From 2012 to 2012 there were 132 such shootings, and in 47 of them police killed the shooters.

Another 47 shooters got shot but survived and 11 shootings resulted in police injuries. One officer had to retire because of his wound and two others are still recovering, the chief reported.

Such shootings are most likely to happen during armed suspect calls and shots fired calls.

There has been one police shooting this year, on Jan. 15, when a man who ran from police in Independence got out of his vehicle at Interstate 435 near Front Street and shot at Kansas City police, Fortè said.

Police shot back and killed the man and a grand jury has found the officers did not commit a crime.

Police try to avoid lethal options with everything from stun guns to beanbag shotguns, he said. A fourth of patrol officers are also trained in crisis intervention, which teaches how to handle mentally ill people in crisis.

But even with all that, he said, “An officer usually has only seconds to make life or death decisions.”

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