As a retired police officer and certified firearms instructor, I can state to Ethel K. Harder of Reedley (letter April 10) unequivocally that police officers are not trained to “shoot to kill.”
One aspect of firearms training is to teach officers to shoot “center mass.” This is the largest part of the body.
You would have an officer shoot at an arm, hand or leg, the smallest parts of the body in attempt to incapacitate the “bad guy”? Should the officer miss, where does that bullet end up? Missed rounds are a liability! Also keep in mind that if the officer shoots the bad guy in the arm, hand or leg, the bad guy could still pose a threat to the officer and anyone else in the vicinity.
Another aspect is shooting to “stop the threat.” This is stop the bad guy from doing what he was intending to do in the first place. If the officer has to use his or her firearm, there’s an immediate threat to the officer’s life or someone else’s life and there are no other options available but deadly force.
G.A. Washington Jr., Clovis