Local police academy explains use of deadly force policy training

Local police academy explains use of deadly force policy training. (WWMT / Jacob Berent)

Officer-involved shootings have made no shortage of headlines in recent years.

On Wednesday, a Kalamazoo County neighborhood got a brief glimpse of what police officers and deputies who pledge to serve and protect the public are faced with on a daily basis.

Police were called to Pavilion Estates Mobile Home Park after deputies said an agitated David Teneyuque fired a shot in the air and then holed up in a van.

Director of Kalamazoo Valley Community College Law Enforcement Training Center Paul Bianco said a situation can go from zero-to-deadly in a blink of an eye.

"If you've got a gun in your hand or if you have a knife in your hand or are hurting another person obviously we have an obligation to bring that to a conclusion," said Bianco.

In a shoot or don’t shoot scenario Bianco said heightened emotions during a stand-off can have potentially deadly consequences.

"They have brand new decisions they have to make every day and unfortunately they have very little time to make those decisions," said Bianco.

Bianco said that is why KVCC implemented a program called Michigan Crisis Intervention System in 2016 on top of basic police training.

"This is specifically meant for police officers, law enforcement officers, and first responders and how to deal with people with mental health issues that have special needs when we communicate with them," said Bianco.

While officer-involved shootings prompt a fresh look at less lethal options many will still question whether an incident could have been resolved without the use of deadly force.

"It's very easy to come in there and say I would've done this or I would have done that or we should've done this,” said Bianco. “I don't think there is one blueprint that works for everything."

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