Top Cop reiterating military training

The man who was com­mis­sioned to draft this coun­try’s first ‘use of force’ pol­i­cy for the T&T Po­lice Ser­vice in 2011 says he be­lieves Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith is be­ing mis­un­der­stood when he us­es the state­ment “one shot, one kill.’

Force Sci­ence an­a­lyst Michael Goodridge sat on both com­mit­tees which first came up with a pol­i­cy in 2011 and lat­er re­viewed it to make it clear­er for of­fi­cers in 2016.

Over the last few days, Grif­fith has faced both crit­i­cism and sup­port for his catch­phrase, ‘one shot, one kill.’

Fix­in’ T&T pres­i­dent Kirk Wait­he has been the most vo­cal against the pol­i­cy, de­scrib­ing it as dan­ger­ous.

Wait­he voiced con­cerns af­ter the po­lice killing of three men in Ma­tu­ri­ta on Tues­day morn­ing.

Grif­fith has said re­peat­ed­ly that of­fi­cers who use lethal force when faced with gun­fire have his full sup­port. Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Stu­art Young has thrown his sup­port be­hind Grif­fith and his of­fi­cers.

But con­tact­ed on the is­sue, Goodridge says Grif­fith’s ter­mi­nol­o­gy may all be a mat­ter of him sub­lim­i­nal­ly re­it­er­at­ing his mil­i­tary train­ing.

“In the very ear­ly part of my ca­reer I rep­re­sent­ed T&T as a po­lice of­fi­cer and we had a part of train­ing, it wasn’t ‘one shot, one kill’ but we had some­thing called ‘three-sec­ond ex­po­sure’ and you were trained that you could get your gun out and in three sec­onds, one shot was fired and you were an ex­pert when you could hit some­where on the tar­get and you were a marks­man when you could hit the bulls­eye, you were trained that when you draw your gun, you hit your tar­get, you are not go­ing to draw and fire 10 to 15 shots and still miss the per­son,” Goodridge said.

He said “one shot, one kill” is a mil­i­tary train­ing tac­tic, ex­plain­ing the army’s “man in the win­dow” train­ing.

“I don’t’ want to de­fend the com­mis­sion­er, al­though I am not em­ployed by him, but I don’t want to de­fend him to say if what he said makes sense or not.

But he is of mil­i­tary back­ground and it is a ter­mi­nol­o­gy which is used more in mil­i­tary train­ing than in law en­force­ment, where the tar­get is placed at 100 yards away and you are shoot­ing a ri­fle, the tar­get pops up from be­hind a hid­den po­si­tion for three counts and then goes back down and when that tar­get comes up, the sol­dier has to go for his ri­fle and fire one shot and he is sup­posed to hit that tar­get—called the “man in the win­dow” with one shot.

That is where he (Grif­fith) would have from his sub­lim­i­nal train­ing said ‘one shot, one kill.’”

He said he be­lieves what Grif­fith is re­fer­ring to is in­creas­ing the ef­fi­cien­cy of his of­fi­cers when they do use their firearms.

“I’m sure he meant to re­al­ly talk about in­creas­ing the ef­fi­cien­cy of the po­lice ser­vice with their firearms train­ing, which would re­sult in hope­ful­ly an en­counter where they would shoot less and prob­a­bly do what they have to very quick­ly.

The com­mis­sion­er used the ter­mi­nol­o­gy I be­lieve to de­scribe how the train­ing ought to be done for his of­fi­cers to make them more ef­fi­cient so when they fire their guns, they use less am­mo, they are not as fan­ci­ful as shoot­ing every­thing, ducks, goats every­thing as they would have done in the past and they can hit their tar­get.”

Goodridge said with the lev­el of so­phis­ti­ca­tion of the weapons that crim­i­nals now use in T&T has changed the way po­lice en­gage with crim­i­nals.

“When I trained in Quan­ti­co (FBI), we did a lot of that (one shot, one kill). It took a lot of con­cen­tra­tion and that was for a spe­cif­ic type of en­gage­ment.

Law en­force­ment is a more civ­il en­counter some­times, al­though in T&T we have the el­e­ment of our crim­i­nals bring­ing in more mil­i­tary-type weapons in­to the are­na than we had be­fore.

“Now they ac­tu­al­ly have AR15s and high-pow­ered ri­fles that they have brought in­to the fray so the con­cept of en­gag­ing that the po­lice had may have changed a lot.

Po­lice no longer deal­ing with a do­mes­ti­cat­ed type of crime, they are deal­ing with an in­ter­na­tion­al lev­el of en­gage­ment.”

Reporter: Sharlene Rampersad

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