Metro Police officers involved in 13 shootings this year

LAS VEGAS - Las Vegas Metro Police officers have been involved in 13 shootings this year, that's nearly double the amount from the same time period last year.

So, what's behind the drastic increase?

In each of the Metro cases this year -- involving officers firing their guns -- the suspects had weapons, including guns, knives, even a pick ax.

Police said, they never want to pull out their gun and shoot, but they are trained to do so when there's an immediate threat and no other options.

It's often a life and death situation.

The latest officer-involved shooting involving Metro police was just this week.

"In this incident, the suspect was armed with a firearm and was willing to use violence on our officers," said Asst. Sheriff Todd Fasulo, Metro Police.

According to police, the suspect started to shoot at them and officers fired back hitting the suspect numerous times. The suspect survived.

Officers say firing their gun is never something they want to do.

"We don't want to have to use deadly force on an individual but at the end of the day we are not the ones that dictate the use of force that we use," said  Metro Sgt. Jeff Clark. "The suspects actions dictate our response." 

Last year, Metro Police had 10 officer-involved shootings. That's the lowest number in 20 years. This year though, the number has been surpassed. There have already  been 13 in 2017.

Every time an officer fires their gun, there's a lengthy review process which includes a media briefing within 72 hours.

"We give you everything we can and everything we can." Sgt. Clark said. "To include body cam, surveillance video, pictures, pretty much everything we have. We have nothing to hide."

From there, each case is closely examined, so potential mistakes that may occur aren't repeated.

"There's a use of force board, a citizens review board, the critical incident review process, so much that goes on to make sure that we learn from these incidents so we can take the very best that we did and incorporate that into training," Sgt. Clark said.

Body cams are playing a larger role in the review process and giving a better idea what happened when an officer fires their gun, but even those are still limited in scope.

As officers hit the streets to patrol, police say they know the community is watching and want to do right by them.

"We're not hiding behind it saying we'll wait for the investigation to play out because we owe the community that transparency," Sgt. Clark said.

Metro Police also keep track of animal shootings. According to the latest numbers, those have decreased by 55 percent.

As a whole, Metro Police recently released their use of force statistics for the last five years. Click here to view them.

 

 


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