Confrontations with increasingly violent people drove up the number of police-involved shootings in Columbus last year, police tell the Columbus Dispatch. There were 19 shootings by officers, the second-highest total in the past 15 years. Eight of the people shot were killed, the most in any year since 1997. Two people were shot in the first week of 2012.
“We're not the ones choosing to do this,” said Sgt. Rich Weiner, a police spokesman. The suspect has chosen to do something that necessitates our using that kind of force.” Noting the frequency of deadly ambushes of police last year, Steve Groeninger of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund said police work is growing more dangerous. Weiner said, “It seems like the bad guys are more brazen.” Police are not cavalier in using deadly force, he said. Officers go through rigorous training to react along a use-of-force continuum that changes as a suspect's actions escalate, he said. Deadly force comes last on that arc. “It's still a human life, and you think of it that way.”