The recent slaying of a Twin Cities-area police officer during a traffic stop served as a reminder that cops learn hard lessons about safety when law enforcers are shot, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Shootings become case studies that are used to hone techniques, alter strategies, improve training and shape standard procedures. “No law enforcement agency ever wants to criticize publicly or even privately a fellow officer killed in the line of duty, period,” said Andrew Scott, an expert on police training. “But each realizes that in the deaths of officers or armed encounters, lessons can be learned for the benefit of others.”
Twenty years ago, two officers in St. Paul were killed as a result of a seemingly routine call to check on what police call a “slumper”–someone sleeping or passed out in a car. But when Officer Ron Ryan Jr. knocked on the window of the car, it set in motion a day of tragedy ending with the death of Ryan and another St. Paul police officer, Tim Jones, that still echoes through the city today. There also was a lesson learned: Whenever possible, police now respond to slumper calls with two squads — not one.