Thursday, October 25, 2012

Officer Injury

An officer injury requires a lot of work for an agency.  The first thing is to insure proper care for the injured officer.  Once that has been taken care of there is still much to get done.  Call in reserves or other off duty officers to cover the open shift and have a supervisor create a shift to cover any projected future openings.  Notify the family.  It is best to notify the officer's family in person if possible.  If he lives close by, a member from his agency can make the advisement.  If he lives a distance away, see if the local agency is willing to perform the notification.

In a critical injury, it may be best if the family member does not drive to the hospital themselves.  An officer should drive them if possible so they can arrive quickly, get updates on the radio and get the VIP treatment when they arrive.  If they live far away other agencies may be willing to drive them or you may even consider bringing the next-of-kin by helicopter if death may be close.

The officer may want a spiritual advisor nearby.  Your agency should have a chaplain who can assist him or call others to help.  The media will want to know and you need to both keep them informed without compromising your investigation or your notification of relatives.  Your chief and your workers compensation carrier will need to know immediately of major injuries.  Your state OSHA may also require immediate notification in event of serious injury.  All of your staff members will need to be screened for post-traumatic stress to insure their mental well being afterwards.  Officer injuries are serious in many ways; that's what the SGT Says.

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