LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – Madison police officers involved in a deadly shooting Saturday have been placed on administrative leave while officials investigate what happened.
It's standard procedure.
But it marks the third time since November that Madison officers have shot a person in the line of duty.
According to the La Crosse County Sheriff's Department, using a firearm is the final alternative in the field.
While law enforcement uses firearms least, they train with them most.
"Because it's the most liability," said Training Deputy Brian Buckmaster. "Most of the time when there's a shooting, someone either dies or is seriously injured, so we take that as the most important thing that we do. So we have to be the safest and most trained in that."
Buckmaster trains local law enforcement in the use of firearms and defense tactics.
He said each department has their own policies and procedures, and they have to follow state law.
"If a person is holding onto a firearm, (it) doesn't mean we can shoot them. They have to have told us they're going to kill us, or they've actually already shot at us, they're threatening to shoot at us," Buckmaster said.
Which brings up the question: What happens after police use deadly force?
"We look at it the same way we look at any crime," said La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke. "We determine if there was probable cause a crime was committed. If we do believe a crime was committed, we may refer to another prosecuting agency to prosecute the case."
Gruenke said that way there's no conflict of interest since he works closely with law enforcement.
Buckmaster said Tasers are used when there's a threat of violence. But it is no match for someone with a knife or a gun.
But training is key, Buckmaster added. A pull of the trigger, has its consequences.
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