[Ed. note: This is part two of a series on Tactical Patrol. The first article is Tactical Patrol Mindset.]
In this article I’d like to discuss a few of the most common critical incident calls where understanding the priority of life is critical to making a proper police response, especially for the initial patrol officers on scene.
This is probably one of the most frequent calls police receive, and also one of the most dangerous. Patrol officers should understand that it is the priority of life, along with the exigency exemption to the 4th Amendment, that allows officers to force their way into a residence to investigate a domestic violence report should someone refuse their entry. The courts are saying that the “victim” is more important than any privacy rights a suspect might want to enjoy, even in his own home. Understanding the priority of life gives patrol officers the confidence to act and to act quickly to properly handle domestic violence calls, and provide assistance to victims.