In the last few months I was made aware of an incredibly important study conducted by the Firearms Section of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department. The results of that study should have far-reaching implications for any officer who engages in enforcement action during an undercover assignment or while off-duty in plain clothes.
The Background for Testing
Unfortunately there are several tragic cases in the history of law enforcement where a responding on-duty officer mistakes an undercover or off-duty officer for an armed subject and shoots the other officer. The National Law Enforcement Memorial has recorded over 100 undercover officers killed in the line of duty, some of whom were unintentionally killed by other officers. This does not take into account probably hundreds of more officers that have been wounded by friendly fire, or “blue on blue”.
A recent example was when undercover Oakland, CA police officer William Wilkins had cornered a suspect in a stolen vehicle and had him at gun point. Two rookie patrol officers arrived on scene and mistakenly shot Officer Wilkins killing him.