CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – In the past two days, the Corpus Christi Police Department has had to put three officers on paid administrative leave for two officers involved in shootings. It is a common practice across the country following these types of incidents.
“Number one, this is part of the investigation as well as our practice,” Acting Police Chief David Blackmon said. “We put them on administrative leave, it’s paid leave, but it’s for the investigation. It’s also to make sure that mentally and physically they are able to return to work. So we take that. very seriously Being involved in a shooting is a very dramatic incident.
“In both cases, our police officers were shot or attempted to be shot with a criminal armed with a gun,” said Peter Zanoni, city manager. . “
While the investigation into the alleged crime continues, police are also examining whether the officers’ actions were justified. In the meantime, resources remain available for agents on leave.
“There is a real, thorough protocol that is in place that includes working with a psychiatrist and there is a support network,” Zanoni said. “So there is a whole elaborate protocol that is put in place whenever a police officer is in a situation like this.”
Chief Blackmon said the department has a therapist on assignment and can refer agents to other professionals if needed.
“Everyone is different,” he said. “It depends on the nature of the incident, his trauma. Because we’re talking, obviously, the officer of it fired, but there’s – the police go through a variety of different things every day that. are very traumatic or can be traumatic, so depending on what it is, it could be multiple meetings at an extended time depending on what it is.
Three officers are currently on leave. Four have just returned from administrative leave following an officer involved in a shooting in March. Despite this, Blackmon said he’s not worried about being understaffed.
“We’re going to do what we have to do,” Blackmon said. “If we have to bring in officers or if we have to pay overtime or if we have to move officers from one division to another, we’re going – we’re going to do what we need to do to make sure that the shifts work areas are staffed and the community is safe.
Zanoni added that the force hires cadets from the police academy every year, mainly replacing those who have retired. This year, he said they will have one of their largest classes of 50 cadets who will soon join the PDCC.