SALT LAKE CITY —There have been 19 officer-involved shootings so far this year, with four of them taking place in the Salt Lake Valley just last week.
Eight people were killed in the shootings. One officer and one K-9 were killed, and six officers, including another K-9, were injured.
That may seem like a lot when you consider officers are under the microscope like never before. However, those numbers do not alarm Chris Bertram, a former deputy chief with the Unified Police Department, and Ian Adams, the executive director of the Utah Fraternal Order of Police.
“I get it — there is a reaction when there is four in one week. It seems like a lot, but it’s not that useful to me to just look at the broad number. It’s useful to look at what happened in those individual shootings,” Adams said. “I would say that officers are always reluctant to use lethal force. It’s a very rare event in an officer’s career and it’s always a tragic one.”
Bertram, who spent 25 years in law enforcement and is now a private investigator and assistant college professor, said there are occasions when suddenly there is a spike in officer-involved shootings. He doesn’t believe, at this point, that it has anything to do with the climate of the country right now.
“I think this is just one of those anomalies that you occasionally see that there are officer-involved shootings in a short period of time,” Bertram told KSL. “[But] it doesn’t mean that we don’t give ourselves pause and we have to examine each of these individually to see if there is something.”
All four shootings from the last week are still under investigation.