Why should you attend an OIS class?

By:  Detective Al Para, Lieutenant Mike Tegner, Nancy Bohl-Penrod and Bruce Praet


If there’s less than a 10 percent chance that you’ll ever fire your weapon in the line of duty, what’s the point of attending an OIS class?

California Peace Officers’ Association recently collaborated with a team of experts on OIS’s to update the POST certified training on officer involved shootings. Why? Because even if you don’t fall into the 10 percent group, you may be the on-scene supervisor, criminal investigator or administrative investigator. And when you’re in any of these positions, it’s a little late to try to figure out the ordeal you’re about to experience when you’re suddenly thrown into an OIS. Think about this:


  • Have you kept up on the ever changing legal standards established by the state and federal courts for not only using deadly force, but the analysis of the tactics deployed leading up to your split-second decision?


  • Do you know your individual rights and obligations in the moments immediately following an OIS? What about public safety issues at the scene?


  • Are you prepared for the psychological and emotional roller coaster ride which will inevitably follow the shooting?


  • Do you know your rights and obligations during the criminal investigation of your actions? For example, should you provide a voluntary statement to criminal investigators? Will you be permitted to review any existing video? What about participating in a walk-through of the scene? How do you separate the criminal investigation of the suspect’s actions and the actions of the officer?


  • When is the last time you updated your existing policies? Do you know the language which will impose liability on you and your agency?


  • What about the myriad administrative issues which will arise? Are you up to speed on the latest POBR rights? If a voluntary statement is not provided, what happens to any administratively coerced statement? Do you know how to deal with an aggressive POA attorney?


  • Are you prepared for the inevitable civil suit or will you wait for six months to see if some attorney sues you? What additional issues need to be addressed beyond the criminal and administrative investigations?


  • How will you deal with the media? What happens when an outside agency such as the FBI is called in to review your case?


Can you answer all of these questions with utmost certainty that you are correct? If so, you may not need an OIS class. However, if you are an officer, supervisor, executive or even a law enforcement attorney or risk manager who is at all uncertain about these and other issues arising out of an OIS, then you cannot afford to miss this essential course featuring the leading subject matter experts in the state. Check out their bios below and then click here to find the next occurrences of CPOA’s OIS training sessions.


About the authors:

Alfredo “Al” Parra is a 35 year, and counting, veteran of the Ontario, California Police Department.  He has spent the last 19 years in the detective bureau, working every detail including Primary Homicide Investigator since 1996.  Prior assignments have included Patrol, Tactical Flight Officer, Field Training Officer, Press Information Officer, Intelligence Officer and Crimes Against Children/Sex Crimes Investigator.  Det. Parra is also a Use of Force Analyst certified by Dr. Bill Lewinski’s Force Science Institute out of Minnesota State University, Mankato.  Det. Parra has been the Primary Criminal Investigator in over 16 officer involved shootings.

After spending the first ten years of his career as a police officer/canine handler in Orange County, Bruce Praet has gone on to spend the past 30 years successfully defending high profile law enforcement litigation throughout California and Oregon.  As a partner in the law firm of Ferguson, Praet & Sherman, Bruce is also a frequent presenter on critical aspects of officer involved shootings, canine litigation and other force cases filed in federal court.  As the Founder and Director of Lexipol, Bruce joined with Gordon Graham to now provide cutting edge policies and training for more than 2000 agencies throughout the United States.

Nancy K. Bohl-Penrod, Ph.D. is the director of The Counseling Team International (TCTI).  TCTI is an organization that provides counseling support services, critical incident intervention, and training to public safety throughout the nation.  She helps develop peer support programs and trains peer support teams.  She has been a quest speaker at most major federal law enforcement academies in addition to police academies throughout Southern California.  She has responded to over 800 officer involved shootings to provide support to those involved. 

Lieutenant Michael Tegner is an 18-year veteran of the Fremont Police Department.  He was a detective in the Crimes Against Persons Unit for eight years and supervised the unit for two years.  During his time in the Crimes Against Persons Unit, Lt. Tegner was the lead Robbery/Homicide Investigator and investigated Officer Involved Shootings.  He also developed the policy and procedures on Officer Involved Shooting investigations at the Fremont Police Department.


Related Recent News