Executive Director Tom Austin,
We wish to express our sincere thanks to you, Dan Leffler, Andrea Rocco, George Gerkin and the rest of the union for the support the union provided us surrounding our officer involved shooting incident.
On October 15, 2015, members from Parma Hts., Brooklyn, and Parma Police Departments were involved in a pursuit stemming from an armed robbery of a pizza store in Parma Hts. The suspect ultimately exited his car with the gun and was fired upon by officers. On May 3, 2016 the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury found the shooting to be reasonable and justified.
Members from the union arrived on the scene shortly after the shooting and began support and guidance for us. It continued through a lengthy and complicated investigative process involving Cleveland Police homicide detectives, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, and the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner. The union representation took steps to protect us from a system that seemed to be working toward other interests, agendas, and motives, and balanced that protection with cooperation and a willingness to reveal the facts of the incident. Thank you for looking out for our best interests.
It is not often that an officer is involved in a deadly force situation such as this. Most of us will go our entire careers and never be involved in one. We as police officers must accept the fact that our actions in use of deadly force incidents are being scrutinized more than ever before. Consider the legal aspects of an officer involved shooting ahead of time. We would encourage all of our brothers and sisters in blue to train well, understand use of force case law and know your department policies, and have faith that the system will work for you. Always remember that you or someone from your agency should contact your union attorney as soon as possible after a deadly force incident.
Sgt. Jeff Krepina, Parma Hts. PD
Ptl. Chuck Mehlman, Parma Hts. PD
Ptl. Scott Jackson, Parma Hts. PD
Ptl. Steve Lindh, Parma Hts. PD
Ptl. Shane Phillips, Brooklyn PD.