Officer Who Experienced Two Shootings Gives Advice To 15 Officers Involved In Monday’s Shooting
Apr 9, 2019, 7:20 PM | Updated: 7:21 pm
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah —A former police officer involved in two shootings has some advice for the 15 officers placed on administrative leave following Monday’s dramatic police chase and shooting in South Salt Lake.
“We train for shootings all the time,” said Michael McPhie, who worked in law enforcement for more than a dozen years. “What we don’t train for is the aftermath—the PTSD and the mental warfare that comes after being involved in something like that.”
McPhie was involved in police shootings in 2010 and 2011 while working for West Valley City’s police force. The 2011 incident left the suspect dead and McPhie and his partner injured.
“I was shot through my car door through both thighs and my partner was also shot in his ankle,” he said, adding that the injuries left him without the use of his left calf and Achilles tendon.
During his time on administrative leave, McPhie said he spent many sleepless nights stressing about the investigation. He recalls feeling isolated since he couldn’t talk with his coworkers.
“Having been in two shootings, the admin leave was more stressful than the actual shooting incident itself,” he said. “What I wasn’t prepared for was the emotional side of it.”
McPhie, who left the police force in 2014 and now works in real estate, has a message for the 15 officers that are now on administrative leave.
“Take your time. Process what happened. You’re not going to be any good to anybody coming back too soon,” he said. “For those 15 guys the shooting yesterday, as crazy as it sounds, was the easy part.”
At a press conference on Tuesday, top law enforcement administrators promised support for the officers being placed on leave during the investigation.
“For those officers involved they will never forget this,” said Salt Lake Police Chief Mike Brown. “We will give them all the services they need now and into the future throughout their careers.”
“They are receiving peer support services from our department,” said Brian Redd, chief investigator for the Utah Department of Public Safety. “Also, they are offered counseling.”
Remaining officers are expected to put in overtime in order to cover vacant shifts while the investigation takes place.