The Arizona Highway Patrol Association (AHPA) supports the actions of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) Officer after a critical incident this morning (06.23.2011) at his Phoenix residence. It is the position of AHPA that the officer acted appropriately after a suspect used his vehicle as a weapon and intentionally rammed it multiple times into the officer’s home. The suspect ignored multiple commands from the DPS officer. Fearing for his life and others, the DPS officer deployed his weapon in efforts to stop the suspect. Though combative, the suspect was eventually arrested by the DPS officer, and currently is being questioned by Phoenix Police.
“Officers are trained to use force to preserve their own lives and those of innocent bystanders,” said Jimmy Chavez, president of the AHPA. While the specific details of this event are still being reviewed, police officers are trained to use their firearms and force when their lives are threatened. The DPS officer involved in this incident has been in law enforcement for approximately twenty (20) years and is very experienced with applying the departmental procedures in these types of critical incidents.
Legal services were immediately provided to the officer. AHPA believes that after all the independent investigations are completed by Phoenix Police and the county attorney’s office that the findings will conclude that the officer’s actions were justified.
“AHPA has reached out to the officer and his family in order to aid them however we can,” added Chavez. “The damage the suspect caused has displaced the family from their home.”
Chavez concluded, “Our thoughts go out to the officer, his family, and the family of the suspect, who have suffered from a stressful and traumatic experience.”
Founded in 1958, the AHPA’s mission is to promote the positive role of Law Enforcement Professionals, and to protect and secure rights and benefits for their members through effective representation with local, state and national governments.