Officers back at work after counseling

Published 4:31 pm Friday, June 4, 2010

Two Greenville police officers are back patrolling the streets following a short leave for mandatory psychological counseling.

Greenville Police Chief Lonzo Ingram says that they require both an independent investigation by the Alabama Bureau of Investigation and counseling for officers that are forced to fire their weapon.

“If we didn’t make it mandatory, some would try to act tough and avoid going to it,” Ingram said.

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Officers responded to call at 11:18 p.m. from a home at 322 Winkler Street May 25, Ingram said They arrived on the scene to see the suspect on the front porch with his back to the officers. Police gave him commands to lie down, but the suspect refused and turned to face the officers. When they saw the gun in his hand, they opened fire, Ingram said.

The officers can return to work once the counseling is completed. The length of the counseling is left to the discretion of the counselor, Ingram said.

“They are back now and seem to be doing fine,” Ingram said.

The findings of the official investigation have not yet been released, but Ingram says his officers responded correctly.

“Anytime you have an officer-involved shooting, we have the ABI come in and check it out,” Ingram said. “This isn’t unique to this case-this is done every time in every city and county in Alabama.”

Ingram expects the investigation to be finished in about a month.