Here's the problem:
This is a video clip filmed in a major city of a felony stop. I watched in horror as a female officer discharged her weapon while her partner was attempting to handcuff a suspect he had on the ground. The bullet struck the ground only inches away from the head of the suspect and the ricochet hit her partner. I knew that if the bullet had struck the suspect in the head would have been deemed an assassination by the press. Can you imagine the media impact??
While this accident was due in part to the high stress of the situation, the main reason for the A.D. was a lack of proper training, specifically, a lack of MUZZLE AWARENESS and a severe lack of TRIGGER FINGER AWARENSS.
When I was working in Law Enforcement, I always felt very uncomfortable hand cuffing a suspect I had on the ground while my partner was covering me, mainly because he was pointing his weapon at my head or hands most of the time.
To combat this problem, the “Sentry Position” was created. This unique method of holding the weapon was specifically developed for safety by allowing the officer to have both TRIGGER FINGER AWARENESS as well as MUZZLE AWARENESS. Weapons retention and fast deployment of the firearm was also incorporated into the design (Photos courtesy FIST-FIRE Book © 2002):
Sentry Felony Stop.jpg
By having the pistol covered with the off hand the gun is held securely by the strong hand while the trigger finger remains “trapped” on the side of the dust cover. Both thumb pads are touching and the off hand is clasped around the forward half of the slide. Again, this affords the officer both muzzle and trigger finger awareness.