Stephen Mader served in the Marines for four years. After his service he came back home and became a West Virginia police officer.
Despite these admirable accomplishments, Mader is currently being fired after putting his military training into effect during a domestic dispute he reported to. Mader’s case has outraged many. It has distinguished the strict divide between military and police protocol.
It was earlier in the year that Mader responded to a domestic dispute. When he took the call a woman explained that her husband was suicidal and needed help.
When he arrived at the scene he encountered an angered and what appeared to be an armed man.
However Mader’s immediate response was not to open fire.
Instead he used his military tactics to attempt to deescalate the situation.
Mader took notice that the individual was not pointing a gun at him. The distraught man had even asked Mader to shoot him.
Years of military training had taught Mader to properly evaluate “the whole person” before using any kind of deadly force.
As Mader continued to calm the distraught man down, two other officers rushed into the home. One of the officers immediately shot the man in the head. Officers later discovered that the weapon on the man was not loaded.
Shortly after the incident, Mader was terminated. Documents indicated that Mader was fired for failing to “eliminate a threat”.
Servicemen receive extensive firearm training. Simply identifying a weapon simply isn’t enough to justify shooting a potential suspect. They are also taught only to point their weapon when they intend to kill.
“Police training — though its content and length varies enormously across police departments — by and large does not prepare policemen to manage high-stress situations the way the military prepares its soldiers,” A local newspaper reports.
“Police training tends to be short and classroom-based, and rarely emphasizes deescalation.”
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