KSP announces new unit dedicated to officer-involved shooting investigations

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ)- State police have formed a new unit that will be specifically dedicated to officer-involved shooting investigations.

With the increased interest and attention concerning officer-involved shootings across the U.S., Kentucky State Police decided to create the Critical Incident Response Team to make sure they have their best troopers investigating the use of deadly force by law enforcement.

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The team was created at the beginning of 2017 and is made up of six troopers.

The unit is based in Frankfort and will respond to all officer-involved shootings involving state troopers and on a case-by-case basis if requested by outside agencies.

“An officer-involved shooting is critical in many ways. It’s critical for the officer. It’s critical for the individuals in the community. It’s critical for any victims that may be there, they’re families. It has a huge trickle down effect and was want those people to know and have the confidence in us to know that we have our best people doing those investigations,” said Deputy Commissioner Alex Payne of Kentucky State Police.

Law enforcement officials say the team will most likely help smaller law enforcement agencies who do not have the supplies to properly conduct officer-involved shooting investigations but is also available to larger departments like Lexington and Louisville if they are needed.

Since 2015, KSP has investigated 29 shootings involving state troopers and in 2016 investigated 19 shootings involving officers from other agencies.

Law enforcement officials say they hope this new team will make Kentucky a role model for how to best investigate officer-involved shootings.