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LEO Near Miss

Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) Near Miss is a voluntary, non-disciplinary officer safety initiative that allows law enforcement personnel to read about and anonymously share stories of close calls or “near misses,” which provide lessons learned that can protect fellow officers in similar situations. If you would like to share your near-miss story to improve the safety of your fellow officers, visit

Using lessons learned from near misses to prevent injuries and fatalities from felonious assaults, missed firearms, ambushes and unprovoked attacks
‘I got lucky that day that he decided to toss the gun instead of lying in wait with the gun drawn on me as I stepped through the gate.’
Resist the adage, “I’ll request backup if I need it,” because by the time you need it, backup will likely arrive too late
“I could see the grip of a pistol in his waistband and saw he was reaching for it with his right hand while backing away from us.”
If a prisoner is transitioned from one officer to the next, it’s always appropriate to re-search the prisoner
‘From the sound of the bullets passing by my head, I would say I was inches from injury or death that evening.’
‘I held my breath for a moment, but the sound of breathing continued. My heart sank and my stomach tightened.’
If given the option, always choose to slow things down until backup arrives
‘Had he wanted us dead, we would be.’
Operators must be given detailed and consistent instruction to always stay in their lines of fire
Responding officers demonstrated excellent use of the WIN principle throughout the call
“I got the feeling I needed to search the subject again.”
An officer’s decision not to wear his body armor while working at a local fair nearly proved deadly
A hidden armed subject could have turned a vehicle search into an ambush
Even a handcuffed, compliant subject can still be a flight risk
The LEO Near Miss officer safety initiative offers valuable reminders and lessons learned
What began as an assault call between neighbors turned into an ambush of responding officers
Agencies should consider providing supplemental training on identifying characteristics of weapon concealment to patrol officers
Regularly conducting and using after-action reviews can help create and instill a culture of learning
Responding to a report of a robbery shooting, officers hesitated to engage all the customers in the store because they feared they would receive a citizen complaint
Officers must recognize certain tools may not always be a viable option if they unnecessarily risk officer safety
Never assume that if a K-9 alerts, there is only one subject in the area of concern
Taking a homeowner’s word that a house was clear after a break in could have been a fatal decision for this officer
Although uncomfortable to do, always thoroughly search the crotch of a prisoner
When someone tells you they aren’t going back to jail that is a clue there will likely be a fight
When taking custody of a prisoner from another officer or facility, immediately conduct a thorough search of the prisoner
The decision to drive at night without headlights activated resulted in a near miss for this officer
A shoplifter armed with a small pocketknife proves more of a threat than officers initially anticipate
Radio traffic of responding units contributes to confusion and delay after an OIS during which two police officers are shot