Civilians spend a day in the life of an officer - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Civilians spend a day in the life of an officer

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The debate over an officer's use of deadly force continues to surround high-profile cases, such as the Michael Brown shooting in Missouri where an unarmed teen was shot and killed by an officer in August. 

Meanwhile, departments across the country are working to build trust with the community. Saturday, the National City Police Department offered civilians a unique perspective on its use of force when using a gun.

"There is a misconception about officers shooting to kill. Our officers are trained to shoot to stop the threat," National City police Chief Manuel Rodriguez said. 

National City police gave participants an inside look at its use of force --- these are real situations acted in scenarios using decoy weapons. 

"I understand that is was within seconds that things can change dramatically, tragically as well. So it is keeping in my mind the officers' safety as well as what can change from one second to another," said Mayra Nunez. 

Everyday, officers put their lives on the line. The latest report by the FBI shows 48 officers were killed in the line of duty -- 44 by guns.

It's unclear just how many people are killed by police each year, but self-reporting by agencies show 400 justifiable homicides.

"I have never talked to an officer who wanted to shoot someone," police Chief Rodriguez said. 

"It gives me a better perspective and more respect for their career, and the fact they put their lives on the line everyday," Nunez said. 

Those who participated in the "Use Of Force" workshop are from various National City organizations including schools, outreach groups and American Legion.
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