The Associated Press uses the story of the new Ball State campus police officer who shot and killed a student as an example in its story on states that allow police officers to hit the streets with little or no training. Indiana is one of at least 30 states to fall into that category. The Indiana portion of the story:
In 2003, Robert Duplain, a 24-year-old rookie police officer at Ball State University in Indiana, fatally shot a student — three rounds in the chest and one in the head. The officer is facing a wrongful-death lawsuit.
Duplain had taken only a 40-hour "pre-basic course" consisting of mostly online classes and firearms training, said Rusty Goodpaster, director of Indiana's police academy. Indiana law allows new hires up to one year to go through the police academy, but they can take on enforcement duties before then if they take the pre-basic course, Goodpaster said.
Police said the victim, Michael McKinney, 21, had lunged at the officer, who was responding to a burglary call. McKinney's family said he had gone to the wrong home after a night of drinking.
"When someone's put in a situation where they're given a firearm and they're not trained as they should be, you're asking for trouble," said Tim McKinney, the student's father.
I've reached the age at which a lot of police officers look like junior high students to me anyway. The idea that a number of them are out there armed but not trained on when and -- most important -- when not to shoot is more than a little unnerving.