In this edition of the Police Officers Association of Michigan’s podcast, Douglas Gutscher explains critical incident protocol in order to help police officers understand their rights after such an incident has occurred. Gutscher, a 10-year POAM veteran, currently handles all aspects of labor law for POAM and serves as Criminal Representation of officers when they’ve been charged.

What is a critical incident?


A critical incident is any incident that may result in a criminal investigation or serious rules violation. This includes, a death in custody, injuries that may occur while in the process or an arrest, or even the discharge of a weapon. In order to be prepared if such an incident does occur, associations need to educate their officers on exactly who to contact, what their rights are and that all processes are properly followed. POAM has a 24-hour hotline with an attorney available 356 days per year, if there’s a situation after hours and the officer can’t contact his association.

When should I give my statement?

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