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Taylor Gallagher
English 2010
Daniel R Gallagher

Daniel R Gallagher is a retired police captain from West Jordan Police. He served twenty
three years on the force. Before going to the police academy at age twenty seven Dan served our
country as a Navy Petty Officer Second Class from 1980-1992 where he was honorably
discharged from the Navy. Dan worked at Reynolds Supply from 1984-1988 when he then joined
the police academy to seek a career as a police officer to serve his community. Dan started his
career as a police cadet in the academy in 1988. He graduated top in academics and physical
fitness and picked as Valedictorian. Dan was then hired at West Jordan City as a police officer
where he served in several different ranks in law enforcement starting from Police Officer,
Detective, Senior Officer, Corporal, Sargent, Senior Sargent, Master Sargent, Lieutenant to
finally Captain of the West Jordan Police Department. During those rank advancements Dan also
received his bachelors degree in criminal justice administration. Dan also is Fire Fighter One
During his impressive career as a police captain Dan also is a graduate in the crime scene
academy and received an exemplary service award from West Jordan city for outstanding service
to his community. Dan also was honorably invited to the FBI Academy in Quantico Virginia


where he graduated from the FBI Academy in 2009. Dan also has done such things as leading the
drug task force in West Jordan for three years and was a SWAT operator for eight years and a
SWAT commander for three years for a total of eleven years of SWAT service. Dan retired in
2011 and served in the Air force Reserve for one year and was honorably discharged. Dan is now
operational supervisor at the Kennecott Copper Mine working toward getting a second
When I met with Dan I did not know how much he really had accomplished it was really
impressive and made him very qualified to answer questions about this controversial subject.
When I brought this subject to Dan he was fired up and ready to answer my questions which was
surprising for it being such a controversial topic as the use of lethal force is in todays media. The
first question I asked was So Dan why do you think people find lethal force to be such a hot
topic in todays current media? Dan than got a serious look on his faces and responded. I think
it is a lack of understanding. People see it in the movies and believe that you can shoot in the leg


or the arm to stop someone. However studies have shown that in order to stop a threat you have

to shoot to stop which is center mass to stop a threat.(Waldman)

I then followed the question up with Dan what do you think the best approach would
be to inform the public why we use lethal force? He responded I would say that civilians
should actually receive the same training criteria that the police officers have to go through to
give them a better idea of the threat assessments and what could happen if proper action is
taken.(Ammon) Ok Dan so in what situations is lethal force justified? Dan Its justified
when you feel there is the possibility of serious bodily injury or death to yourself or another if
you dont take action. I than followed that up with In what situation is lethal force not


justified. Dan Its not justified in the use of theft of property or when the threat of bodily injury
or death no longer exists. I than responded with: Ok Dan in what ways can you deescalate the
situation before resorting to lethal force? Dan In an Ideal situation you are able to give yourself
space and cover which would allow you to have opportunities to use negotiations and less than
lethal tools. I respond: In what ways are police officers trained to deescalate the situation?
Dan: At the police academies we are trained to use verbal judo which is the verbal de-escalation
of a situation and are given audio and video scenarios of shoot or dont shoot situations. There is
Extensive training on de-escalation of a large number of different scenarios and situations.(
Leonnig) Me: What is your opinion on the publics current view on law enforcement today?
Dan: I believe that the media has presented the opinion that a police officer is paid to be killed.
Until you walk in the shoes of an officer dont be too quick to judge. They are out there for
safety. Me: How do you feel the police can get back the trust lost from things like Ferguson?
Dan: Change the way the stories are being reported by the media and being more transparent.
Regardless of what is reported people are going to try and use it as an opportunity for anarchy.
Me: Can you explain what steps are taken to train to take action for lethal force?(Danylko)
Dan: First deescalate the situation by use of verbal commands. Next the use of less than lethal
methods such as Tasers night sticks etc. police are trained to use the use of force continuum
escalating their actions as that actions of other escalate. They are not paid to die but to survive
and protect the lives of others. Me: What is investigates when seeing if it was clean shoot?
Dan: A true and accurate representation of what the officer is experiencing at the time of the
escalation and all evidence up to and including weapons, blood spatter, audio and video
recordings etc. Me: Have you ever faced having to use lethal force in your career? Dan: I
was shot at and able to take cover. The suspect discarded the gun and was taken in to custody


without incident, also numerous SWAT incidents. Me: Can you think of an example of a clean
shoot and why it was cleared? Dan: A suspect ran directly out of the house at the officer with
large knives swinging them in both hands without warning. Officer was unable to retreat and
lethal force was necessary to stop him. Me: Can you think of an example of where it was not a
clean shoot and why was it not? Dan: We had a suspect fleeing in a vehicle that approached the
officers location. The officer felt the suspect was using his car as a weapon however had plenty
of room to retreat and remove him from the threat. This was not our agency.(Miller) Me: What
do you think is the best way to use lethal force in todays world? Dan: To use all of your
training and to shoot to stop the threat. We are trained to shoot prior to the officer or another
being killed. Me: How has this affected you in your life today? Dan:
I carry a concealed weapon wherever I go. There are bad people out there that want to
hurt and kill people. Officers are out there as the first line of defense to protect themselves and
the public. I am disgusted with the attorneys now trying to make a buck by suing officers for
doing their jobs and putting them through hell for doing what they are trained to do. There have
even been incidents where attorneys are suing officers for not taking proper force to protect
someone so officers cant win regardless. Im very disappointed in the media because regardless
of what the facts are and the evidence. They twist everything to sensationalize their reports for
ratings putting the officers and their families at risk and tarnish the good reputation of this once
proud profession.
In conclusion after speaking with ex Captain of the West Jordan Police Department Dan
Gallagher I came to a very chilling conclusion on this subject. If we do not change as a people as
a whole and start showing both sides of the case in our media than this problem will just get
bigger and bigger and continue to tarnish a once proud and respected profession. So I suggest to


you who is reading this to open your mind to not just what you hear on the media and look at the
facts before jumping to a conclusion.

Work Cited
Amon, Carol. "JOHNATHAN BOSTON, Petitioner, v. WILLIAM BROWN, Superintendent of Eastern
Correctional Facility, Respondent." Google Scholar. United States District Court, E.D. New York., 24 Feb.
2014. Web. 17 Feb. 2015. <
321174&q=lethal force + racism&hl=en&as_sdt=3,45&as_ylo=2014>.

Danylko, Ryllie. "Examining Police Training: How Officers Are Taught to Deal with Armed
Suspects." Northeast Ohio Media Group, 8 Dec. 2014. Web. 17 Feb. 2015.

Leonnig, Carol. "Current Law Gives Police Wide Latitude to Use Deadly Force." The Washington Post. 28
Aug. 2014. Web. 17 Feb. 2015. <>.

Miller, R.K. "Guidelines for the Use of Lethal Force." Law Officer. PennWell Corporation, 25 Mar. 2014. Web.
17 Feb. 2015. <>.

Waldman, Paul. "Expert: U.S. Police Training in Use of Deadly Force Woefully Inadequate."The American
Prospect. 27 Aug. 2014. Web. 17 Feb. 2015. <>.