Just as every officer has a responsibility to identify water safety threats in his or her jurisdiction and train to operate in and around them, departments also need to take steps to prepare their officers to work in and around water.
• Prior to hiring, conduct a complete water screening of your cadets. This will identify problem personnel.
• Conduct department-wide water screening every three to five years. This will help to identify personnel who may need to be assigned to other areas of the jurisdiction where water involvement is less likely.
• Conduct waterproofing for all personnel assigned to work in watery environments for specialized duty. This will enhance the safety of all officers assigned to these units.
• Conduct waterborne use-of-force and firearms training for all officers assigned to work in and around watery environments. This training should include: Deploying the firearm from stationary position to a boat, deploying the firearm from a boat position to a stationary position, deploying the firearm from the water position to a stationary position, deploying the firearm from the water position to a boat position, deploying the firearm from a water position to a water position.
• Make sure that all patrol vehicles have the necessary equipment to respond to water emergencies.