Cops are no different to the general populace and the belief that to shoot dead another human being is morally reprehensible.
The vast majority of Cops would go through a long and illustrious career without the need to ever draw their service pistol, let alone having to shoot dead some-one. Highly improbable, though it is an important part of a Copper's training from the early induction days at the Police Academy in Goulburn.
Up until recently, it was accepted that the need to remove the handgun from its holster was a last resort action. Negotiation and the use of Capsicum Spray and Tasers were to be used well before a handgun was to ever be considered. This was a part of the training and a constant exercise practice regime that was a part of every Officer's curriculum right through their careers. So was Target Proficiency exercises.
It was seen that specialised units such as the Tactical Response Unit (more colloquially referred as the SWAT Team) and hand-picked specialised 'Shooters' would always be called in if the chances were of bullets flying. They were better trained and mentally more capable of making such decisions as taking another life.
That is, up until recently when an edict was issued by the Police Commissioner for “Shoot to Kill” practices to be adopted on terrorist related matters by all Officers.
Who was to determine the likelihood of an imminent terrorist attack, a suspected terrorist, an alleged terrorist or some-one acting suspiciously and looking remarkably like a Muslim radical. Dark beard. Eastern Mediterranean or even a Caucasian with a beard. An Officer on the “beat” would have to make a life and death decision in the blink of the eye in that regard.....and if his action to draw his service pistol proved to be the incorrect action, where did that leave the Officer in terms of legal responsibility and culpability under the present Laws of the State? And don't forget how the Media may view such an action by an Officer only attempting to do his duty as best he can. Right or wrong he could be either criticised or acclaimed.
The rank and file had trepidations about their new role even with more pragmatic training and target proficiency training.
Not the least Detective Grade Four Joseph Lind who early in his career as an undercover cop, had earned a reputation as a bit of a cowboy. Now? In middle age, Lind had misgivings on his reactions to a particular situation and whether he had the mental and moral fibre to make the right effective choice when it came down to a life and death situation.
His reactions after the event only helped to undermine his confidence as a Cop and he began to question the very reasons for his chosen career.