LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Lancaster Bureau of Police Chief Jarrad Berkihiser told abc27 that his department is committed to helping people.
“We don’t put on the uniform to come into work and fight people or shoot people,” Berkihiser said.
The chief said that’s why Sunday’s shooting of 27-year-old Ricardo Munoz has been tough on not only the community, but also his department.
Berkihiser said after looking at the body camera footage, he believes the actions his officer took were appropriate. “Absolutely appropriate based on the imminent threat that the officer was facing and the fact he felt he had no other choice.”
He said the officer responding to Laurel Street had just seconds to get a handle on the situation at hand. The chief said there’s no way the officer would have had a history of Munoz’s mental health.
Ricardo Munoz’s family told abc27 that he was paranoid schizophrenia.
Berkihiser said his officers always can’t wait for backup, adding that despite other de-escalation tactics being taught, his officers sometimes don’t have the time to use them.
“What he could hear as he is walking up to the address is a cause for concern,” Berkihiser said. “[If] he waits 30 seconds, or a minute, we know [Munoz] was armed with a knife. What kind of damage can happen in that 30 seconds or a minute?”