The Police Firearms Officers Assn., a support organization for armed officers in the United Kingdom, has awarded its first honorable lifetime membership to Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato.
The award was presented earlier this month [5/09] in London in recognition of Lewinski’s “commitment to firearms officers within the UK” and particularly for his assistance in defending 2 officers accused of murder after a controversial shooting there [see Force Science News Transmission sent 12/2/05, Click here to read it now]. The officers shot and killed a subject they believed was armed with a sawed-off shotgun (it turned out to be a wooden table leg) concealed inside a plastic bag.
Until a scientific analysis of the incident by Lewinski cleared the officers, they endured nearly 6 years of career-threatening legal and professional repercussions and media condemnation.
The nonprofit PFOA provides stress management, financial support, and confidential counseling and psychotherapy for officers and their families through a national network of consultants trained to help ease the pressures associated with traumatic events.
“I heartily support the important work of this Association, and am honored to receive this recognition as an endorsement of the vital role that science can play in determining the truth in deadly force encounters,” Lewinski says.