GREAT BARRINGTON — Chief William Walsh is pleased to announce that the Great Barrington Police Department has joined the Near Miss Initiative in order to help improve officer safety.

Through its participation with Law Enforcement Officers (LEO) Near Miss, the Great Barrington Police Department will take the important step of providing a platform for officers to promote safety and wellness, peer learning and the sharing of lessons from other officers across the country.

LEO Near Miss is a voluntary, non-disciplinary initiative that is designed to improve officer safety nationwide. It works by enabling law enforcement personnel to share near miss information, including event summaries and lessons learned with other officers, which can be used to prevent future near misses and critical incidents.

The initiative is anonymous and the LEO Near Miss system does not capture any tracking information from those who upload incidents into the system.

A "near miss" is any incident that could have resulted in an officer being seriously injured or killed if not for a fortunate break in the chain of events. Near misses can occur any time during the performance of law enforcement duties and, at times, can include situations like armed subjects, domestic disputes, theft and shootings.

Regardless of the situation, a near miss provides lessons learned, and reporting a near miss allows fellow officers to learn from these incidents so they can go home safely to their loved ones after every shift.

"With our participation in this initiative, we're taking a critical step toward ensuring our officers are safe when they're serving the community," Chief Walsh said. "By sharing reports of near-miss incidents, our officers will be able to both access and provide potentially life-saving information with their peers and make the work they do far less unpredictable."

You can see reports from LEO Near Miss, by going here

(press release sent to WSBS from the Great Barrington Police Department for online and on-air use)