On April 24th, two officers on my Department were shot, one fatally, while answering a shoplift call.
Last night, on May 2nd, two officers on my Department were shot at while responding to perform a civil standby. (They are unhurt, thank the lord. The suspect is now deceased).
First, there’s confusion, shock, and disbelief.
What did he just say? Surely, you didn’t hear that right.
“OFFICER DOWN!!” Comes the scream over the radio.
There are bad people in this world.
You wouldn’t have signed up to do this job if it weren’t so. You would not wear a shield or star of tin upon your breast if it weren’t so.
You would not wear body armor and a gun, or carry a heavy vest, helmet, and rifle on patrol if it weren’t so.
One of things drilled into all of us at every Police Academy across the country is, “Officer Safety First.”
“When will it stop?”
It’s a cry for help. A plea of “enough!” A prayer to the almighty. A wail into the darkness.
Five good men have been slain by gunfire and ambush in five days. Their blood has been spilt in Colorado and Georgia; Texas and Ohio. Five families have lost a husband, a father, a son, a brother. Four departments are in mourning.
This past week, I attended a course where one of the topics we discussed was the “nobility of policing.” There were a lot of great words used in the class – like courage and honor, duty and integrity, service and selflessness. Then we watched a video depicting all of the awesome stuff we do and the public graciously thanking us. It was all very “rah-rah-rah” high school pep rally-ish.
As I cruised eastbound, starting to let my mind relax with the knowledge that it was my Friday and I had the whole next day off, I anticipated tamely completing my end of tour paperwork and finally getting out of my duty belt and body armor. But as I rounded a corner, my eyes glanced upon a small white sedan parked in the middle of the highway with its hazard lights on, far enough removed from any ambient light as to make the situation not immediately recognizable.
It will be my job to turn him into a warrior, a mediator, a counselor, a traffic light, a report writer, a guardian, a parent, an advocate for the homeless and downtrodden, a social worker, a friend. I will keep him alive and pour my energies into him as if I was his parent, coach, or drill instructor – of which I am equal parts.
Street cops have the best stories. The only problem is, we don’t know how many of these stories end. Our participation in the tales we tell ended the moment we hit the submit button on that report.
P2 Concepts was honored to have been chosen as the featured training company in the July 2017 issue of PMCI magazine. With a reach of over 52,000 we are excited to be able share our story alongside some of the most elite and esteemed leaders in the industry.