Sunday, October 9, 2016

It's Never A Simple Or Routine Call For Law Enforcement

The murder of two police officers in Palm Springs, California this weekend is, I think, as sad a tragedy possible while at the same time being as strong a warning as possible to other officers and one that may help them survive a similar incident. I cannot say how the two officers who were killed or the other who was wounded approached the situation but there is a chance that they too saw it as did their own chief of police who reportedly said:

"It was a simple family disturbance and he elected to open fire on a few of the guardians of the city,"

Why the chief of police would say that is beyond me. Police officers and others in law enforcement are trained from day one that nothing is routine and in essence nothing simple. They also are taught that things can go bad in an instant, really bad. Lawmen need to remember that an live by that each and every moment of their working days (in fact it is not bad to keep in mind for each and every one of us during each moment of our lives). I have to wonder why the chief said that in light of the fact that, by the time he said it, it apparently was known that the suspect was ready to take out police officers. In addition, the police probably already knew by that point, after the fact, that the suspect had been wearing body armor when the police arrived at his house, he had been armed at least with a handgun and had several spare and loaded magazines on his person. It seems likely that by the time the chief said it, it was also known that the suspect's father had gone to a neighbor's home pleading for help because, according to published reports, the neighbor had called authorities after the suspect's father told her:

 “Help. I need help. My son is in the house, and he’s crazy. He has a gun. He’s ready to shoot all the police," (Source for above quotes and reported facts.)

That was not a simple domestic disturbance. In fact, no domestic dispute is simple or routine, those types of calls are among the mot dangerous to which law enforcement officers respond.

The only reason I am writing this now, so soon after the tragedy, is in the hope that others in law enforcement will possibly heed my words and remember - there is no such thing as a simple or routine call. You need to be alert, to continually observe and assess and to be ready beforehand to take cover and take action in less than it takes to blink an eye; heck you should be behind cover if at all possible during any such encounter. My brothers and sisters, behind the shield, be ever vigilant and be safe as you risk your lives to uphold the law and protect the citizenry.

My heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of Officers Jose Gilbert Vega and Lesley Zerebny. My wishes for a swift and complete recovery for the other, as of yet unnamed, officer who was also shot but is expected to survive.

All the best,
Glenn B