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The Responsibility of Police Officers

LakeWashingtonLakeWashington 8845 replies470 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 9,315 Senior Member
Was it reasonable to expect the sheriff''s deputies to rush into the active shooter event at Stoneman Douglas High School? We hear that the Chief (and politicians) have used the word "coward," and reportedly the arriving cops from the neighboring town were upset to find Broward County deputies taking cover outside of the school building. I recall similar outrage from parents directed at the local police when cops waited to enter Columbine High School in Colorado 19 years ago.

I am not sure at present what was the best course of action. I'd like to believe that I would have been as brave as the teachers who re-entered Stoneman Douglas High School to save students, but I've never been tested like that. Few of us exhibit extraordinary courage. The civilian who made his way up the U of Texas Tower [with a couple of police officers] to stop the sniper comes to mind.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/florida-school-shooting/fl-florida-school-shooting-response-fail-20180223-story.html
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Replies to: The Responsibility of Police Officers

  • CTmom2018CTmom2018 788 replies10 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 798 Member
    The job is not for everyone! But if that is your job, then you have to do it.
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  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 2709 replies36 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,745 Senior Member
    Regardless of our expectations, few people will rush into a suicidal situation. The guard and police probably knew they were out-gunned and would be instant targets and their sacrifice would be in vain. I don't expect teachers to risk death either by protecting my child. They weren't hired to do that and often have their own children
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  • Cardinal FangCardinal Fang 18210 replies155 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 18,365 Senior Member
    Police nowadays are trained to consider their own safety too much, and the safety of the public too little. They are trained to protect and serve themselves in dangerous situations. That Means too often they shootiminnocent black people and people with mental illness to avoid taking the risk that the person in front of them might hurt them.

    Their training should instead put more emphasis on their selfless duty to protect the public at some personal risk. Then, when the frightful duty to rush toward gunfire arises, in the back of their mind will be the thought that taking risks to protect people is what they signed up for.
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  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 2709 replies36 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,745 Senior Member
    Good luck getting such selfless employees for 45k per year.
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  • dadoftwingirlsdadoftwingirls 738 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 752 Member
    Here is what should have happened. Remember this is the police officer who has been at this school for years.

    He should have went in, after he contacted the office which has oversight for the video cameras in the school. This office could have given him the quick information he needed such as number of shooters, weapons, location. With this information, he could then move in and try to engage the shooter from a place where he had some cover.

    You are trying to get the shooter to stop shooting at the defenseless people and shoot over in your direction. This is why you want cover to protect you. At the same time, you could also direct the backup who enters the school to approach from a different direction to also engage and hope they can take out the shooter as the shooter is focused on the first cop.

    No one was expecting this cop to run down the hallways at full sprint guns a blazing. However, i did expect him to run into the school to a good location where he could have been effective in keeping the shooter pinned down. If the resource officer didn't have the office phone number for video camera room and the cell phone for all the employees who work there, he totally failed in his preparation for a worst case scenario.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 20447 replies209 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 20,656 Senior Member
    Weren't the video cameras on a 26 minute delay? They would be going in blind.

    http://wtvr.com/2018/02/22/marjory-stoneman-douglas-security-footage-delay/
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  • ConsolationConsolation 22861 replies184 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 23,045 Senior Member
    This reminds me of the murders of Jennifer Hawke-Pettit and her two daughters in Cheshire, CT.

    The mother was raped and murdered, the daughters tied up and assaulted (at the least) and the house set on fire. The oldest daughter, who was a rower and a strong girl, managed to fight free of her bonds and made it to the stairs, where she collapsed and died of smoke inhalation.

    While the big men of the police and fire departments huddled down the road. They didn't even approach the house.

    It has never ceased to infuriate me.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 20447 replies209 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 20,656 Senior Member
    How many instances do you hear of when a police officer rushes in? Or is that just fodder for tv and the movies? Don't they typically wait for backup, wait for a swat team, assess the situation?

    Rushing in doesn't seem to be standard protocol from what I can gather, especially when outpowered in terms of weaponry. What is actual protocol?

    In terms of "police officers nowadays", perhaps one of the issues is cops in the past didn't have to deal with being outgunned to the extent they are now with these active shooter situations. What role does the proliferation of guns like AR-15s add to the equation? Weapons where it is so easy to just mow people down?
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  • IgloooIglooo 8060 replies205 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8,265 Senior Member
    edited February 2018
    From what I heard on the news, the protocol is after reporting the location on the radio, he was supposed to go in. I imagine he was wearing a bullet proof jacket. When Coral Springs police arrived there were 4 deputies taking cover. Isn't 4 a decent number to cover for each other for a lone 19 year old shooter? The 4 deputies should have been inside. If the shooter was still shooting, the delay could have meant life or death for some kids.
    edited February 2018
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  • TatinGTatinG 6309 replies109 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,418 Senior Member
    In the North Hollywood bank robbery shootout, the police rushed in. The robbers were armed with lots of high powered weapons and were wearing body armor. The police even went to a local gun shop to buy better, more high powered weapons as the shootout was taking place. The shootout went on for 40 minutes. No civilians were killed. No police officers were killed, some were wounded. The bank robbers died at the scene. The LAPD officers were lauded for their incredible bravery and skill. This was 20 years ago. The tactics worked.
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  • NEPatsGirlNEPatsGirl 2845 replies106 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,951 Senior Member
    Coward. Yes, it is always reasonable to expect a person paid to protect to do his job. I don't care how much money he makes, it was his job. Even if he was a $45K/year mall security guard or a school resource officer or a rookie on the town police force. These are kids.

    What if the rookie on your police force refuses to do parts of his job because his starting pay is $40K? What if our military decided who/how/what to protect depending on their rank/pay? Should firefighters get decide whether they want to rescue someone from a fire?

    I can say with a 99.9% surety that if I was armed in that same situation I would have gone in and tried to do whatever I could. There are women all over this world that put their own lives on the line for their children every day, teachers that do it every day for their students, neighbors who do it for each other. But we are paying someone to do the job and they don't do it. COWARD. Sitting back and collecting their nice paycheck for their cushy job, hoping they never have to do what they are paid to do. I am glad he has to live with this for the rest of his live, shame on him, good! I hope his is disqualified for pension too.

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  • TatinGTatinG 6309 replies109 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,418 Senior Member
    Oh no. He will get his pension. He retired in order to be able to get the pension.

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  • sylvan8798sylvan8798 6637 replies140 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,777 Senior Member
    So if they arm teachers will those teachers be called cowards if they don’t all run in and try to shoot the assailant? Seems like you could get a lot of bullets flying.
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  • milee30milee30 1980 replies13 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,993 Senior Member
    In our area, the SRO assignments are considered plum jobs that are highly sought after among the deputies. Second only to the number of law enforcement officers who want to land one of the coveted jobs on the various boat patrols. (Yes, that's exactly what it sounds like. Thanks to drug bust confiscations, Homeland Security $$$ and a few other grants, many of our LEO agencies in our area of coastal Florida have fancy power boats - like $200k Scarabs - that they assign officers to "patrol" in. Not a bad gig cruising the coastal waterways...)

    The deputies that get the coveted SRO jobs have to have been not only good deputies to be eligible for such a plum, but they receive additional training. If the training doesn't include protocol about school shootings or other types of violence on campus, that's a major failing of the sheriff's department. But then again, this case showed failings on the part of the FBI, local police, local sheriff, child protective services, school administration... so what's one more?

    This kid was open about planning a school shooting for months. Multiple people reported the threat to the FBI, police, sheriff and school administration. LEO had been called to the kid's house dozens of times in the past few years yet no arrests or charges, so no criminal record to prevent him from owning a gun. The kid introduced himself to people as a "future school shooter" and made multiple social media posts about being a school shooter. CPS didn't seem to have much of a hand in monitoring him after his mom died and he was couch surfing at various friends. School admin was afraid of him and warned teachers to report it if he ever showed up with a backpack. This kid did everything but tattoo "SCHOOL SHOOTER" on his forehead. Many people noticed, every possible law enforcement agency was warned... but still nobody did a thing. Nothing. Even when he showed up and actually did it. Deputies - including the one assigned to the school - waited outside until after the shooting had stopped and the shooter wandered away to get a snack at a fast food place. Failure on multiple levels here.
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