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The Responsibility of Police Officers

LakeWashingtonLakeWashington Registered 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.


Replies to: The Responsibility of Police Officers

  • CTmom2018CTmom2018 Registered User Posts: 793 Member
    The job is not for everyone! But if that is your job, then you have to do it.
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom Registered User Posts: 2,704 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
  • Cardinal FangCardinal Fang Registered User Posts: 18,314 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.
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom Registered User Posts: 2,704 Senior Member
    Good luck getting such selfless employees for 45k per year.
  • dadoftwingirlsdadoftwingirls Registered 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.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 20,395 Senior Member
    Weren't the video cameras on a 26 minute delay? They would be going in blind.

  • ConsolationConsolation Registered User Posts: 23,020 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.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 20,395 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?
  • IgloooIglooo Registered User Posts: 8,180 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.
  • TatinGTatinG Registered User Posts: 6,399 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.
This discussion has been closed.