Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Return to Heroism?

Interesting National[ist] Public Radio story I heard on the commute to work today — How Would You React In A Shooting? Have A Plan, Experts Say. A few weeks ago, I attended a workplace professional development workshop on this very issue.

One thing I learned is that sop is for law enforcement officers not to enter alone into a situation with an active shooter but, instead, to wait for backup. After all, it is all vewy, vewy scawy and one of our uniformed heroes might get hurt!

Call me old-fashioned, but I thought that was their job. I thought they became heroes when they put their lives at risk for those whom they serve (not to mention pay their salaries), not simply by putting on a uniform. No, I do not want cops to get killed, but it is in their job description to risk their lives for the rest of us. I do my job (and pay your salary); you do yours.

Reminding us that at "the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado[, m]ost of the victims there died while police were waiting outside the school for back-up," we learn that "standard response protocol for law enforcement patrol officers was to contain the situation and call specialized units to handle it" [emphasis added].

Now, instead, recognized is "the need to train our first responders to get in the door very quickly and solve this problem so innocent people don't die." Amen. Says one of the peace officers and authors interviewed:
    Now, we don't advocate telling cops to light their hair on fire and just go running in the building. We teach specific tactics to do this. But we are that thin blue line and we stress that to law enforcement. If you can go in by yourself and make a difference, you need to do that.
Another thing, one which the workplace training I received corroborates, is that the true "first responders" are the citizens at the scene, and that "a surprising number of these incidents actually ended with the shooter being subdued by bystanders before police ever arrived on the scene."

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