Friday, April 3, 2009

Police response to shootings

OK, so everyone is covering this and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Ownership has already started dancing in the blood. As usual, the press is just lacing their stories with nonsensical exaggerations to make it worse. Even though it is already pretty bad. First reports were "High powered rifle" then "High power guns" then the truth comes out that he had two pistol registered to him, a 9mm and a .45. Being NY, they were registered, he was licensed and they were probably loaded with 10 round mags. It was also amusing to read in one of the first articles that the Binghamton Police called out their "Commando Team". Where the hell does the press come up with these?

I will preface this with the fact that I have the highest regards for law enforcement officers. My Grandfather was a beat officer in Binghamton NY of all places. Shot by a kid robbing a drug store. I work with officers on scene at wrecks and fires and teach and train with them all the time.

My rant is about the response of officers to active shooter situations and the outcomes.

Now to my point. The shooting in Binghamton in a crowded building and the article has this quote,

"Police heard no gunfire after they arrived but waited for about an hour before entering the building to make sure it was safe for officers."

Contrast this with the shooting in Alabama,

"including the Carthage police officer who confronted him in a hallway of Pinelake Health and Rehab and stopped the brutal attack.

"He acted in nothing short of a heroic way today, and but for his actions, we certainly could have had a worse tragedy,"

The responding officer in the nursing home ran towards the shooting to stop the shooter. This guy really is nothing less than a hero. Contrast this to the NY cops who surrounded the scene to prevent the gunman from escaping and waited. That was a Columbine response all over again. If the guy had still been shooting down in the basement and the officers let it go on, there is no telling how many more people he would have murdered.

Remember, When you're about to be murdered in seconds, the police are only minutes or hours away. Their duty is to protect society at large not you personally. It has been ruled on in court way too many times. While there are a number of officers who take their oath to serve and protect personally and want to protect you personally, they cannot be everywhere all the time.

I have had the privilege of participating in an active shooter drills with a couple different small police departments. (I have lots of experience as "Designated Bad Guy). I have to say it is refreshing to see the attitude of these officers. Organizing a hasty team and proactively going after the shooter to stop them before they can do any more damage is the right thing to do to protect the people on the scene as well as society. I can't imagine that the Binghamton Police Department doesn't have an active shooter program. Either they don't or commanders on the scene made the decision to not make entry right away and wait for the SWAT team.

Enough rambling, I need to get packed for class tomorrow.


  1. Not to mention how many of the victims might have survived if the scene had been secured immediately and EMS allowed inside.

    The wounded woman who called the police was on the phone with 911 for 90 MINUTES.

  2. The SWAT Team in Oakland went right in too, it cost em 2 more officers but they didn't fool around waiting for *safety* to be on their side, the Oakland officers died as heroes too!!