I have written several training articles regarding the importance of awareness and being alert while on duty. I can’t stress enough how critical this subject is. We have always had to deal with being verbally abused, assaulted, career ending injuries, and even death while performing our duties. This is not a surprise. We all knew this was a dangerous job when we decided to apply. What’s more alarming is the actual attack on Law Enforcement Officers that has started to become a very real situation.
When intervening with a desperate individual conducting criminal activity, he or she can become very unpredictable. There has always been that person that is determined not to go to jail. There has always been that person that has decided they aren’t going to be taken. And there has always been that person that gets surprised when they thought we weren’t there, when we were, and their reaction becomes violent. In these cases, most often they are reactive in nature and bad decisions get made at the spur of the moment.
We are now dealing more frequently with violent anti-government ideology type individuals that are getting more and more brazen and far more willing to attack a police or security official with no regards to the consequences. That type of motivation is very difficult to deal with, especially when the attack catches us off-guard. Here is a perfect example:
On 6/8/2014, Nevada residents Jerad and Amanda Miller shot and killed two Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers eating at a restaurant in Las Vegas. The assailants subsequently entered a nearby retail store and shot and killed a civilian. Both assailants
died from an apparent murder/suicide.
In the last ten (10) days law enforcement officers in North America have been targeted by heavily armed individuals. Here are some other recent events involving threats and violence toward law enforcement officers that certainly necessitate the importance of remaining vigilant:
• June 4, 2014, three (3) Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers were killed and two (2) injured in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.
• August 2013, two (2) self-proclaimed sovereign citizens, a male and a female, spent several months plotting to abduct, torture, and kill Las Vegas police officers as a way to attract attention to their anti-authority sovereign citizen movement.
• March 19, 2013, Colorado Prison Chief Tom Clements was shot and killed by a subject at his residence. The suspected perpetrator was a former inmate of Colorado Department of Corrections.
I don’t even need to tell you all that we are in violent and dangerous times. The above incidents speak for themselves about the criticalness of staying focused and alert. There is no doubt that we can all get complacent. We can all let our guard down once in a while. Keep the above incidents in the front of your mind while you are working. Constantly play the WHEN/THEN game and have a plan in your mind.
Be professional at all times while on duty. Always be prepared in your training, and most importantly, in your mindset, that when the wolf appears at the door, be ready to defend against an attack. Make sure the bad guy realizes the second he attacks you that he selected the wrong person. Remember that speed, surprise and violence of actions wins the fight. Be prepared because you are alert and vigilant on duty.