Saturday, December 5, 2015

Lesson about police work from San Bernardino massacre

The cell phone video of the San Bernardino police officer, taken during the terrorist massacre said a lot about the nature of police work.

The media praised, and rightfully so, the police officer's declaration that he would take a bullet before those he was leading to safety would. He expressed an attitude that I wrote about for the Phila. Inquirer on the Sunday following 9-11.  Read here:

But there is one thing the media missed. It is something only people, such as I, who have a law enforcement background, would understand. 

He told everyone to keep their hands where he can see them.

He expressed two seemingly contradictory attitudes at the same time. One says he will lay down his life for them; the other says he must be sure they are who they say they are.

He is the shepherd guarding his flock who wants to make sure there are no wolves hiding among the sheep.

Such is the nature of police work.

So when you learn of a police officer shooting someone who is resisting maybe you can understand why a little bit better now than you could before.

Michael P. Tremoglie


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