As a police officer, you can anticipate and
prepare, but you won't have the opportunity to
avoid those dangerous people, places and
A young officer is investigating a minor traffic
accident. The officer is standing next to one of the
vehicles writing information on his clip board.
There's a small group of people standing on the
sidewalk. There's no one in any kind of dispute,
and the group is comprised of some local residents
who simply came out to see what was going on.
Suddenly, a young man emerges from the group,
and he approaches the officer from behind.
Without any comments, or hesitation, the young
man rips the officer's revolver from its holster, and
he strikes the officer in the head with the gun. As
the officer lies on his back dazed from the blow to
his head, the man stands directly over the officer.
Again, without any comment or hesitation, the man
executes the officer by shooting him point blank
through the head.
This officer has completed over 25 years of service,
and he's retiring in less than two weeks. On this
night, he and some other officers are searching a
wooded area where an armed man may possibly be
hiding. The call is reported anonymously, so there's
been no verification of an armed man at all. The
officer has his six shot revolver in his hand. This
officer had opted to keep the revolver when the
department changed over to the higher capacity
semi- automatic pistol.
The officer had never had to fire his weapon in the
line of duty, and he had no real expectation of
doing so this night. Suddenly, a man jumped up
from behind a bush only a few feet in front of the
officer. This suspect was armed, and he was armed
with a high capacity semi-automatic pistol. The
suspect immediately began firing at the officer.
Through the hail of gunfire, the officer's training
kicked in. He raised his revolver to point shoulder,
and he emptied his revolver into the suspect at
point blank range killing the suspect. What about
the officer? Not a scratch!
The officer attributed his miraculous survival to the
gratuitous violence depicted in television and
movies. You see, the suspect held his gun in the
"gansta" style where the gun is held in a flat wrist
horizontal position. Each time he pulled the trigger,
the gun's barrel was pulled to the right causing
each round to pass the officer harmlessly to the left
of the officer. Had the suspect held his gun
properly, the officer's only chance of survival would
have been his bullet proof vest.
Think about this:
During your training, you'll receive a lot of
instruction on how to avoid becoming a victim in a
multitude of situations. As far as technology goes,
you're beginning your career at a time when bullet
proof vests and holster technology are saving the
lives of police officers on a continual basis. There
was a time when police officers were being killed, at
an alarming rate, by suspects using the officers'
own handguns. The bullet proof vests are getting
lighter and better all the time. Ironically, more
police officers now die in the line of duty as a result
of automobile accidents than by any other means.
There's no question that people will pose the most
obvious danger to your well being and your...life.
You'll quickly learn that there are a lot of crazy
people and others who possess no concept of
morality or appreciation of life itself. Your initial
acceptance of this reality will go a long way in
helping you recognize and react to sudden and
While some police officers die under circumstances
that make no sense from any perspective, nothing
is inevitable. You must remain conscious of the fact
that you're working in a dangerous profession, and
your development of a continuous second nature
awareness of your surroundings will be your best
preparation for your safety. Of course, things will
happen to help you develop your sense of
awareness. To this day I never stand in front of a
closed door or walk directly through any doorway.
Can you guess why?
Unfortunately, during your career, you're going to
see police officers die at the hands of suspects
where the officers do absolutely nothing to initiate
the attacks or where the officers' were not negligent
in any way.
Try to place yourself into these two factual
examples and think about what you'd have done
differently from the two officers. If you come up
with alternatives, then you'll know the answer to
why some die.
It's a dangerous world. People lose their lives
everyday through no fault of their own. Crime,
accidents, wars, terrorism, genocide, weather,
disease, famine, and human negligence and
incompetence negatively affect the lives of every
human being on the planet to varying degrees.
While you can anticipate and prepare for, or avoid,
many dangerous people, places and circumstances,
there will never be any guarantee that you won't
find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time in
a potentially deadly situation.
"You'll quickly learn that there are a lot of
crazy people and others who possess no
concept of morality or appreciation of life
itself." ~ Barry M. Baker
|Copyright © 2019 Barry M. Baker