As a police officer, you can anticipate
and prepare, but you won't have the
opportunity to avoid those dangerous
people, places and circumstances.
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-
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 unexpected events.
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 © 2016 Barry M. Baker