Officer Simmons did what he was trained to do, interjected himself
between his downed partner and the threat, and was shot and killed by a
bullet to the face. Other LAPD SWAT officers courageously rescued both
officers, and also a downed hostage under fire by the suspect.
At NIU, police responded within two minutes of the first reports. However, the shooter still managed to kill five people then turn the gun on himself all before police could stop him.It’s difficult to fathom how police can respond faster.
The point is all of us were once new, and someday, we'll all retire. But try telling that to a rookie.
Cash-strapped agencies cannot afford larger SWAT teams. As a result, today we expect rapid intervention by first responders, who are oftentimes trained by SWAT, and must meet the brunt of the challenge.
Response to high-risk situations is like emergency medical response. Both require similar levels of training, equipment, and specialty.
Not surprisingly, most responses dealt with the issue of how active shooters have changed the roles of both patrol and SWAT. Patrol cannot afford to wait for SWAT while innocent people are dying. Columbine was the "wake-up call" that changed everything.
Learn from the past, live in the present, look to the future.
As we transition from 2007 to 2008, this wise saying rings truer than ever.
I understand how it feels having to work on Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year's, patrolling and responding to calls from people not enjoying their holidays with their families. To all who serve and protect the rest of us, we salute you.