Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I didn't shoot the sheriff - only an officer

The good news is that "we" will only get some clouds from Hurricane Bill and even those will be small - probably Friday. Weather should be great until the dew points start to get pretty sticky on Saturday. good chance of rain Saturday night Sunday morning but for the most part should be excellent weather.

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The other good news is that FINALLY a candidate for the Republican party has emerged that will unify the party. Donald Trump has emerged as the bottom leader of the candidates.  In fact since the poll started in 1980 Trump has become the most hated candidate for his own party since Pat Robertson in 1987.   57% of Republicans have a unfavorable view of Trump.

The most loved?  G.W. Bush in 1999.
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AAAAARG - WORK - I'm so frustrated.  A section is having a problem with a report (since January 1st it seems) and the person who is in charge of the report has no clue how to fix it and does not know how to debug software (even though she was hired as a programmer).  So since "we" are the IT people we must have the magic answer.  So here I am with a hard copy print-out on a program I know nothing about on a system I only have a vague clue what it does AND I do not have access to the computer it is stored on so I can not "hands on" debug.   ON BELIEVABLE!

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NOTE - whatever I say below I am in noway and expert or even up to novice - I'm just spouting off what comes into my head and I will apologize in advance just out of habit. 

Last night (Monday) was something different.  I was invited to take part in a Use of Force training.  Alderman Royan, Mayor Crombie and I attended and while it really did not enlighten me a LOT there were some things I took away that filled in some knowledge holes/questions about lethal use of force by police departments.

It's really to bad more citizens do not take a course  like this as it would for sure answer a lot of questions.  "Why not shoot someone in the leg", "why did you shoot someone who only had a knife", "why shoot someone 6 times" and many other things you would LOVE to ask a police officer after the fact.

The problem is almost like the fog of war in a situation. You really do not know what will happen next and you ALWAYS have to be one step ahead of a problem which you only have split second to digest.

People seem to think that this is the movies, when someone is shot they die when in reality when someone is shot, not much happens immediately.  This is why people get shot multiple times - NOTHING happens, immediately.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The fact that you are forced to shoot someone is a tricky choice. What people do not hear about are all the times when an officer shoots and people are saved.  That news is never really mentioned.

The Police Departments across the nation have been taking it on the chin lately, some deserved and some not.  The untrained eye see's one thing and the officer, right there, making a decision see's something totally different.

For instance, knife is more dangerous then a gun.  Seems weird but after our demonstration I would MUCH rather face a guy with a gun then a knife and I'm glad I did not have too**.  Of course that is only if I had a gun and I was a police officer.  I was held up once and had a gun pointed at my head, I would much rather have had a knife pointed at my head if I'm being held up.

ANYWAY - we strapped on a specialty made Glock 22 loaded with this practice rounds that were like paint balls on steroids. Oh, they had gunpowder and as we found out they leave a pretty BIG welt on skin.  I mean BIG.

We had three practice scenarios we went through all against Officer Matt Schultz who must have picked the short straw as he was going to look like someone who stepped on a Jurassic Park bee hive when we were finished.

The first one was Rick and Kelly had to confront a drunk who was making trouble. All was going well until the drunk pulled a gun out of a bag.

WELL - call me old fashioned but my parents taught me that it is rude to point a gun at someone and downright insulting to actually fire the gun.  But after 3 seconds Rick blasts him.  BAM!

Matt goes down.

We talked it out about what was good, what was bad.   On a side note -  the Columbus Police Department spends more time then most city's in year round training and it reminded me of a show I'm watching called "The Fighting Season" where they follow a platoon in Afghanistan.  Once you are in a combat zone you STILL practice every day.  Same with our department. Just because you went through training once does not mean you stop training.

ANYWAY - the next scenario was Kelly and I had to go to a bar where a despondent drunk would not leave.  WELL - I thought I could talk the guy down  . . . until he pulled a gun.  Kelly, like Cool Hand Luke blasted him saving my life as I was having an issue with my holster release.

I'm not sure this is great training as there are a number of steps and other tools a police officer has at his disposal but the rule is always be one step more aggressive (wrong term but you know what I mean) then the perp and since WE only have one tool, a gun, our options are somewhat limited as this guy could break me like a twig if I tried to take him down (probably not a great idea of an officer anyway).

It was at this point where Officer Schultz pulled up his sweatshirt and showed the marks - HOLY CRAP!!  Seriously?   Those marks will be around for a while!

And we talked it out!

The last scenario Rick and I were investigating a break-in or something and Matt (Officer Schultz) was carrying box.  We spread out and were asking questions when Matt decided it was time to pull his gun like he had a death wish or something.   I saw the gun coming out and like Quick Draw McGraw saved Ricks life with FOUR quick rounds (Officer Schultz just would not go down).

One round hit his wrist which swelled up like an egg.

The thing is that while it is easy to sit in our chairs and talk about what police SHOULD do in that 1/4 second they have to decide "is it worth my life", it's a little harder in reality when dealing with multiple unknowns.  An officer never REALLY knows how things will go down in EVERY contact with a civilian.

I've been critical of our Police Department at times but not any more then I'm critical about pretty much everything but we have to remember that even though police are highly trained you never ever really know how you will react in a situation until it actually happens. We are all human.            

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** knife vs. gun - sort of like having Ace King in poker. Some players hate AK because they always lose. For me AK is a great hand.  After the flop you either have a great hand or a bad one.  There is no choice.

If a guy is pointing a gun at you - well, you really have no choice.  If he is waving a knife . . well, then it becomes pretty tricky.  Thus in terms of decision making a gun is an easier choice.

hmmmmmm - that did not really explain it but . . . . of well.

Nuff said on the subject.  I really have no idea if the above made any sense but want to thank the Columbus Police Department for allowing us this opportunity.

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The NHL and NBA both have new champions this week.  I think the NHL starts preseason next week and the NBA the week after.

Have a great Wednesday.