As we reported at the beginning of the month, the Force Science Institute has been discussing the thorny subject of blue-on-blue shootings. As is their wont, FSI asked cops to write in with their experiences on the subject. Not to put too fine a point on it, the anecdotes (disseminated by an email blast) are some scary sh*t. I’ve grabbed a couple of close-calls for your dancing and dining pleasure. Suffice it to say, make reholstering practice part of your training regimen. And as I pointed out previously on Who Doesn’t Want to Get Shot by Cops, always remember that drawing your weapon makes you a target for the Boys in Blue. So, first up: an armed robbery call split seconds away from a major oopsie . . .
I responded to an armed-robbery call where I spotted someone I believed to be the suspect running with a drawn gun toward a uniformed officer who had just arrived on scene. It appeared the apparent suspect was about to attack the officer, which led me to consider shooting.
As I drew my gun, I noticed something about him that told me he was a cop. In retrospect I think it was the way he was handling his gun, but at the time I just had a feeling that he was one of us.
Despite my deep concern for the safety of the other uniformed officer, I went with my gut and lowered my gun. It turned out I was right. Thank God that my subconscious picked up that clue and prevented me going any further.
If you’re depending on a police officer’s subconscious or “gut instinct”—and that could well be the case—you are in big trouble. Here’s another similar tale:
I was the handling officer on a silent robbery alarm at a bank shortly after I was released from the FTO program. As I made my approach behind some cars across from the bank, I observed a male adult in civilian attire standing outside the main entrance, holding a revolver at his side.
Believing he was an accomplice in an ongoing robbery, I radioed my observation to other responding officers and was preparing to take this individual under fire when another officer asked me for a physical description of the guy. When I gave it, the officer began yelling that this man was an undercover dope cop.
It turned out that this cop had a habit of jumping “hot” calls. I neither knew that nor recognized him because I was so new to the department.
And now a general warning:
There have been several times when I’ve been involved in off-duty situations and had to advise an on-duty officer who I was and what was happening. I have never had an officer challenge me too much, but I have been lucky, because now that I reflect on these situations, things could have gotten ugly real quick.
Words to live by.