Friday, April 19, 2013
For those who like to criticize our law enforcement officers ... put yourself in their shoes
By Mike Ullery
I never cease to be amazed by the, I will just come right out and say it, stupidity, of some people.
An incident occurred in Piqua this week that had police and deputies from the sheriff's office, searching for a man who as reported to be armed.
The man was located and stopped between Piqua and Troy. We was armed — legally. He was arrested on a charge relating to what allegedly occurred and taken to the county jail, without incident.
I was on the scene during the arrest and photographed the gentleman as he was being handcuffed.
As a result of one of these photos, our Facebook page "lit up" with people criticizing the police for the way the arrest was handled. Their judgement was made on the basis of — one photograph.
In the image, one of the police officers can be seen with a carbine, that could be termed an "assault rifle" to you anti-American gun haters. Two officers were patting down and holding on to the suspect while two officers stood by.
I would first like to look at the situation. First, to those who were criticizing the fact that one of the officers was armed with a rifle, please let me point out that in a situation where deadly force might be necessary, there is no such thing as excessive deadly force. Whatever it takes to make sure an officer comes home alive from his, or her, shift, is considered "necessary."
If I am in a situation where I am sent to face a suspect armed with a handgun, and I am given a choice of a handgun, (to make it "even" maybe?), or an M1 tank, I choose the tank.
Many years ago, as a young law enforcement officer, I read a book that was recommended to me by a fellow officer. It was written by a legendary United States Border Patrol officer, a former United States Marine. His name was Bill Jordan. The title of his book was, "No Second Place Winner."
Think about that title for a minute. We live in an age where no one wants there to be a loser in sports or activities. Life — reality — is far less forgiving. For our law enforcement officers, and their families, a gun battle is, literally, a matter of life and death. There truly is ... no second place winner.
For those of you who choose to complain about "overkill," what weapon would you choose for your loved one if he, or she, was entering a potential deadly force situation? I think that you, too, would choose the tank.
I would also like to point out some things to those who took issue with the officers holding on to the suspect and inferred that he was being "given the treatment."
In the photo, the gentleman is being searched. This is standard procedure. It keeps officers alive.
Also important for everyone to know is that once someone is detained or arrested, those officers are responsible for a suspect's physical well-being. In the photo, his hands are cuffed behind his back, not the most comfortable or stable way to attempt to stand. The officers were helping him stay balanced, making sure that he did not fall down or sustain injury.
In this particular instance, everything worked exactly as it should. Officers found the man quickly and effected an arrest. They were prepared for any eventuality, but no force was necessary. This looks to be a case of a good man who has some things going on in his life that caused an error in judgement. He will pay the price and life will go on.
When law enforcement officers respond to a call, they have no idea what they will face. Not all things end peacefully. They cannot afford to be unprepared, mentally or with inadequate tools to handle a situation, immediately.
I consider myself lucky to be in a position where I observe our local law enforcement officers in action daily. I am proud to be around these men and women who stand between us and the "bad guys" on a daily basis, keeping us safe from harm.
Our law enforcement officers face these situations daily. They do it with grace and professionalism, and even with a sense of humor.
I thank God that we have them. I would also hope that when incidents like this occur, rather than trying to find an excuse to act like a big shot and point out "issues," you would instead give these men and women a much-deserved, "Well done!"