The following editorial is written by a retired Chief of Police and contributing writer for Law Enforcement Today. He is using an alias to preserve his privacy.
For those of us who worked in law enforcement over ten years ago, the stories we heard out of Uvalde, Texas were horrifying. More than that, they were disappointing, maddening, and unbelievable.
As someone who had 31 years of law enforcement experience, I could not believe what I was seeing and hearing; police officers standing outside, afraid to go into an active shooter situation, while young children and their teachers were being executed by a madman.
Full disclosure, I never was sent to an active shooter throughout my career. Therefore I can’t speak to the fear, the emotions, the sickening feeling of having to confront someone who had the mindset to go into a school building (or any building for that matter) and start shooting innocent people. Yet, confronting evil, even at risk of our own lives is what we all signed up for.
After the Columbine High School shooting, police training evolved. Where previously police would do exactly what the officers at the Uvalde shooting did…wait for tactical teams to arrive and take out the shooter…Columbine changed all that.
We were trained that we were to go in and confront the gunman, even at the risk of losing our own lives. We trained on it constantly, four-officer teams who would enter the building and remove the threat. Moreover, we were trained that if three other officers were not immediately available, we were to go in anyway. Waiting was not an option.
So what has changed in the eight years since I retired as a police officer? Look no further than the following Twitter post from the Dallas Police Department this past week, which we’ll get to shortly.
First of all, let’s look at the crime rate in Dallas. Last year, the city had a crime rate at twice the national average, with 845.82 per 100,000 people.
Last year Dallas reported 11,046 violent crimes, including 220 homicides, 386 rapes, 2,481 robberies and 7,959 aggravated assaults. In the “Big D,” you had a 1 in 1,156 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime. Murder in the city has been escalating since 2014. So with that in mind, the Dallas Police Department is laser focused on crime, right? No so much.
Below is a Twitter post from the Dallas Police Department. Two Dallas Police Department “LGBTQ+ liaisons” drive around in a rainbow patrol vehicle, no doubt striking fear in the hearts and minds of criminals in the city.
The two officers were scheduled to be “out in the strip” last Friday, sharing Oreos with rainbow colored centers with their community, hashtag #DPDProtectsWithPride, in a program called Officers REaching Out…get it…OREO.
DPD's LGBTQ+ Liaisons, Officer Sykes and Officer Brockford will have their rainbow squad out on the strip Friday night, sharing Oreos and conversations with their community. #DPDProtectsWithPride pic.twitter.com/oo53zIhYQ2
— Dallas Police Dept (@DallasPD) July 22, 2022
Look to be clear, nobody gives a rip who does what with who. That’s not the point. However when you look at what happened in Uvalde a few weeks back, it mirrors what we are seeing in our armed services. We are no longer in the business of training warriors.
We are more engaged in showing how “inclusive” and “woke” we are instead of being laser focused on dealing with the bad guys. And people, including police officers, are getting killed because of it.
The same post was published on Facebook, and the responses tell you all you need to know. Below are just a sample:
-Glad to see DPD has its priorites straight, focusing on the important stuff
-The Rainbow Squad is here! Because it’s more important to feel safe than to actually feel safe…#pandering
-I thought it was a meme until I read the caption and realized it was from an actual department page.
-How about instead of wasting time on event like this dedicated to small special interests we have our police catch criminals. I know, what a concept.
-Well Dallas that is very embarrassing.
-Hmm, if a “marginalized” sect of the population has an entire month, they aren’t marginalized.
-Dumbest thing I’ve seen today.
-I back the blue but y’all in Dallas are now looking like a joke. Chief maybe you need to take your liberal self back to California instead of trying to bring California to Texas.
Now in fairness to the Dallas PD, they are hardly the only police department focusing on social justice instead of criminal justice. There are a plethora of police department across the country laser focused on having liaisons with the alphabet community.
One might think in an atmosphere in which we currently find ourselves—where police have a target on their backs unseen since the 1960s and early 1970s—and where police agencies across the land are having difficulty recruiting and retaining warriors, that police administrators and city leaders would laser focused on recruiting the best possible officers we can.
That isn’t the case, however. And make no mistake about it…young men and women who are prime candidates for police work are no longer signing up for it.
All one needs to do is look at the way police officers are excoriated by the media, Democrat politicians, and even the public and it answers the question: “Why would I sign up for this?” Add to that the push to defund the police, remove qualified immunity, and other anti-police policies and laws and you cannot blame someone for becoming an electrician or plumber. The pay is better and the risks much less.
All across the country but primarily in blue cities, police departments are being used as some kind of great social experiment. With crime spiraling out of control in our big cities, the last thing we should be focused on is inclusivity and how “woke” we are by hosting “Oreos and conversation.” We should be out targeting the bad guys and getting them off the street and in jail where they belong. Period.
We are seeing the same thing in the armed forces. People who used to sign up for the armed services out of a sense of patriotism and duty to country, to defend our constitution and protect our wonderful country from all enemies, foreign and domestic, are no longer doing so.
Why? Because the military under the Biden administration is more concerned about drag queen shows, the use of proper pronouns, and kissing the collective ass of less than 1% of the population, the “T” portion of the alphabet concoction known as LGBTQ+ or whatever the assortment is nowadays than they are about fulfilling the mission of the military—“kill people and break things” as the late, great Rush Limbaugh used to say.
I can pretty much guarantee that 20 or even 10 years ago, you would never have seen an atrocity such as what occurred in Uvalde take place. How any officer who wears a uniform and pins on the badge could stand by while young children are being murdered doesn’t even comprehend with those of us who served. As I said, no I haven’t been put in that situation, but I guarantee you that neither I nor anyone I worked with would have hesitated one second to go in and try to do something to save those kids and those two teachers. Stone cold lock.
The officers who stood by cowering are clearly to blame, but so too is the current leadership in law enforcement across the country. As one of the biggest advocates for law enforcement, who sheds a tear every time one of my brothers or sisters loses their life to a coward, it absolutely breaks my heart to see what I’m seeing in some of my fellow officers today.
Police and city leaders across the fruited plain have lost their focus. There will be plenty of time for OREO’s and conversation once crime is brought under control. And to be fair, this isn’t just on the police and their administrators. It is also on the far-left district attorneys installed across the country who also view the criminal justice system as some type of grand social experiment.
Police departments need to go back and recruit those who have that warrior spirit, who possess the qualities of empathy and compassion while also having the balls to do their damn job. If not, Uvalde will not be the last time we see police officers hiding outside while innocent people are being gunned down on the inside of a building.
Fortunately, the cops who were in Uvalde represent (in my mind) a small (but growing) percentage of today’s police officers. Thank God there are still police officers across this country who go out every day and do whatever it takes to protect the cities, towns, states and counties they are duty-bound to protect. They are true warriors.
After what we saw that young man do in Wisconsin at the mall, where he did not hesitate for even one second to do what had to be done, and with the image of police officers in Uvalde doing nothing still fresh in our minds, I cannot help but be embarrassed for the profession in which I partook for 31 years and still hold dear to my heart. I am particularly embarrassed for the cowards who were in Uvalde.
We need to demand our police officers be recruited and trained to be laser-focused on that warrior spirit.
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