Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Friday, October 19, 2018


There's nothing like reviewing a body camera, and a car camera, of footage of your use of force, to make you second-guess yourself.

I have had more than a few talks with another officer on scene about what we did, and what we maybe "should have done."

So tonight, when I watched the movie Sully on my computer, I was struck by the way we second-guess ourselves in life-or-death situations. This movie was about an airplane captain who saved 155 lives by making an emergency landing on the Hudson River, and how he then had to rehash the event over and over.

I thought about how my young subordinate officer had kicked himself for not having taken the shot on a man who had threatened him (and me) with a gun. I thought about how I may have made a mistake, also failing to shoot the armed man when he pointed his pistol at me.

I thought about how other officers, from other agencies, have told me that we had screwed up. How we had "been lucky." How we should have shot the guy.

And, watching the movie, seeing the depiction of Captain Sullenberger being second-guessed, I broke down crying.

I am so proud of my officer. I don't want to work with a man who doesn't second-guess himself on issues this important. My officer didn't shoot for all the right reasons. And it turned out fine.

I'm just so damned proud of him.

We did our jobs.

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Work. Small Town Policing.

I haven't posted a lot, lately. I will admit to having been a bit busy.

While our PD is down a man, I've had to step up and work patrol as a shift supervisor, instead of doing my investigator gig.

Throughout the month of September and the beginning of October, I've been hit with pretty major Index Crimes. Small towns still have them, though not as much as bigger towns. Here's the problem: because we don't investigate them as often as the bigger cities, we're not as experienced at the investigations thereof. The good news is, that barring other cases landing at the same time, we have more time to focus on them.

In this case, we (A) lucked out, and (B) knocked it out of the park.

At the beginning of September, I had come in to the office on my day off (I find that I do that a lot, lately), and tended to some paperwork. I wore a polo with a badge and gun and ID displayed, and had on some decent cargo pants and athletic shoes on. On my way home, I made a traffic stop, and towed the vehicle. Toward the end of the stop, the on-duty patrolman was dispatched to a disturbance. Over the radio, he reported that it was actually a serial burglary in progress. I responded from my traffic stop, in time to meet a couple who exited their house, having fought with the burglar-turned-home-invader. They directed me in the direction the man had fled. I got lucky, and found him in a back yard, and coaxed him at carbine-point to lie on the ground. When my cover officer arrived and tried to cuff him, the burglar attacked him physically. Long gun in hand, I used appropriate force to prevent the man from getting to my officer's gun, or escape. The burglar was taken into custody with a pretty good bruise to his backside, and a couple of taser barb marks in his back. I worked the case.

Two weeks later, I was on duty, and responded to a disturbance. When I knocked on the door at the disturbance, the resident briefly pointed a gun at me, and later at the responding officer who covered me. He fired a round in the air. I set up a perimeter, and we eventually took him into custody. I got a warrant and we got the gun.

Last week, we had a commercial armed robbery. I was off that week, but I came in. My chief and I checked a neighborhood outside of our town, and located the suspect vehicle. I got a warrant for it, and canvased the neighborhood, and we met the robber that evening. I took the robber's confession, and we recovered the gun used.

Our cases are rock-solid, and we're going to get good convictions on all of them.

Now I'm back on duty after a week "off."

And I'm nearly done with the paperwork.

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