Sunday, February 25, 2018

The 32nd Victim- The Sunday Collage

On Valentines Day, 2018, Nikolas Cruz walked into Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and killed 17 people and wounded 14 more. The wounded are expected to survive.

Police officers and soldiers have one thing in common. Killing people or being killed is not a game. It is serious business.

Police officers and soldiers are never looking for a fair fight. We don't want a fair fight- in fact we want a very unfair fight. We want a playing field where we have every advantage. We want the best weapons, the best protection, the best training, the best tactical plans, we want overwhelming numbers, we want surprise on our side, we want emergency operation pre- plans and we we want the smartest brain. In short, we want every conceivable advantage- because losing is a permanent condition.

And when we pray for our lives, we want God to listen to us and not our adversaries.

So when I discovered late last week that an armed Broward County Sheriff's Deputy was on duty the day of the Parkland school massacre- I was baffled. When I learned that he ran outside, drew his gun and did nothing- I felt sick. Now there is an additional inquiry as to why 3 additional deputies did not go into the school- when Coral Springs police officers did. I clipped this piece because it is the latest and most current news article out there. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-25/forida-governor-orders-investigation-parkland-shooting-response

Since the Columbine school massacre, every law enforcement agency in this country has had the opportunity to examine what happened that day. They have the opportunity to develop operation plans, drill them, equip police officers with the appropriate arms, ballistic shields, vests, helmets, and superior tactics. There is simply no excuse for the type of response seen at Stoneman Douglas High School. Not any more.

And I have another question bugging me. Why on earth would a school shooter go into a school and begin shooting knowing that there was an armed police officer on campus? It begs the question. Did the kid shooter know the cop was a coward or did Nikolas Cruz expect to die that day?

Many years ago, I had a kid wave or point a gun at another kid at our local high school. It turned out that it was one of those realistic looking toy guns- but to the parents picking up their kids that day after school- they were concerned it was real and they reported the incident to our school resource officer. The incident happened after school on a Friday- and our school resource officer did nothing. No report, no investigation. He went home for the weekend and when those angry parents called me on Monday, I had nothing to tell them. This angered them even more and they called my boss (the Mayor) and the school district. All hell rained down on me and subsequently I laid that shit storm- and the policy violations that occurred squarely on my school resource officer who I removed from the school. That level of incompetence was appalling.

It was my mistake for hiring this guy. A man who was a nice enough human being but probably never cut out to be a cop. It takes a while to sort those things out. Just the other day I saw him and we spoke, some 15 years later.

There are times in every police officer's life where he or she will be confronted by circumstances they cannot control.

We are taught to call for backup. Hell the FBI can't make an arrest with less than 8 agents in attendance. But sometimes you don't get the luxury of picking when and where the battleground will be. On Valentine's Day, that was the problem confronting Scot Peterson. Someone had brought the fight to him. There would not be enough time for backup to arrive. Kids were going to be killed. The only chance those kids had was going to be the intervention of Scot Peterson. Scot was going to have to take whatever skill set he had, whatever equipment he had, whatever training he had, whatever cover and sneaky hiding place he could find- and his 54 year old brain- and out smart a 19 year old killer. Or die trying.

It didn't happen. And so it is that I have to ask Sheriff Scott Israel- was Scot Peterson the right guy for this job? How could they not have known? What planning (or no planning) had the Sheriff done?

So I'm sorry Broward county folks. You don't just have a school resource officer that failed to do his job- but you might have a whole chain of command problem that includes a Sheriff that didn't do his job.

I know so many good cops. The good cops accept that they may have to kill someone one day or that they may be killed. We agree to those terms. We train and train, we prepare, we beg our bosses for the guns and armament that will give us a fighting chance to survive a bloody encounter such as this. The right tools and preparation give good cops the confidence that they will need to go in and stop a homicidal maniac. That and a little courage.

Perhaps Scot Peterson was dispossessed of those things. We don't know. Scot Peterson must now spend the remainder of his life wrestling with the shame and guilt of what happened that day. What a horrible way to live, what a horrible sentence to hand yourself.

Nobody involved in this is going to be made well again anytime soon. As baffled as I am by all of this- I want to pray for all of the victims and Scot Peterson. All 32 of them.

Nikolas Cruz is on his own.

Today (2/26} I found this- http://www.breitbart.com/radio/2018/02/25/exclusive-michelle-malkin-broward-county-sheriff-scott-israel-should-absolutely-resign/