POLICE Magazine

FEB 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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22 POLICE FEBRUARY 2019 A fter the horrific mass shooting on Nov. 7, 2018 at the Borderline Bar and Grill in ousand Oaks, CA, that left 12 dead, including a sheriff's sergeant, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean revealed that there were six cops inside during the incident and none of them had their guns. ree LAPD offi- cers, two Oxnard PD officers, and an officer from another agency shielded several people from harm and should be commended for their bravery in an obviously chaotic situation. But imag- ine how much more courageous they could have been if they'd had their guns and could have stopped the shooter. Sometimes cops don't carry their guns off duty by choice and other times they are prevented from doing so by the poli- cy of the facility they want to enter. Stopping mass attacks calls for bold thinking, so here are two ways to max- imize the law enforcement advantage: Step 1: Give cops their guns back at public events. Until the day comes when we can accurately predict when a po- tential shooter will attack, all qualified off-duty and honorably retired officers should always be allowed to carry con- cealed into a public event. Step 2: Change the way law enforce- ment officers and security guards staff large events by splitting their shifts. LET LEOS CARRY AT PUBLIC EVENTS As to Step 1, after 9/11, we saw a grad- ual movement toward restricting cops from bringing their guns into places like Disneyland and Universal Studios; NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB games; and concerts. e unarmed security guards running the metal detectors followed their bosses' wishes and kept cops from legally bringing their guns inside. Why this happened across the country re- mains a mystery. Was there a sudden rise in acciden- tal discharges by cops at these events? Were cops leaving their unattended guns at their seats or in the restrooms? Were they firing wildly across the boundaries at Disney World between Tomorrowland and Adventureland? Professionally trained, working, and honorably retired peace officers need to be able to bring their concealed fire- arms into public events. To deny them this access means we will continue to turn concerts, sporting events, and large public gatherings into Gun-Free Zones. e bad guys (active shooters, mass attackers with edged weapons, van drivers who mow down crowds, and potential or actual terrorists) know the number of on-duty, uniformed armed police (and any on-site armed security officers with tactical training) will be small. VIGILANCE CROSSROADS As to Step 2, this is why it's important to start splitting the shifts of law en- forcement officers providing securi- ty for large events. Many years ago, a study about vigilance by the U.S. Mar- shals told an interesting tale. Let's say two marshals are driving a prisoner to his final lifetime destination: a federal prison that he will not leave alive. eir research suggested the closer the mar- shals get to the custodial facility, the more their sense of vigilance goes down and the prisoner's goes way up. It only makes sense: "Let's drop this guy off and get something to eat," is a common thought for lots of law enforce- ment officers on their way to jail. On the other side of the cage, the soon-to-be- locked-away inmate has the opposite response. His sense of vigilance starts soaring the closer he gets to the sally port of the facility. He realizes that his final chance to fight and escape is rap- idly approaching. If he's going to get out of his handcuffs, try to cause a car crash, assault both or disarm one of the marshals, it needs to happen soon. So we have a vigilance crossroads; the marshals might start relaxing, knowing the end of their work is near, and the bad guy's pulse rate is zooming, knowing his window of opportunity to attack is closing fast. A FRESH SET OF EYES is problem relates specifically to law Imagine how much more courageous the officers at the Borderline could've been if they'd had their guns to stop the shooter. PHOTOS: LYNN HAMILTON 2 WAYS TO STOP MASS ATTACKS ALLOWING LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TO CARRY IN PUBLIC PLACES OFF DUTY AND ADJUSTING SHIFTS AT MAJOR EVENTS COULD PREVENT OR QUICKLY END MANY MASS SHOOTINGS. STEVE ALBRECHT

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