Police supporting police forbidden?

officer down

Officer down! The aggressor pictured above, another case and different place, was shot dead by a good Samaritan. No other LEOs around.

I gotta be careful in what I say here. But I have to say I’m upset. Perhaps I’m wrong. Tell me if I’m off base. Here’s what happened:

Our last remaining police officer in town, a really good guy whose passion is to serve and protect, was down at the courthouse of the county in the neighboring town when a call came in for the nearest vehicle to offer assistance to an officer in distress. He was the nearest, so he did, for as long as he was needed, which was only a short time. Then he went back to what he was doing. Great. That’s what I would expect.

Blue uniform? Black uniform? Brown uniform? Undercover? Doesn’t matter. When an officer is in distress and puts out an “officer needs assistance” call for the nearest vehicle, not only does that vehicle show up, but all others who can possibly get there even if they are not the nearest: city police of whatever city, deputies of the county, forest service police, tribal federal police, DEA, et alii. The last thing we need is for an “officer down” call to go in minutes later because the nearest officer did not respond for specious reasons.

Our last remaining officer was, however, publicly severely castigated, in print, for having spent a few minutes coming to the aid of an officer in need. He was even given a disciplinary measure. Just. Wow.

Our new Mayor, who appointed himself interim Police Chief with exactly zero training and zero experience, said, at least according to the local newspaper: “I totally understand backing up other officers that are in distress, but it puts us at a liability to the town.” Just. Wow. “A liability.” Reading between the lines the rest of what the Mayor said, it looks like our last remaining police officer is on his way out of the police force, leaving no one but the Mayor to do the policing, but – Hey! – he’s the Chief, you know, with exactly zero training and zero experience. Talk about a liability. Maybe our officer will survive. We’ll see.

I’ll tell you this, if any law enforcement officer is being smashed down by violent criminals with no help in sight, I’m going to stop and offer assistance regardless of what any Mayor says, even if it’s in his town. Correction. Even if it’s in my town. Our town. Borders like that don’t matter when someone – whoever – is in distress.


Filed under Law enforcement, Officer Down!

8 responses to “Police supporting police forbidden?

  1. rglgeo

    It’s appalling! Heaven help the mayor should (s)he be in need when the nearest potential responder is a few feet away in the neighboring jurisdiction. Am praying the young officer’s actions are, instead, lauded by clearer minds for his value of life, generosity of service, that he maintains his position to protect the populace, and remains undaunted in his enthusiasm for helping others.

  2. Paul Maliborski

    When a call for assistance goes out (mutual aid request) it is the officers discretion on weather or not to respond. It also becomes a liability when an officer does not respond to such a call. The officer responding will usually ask over the air what type of call that the officer requesting aid was dispatched to or what developed from a traffic stop and usually within seconds a supervisor is on the air asking the same and notifying dispatch on the status of the officer responding. A supervisor normally will make a decision based on the type of call but it is unheard of for the officer responding to receive discipline for responding to a mutual aid request. The officer responding is merely responding to a legal and lawful request made by one of his brothers. The officer has to proceed with Due Regard for the public’s safety but may and shall continue to assist his fellow officer until the request ends in an arrest or the initiating officer terminates the request. Now a supervisor can also terminate any pursuit or on-going investigation over the air but not usually without knowledge of such.

    What would happen if the officer requesting assistance was the only officer in town and had a reputation for not responding to calls. Hmmmmm, would the mayor of Andrews respond ? Is the mayor armed and understand what use of force to apply, does the mayor understand the progression of force, conflict resolution, disturbance resolution, incident scene control, and the other multitude of decisions that have to be made within seconds. From what I’ve seen so far is that the mayor understands one thing: firing someone without just cause. He carefully worded his statement over the last firing of the property clerk stating that the position was eliminated. What happened to all the evidence that has to be kept on cases until the appeal time period is expired?
    If that officer was sent home without pay and no form of progressive discipline was taken in my opinion was excessive and would be overturned in any court and the officer would be compensated and discipline removed from his personal file not to mention that it is really a poor management of personal by leadership and dissolves any team building or trust with employees.
    If any fellow officer would like to gain some experience or needs to blow off some steam call Father George and he will give you my number. A little over 24 years experience as a former now retired deputy sheriff from Milwaukee County under the supervision of David Clarke Jr. is available for anything that you need.

    Paul Maliborski

  3. Southern Catholic

    Fr. George,

    Is the mayor a certified police officer or was he simply named as an administrative police chief without being certified? This situation is possible in NC.

    If it is the latter situation the mayor has no power of arrest.

    • Father George David Byers

      The mayor is administrative chief. No certification. The one remaining officer, the sargeant, is certified, of course, and does have powers of arrest. Sounds like he was given the go ahead by our common dispatch.

  4. James Anderson

    Time for a new Mayor. One with some common sense.

  5. sanfelipe007

    You are not off base, Father.

  6. You said exactly what needed to be said. Legal action needs to be taken against the Mayor.

  7. Gina Nakagawa

    It seems as if the entire world is imitating Walt Disney’s lemmings and diving off the cliff. Your officer did absolutely the right thing. I will be praying that the Good Lord to send St. Michael to settle the matter. PS My town has no mayor to declare himself anything and no police force to be beaten down by idiots. It’s a mixed blessing.

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