Your home is becoming as likely a place to be involved in an OIS as your beat.

An Officer Involved Shooting.  Not a shooting involving an “off duty officer,” an officer-involved shooting.

How do I make this distinction?  Consider your home or the immediate approach to your home a potential crime scene, with you as the victim; more on this shortly.

Hypothetically, if you were  to be shot at near or around your home, in uniform, leaving for or returning from your shift, would you deem this an officer involved shooting, in the professional sense?  Most of us would argue we would.   It’s not just those of us in uniform; our spouses, significant others, and even our children.

To speak to this from personal experience, I reach out to you as a small-town PD officer from central Florida.  In the wake of the George Floyd riots, Orlando, as the main metropolitan area in central Florida, saw similar violence as was seen the nation-round, albeit on a more local scale and over “only” an approximately 1-week period.

For perspective, I knew swaths of officers personally, pelted with frozen water bottles and rocks alike, ordered to stand-down and explicitly to NOT engage lethal threats.  That’s right, in Orlando, “the home of The Mouse, where no evil can exist.”  Meanwhile, the Chief of the Orlando Police Department, in tandem with the Sheriff of Orange County, kneeled with these misguided “activists” of human beings.

During this time, I was working day-shift.  My wife contacted me on the phone, while I was on-shift, and told me the situation in downtown Orlando was growing worse.  My wife and I, who were living in a roadside 1-1 condo in downtown Orlando, deemed it necessary to stay with my grandma until the violence subsided, who had a larger home with a garage that I could fit my fully-marked patrol car in.  This may seem taboo of a concept to officers unfamiliar to these circumstances, but allow me to elaborate.

Through the course of the violent demonstrations in the U.S. in 2020, following the wake of the death of George Floyd, my zone partner, who worked with me in a small local jurisdiction well-separated from any major-metro area in Central Florida, was targeted by these demonstrators.  Far from any metro or suburban area, my partner, while maintaining his patrol vehicle in his driveway, observed a vehicle with clear “BLM” markings on the sides, photographing his vehicle and him in the driveway of his home.

No big deal, right?  Well, what followed from his local intelligence agency and others, was certainly quite the big deal.

As we’d hope, an intelligence investigation ensued.  Nearly simultaneously, an officer who I know personally was just involved in an officer-involved-shooting of an armed carjacking suspect, who fired upon him in his attempt to escape, and was subsequently shot by my friend.  The following was the result of both subsequent investigations.

As my zone partner filed an official law enforcement report into the vehicle he observed photographing his house with obvious “BLM” markings on the sides, my friend involved in the shooting was informed that his body-cam footage was soon to be released, and due to the fact he is a white officer who shot a black suspect, was being “doxed” (his personal home and family information being published).

In the efforts of preserving current law enforcement tactics and criminal intelligence gathering, I will redact certain details.  But the bottom-line conclusion, initially, for both of these investigations was; redact your personal information in every known way possible from the public record.

Hide your patrol cars and hide your wives. They are coming for you.

The opposite but equal response to that being, we know you are being targeted for being a police officer, and help is not on the way, so do your best to prevent the inevitable carnage.

For my zone partner that was targeted at his home, his local jurisdiction, knowing his employment as a full-time police officer, chalked the incident up to being a homeowners’ insurance sub-contractor photographing homes, with the “BLM” markings on his car being a fluke.

For my friend involved in the shooting, the intelligence provided by HIS intelligence division of his major-metro agency determined that his information being doxed on these “dark web” sites was conclusive.  However, based on personal knowledge of his neighborhood’s geographics, I’d confidently determine no effort would be made on his life, or on that of his wife and young children.

The moral of the story – if you live in the middle of nowhere, good for you, your chances of being targeted at your home on your multiple acres appear to be less.  If you live in a regular suburban area, when the metal meets the meat, your local major-metro intel agency will chock up what should now be considered “hostile intel” on your home as a mere accident, and hope for the best.

These are real-life experiences of officers in areas most consider “pro-law enforcement”.  But what we must all grasp, in this current profession, is our new environment.  It is more popular to hate us, and more supported by major media to do so.

Keep your families and yourselves safe.  You cannot save anyone from drowning if you are under water yourselves.

 

“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “

We couldn’t agree more.

 


 

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