It was late afternoon in Daytona Beach. I just returned home after a butt-kicking workout. A good hot shower got my muscles relaxed. I grabbed a Coke as I sat down at my computer.

I gotta check the news to see what I missed. Then, it popped up, “Five Cops Shot” and my heart rate jumped to 1,000 BPM. I’m certain that my blood pressure hit something like two million over one million.

“My brothers … who is screwing with them?” I thought as a clicked madly – beating the mouse half to death.

Houston Police. We are sick and tired of having dirtbags trying to take our lives when all we’re trying to do is protect this community and protect our families.

I thought back … I spent a week there when I held training classes there. I knew guys there having been on ride-alongs and been out with the guys for a few after-shift strategy sessions at the local brew house.

They are my friends. More than that, they are my BROTHERS.

After I calmed down, I turned on the TV news. I watched a video from the Houston Police Officers’ Union president Joe Gamaldi.

The guy’s got a huge set of balls.

He told it like it is and he didn’t hold anything back. “We are sick and tired of having targets on our back,” he said and went on, “We are sick and tired of having dirtbags trying to take our lives when all we’re trying to do is protect this community and protect our families.”

Check this out: (click on the arrow in the middle of the pic)

Two of the dirtbags who shot these cops were killed.

Wonderful! It will save us the cost of endless trials and appeals plus the cost of housing the jerks in jail until they die.

It’s over now – for the dirtbags. But, not for the cops.

Gamaldi went on to speak for all of us in blue – whether active, retired or otherwise.  He called out anyone who is stirring up or spreading anti-police rhetoric.

Nearly a million members of the Thin Blue Line were probably cheering when they heard Gamaldi say, “If you’re the ones out there spreading the rhetoric that police officers are the enemy, well just know we’ve all got your number now.”

As Gamaldi spoke, two cops were in critical condition; two others were in good condition and the last one, who was shot in the shoulder, had already been released from the hospital.

I learned early on that both of the officers in critical condition were shot in the neck. One of those two officers is the leader of the investigation.

 

HEARING IT UNFOLD

One station played some of the radio traffic as the incident unfolded. Just hearing it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

You know the feeling.

This comes across: “We have an officer down,” a cop on-scene yelled into her radio. “We need more ambulances, more ambulances.”

I was thinking of running for my patrol car and driving at break-neck speed to get to the scene.

Overheads are on, siren is blaring. No matter how fast you drive, you want to go faster.

You’re yelling at anyone and everyone in front of you, “Get the f**k out of my way!!” even though they can’t hear your words as you pound the steering wheel.

 

About 1925 (7:25PM) command said the threat was ended.

Heart rates begin to slow as we look around.

Houston PD chief spoke to the media shortly thereafter. He declined to publicly identify the officer who is the case agent and said he had been shot twice previously

“Most people would call it a day after being shot and surviving, but this man is 54, with over 30 years on the job” the chief said. “He’s the case agent and he was there on the front line.”

The mayor urged residents to pray for the wounded officers and vowed not to tolerate “drug activity or drug trafficking” in Houston.

The politicians all raced to the scene. They didn’t want to miss a chance to be in front of a television camera.

While the ‘leaders’ were vying to get the most free publicity possible, throngs of cops from HPD and neighboring agencies rushed to the hospital. (No surprise there.)

It was reported that some of the responding cops didn’t know the wounded officers, but they wanted (needed) to be there anyway. (Civilians seem surprised at that. WE couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.)

 

NO SURPRISE NEWS

President Joe Gamaldi said the shooting left his cops feeling vulnerable, like they were “being targeted.”  (Imagine that)

“We are sick and tired of dirt bags trying to take our lives when all we’re trying to do is protect this community and our families,” he said. “Enough is enough.”

 

CONCLUSION

It’s important to remember that the civilian members of our community care about us, but they don’t understand.

For us, it’s different. Way different. As the story unfolded and we got a grasp on what went down there, it’s as though those assholes shot at your partner or may even shot at you.

You’re mad. Really mad.

I wanted to be there. I wanted to help. I wanted to kick somebody’s ass or get them in my sights.

But that wasn’t possible.

Here’s what is possible: Do everything you can to win people over. When you have a citizen contact, try to leave ‘em with a smile. Get them to say “thank you” when you hand them the citation.

Stand up when anyone is talking ugly about any of us. Be positive. Stay positive. Get them on your side.

I would love to say that if you can’t win them over, then just kill ‘em. But, I can’t and I won’t. That’s a deal-breaker. And, it’s way too much paper.

It ain’t cool to hate the cops. Not now. Not ever.

Tell them we care about them. I did that once with a young man whom I was escorting to the cell where he would be lodged after he had been arrested. That turned his life around.

There is even hope for the most hopeless. Don’t give up.

At the bottom line, it’s all about saving just ONE life.

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