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To protect and serve who?

As a follow-up to Michael's post below on the shooting in Binghamton, these lines from the AP story caught my eye:

One receptionist was killed, while the other, shot in the abdomen, pretended to be dead and then crawled under a desk and called 911, he said.

Police said they arrived within two minutes.

Police heard no gunfire after they arrived but waited for about an hour before entering the building to make sure it was safe for officers. They then spent two hours searching the building.
What's the point of calling 911 in an emergency if the responding officers are going to wait around outside for an hour ensuring their own safety? Am I crazy for thinking their actions were pretty f'ing cowardly considering their obligation to protect and serve? It takes a special kind of person to go charging into a deadly situation fully expecting a hail of gunfire. We call those people heroes. Heroes are clearly in short supply on the Binghamton PD.

Thank God the shooter decided to swallow a bullet instead of heading down to the basement. It doesn't sound like the Binghamton PD would have been in any real rush to try and stop him if he had.


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Comments (16)

Good point.. Why the delay?... (Below threshold)
914:

Good point.. Why the delay? Scaredy cats. Nice to know if Your bleeding to death they will be there in 2 minutes and than sit around while You die.

To be fair, the police were... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

To be fair, the police were in contact with people inside and as long as there was no commotion they were content to wait. That's bad news for someone who has been shot and may be bleeding out, but police storming a building could result in even more people being shot (maybe by the police). Also, the police didn't even know what the shooter looked like and may not have been sure how many shooters there were.

I feel for the victims of such senseless acts, but I don't know of a reasonable solution. I'm sure as we see more and more of these shootings Obama and the democrats will use these tragedies as an excuse to disarm the American people as much as they can.

The solution to this sort o... (Below threshold)
Tregonsee:

The solution to this sort of situation is not more concealed carry permits. You just need more and bigger signs saying "Gun Free Zone!" It is obvious the shooter did not see the sign, or he would not have entered and killed anyone.

Safe for officers ... and f... (Below threshold)
James H:

Safe for officers ... and for potential hostages. What happens if you storm the place and the gunman goes into "panicked shooting" mode?

If You have already shot mu... (Below threshold)
914:

If You have already shot multiple victims and plan on taking Your own life I would say Your already in a panicked shooting mode.

Police owe no protection to... (Below threshold)
John:

Police owe no protection to anyone.

Police under no obligation to Protect

In Maryland, the liberals and the MSP work actively to deny those wishing to arm and defend themselves, the means to do so. Including providing protection to homeowners who are victims of crimes from being sued by the criminal.

Well after all, it's not as... (Below threshold)
OLDPUPPYMAX:

Well after all, it's not as though the police are paid to take risks or place their lives in jeopardy to defend the public....er....never mind.

After the Columbine shootin... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

After the Columbine shootings, PD's across the country revamped their protocols and training in regard to 'active shooters'. Before, it was cordon and contain, and wait for SWAT. After Columbine it was decided that officers would go in, in pairs if possible. With one officer to the front, the other covering the rear. As a training sergeant at the time, I can tell you that even knowing it's a training event, entering (in this case a school on the weekend) with fire alarms going off, darkened hallways and the sounds of screams and shots in the distance, it gets your gut churning.

In this particular incident, Monday morning quarterbacking, they had no 'active' shooting. However, they did know they had victims. I'm wondering how many died of blood loss. Contrary to popular fiction and Hollywood, (and as proved by the receptionist), getting "shot" does not necessarily translate to instantaneous death.

In a similar thread with Jo... (Below threshold)
newt0311:

In a similar thread with John:

The purpose of law enforcement is to reduce crime. Presumably, it is preferable to do so at the lowest possible cause. Then there are two ways of doing so (and a whole continuum between): The state can stop crime before it happens or it can prosecute the people who caused the crime after the fact so that future criminals are deterred from committing the crime again.

The first method of crime reduction is generally very expensive. Bayesian probability and the low incidence of crime means that it is pretty much impossible to predict who will commit the crime and how they will go around it. Thus the only option here is to watch everybody all the time. I think I will find general agreement here when I say that this is a bad idea, at least when we have alternatives.

The second option is significantly cheaper. In this, we have the crime on hand and so we no longer need to go after all the citizens and can separate them out into suspects. Thus all pervasive surveillance is also unnecessary. All we need here is to make sure that people who do commit crimes are caught and that the punishments administered as sufficiently severe that it is no longer profitable to commit crime. Since people are on average rational, this works quite well.

Note that in a utopian society, both would work well but the first would still be orders of magnitude more expensive. Note also that the second can be used to reduce crime as well as the first option as long as the two requirements stated there are followed*. Furthermore, in the second system, we should provide citizens some means to defend themselves because law enforcement is no longer available to do it for them.

It is pretty clear that with some notable exceptions (Soviet Russia in particular)**, all modern countries use system 2. Specifically, the US also uses system 2 and thus court rulings in the line of Warren v. District of Colombia are perfectly consistent with our system of law enforcement. What is not consistent is the continuing obsession with gun control and our disturbingly lenient criminal justice system. The reason a citizen in system 2 does not shoot somebody is not because he/she doesn't have a gun but because he/she is scared of the harsh punishment that is sure to follow afterwards.

* Singapore is an excellent example of a prosperous country (city-state) which has effectively employed system 2 to eradicate crime. To date Singapore does not have a drug problem despite the fact that it is right next to one of the most drug heavy regions in the world and is ideally situated to be a transit point for illicit drugs.

** In Soviet Russia, there were always three people at every bus station even at 2AM in the night: 2 people to write down names of everybody who got on the bus and one person to watch the writers and make sure they did their jobs.

Remember 9/11? Remember al... (Below threshold)
Arthur:

Remember 9/11? Remember all the funerals for the first responders - how they were praised for running one way (into the building) when everyone else was running the other way? Binghamton cops aren't like that.

Maybe firefighters should w... (Below threshold)
davidt:

Maybe firefighters should wait for the fire to die down before entering a burning building to rescue anybody.

Yeah, and maybe the militar... (Below threshold)
914:

Yeah, and maybe the military should wait for the enemy to surrender before deciding to engage them.

Don't let the grammar polic... (Below threshold)
George Author Profile Page:

Don't let the grammar police see that title.

Same M O as the gutless Lit... (Below threshold)
Brian Richard Allen:

Same M O as the gutless Littleton Colorado "police officers" who, out of concern for their own well-being, ponced about outside for an hour or so as two psychopaths, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, before killing themselves, wandered about inside Columbine/Littleton High and mass-murdered 12 students and a teacher.

I miss the tall, tough, brave Policemen of old.

Brian Richard Allen
Los Angeles CalifO'ZEROcated 90028 -- and the Far Abroad

MORE GUNS LESS CRIME... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

MORE GUNS LESS CRIME

Wow, that must have been a ... (Below threshold)

Wow, that must have been a very scary situation for the police officers at the scene. I hope one of the officers called 911. That always seems to make people feel better.




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