Two very lucky Cops: But it could’ve been very different

NZ Police. Photo credit: newzealandnz.co.nz

Last Wednesday, two of our Police Officers were lucky to make it home. I hope they both buy lotto tickets this week and are just as lucky when the numbers roll out.

Newsie.co.nz reports,

Police are horrified after a loaded sawn-off shotgun was aimed at two Auckland officers last night and the trigger pulled twice.

The gun did not discharge because the safety catch was on. End quote.

This was a loaded gun, that’s attempted murder as far as I’m concerned. That is about as bad as it gets for Police, and yet this sort of thing is becoming all too common. Quote.

Police said the officers had pulled over a stolen car in Otahuhu at about 9.35pm last night when the driver ran towards them with the firearm.

After trying to fire the gun, the man dropped it after one of the officers used a taser on him.

He then tried to get into the police car and allegedly punched one of the officers in the face, before he was tasered two more times. End quote.

Inspector Naila Hassan said the incident was extremely distressing. Quote.

“Our community will be horrified by this alarming incident, which could have easily had a tragic outcome for our police officers.

“Our brave staff come to work every day to keep the public safe and the absolute last thing they deserve is to be threatened with a firearm.” End quote.

Deputy Commissioner Districts John Tims said staff should not have to deal with these types of situations, but, quote.

“the reality of policing means our officers are put in dangerous situations every day”. End quote.

New Zealand Police Association president Chris Cahill said it was, quote.

“purely a matter of luck” that nobody was injured or killed.

“Had the alleged shooter not had the safety catch on his firearm, or if he’d had time to take off the catch before attempting to fire the second time, this frightening incident could have been so much worse.” End quote.

He said he was concerned that officers were taking a taser to a gunfight. Quote.

“We know that Tasers are not always effective. They are an excellent deterrent in situations where officers are confronted by offenders armed with weapons including knives, but they are no match for firearms. In this case they worked and that is a relief.” End quote.

A 36-year-old man has been arrested and faces multiple charges, including stealing a motor vehicle, unlawful possession of a pistol, use of a firearm against law enforcement officers and injuring with intent. End quote.

Well, I’m with Chris Cahill on this one. I personally believe that all officers should be armed if they wish to be.

I have often been in situations throughout my Policing career where I have had to strap on a pistol or carry a rifle. Trust me, when you don’t really know what you are going into, it is quite reassuring to have some real firepower close at hand.

When a situation is getting ugly, and that happens way more than you will ever hear about, having a sidearm on your hip, tips the balance in your favour. If things start to quieten down, you can always downgrade your response, but if you don’t have the appropriate tools on hand, it is very hard to upgrade your response. You are often left with only bluff, bluster and hope.

Hope that the bad guy will not realise that the black steel thing that you are pointing at him isn’t, in fact, a gun, but a baton for instance.

I have been there, and I was crapping myself, as I had seen the bad guy with a pistol in his hand a couple of minutes earlier, and I didn’t know if he still had it.

That time I got away with my charade. He had biffed the weapon out of the car window when I turned to follow him. But back then we didn’t even have tasers, and to be honest in that situation, a taser is only good for scare tactics, it is never a realistic option for dealing with a firearms incident as you have to be close to the offender to have any chance of it working.

Wednesday’s offender should have been shot, it’s as simple as that.

At least one of those officers should have been tooled up, but that is not the world we currently live in.

There are only two real reasons why people get killed by Police in New Zealand. They usually are trying to commit suicide by cop, but every now and then, you get one like this incident where it is just a genuinely bad guy, absolutely hell-bent on getting away, even if he has to murder people to do it.

These two cops are alive today pretty much through sheer luck. I don’t know if having a firearm on them would have changed the situation they were faced with, but at least they would have had a fighting chance. Firearms won’t solve every situation, and there will be times when things go bad.

But at the end of the shift, if push comes to shove, it should be the cops going home to their families, not the criminal.

Police guard the scene near Kawerau where four officers were shot during a drug siege in 2016.
New Zealand Herald: Alan Gibson

Remember these are the guys who have to scrape up the dead drunk driver, or the little kid that’s been run over. The same guys who go back to separate the beaten wife from her abusive man for the seventh time. The same guys who will be standing in the blizzard for hours directing traffic because somebody has flipped their car into the middle of the road.

It can be a pretty thankless task at times, one not made easier by some of the muppets that are in charge, and I will continue to try to hold them to account when necessary, but at the end of the day, we need police out there to protect us from the bad guys. Sure there will always be some who bring their profession into disrepute, but on the whole, the boys and girls in blue know that they are there to protect you, and they do that job to the best of their ability.

So next time you see some Cops doing their job, maybe just walking the beat, or standing guard outside a house where something bad has happened, please make the effort to let them know that you appreciate them doing that job.

You never know, it might be you that they’re helping next time you see them.

 

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