In this episode, veteran Lieutenant Penn. State Trooper Jimmy Dunleavy weighs in on law enforcement's role in Critical Response and the Uvalde, Texas shooting.
In this episode, veteran Lieutenant Penn. State Trooper Jimmy Dunleavy weighs in on law enforcement's role in Critical Response and the Uvalde shooting.
Welcome to tomorrow's problem. This is episode two. If I thought it would help. I'd apologize. today we have Jimmy Dunlevy. Jimmy, am I saying that right?
That's good. Perfect. All right. Today we have Jimmy Dunleavy. He's gonna be our featured guest and we're gonna be talking a lot about police response, tactics and, kind of the evolution and the future of all those, different topics.
So, yeah, we've got Jacob Bond. You wanna, Jacob, you wanna talk? Hello? Yeah, we decided to do critical response because of the obvious last mass shooting. the biggest story being the lack of response. Mm-hmm so, yeah. Okay. So Jimmy, you wanna tell us a little bit about your professional experience and. , kind of how you got into the world of school safety to kind of kick us off.
I'd love to, first of all, Nolan and Jake. Thanks. I think this is a great idea. I think it's something that's needed, , the discussions need to take place and, , I'm excited to be part of it. I'm glad that you guys had, invited me on, but, just to talk a little bit about myself, which I don't like to do, but, I'm a retired Pennsylvania state trooper.
I did 25 years of service with the department. I rose to the rank of Lieutenant, throughout my career. , I took advantage of everything possible during my career. all the trainings and education opportunities, that I could, I tried to seek promotion as often as I could. , I felt early on in my career.
I did 10 years on the road as a patrol trooper. , I was very young. I was fortunate to come right outta college and get right on the job at 21. of course I was young. I was, arrogant. I felt I was invincible. And I thought, , the troopers where it's at, , the guy on the road, all the excitement, I didn't want to get promoted.
I didn't wanna distance myself from that. so I just wanted to be there. , I wanted to be the guy with the, the lights and siren and the first one at the, the scene. but , during those 10 years I saw a lot of, breakdowns in command and communication. And as a, , patrol trooper at the time, the way the department policy and procedure was written, , you, you couldn't affect much change as a, as the basic level of rank.
, you were, you were the majority, the guys responding to the calls. So. I felt it was important for me to then seek promotion. So I began seeking promotion because I wanted to be able to supervise and command and make an impact. but , it was in 2002, I had my first child, and , that's right off the heels, a Columbine and I found myself now, father, someone of.
Of gonna have school aged children soon. And, I was in a unique position on the job where I could prioritize what I felt was important as a police officer. And, , I sat back and I said, what's more important than children, right? Like I'm responding to all these calls all day long, providing a service to all types of people.
but at the end of the day, I felt, , what better area to channel my energy than to get involved in school safety. It was early on in that evolution with law enforcement and school safety, where there was a need to start putting cops in schools, discussions, taking place about how that's gonna look what's, what's the goal of the program.
So I thought, , I wanna get involved in this. So I kind of started doing it as a, like a side gig, , just volunteering on my own time. Maybe even as simple as saying to, , once my kids were in school, , could I come in and read a book in uniform? what I mean? Things like that, just, and then I would use that opportunity to talk to the principal and say, Hey, like, , you shouldn't just be letting people in the door, simple things, ?
And, I started to then seek out trainings about it. , then the department started to take it seriously and then they created positions for it and offer trainings for it. So I, , I took advantage of those at, , again, L is a side gig to my, every day function or duty or current assignment.
So, , I was fortunate to work for a department that was pretty proactive in getting on board, , with things as they evolved. it was a very large department. So those things took time. but, , I really wanted to try to see it through the lens of law enforcement and the, and the education profession.
So I really got involved. I, , became part of a committee in the county that I was in with the, like the intermediate unit that oversaw the schools. , we try to, , have at least monthly meetings to be, keep it in people's minds and make people aware of what's going on. you're gonna hear a lot of talk about, , sometimes just a conversation about a crisis or an emergency can prepare you for the emergency, but if you don't ever talk about it, you're gonna forget about it.
And you're, , when the bell rings, , you, you most likely won't be able to respond. So that's just a little bit of brief history about, , my career and, and how it got me into school. Safety is really my own children that. , brought it to my attention because listen, when I was single and young on the job, I could go to work and unselfishly do things, , I didn't have to worry about taking care of kids or a wife when I got home.
Like I could just go and do my job. But then when I got married, that changed a little bit, , I was responsible for someone else. And then for sure, when I ended up having children, that really changed everything, , that's, it sounds like, Hey Jimmy, to bring it back to a point that you said before Columbine, were there not really any police, were there not a police presence in schools?
No, it's funny. I looked back, , I didn't, I'm not like really old and I didn't come on the job in the seventies, but , there used to be, department policies that said, , if you got called to go to the school, You'd have to come back to the barracks, change out of your uniform, into a suit.
Oh, then go to the school. Because at that time it was, , you didn't wanna make the kids nervous, a uniform police officer and a gun in the school, ? And then obviously we learned how ridiculous that is. Like, where are the good guys? There should be comfort in the uniformed officer in the school.
So that changed. But yeah, prior to Columbine, I mean, , school safety was, was a conversation and a topic, but it was more because it was, , it could be your single most, a large population in any day and time in a, in a police patrol zone. So you talked about it from that standpoint, like we just knew we had a lot of kids in one place at one time.
So if something were gonna happen, we have to, we have to recognize that. Right. And be able to respond to that. And, , back then, it wasn't so much about a school shooter, but , a hazmat incident or a weather event, , that's why we talked about it. Like, we gotta make sure we get these kids to safety.
If there's a tornado or a, , a chemical spill with a tractor trailer. Like that was the conversation after Columbine, it was like, wait a minute, people are bringing guns and killing kids in school. So, , it was like, we gotta put our good guy guns in school, what I mean? Mm-hmm and , we can't let them in the door.
So, , that, that was really a big change. . Yeah. And I, I know we talked about that a lot even podcast about kind of the evolution of, that response in schools and, , just talking about Columbine, they didn't really have that kind of first man in, right, right. When there was an active shooter or kind of violent violence occurring on the campus, , they didn't really have that kind of protocol.
before that it was not a hostage situation or something. I mean, it was in law enforcement, it was unheard of to enter into a critical situation, especially where there's shooting, taking place by yourself. Right. The, the, the thought was how can a police officer or a police department respond to something like that and increase their odds of success and safety for the police officer.
So, , how did that look? Well, Ideally a four man team is the best odds, right? Because now you can get 360 degrees of coverage as you move into a building or through an open area. Right. You have somebody looking front right left into the rear. So, , it was actually written down like, , when you get your first four guys, then you go and what's the methodology there.
It's the safest possible scenario for the police officer. Mm-hmm in responding to a shooting scenario, chasing down, chasing down a suspect. Right. Mm-hmm that you, you don't know exactly where he is at, but you have an idea. So you have somebody looking covering the front, the rear left and, right, right. So, but what did we, what do we know happens with four people that takes time to assemble four people.
right. Cause most police departments, , you don't have four cops working within five minutes of each other. , you might get one guy there in the first few minutes, but if he's gonna wait for guys to come from different areas and different zones and maybe different departments, , now you're talking time.
Right. And, and we learned that, , time is everything right? The quicker we would attack and neutralize the threat, the greater, the chances of saving more lives, right? Because we're, mm-hmm, , we're reducing that shooter's ability to take lives by decreasing the amount of time he has to do it. So, , we, we learned that you can't be waiting for backup.
You can't be waiting for the safest possible scenario for the police officer. And I, , I think there was even a quote during Columbine that said, , I should be seeing dead cops here, not dead kids. Right. That was, that was a quote back then. And I'll tell you what, whoever said it they're right.
Mm-hmm , , cuz that's what you sign up for. , it's not something we talk about often, but unfortunately as a police officer, you sign up for that. Yeah. Whether you like to believe it or not, or whether you talk to your family about it or not, or whether the public thinks it or not, that's.
Yeah. So Jimmy, you said more likely than not, it's gonna be a singular officer arriving to the scene happening to make the, make that choice. Yeah. So, , our department and we called it rapid deployment, , we, they quoted that phrase rapid deployment and it was just, , first guy there, like you just go.
Right. You, you go to the problem and, , we trained for that. We came up with trainings to, well, first of all, we had to untrain our officers because they were trained to wait and be safe and methodical about how they move into a building or clear a room or enter a hallway or a stairwell. Right.
They were trained ways to do that and it's slow and it's safe. And it's, , there's all these ideas of, , cornering and angles and, , slice in the pie, they call it, , just safe ways to do it, , to do it safely and effectively. But it takes time. Now we're training our guys to, , you're sprinting into a building where, , , there's a shooter, right.
, there's somebody shooting. and now you're asking an officer to run down a hallway and run past 15 classroom doors that the shooter may very well be in that classroom. And now he ends up behind you. Hmm. Right. And that's hard to untrain somebody to do mm-hmm right. It's hard to take that out of somebody, especially, , a 20 year veteran of police where he's, he never passes the door without making a, taking a peak in there, ?
Yeah. Make sure he doesn't get, , somebody he doesn't sneak up on. So, , that was a big part of our, our initial training was we had to like change that mindset in our department and our men, , and women to say like, you're, you're going to attack the threat. You're not gonna know everything when you're doing it.
You're gonna go through and ignore all these unknowns. Like you're not gonna prove that that classroom is, is safe to proceed by. You're gonna go towards things like the sounds of shots or screams or cries for help. You're gonna run toward that and ignore everything else. Yeah. Because that's what, , you can only respond to what, , in these situations.
That is it's. It's so amazing to hear that from you, because even this morning, as I was watching. , different interviews and kind of explanations of the recent shooting that we just had in, in Texas, , just to kind of hear that kind of delay. I know it's been, it's been disheartening for a lot of people in the nation.
, there's been interviews from the teachers and students who are blaming the, the police for waiting out in the hallway and, not responding even though there were, , children crying out in different rooms that were locked. Some of 'em were, some of 'em weren't locked, but yeah, that, that response is, is something that, , that we're kind of forced to look at, see how that's improving or how it's going to improve.
Right. Especially after something like this, , I don't have all the details, , I don't have, , access to the actual investigative reports and photos and everything that happened there, but. , this, this mindset and the law enforcement profession that, , an active shooter requires that immediate attack by the officer, whether it's 1, 2 12, , there's no waiting.
It's, it's, it's been very well documented and communicated in law in the law enforcement profession. that that's, that that's the protocol. And, , I, I think sometimes we lose the seriousness of what it is by saying, , it's an active shooter, , what's really happening is you have a homicide in progress.
Hmm. Yeah. Right. Like you have a murder taking place. Yeah, that's what's happening. And, , I don't care if you're a police officer or not. If you, if you were witness to, or near a murder taking place, you would probably take action. Right. Good point of some of some shape or form. So, , when we start to label these things as active shooter incidents, right.
it kind of lessens the, the seriousness of what's taking place. Like, yeah. To me in my mind, like if you, if you told a cop there's a murder occurring right around the corner, he's going to run to the murder and attempt to stop it. Right. , I think sometimes we fall victim to these, , the policy procedure and standard operating procedures.
When we, , we develop, , ways to respond to active shooter incidents and, , We rely on communication. And in law enforcement, you rely on command and chain of command, right? And mm-hmm, , uniformity and equipment, right. And training. And I think when you have an initial response to something like this, like in the very first moments of this happening during the active homicide, during the shooting, , communication is not what you and I think communication is it.
There's nobody there to tell you what to do and how to do it. If you didn't train for that prior to it happened, and you don't just know how to respond and react to it, you're going to fail because nobody's gonna sit there and say to you, Nolan, Right now is when I need you to turn right turn left and go in the door.
Like nobody's, there's no one to do that. And that's what people need to understand. Like that first officer needed to just know that he needed to attack that threat. Mm-hmm right. He didn't, he didn't need to wait to be given permission to do that. , we're talking since, , 2005, 2006, this has been the conversation in law enforcement.
So, , that leads me to believe maybe there was, , severe lack of training or, situational awareness, or just you've talked about overall not understanding what it really looks like if this were to. , and Jimmy, what do you think the, element or dynamic is that makes a active shooter or a, as you say, a homicide in progress so much more terrifying for a police officer than responding just to a homicide.
So, , going back to this, what I said earlier about, , when you're a police officer, , nobody talks about it, but , you sign up to lay your life down for someone else. That's really what you do, , that's your oath, mm-hmm, , , lay your life down for someone else in the, in the greater good right to save a life mm-hmm
so I think in an active shooter situation, , there's a few things, , right. And , we talk about rules of engagement or, use of force, right? when can I use deadly force or when can I do this? Like, these are the decisions, a police officer, , these they're going through their minds in a millisecond during these incidents.
Right. Do I have the authority to do what I'm doing? Right. Can I take, can I take action? What action can I take? Like these are the, this is the thought process that's going on in milliseconds, but if it's communicated early on through training through department policy through, from the top to the bottom, from the chief to the boot on the ground that, , let's talk about Aldi.
This person demonstrated the ability to kill the moment he got out of his truck. Right. Yeah. Started firing at those, those people in front of your funeral home. Yeah. No one needs to wait anymore to decide whether they could use deadly force on that person. Mm-hmm right. That's important. And why is that important?
So this police officer all by himself shows up at the school and they know that this individual has already demonstrated his ability to successfully take a life. He has skill to take a life mm-hmm . He has made the decision to take a life. I don't have to wait to take his life. Mm-hmm there is no more conversation.
There's no more waiting to be told or given the green light or the authority to do it. I don't have to wait for him to continue to shoot or take another life. Right. I don't, I there's, no. Yeah. He's already demonstrated that. Yeah. I like that wording too. And , you've shown it again. I'm gonna, , I wanna keep saying, I don't know the details because I don't want to be somebody that's Monday morning quarterback in this incident.
I don't know the details. based on my experience, being involved in, , several critical incidents over my career, and I said it earlier, communication, there's a breakdown. , you have 20 cops as at an incident. There's a good chance. There's a, a large number of those police officers that don't really have an I, an idea of what is actually happening, right.
Because they're, they're seeing it differently, whether they're, they might be on the perimeter, they might be taking up a position where they don't hear or see stuff. Like somebody in the hallway of the school or right outside the classroom door or hearing or seeing. Yeah. So, , I don't wanna, , in the, in the event that, that that's the situation, so that's fair.
it's changing, right? We've seen it change just in, in the past week, week or two. So good point, , and these, and these incidents evolve, right. , that adapt and overcome. You hear people talk about, you need to adapt and overcome. I mean, it's very fluid like these, this is the, but that, but then again, we go back to training, like, , a police officer, you shouldn't really be surprised by that.
It shouldn't, disable your ability to respond because the, the, the scenario has evolved. Yeah. Jake, did you wanna, so one thing you kind of mentioned, Jimmy, is that your department and, and you were indirectly involved with like the nickel mines shooting. And the Amish community in 2006, is that correct?
Am I reading that right? Yeah. So our department experienced, , had, , that, that incident and, I had several close friends that were members who actually were there at the scene and responded, , that was a big turning point in our department for training. And I even think nationally because that, , it wasn't much different than this incident, , an individual kind of barricaded himself in that school room.
And then, , systematically began to murder the, the, keep the kids in there and it, , made it difficult to make entry. , you weren't really new, you didn't really know it was taking place inside the building, , mm-hmm and , these are the unknowns that people talk about and, , a good critical.
Look at that incident within our department, , it made, made you really sit back and think of the thought process that a, a person or a police officer goes through. So, , like anyone else, if you're gonna make a decision about something, you need information, right. And, and you want to gather as much accurate information as you can before you act right before you make your decision to do whatever you're gonna do.
Well, you're not getting the information, right. You're not, nobody's telling you, is he really shooting the kits or is he just shooting the gun? Is he shooting at us? Are the kids okay, still? Are they not? Okay? Is he really, I mean, is he shooting them one by one? Right? These are like, they're all gonna affect your decision.
Right. But what we learned is. It doesn't matter. We can't sit and think that this has become a barricaded gunman. Mm-hmm you're hearing gunshots. You need to go in and stop his ability to shoot his gun. Yeah. Well, I think that actually, draws right into one of the quotes from a DPS spokesman, Chris Avaz after the yal shooting, I'll just read it real quick, the active shooter situation.
You want to stop the killing, you want to preserve life. But also the one thing that, of course, the American people need to understand that officers are making entry into the building. They do not know where the gunman is. They are hearing gunshots, they are receiving gunshots. Yeah. We felt like that was a pretty good, , a good quote to describe, , what happened with response and, and, kind of to put us in the, the head space of, of how police officers are responding.
, it. Unknown. And I mean, Jimmy, you even said at the beginning, right? They're, they're, they're following cries for help. they're following the sounds of gunshots. They're not going in with a lot of information or intelligence, right? A lot of forewarning, not the information you want, right. To be able to do it as safely as you can, but , in these incidents, , you are, you need to have a serious conversation with yourself as a police officer prior to even putting your uniform on, as you, as you put on your Bulletproof vest and your gun belt that contains a gun with extra rounds of am.
and a taser and handcuffs and mace and a flashlight. Right. And you're, and you're wearing boots because, , you may be on a, have to go through a window or a door or through terrain, like think about the battle gear that a police officer puts on for his day to day job. Right? Mm-hmm, , you're not putting a Bulletproof vest on because , it keeps you nice and firm and upright in the car that you sit in all day, you're putting a Bulletproof vest on because there is a very strong chance that you are going to get shot at work.
Wow. Yeah, that's the reality. It's you're not putting it on for any other reason, then, , you are wearing it to protect every vital organ in your body, besides your head. Yeah, that's why you're wearing it. So, , when you're spending 99% of your career writing reports or driving to people's homes and gathering information or responding to accidents, you're dressed the way you are for that 1% chance, you have to run into a school while getting shot at mm-hmm to save the lives of children.
That's why they wear what they wear, right? Yeah. And if you don't have it on your person or in your vehicle to be successful at responding to a school and saving children, then you gotta do with what you got mm-hmm you. And, , going back to that quote, we knew they were taking fire, right. They were taking rounds, but mm-hmm the bullets from the gunmen are, are information, right?
That's telling me, bring me a good idea where he is. Mm-hmm by sight and sound or just sound alone. Right. It's not gonna pinpoint his location, but it's gonna give me a good idea of where he might be. So that's information I can use to respond. Hm. and again, if he's shooting at me, he's not shooting kids.
Wow. Right. Yeah. , I learned, , very early on and until I started taking some advanced, training with, , tactical movements and maneuvering and, and handling my weapon and firing my weapon, like the bullet comes out of that gun in a straight line and , it can't be everywhere.
He can't cover that entire room. He may be able to cover a doorway. mm-hmm right. But he can't cover the entire room. He can't cover every inch of every place of that building. So there's, , there's other ways to attack the problem. Yeah. , if you train and you understand, , what the bad guy is capable of, then , you could develop a pretty quick plan on how to defeat him.
Now, I'm not saying you're not gonna get shot doing it. You have to expect you are. Hmm. If you wanna be able to respond, because if you don't expect to get shot and you do, you're gonna be so surprised that you were just shot, that you're not gonna be any help to anybody, but if you expect to get shot and you've come to terms with that, and you've still made the decision to respond.
you'll probably get to that guy because you're gonna be so determined to do it. That's such a burden, , even hearing you say that it's, it's such a, a different mindset, especially as someone who's never been shot at. Right. And, and, even when I think we talked about this a few days ago and, and I actually, Jake and I live in Chicago.
And so we were, I, I walked to the bus with the train after work and I saw to, , Chicago PD on their bikes or, , kind of standing with their bikes near a bus station. And they had the, , the plate carriers with the, the body armor, , the plates in there, back in front. And I was just, I, I thought about what you had said, and I had, I hadn't even noticed that.
And, , I can't remember when I saw that changeover, when I started seeing more police and body armor, not police and body armor cuz you even watch movies from like the eighties and nineties or back in the day. And, and they're just wearing collared shirts, just wearing the blues. Yeah. They're just wearing their blues, wearing a collared shirt with handcuffs and a little gun swinging that little Baton around.
Yeah, there you go. It's it's almost comical, right? It was just a normal normal uniform and now it looks tactical. They've got, they got the plates, they've got extra magazines and just all kinds of equipment, tactical gear to be able to just have such a, to be able to respond to such a wide range of incidences.
Right. And yeah, I mean, I, , I used to call it, , clerical versus tactical, , like, like I said earlier, 99% of the time, you're like a clerk, , you're right. You're a report writer. You're gathering information. You're doing interviews. You're making phone calls. You're going to court.
Right. Mm-hmm , there's that 1% of the time you might be in a car chase or have to, , wrestle with somebody cuz they don't wanna be handcuffed or, , or you go to an incident with, with a gun, , somebody has a gun or there's a shooting taking place. , it's a lot to ask of a person, right.
To yeah. To, go to work for a dollar, right? Like you're going to work to make money mm-hmm right. And your job is to be a police officer. And not only are you gonna go to work, but we want you to wear all this battle gear, , in the event you could respond to anything, right? So mm-hmm, , , one minute we want you to kneel down and talk to a little girl at an accident scene because her mom's being taken in the ambulance.
So we want you to be a parent. We want you to be a counselor. We want you to be, , somebody that's a social worker. Yeah. Find comfort in, ? but then in the next minute, I want you to be a Navy seal and I want you to respond to someone, shooting people with a, and, and maybe highly skilled, more skilled than you, and maybe have more ammunition than you.
And I want you to go in and eliminate that threat. Wow. So I want you to switch gears and go and do that. Hey, Jimmy, real quick. is there any mental hardening. Or any mental training that goes in to prepare a police officer, for an active shooting. So, , I keep talking about training. So, , training does a lot of things, obviously, , it's like anything else, whether it's a sport or, , profession, , training's going to increase your skill set in that area.
Right. You're gonna become more proficient in whatever it is, you're training. So say weapons training with your handgun or a rifle, you're gonna become better at it. The more you do it. Mm-hmm . But another thing it does is it builds confidence. Right? And I don't care who you are. You need confidence to run into a building as somebody's shooting at you, right?
Yeah. So if you, if you get the training and somebody is training you and you can see. How it makes it more successful to enter a room because you've been properly trained on how to enter a room when there's a shooter in there, or clear a stairwell, you're building your confidence and your ability to do it.
And you're, and you're more likely then to do it because you said, h I've done this before. I know what I'm doing. I'm going on the offense. I have the advantage, the bad guy. Doesn't right. That's what, that's the mindset. That's the training that needs to take place. , the, the academy, when I went through the academy for six months, they did a great job at that.
Like I came out of there. I thought I had an S on my chest, , I, I thought I was invincible. And , a lot of rural policing takes place where, , I'd go to a home domestic incident, two people fighting by myself. And guess what they hate each other till I get there, then they hate me together.
do what I mean? So I've seen that. Yeah, but I, I thought I could take on the world because the academy said I was the best I was trained. I was given the equipment, the education I knew I could handle it. Right. Part of that's true. Like you need that. You need that to be successful. Like, , I needed that to walk into that room and take control of that, of those two people in their own home.
Think about that. Mm-hmm I was the stranger, the outsider, somebody called 9 1 1 I'm walking into your home and taking control. how do you do that? Right? That's that's what happened? I can't, , I'm thinking about it and you can barely do that with your, your brother and little SIS, , little brother and little sister.
I, I wasn't even able to do that. That's the conversation that people need to hear. Like, , , there's a lot of, , talk about, , policing in America right now. And, , it's, they're given the profession a very hard time, over a lot of incidents that take place, but I think it's important to understand, like, , to be successful at your job as a police officer, there's a little bit of arrogance and confidence that needs to take place, because sometimes you do need to take control of a group of people by yourself, or, , and sometimes that command presence alone is what solves the problem.
It never goes, it never gets physical. Because you have command presence, ? Yeah. It's a breakdown in that. And then, , you get taken advantage of, and then things go south, , wow. But I think it's, , it's important. People need to understand, like there's no superheroes out there.
Yeah. Yeah. , I think, I mean, I'll, I'll say a quick thing. And then Jacob has another question for you, but I also feel like, the normal day, every, every day citizen has been able to see those exchanges a lot more with body cam footage that gets released everywhere. Right. We see that on YouTube, everywhere.
I've watched hours and hours of, of body cam footage, just to see what's going on. And, I've seen a lot of exchanges like that, where you, like, you just described perfectly, , the, the officer arrives and he's almost like the, the match that lights the powder cake, because then all of a sudden it's, it's, it's, world war three on, on him or her or whoever it is.
Right. Who that responds. So interesting point. Yeah. Just, I mean, , I always think, when, when a police officer responds to an incident or you, or you see these videos of the incident now, let me say it this way. Use of force is a hot topic in police. The profession of police officer, , policing because use of force is really the guidelines that you have.
And the rules of engagement that you use as a police officer to control a citizen, let's call them a citizen. Right. Let's just for elementary, say, we'll say, yeah, let's assume you have the authority figure the police officer, and then you have the, the citizen or the citizen interaction, right. Not to be derogatory, but just, just to set it in play, right?
Yeah. So use of force, and this is what it looks like. So you wear a uniform and a badge and a and insignia and you drive a marked car just because that's officer presence. That's the very first level of use of force. Hmm. My appearance alone. And my identification as a police officer sets the stage. Yeah.
When I show up, everybody else needs to know that I'm in charge. The minute I show up. No questions asked. That's the way the civil society has been constructed, right? Mm-hmm constitutions and states and laws, the police officer, when he summoned to the scene, or when he arrives at the scene of something taking place, his presence alone is the first level use of force.
That's how it's written. So if the police officer shows up and everybody does not immediately recognize that he is now the person to listen to, and the person that's going to control and solve this problem right now, what happens? It escalates now, what does the officer have in his second level of force?
His voice? He gives a command, right? He says he gives instructions or directions right now that doesn't get obeyed. What's next. Physical physical contact, physical, physical contact, grab their arm, put them in handcuffs, mace them, hit them with the taser. All these are all considered less than lethal. Right?
Mace I've been maced. I've been tased. I'd rather be maced and taste. No, sorry. I'd rather be tased than maced. I'm sorry. Okay. Okay. Jimmy's a Glu for punishment. He no mace mace doesn't go away. It takes a while you gotta wash it. You gotta, , there's treatment options. It sticks around, ? Yeah.
Taser. When that, when that electrical current is stopped, the pain stops. The incitation stops it's over and like, it never happened, ? So those are less than lethal. So, , if the police officer is not physically capable to take control of the person. Right. Whether they're bigger, they're more skilled, whatever it may be.
They have less than lethal options. Mace and taser. Mm-hmm right. Batons are kind of still around, but guys don't really like using them, , but it's still a, a trained feature Baton it's less than lethal. It could be lethal, , a taser could turn lethal based on circumstances. Oh yeah. But they're considered less than lethal weapons.
Mm-hmm . Now, if they don't work, what happens, , it may rise to the level of deadly force and that's what your gun is for now. The evolution of use of force is it used to be a linear model. Like it used to in, in the academy, they gave us a, a chart and it was like in order mm-hmm officer presence commands less than lethal.
So we were training police officers to, to think I had to start at the bottom before I can get to the top. So they'd get out of the car and the guy would have a gun and they'd be yelling at him. And then they would try to grab him or TAs him, and then they'd decide, oh, maybe I better shoot him. Right.
Well, that's not realistic, right? That the, the person escalated the use of force immediately to deadly force. I didn't need to go through those first options. So it became a continu like a circle, but the officer in the middle, he can go to any use of force option. He didn't have to wait because my presence alone set the stage mm-hmm
And now I can just go to any use of force option. My point is people in this country and I'll tell you, even my wife were not to, were not prepared to see what use of force looks like. Hmm, it's violent. Wow. Yeah. It's deadly. It's not fun. It's not fun for the cop. It's not fun for anybody. So when you started to see videos of what it actually looked like to arrest somebody who did not wanna be arrested people didn't like it.
Yeah. But it hasn't changed when I came on the job and all I had was handcuffs, a pistol and a Baton.
The fight with the bad guy was the same as it was when I had a taser and mace mm-hmm, like the fight didn't change use of force is still as violent and ugly as it was from the beginning to the end and people don't like seeing it. Yeah. And unfortunately, , , there's a necessity for it. People need to, , the police have a job to do, , there's, you need to protect victims, right.
You need to save lives and protect the innocent. And the, and sometimes the bad guys are so bad that it, it's not fun. And I think, , videos started to show that and it made people uncomfortable. Yeah. And I think that's why, , there was like, well, can't we do it another way? Like, can't we put a mental health professional in the car with the police.
Yeah. Right. Well guess what? I don't care. Some, you may have, , I don't the whoever the bad guy is you may have his they're hero in the car with you, but when they don't wanna go with you, they're not going with you. Hmm. And it, and you, and , and the police have a job to do. You don't get to retreat.
, you're there to win every fight as a police officer, cuz you're the person of authority.
Yeah. Now Jimmy talking about, protocol, how much of an effective response is based on gut instinct, reactions and how much is based in protocol and procedure and your training. Good question. , policies, procedures, standard operating procedures, , they're usually developed based on what we've learned, what we've seen, what we're experiencing.
Right? So, they're great. You could develop trainings based on them. You can train your people and how to respond to things we've already experienced or maybe can try to anticipate what we may experience, but what it does never, it never prepares you for is that incident that we never thought of. And that's where experience an instinct of a first responder's gonna come into play.
So, , let's just talk about the school shooter, , early on most school shooters, it ended in suicide, right? Mm-hmm like, it, it almost, it almost told us plan, their plan was mass homicide ending in suicide. That was their plan. And then we learned that, well, if we could pressure them, as soon as we can pressure them and get pressure and they know we're coming, they're gonna kill themselves.
Right. And then that stops the killing. Yeah. That was the idea. Well, then what started to happen? They started getting in shootouts with us. Right. That changes everything. Right. Because now, , we're engaging the suspect. Mm-hmm , , and. You, you may have these ideas, or I may even said like, or made it sound simple that you just go in there and kill 'em, but , you can't just let rounds fly because you have kids in there.
So it's not like a, , a war zone where you could just lay down fire in hopes that you hit the bad guy. Yeah. You still have to be pretty precise and, and have accountability for each round coming outta your weapon, ? So, and then now we see some of 'em are getting taken into custody, right?
Yeah. That's right. Yeah. The, they give up and they, and they want their day in court. So yeah. The Buffalo shoes are Ethan crumbly, Ethan crumbly. Yeah. Yeah. So training and, and procedure and policy, , is, could only be developed as far as what we are able to cons have a conception of, right. What we've known, learned from trends we're seeing, but the minute that outlier comes in.
, that's where you just hope that your first guy there has that basic instinct and kind of adapts and just makes it happen. Yeah. , going back to nickel, mines, , there's never a discussion or training about driving your car through a school door, , but that's what ended up happening.
Like, , that's how you get in the building. Like we never trained it, but somebody thought of it and guess what? Now we know we could do it. And we, and yeah. Sometimes it only takes one time to be told something. Yeah. Right. , when you're a kid you're told don't touch the stove, cuz it's hot.
You probably only gotta be told at once. So, , sometimes training is as simple as saying, Hey guys, just so , your car is a weapon. If you need it period. Mm-hmm right. If your gun breaks and the guy's still shooting at you, you may use your car. Yeah. Can't get in the building. Drive through it.
Hell. Yeah. Yeah. The person you tell that to will never forget that mm-hmm , he doesn't need to go and start driving his car through buildings to get good at it. right. You already knows how to drive, but you planted the seed. So it's gonna sit in there somewhere. And then during a critical incident, it's gonna, it's gonna come back out and he's gonna be like, what, I'm getting in there with my car.
Yeah. I was just thinking kind of analogy. You can, follow the recipe all you want, but you add seasoning to taste. Mm-hmm just for the, people at home. I like that. Yeah. So, , Jimmy, as we kind of wind down, , we've talked about a lot of good, , different topics. , how do you see police, police departments, police training?
How do you see them, , kind of changing in the future. To better respond to similar events, , kind of eat their active shooter or, , barricaded subject. How do you see those kind of, how do you see that changing? I, I think you're gonna see, , a big push for funding for additional training for law enforcement.
I think you're gonna see a lot of departments, , developing new trainings or rolling out mandatory trainings that they didn't have before. , because there's obviously a need, , for the department to train for these incidents, , all departments and, , there's departments in this country that are doing it, they've been doing it.
, if, if this incident happened in certain department areas, it, it probably would've went a lot differently. , unfortunately, and you've got some areas where there's police officers. , having to do tactical entries on a shift by shift basis because they're working in a pretty tough area, ?
but then you're gonna have other departments that are rural or for whatever reason, , just separated from, from what's going on, that, , they're not doing it, , they're not training it. So I think you're gonna see, , something come out that says, , if you wanna be a police department in this country, you need to at least have these basic pieces of equipment tools and, and training offered and given to your people like, yeah, , and we saw a lot of that over the years.
We, , I experienced it in the department. I worked for, , after each, , Columbine nickel, mines, nine 11. , , we rolled out, , these new trainings and we acquired more equipment. And, , you heard in this incident, the information that, , there was a, there was calls for reaching equipment.
There was calls for precision riflemen. There was calls for SWAT special weapons and tactical teams, SWAT teams, , unfortunately we know that you can't be call, you could call if you want, but in the meantime you better be bust in the door down in any way you can. Yeah. But , my experience with like say breaching equipment, , you hear the talk, well, we needed to get the keys from the janitor for the classroom door.
, that's what, that's how they made entry. , in my department, we learned that there's a need for breaching equipment cuz you you're not gonna get the keys. You're definitely not gonna get the keys in the timeline. You wanna get the keys? Oh. Especially in the heat of the moment. Like where's the janitor where's yeah, no, you're not.
And who's, who's bringing them and who's going to get 'em. what I mean? If there's only two of you, ? So, we, we saw the need for breaching equipment and , it initially it's like we got one per supervisor vehicle and then eventually it was like, , two sets per station or every person who was assigned to a school at the time had the breaching equipment.
Like it evolved. It grew, , we, we baby steps to get there, but we saw the need, , there's definitely a need in this country. There's no more tactical teams, SWAT team mentality anymore. Like there's still SWAT teams. They have a definite job. They're a necessity. They're, , they're specialized for certain details, but what's happening now is your basic uniformed patrol officer is now going to need some of their equipment and some of their training.
Hmm. Yeah. Right. He needs, why, why shouldn't your basic beat cop know how to make a tactical entry into a room? Why are we keeping that? Why are we holding that for the SWAT team? Right? Why doesn't your basic patrol guy have breaching tools to get into a building or a school? Right? Why are we saving that for a team that could be an hour away?
Wow. Right. That's that's the conversation that needs to take place. And again, I, I have to say I was fortunate. I worked for a department that did that stuff. Yeah. They, we started training troopers, basic road troopers, and I don't wanna call 'em basic, but the, the rank of trooper who is the guy on the ground.
Yeah. Just starting right. Began to receive training on like tactical training that was usually held for a specialized weapons team. Yeah. And guess who taught them? The SWAT team? Our SWAT team became a training element for the rest of the department. Mm-hmm well, who better to teach you than the guys who do it all the time?
Right? Of course. So, , I, again, I have to say I was fortunate and , anybody who listens to this, , they may work for a department that they don't have access to a SWAT team. First of all, and they don't have the funding or the manpower to even send somebody to training. Right. , there might there's cops in this country that are still, , they're required to, , bring their own gun to school.
Like their department's not even giving them a gun, they gotta get their own, , so if we gotta step it up, , we have to step it up in this country because, , we really need to put a priority on law enforcement as a profession. Yeah. Training, education and equipment. And, and we can't leave little departments or, or disenfranchised departments or whatever you wanna say it out of it, , they gotta be included.
Yeah. We've seen Aldi. It doesn't matter where in the country it can happen anywhere. Yeah, exactly. And just to close out, Jimmy, I'm just curious. Do you see, are you hopeful for the future in terms of, school safety or are you more concerned? No, I'm definitely hopeful. I think, , it's unfortunate.
I think incidents like this light, a fire, , under people in positions to make change, , it's not how I would like it to happen, but, , I think it's just, just how things go, , I think, and I think as a country and as a, as people and parents and school officials, you really need to capitalize on it and just make, make sure nobody ever forgets.
I, I just, sometimes I feel like, , we get complacent months and years after some of these events and , it doesn't happen, but I think, I think it's definitely gonna get better. I think just awareness is a big part of it. And I really think people are, , getting smarter about, , how, how they do it, how they do school safety.
So. and technology, , technology is a big part of yeah. Yeah. Well, it's comforting to hear that from you, Jimmy. Yeah, sincerely. Yeah. Would you encourage a young person to be a police officer? , I, I'll tell a quick story first cuz you guys love my stories cause yeah. Oh yeah.
The hiring process for the department I worked for, , you had to fill out an application and at one point you had to come to the, to the actual bar or station to get a copy of the application, , and I used to try to seize every opportunity, when someone would come in for an application to just kind of get eyes on them, talk to them, what I mean?
It was kind of my mm-hmm rudimentary way of like maybe I'll if I don't think they'll be a good cop, I'll scare them off. what I mean? You're vetting them a little bit. Yeah. But I would, I would say like, Not everybody can be a cop. Right. And, and, I used to love the tagline, like, , equal opportunity employer, , and it would be on there, like, , that they're an equal opportunity employer.
And I would really think about that. And, and I know what it means. I know mm-hmm, technically what, how that's defined, but if you just look at the words, you're really not because yeah. if, if you're a bad guy or you have a criminal record or even bad credit, or, your neighbors don't like you, or, , when you go through the process, you might not have an equal opportunity for that job because you're not the guy we want.
Right. Or the girl we want, so, yeah. but to motivate somebody to become a police officer, I think a lot of that comes, , with the, with the character of the person that you may be trying to motivate. Like, I always said there's, I worked with a lot of people over the years and especially when I would have command of a barracks and I, and be in charge of a group of people, , was a sample of society.
, I'd have, , guys in there that I would never let go to my mother's house and, and do a burglary report. what I mean? I'm like, I don't want him anywhere near my mother. He's, , he's, he not should be around people, let alone, , a family member or, , I had wild, , guys who, , they just weren't good at, , doing accident reports.
, they're just, you're not good at everything, but everybody brings something to the table, ? And, sometimes , that. That police officer that I would love to just keep behind the glass and then break glass if needed guy, , or girl, like if we could do that, that'd be great.
But , obviously we don't have the manpower or the, the resources or the ability to just keep stand by like GI Joe. Yeah. , at bay for when we need GI Joe, , so, tricky, it's a tough thing. And, and, , in today's society, , policing is the hot topic. It's, it's not an easy job.
It's not for everybody. There's a lot of stress. There's a lot of risk. and it takes a unique person. So, but to motivate them, I never got more satisfaction out of anything in my life than, , being able to, at the end of the day, , save someone's life or mm-hmm, felt that I removed somebody from a life threatening situation.
Like what. Well, what better reward is there than that, right. Than, , preserving human life. Mm-hmm , that would be the motivation. Like if you're someone who just really wants to feel the, the internal reward of being able to just help someone else. And that may only happen once in 25 years of your career.
So you need to be patient, then become a police officer. Awesome. Good answer. Well, Jimmy, that was, I mean, that was a really awesome discussion. And, I think we will, we'll probably have you in the future as well in, in other seasons. Oh, definitely other seasons. And, definitely gonna, you have a wealth of, of knowledge and experience that we'll want to draw on for a future conversations about response or tactics strategy, anything like that, and, even psychology.
cuz I know even towards the end, we're, we're talking about just the idea of, of how the, the, the role of police officers have has changed. And, and there's a lot of, , kind of, , is that a symptom of something else that's going in going on with our society. So really appreciate it. Totally.
I hope anytime there is a, school shooting that we have an opportunity to talk about. We can have Jimmy on to kind of evaluate how the response went. Definitely. And, for our listeners, you can find Jimmy on LinkedIn. we'll include, , some, , his, his name and if you want to kind of check out some other webinars and, and, right.
Jimmy, you've kind of done, you've done some webinars that are posted online. Yep. And, Jimmy's an awesome resource and, and a great guy to follow. So thanks again, Jimmy. No, I appreciate it guys. Great job. And thank you for the opportunity. Awesome. We'll catch you guys in the next episode and we'll have a preview or a trailer right after this.