Two Police Questions – What Would You Do?

by Jack

Imagine you are a police officer, in uniform and your weapons are a pistol, AR15 or 12 ga. shotgun.  You have been placed in charge of the following high risk situations.   What would you do?

Scenario 1.   You have plenty of time to make a decision on this one.

It’s 7 a.m., clear weather, dispatch receives a tip from a reliable informant that 3 escapees from an out of state prison are hold up in a two story apartment building in a rundown residential area of town.  The escapees are all convicted murderers, you must presume them to be armed.  The prison confirms their escape.

There is no way to approach their apartment on the 2nd story without going up a long flight of stairs.   The bad guys can see two of their 4 sided apartment very clearly.   The stairs are enclosed and old, so they are creaky, but the stairway entrance is blocked from the view of Apt. 1.

You know that Apt. 1. is occupied by one male in his 50’s and that 3 men all matching the description of the escapees have arrived 2 days ago and are believe inside, nobody has seen them leave.  The apartment is rented to a former inmate that is suspected to be a friend to one of the 3 escapees.   There is no noise coming from Apt. 1.    Just 4 feet away from door number 1 is apt. 2’s front door. (There are no back doors or fire escapes).  Apt. #2 is occupied by a young mother with three small children under the age of 5.  There is nobody home in the bottom floor.   Okay, you have a number officers you can use and a number of police vehicles.  What do you do and in what order of priority?

Scenario 2.  This is a split second decision, no time to think it through, you must react.  You and one other police unit are dispatched to a silent alarm at a closed warehouse.  The two of you roll up to the warehouse quietly, with lights off and exit…you approach the last 150 feet on foot, its quiet.  You are quickly flipping your flashlight on and off to check the area for threats.   You see none.  The time is 3 a.m., lighting in the area is poor, just distant street lights, everything else is dark and deserted.  No traffic, no pedestrians, its just dead quiet.

The warehouse is big, it takes up the entire block and a paved street is on all 4 sides.   Your partner is positioned on the southeast corner and you are on the northwest corner, now all 4 sides are visible.   Your partner radios to tell you it looks like a forced entry to a window on the south wall.

Near you is an open 30 X 20 storage yard filled with junk machinery.  There’s an old dilapidated 8 ft. high chicken wire fence around the perimeter.

Suddenly a warehouse window opens, and someone in dark clothing drops to the ground in the storage yard.  It appears to be an adult male.  He starts to run in your direction.  No one else exits the warehouse, it appears he’s alone and has spotted your backup officer.

You’re somewhat concealed by darkness, then suddenly you make your presence known, “Police officer, stop or I’ll shoot!”  He continues to run, you repeat your warning!  The male figure jumps on the fence, but it collapses under his weight.  He gets up and continues to run almost straight into you.    The distance is now less than 12 feet, your weapon is drawn, its dark, you can’t see if there is anything in his hands or even what race he is.  All you see is a large silhouette and he’s either charging at you or he’s trying to escape.  So what do you do?






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5 Responses to Two Police Questions – What Would You Do?

  1. Pie Guevara says:

    Scenario 1. Cover all exits, Send a plain clothes female officer up to apartment 2 to explain the situation and quietly evacuate anyone inside. While the evacuation is proceeding send up enough officers to storm apartment 1. Wait and listen to see if anyone can be heard inside apartment 1, then knock or bust in announcing you are the police.

    2. Shoot

    • Post Scripts says:

      ANSWER TO #1. (FYI these scenarios actually happened.) Here was the teams plan and it was not perfect, but it was the best they could do at the time.

      They began by evacuating the building and all nearby structures in the line of fire. To do that they used stealth, an officer dressed as a cable repairman. (Pie you scored high on that one) Police were kept out of sight, but the area was encircled to prevent escape and to prevent unauthorized entry into the danger area.

      It was decided not to use the narrow stairwell. It provided no escape and if the bad guys were tipped off and started shooting the officers would have no cover. Stairwells are considered death traps by cops, so they try to avoid them if possible.

      Once the area was secure the police vehicles slowly and quietly rolled in, surrounding the apartment 4-plex as a visible sign of firepower. The suspects were called out by a bullhorn. The escapees surrendered without incident. Turns out, they were unarmed.

      ANSWER TO #2. The officer had a justifiable shooting event. But, he gambled the burglar was unarmed and here’s why: Remember, the burglar leapt onto the fence. it collapsed and he fell to the ground, then got up quickly to run – even though the cop couldn’t see he hands he reasoned if the burglar held a weapon he would not have been so agile, a 60-40 bet… at best. Next, because it happened so fast the officer did not have time to holster his weapon and could not safely engage the burglar in a struggle with one hand, so he sidestepped burglar and used his pistol like a billy club. One smack to the head – game over. The burglar was 17, unarmed, 1st offense and he was acting alone. I would say both were lucky.

  2. Dewey says:

    I have no desire to be a cop. That said I think it is fair to say on the split decision scenario Muscle memory would take over.

    Training and overall morals of the department come into play. That is why we need to reform our whole system. also they use to aim got lower body parts.

    Better question would have been “What is the proper way to handle the situation”

    We need to bring back the stop (freeze) they no longer shout.

  3. Pie Guevara says:

    Re #2 Dewey : “We need to bring back the stop (freeze) they no longer shout.”

    Idiot. That is total bull****. That practice has not been abandoned you idiot from progressive hell.

    This fellow has it right, progressives believe what they want to believe and no one can’t change that —

  4. Harold says:

    I’ll leave the scenarios up to the trained personnel, and let their experience dictate the course of action.

    However that comment about “bring back Freeze” had me “ROTFL”, considering todays disrespected for authority, and police specifically, like FREEZE is going to be the magic solution, really?

    Most COPS are Officer Friendly until you give them a reason to stop being Officer Friendly.

    How any officer’s contact goes is up to ‘YOU’ to dictate. You be polite, they’ll be polite.

    You want to get aggressive and put them on alert, well then instantly, being polite and courteous becomes a secondary concern.

    Why? because often cops have to work in environments where they are the ONLY ONES that have to follow the rules.

    If a COP needs to pull out the taser and commands you to stop, and you yell “don’t tase me,” but are still running toward them…. chances are you will be getting tased.

    Also “Stop resisting” means exactly that. Don’t say “I’m not resisting” as you throw a punch, and expect that polite part to kick back in.

    When you take an aggressive stance and threaten an officer, remember a couple of things:

    This is what they do for a living, and don’t get paid to lose; and they have all those cool toys to help them accomplish winning.

    Plus even if you do manage to win, they have got a whole mess of people coming to help them, and they are going to be pissed at you!

    SO, Yes, you have rights:

    But please bear in mind that with those rights come obligations.

    So if an officer is standing in front of you and he’s commanding you to “Stop”, it’s usually a good idea to do as he asks.

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