News here out of Los Angeles that a tactical officer in Los Angeles was killed entering a suspect’s house yesterday. The first one ever, from the city that invented the SWAT Team. Thoughts and prayers, if you will, to his family.
I have some experience with tactical entries, and can tell you this: The officers who choose to be the “first man” in the door are unique and heroic beyond description. SWAT officers only arrive when the shit has hit the fan. They only deal with the most dangerous people. And the only get involved when all the other cops are at a loss. Truly “dangerous men for a dangerous world.”
I though I might share how other officers feel when a cop is killed. As you can see here, it happens all too often. Five officers in the past WEEK.
I suppose since we are programmed from day one at the academy to be “tough” (whatever that means), we try and block these things out almost immediately. Here are the two things that always enter my mind:
1. I feel guilty and responsible. It could have, after all, been me there at the door. It wasn’t, and now someone else is gone.
2. I feel proud. Sounds a bit nuts, but just like our women and men in Iraq, I stick with this career because I believe it means something. I am far from an LAPD SWAT operator, believe me. However I, and thousands others, do a job that is potentially fatal. I am proud to stand up for the weak and the victimized. I am proud to be equipped and willing to dispense with the evil. And with no disrespect, at moments like this I must admit that I look at the cubicle robots and think, “what did your career mean?”
No one will ever have to look back and see what Officer Simmons’ life meant. Rest In Peace.