We all get complacent on the job. You go to 100 disturbance calls a year, and 90% of them are uneventful.
But complacency can kill. We all saw how quickly things went bad for Officer Richard Francis (and I'm not saying he was complacent - just pointing out how the unexpected can strike at any time.)
From Police One:
|He admits he had become somewhat complacent when it came to breaking and entering calls. The Lansing, Michigan, Police Department responds to dozens of such calls every week and most of them turn out to be nothing more serious than an estranged boyfriend returning to the apartment for his belongings. Many times, a parent gets a child to call in claiming the "intruder" has a gun so police will arrive faster.The call that came in from a calm-sounding little girl about 10:30 p.m. on April 29, 2004, sounded like all the rest, and there was no mention of a gun. So, as Officer Robert Vargas walked from his patrol car to the apartment building, he wasn't expecting the worst.He couldn't have known he was being watched by gunmen who were waiting for him inside.As he had done on so many B&E calls before, he checked the door, the door facing and the windows for sign of forced entry. There was none. Then, he heard a woman screaming, as if she were screaming for her life. Officer Vargas, a nine-year veteran of the department, pushed the door open and saw a woman laying face down in the floor, her hands bound behind her back, only partially clothed. A man wearing a mask, which revealed part of his face, stood in the kitchen and stared at the officer. Holding nothing in his hands, the man began walking slowly and quietly into the living room, appearing to make his way toward another door. Officer Vargas followed him for a couple of steps and stopped. "Something just didn't feel right," he said. "He never said a word while I was talking to him, and kept walking away from me. So, I decided to leave and wait for backup." When Officer Vargas turned to his left to make his way back to the front door, there was a gun pointed at his face from behind a half-wall on the staircase. The gunman wore a mask. Officer Vargas bent down to his left to get his face away from the gun, and the man lunged toward him and fired one shot to his left chest."I crawled as fast as I could to the front door that I left open. Then, I heard a second shot," he said.The second bullet from the 9 mm gun grazed his right pinky finger before coming to rest in his left arm and shattering the ulna. Officer Vargas said he saw his forearm "explode."|
Story continues here.
Safety begins with your equipment: keep your weapon clean and oiled. Make sure your vest is up to date, check your holster and make sure it secures your weapon properly. How old is your pepper spray?
Keep it simple, brothers and sisters. I'm counting on each and everyone of you to go home safely to your loved ones tonight.