Wednesday, December 5, 2007

We're with you

What can we say? Chief, you know we'd do anything you need. Your staff is doing a great job under serious pressue.

It's so incredibly frustrating to see these events unfold in our society. Were they happening all along, and we just existed in our little envelope of bliss before the instant and mass media?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

300 million people is a mighty large system (and vastly larger than that, if you go global), and statistically speaking, you'll have a few of them going off the rails all the time here and there. They'll have various motivations, with the common thread being that they're all some variety of nutjob.

If you take a search engine and go looking nationwide for crime stories of any stripe, you can find a big stack of them every day, just pick your poison. This stuff was always out there, to one degree or another, but it's just easier than ever to find it all with a minimum of effort. Yes, cable news would likely have been "all Starkweather, all the time" back then - at least until the next story knocked it off the ticker.

Anonymous said...

I am very sorry for the families of the victims.

Chief, I know,( well hope), this thing is not very rampant around our parts. However, is there anything being done here in Lincoln to 'beef' up security around our malls? Are you concerned about copycats here in Lincoln? I know for a fact LPD would be very good at responding to such a tradgedy as this.
Thank you,
Jenn

JoeMerchant24 said...

Chief,

I was impressed by OPD's response. Apparently the lessons of Columbine and Va Tech were noticed.

Instead of setting up a perimeter, controlling the scene, and waiting for SWAT/ESU, it appears that the responding officers went right in.

I'm sure you don't want to discuss LPD's specific plan, but can you at least give your opinion on the difference in response between VaTech and Westroads (or perimeter/wait vs. enter/confront)?

Anonymous said...

What are we going to do without them?

Tom Casady said...

Jenn-

Yes, we're patrolling Lincoln's malls closely yesterday and today. It's important for employees and customers to feel safe, and like you, many people think about "copy cats."

Joe-

The Virginia Tech shootings were complicated by the fact that the shooter chained and locked the doors. The responders had a delay in making entry as a result. We've equipped many of our patrol cars with "entry kits" as a result--things like an axe, baseball bat, and bolt cutters in a case.

Most police officers these days have had specific training in "active shooter" scenarios. The change in police strategy and training became pretty common in the wake of Columbine

JoeMerchant24 said...

Thanks Chief.

Anonymous said...

On a related note, it might comfort a lot of folks to know that UNLPD is quite proactive in training for a VT-type scenario on their campuses and better-equipped in the hardware department than are most University police forces.

Bob said...

Chief;
In an earlier post, joemerchant24 stated that the OPD "went right in" to Von Maur. the information I have seen today in the Omaha World Herald indicates this was not the case. Thirty minutes before the first officer got to the third floor area.......I hope the LPD has a better plan in place. With additional ammunition, this guy could have done a lot more damage.

Psalm 23 said...

Anon 9:54 touched on an important clue, that being (IMHO), "they're all some variety of nutjob."

Years of cutting the guts out of funding for mental health in-patient facilities & outpatient programs for the low-income and homeless has confronted society with a large influx of new challenges and dangers.

I'm not blaming this one "aspect," mind you, just saying it is an important component in many of the sad societal positions in which we are finding ourselves more and more often: More homeless (including women and children) and fewer individuals with mental health issues receiving the outpatient care they require "within the system."

Mix young mentally ill men with the combination of continual playing of highly violent computer games, drug and/or alcohol abuse, and unemployment, and you have a dangerous mix that can "go haywire" when that proverbial straw hits the camel's back in the life of a desperate, depressed individual.

Wednesday's shootings and deaths deeply grieved me and I feel extreme sympathy and pity for those affected directly and indirectly.

I believe the employees at Von Maurs, and the company itself, are to be commended for their recent training of employees for just this type of situation, and their swift and competent handling of customers. These heroic (IMHO) employees showed bravery and compassion for their customers, even perhaps became targets by doing so, I don't know.

It is gut-wrenching to read the stories of the fine lives these victims led and the love and grief of the left behind families, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc.

Omaha's response in the face of such tragedy has been dignified, cool-headed sympathy and empathy in dealing with all the aspects of the media frenzy, families searching for loved ones, medical workers, law enforcement officers, and mall employees, especially the Von Maur employees. I am proud to be a Nebraskan when I see and read the accounts of their dignified, compassionate responses to incomprehensible horror, all in the line of duty.

And I pray for the young man who had so sadly lost his way long before most knew. It is tragedy enough when someone takes their own life, but to also take the lifes of innocent strangers in some mental fantasy of "going out in a blaze of glory" is the worst tragedy of them all.

God bless the Omaha Police Chief, officers, mall employees, friends, relatives, co-workers, neighbors, and acquaintences of those who died so needlessly. May they find some semblence of Peace this Christmas.

Atticus said...

Bob,
Let's not start digging into the OPD response. By all accounts I have seen, they responded appropriately and according to training. By the time they entered the shooting was already over. Had the shooter still been engaging victims, I have no doubt the officers would have moved directly to the shooter. The goal behind this type of response dictates that officers move directly to the threat. If the location of the threat is unknown (because there is no sound of gunfire etc), things slow down a little and officers must complete a hasty search while progressing through the building. With a minimum number of officers and such a huge building, this could take a while. LPD's training is much the same and I have no doubt that if the shooter would have had more ammo and was still shooting, officers would have run to that gunfire to address the problem and end it.