It has been over a week since the 4 police officers were murdered in Lakewood, Washington. After the outrage, the grieving and the inevitable questions about why, we must step back from the tragedies and reflect on the lessons learned. We must ask ourselves what we need to differently in our physical training and our mental preparation to prevent another murder like this. This reflection is not a criticism of anyone, it is an examination of our training and our habits (we are creatures of habit) to determine what we need to do differently in the future. It is not about being paranoid, it is about being prepared. I would ask you to assess your practices and your training and find ways to grow from this.
Today I am going to end by sharing something written by Chief Jeff Chudwin (a true warrior and leader) following the murders of these four fellow warriors.
I have heard from many of you today as to the murder of four of our Brother and Sister Officers from Lakewood WA P.D.
Each of us recalls where we were when we heard this news. FOUR OFFICERS MURDERED, FOUR…is it possible; how can this be?
Like those of you who wrote, I too feel a deep anger and sense of loss.
We did not know these Officers as partners or friends but each of us is one of them.
There is little we can say that will either make sense of this evil or in any way give comfort to the familles who must now live a life of unimaginable loss.
Where words fail, action must stand.
Let us first resolve to use all our lawful might to bring those responsible to justice or finish any fight they offer.
We have faced this evil before and will do so again.
We have buried our honored dead and somehow continued forward.
Every day, each of us starts anew with no promise of safety and no assurance of peace.
We do so understanding that there is no sanctuary and violence may come at anytime and place.
We choose to do this for our communities and nation and take on the heavy burden that comes with it.
We cannot detach our families and loved ones from what we do.
Like the families of our Brother and Sisters in the Military, those who wait carry the heaviest burden.
We will find out the facts in this case and it will make no sense, it never does.
We will remember each of these fine Officers and make their life and death have meaning.
When the news reports have ended and the rest of the world has forgotten, we will not.
For now, let us keep faith with the fallen by offering a prayer for them and their families.
Let us further resolve to move our attention to our practices and safety.
It can and does happen to any Officer, anywhere, and anytime.
There is true evil in the criminal and terrorist creatures who are targeting us and our citizens.
Doom on them.
Never give up, never give in.
We are it; if not us then who will take on this honorable duty?
Be proud of who we are and what we represent.
We are the Thin Blue Line that has not wavered or failed.
Without us, there is nothing else but anarchy.
Be ever vigilant, armed and prepared, standing ready to fight, and win.
All of us together….what it is and will always be.
I will not tell you to stay safe tonight as safety is not our calling.
Instead, I will finish by telling you how much I respect you and thank you for what you do.
God Bless our fallen and all who must continue.