No. Not that one.
About 20 years ago, while I was a police officer, we had a series of storms come through South East Virginia. I don’t remember which storm it was, Bonnie or Floyd but it was pretty impactful with flooding in my city. Myself and 2 other officers jumped in some rushing flood waters to get to an overturned mini-van with a man trapped inside. We didn’t think about it. We just jumped in. We successfully got the man out of the van and out of the water. All three of us made it out without an issue.
The three of us were eventually awarded the Virginia Association of Chief’s of Police Life Saving Award as well as a department Life Saving Medal. After the award ceremony, one of our department Sergeants came up to me and shook my hand. But he made a statement, that was partially a joke, and partially a warning.
He said, “Just remember White, there is a thin line between being a hero and being the subject of a training film.”
That statement has stuck with me over the years. I have shared it with younger officers while I was still in the department, as well as newly minted officers, young friends of mine and others.
Today, in a discussion on Facebook, I made a similar statement that is more directed at non-law enforcement friends. Many of my friends carry firearms for personal defense. The statement that I made to this group of people discussing the employment of firearms was: “There is a thin line between hero and inmate.” I was referring to the employment of a firearm against a criminal fleeing a scene.
Edit: If you are considering “insurance”, offered by many companies, there are some questions you should ask them.
- Do you cover lawyer fees for bond hearings?
- Do you cover bonding fees?
- Do you cover lost wages while the insured is incarcerated or even potentially after the insured is terminated from their position?
- Do you cover third party expenses that may be required by the lawyer?
- Do you cover the cost of a replacement weapon while the insured’s is in evidence?
I am absolutely sure the list could be much longer, but the most obvious that struck me are here. These are all direct, short term impacts of employing a weapon against another human being.