The bureaucrats strike again – and may have cost lives

This is what happens when bureaucrats put procedures and policies above the safety of human life.

When a gunman started shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, two Miramar SWAT team members did what comes naturally: They went to help.

Now they’ve been suspended for it.

The officers did not have permission to respond to the shooting at Parkland on Feb. 14, when 17 people were killed.

And that created an officer safety issue and left them unaccountable for their actions, according to their police department.

. . .

A third SWAT member, Officer Kevin Gonzalez, was accused of being linked to several social media posts that put the city and police in a negative light, and was suspended for violating the department’s social media policy and the code of conduct … All three were notified Feb. 22 of their indefinite removal from what their department called a “privileged program” and were ordered to surrender their SWAT-issued rifles, but they remain on active duty for their other assignments, Rues said.

There’s more at the link.

In one sense, I can understand the decision.  If one doesn’t know which responders are on scene or on the way there, there’s the risk that one or more might become a “friendly fire” casualty – it’s happened before.  However, there’s an overriding priority when it comes to mass casualty events, potential or actual.  That priority is to stop the incident becoming any worse.  If it’s a shooter, take him down if possible;  if not, get potential victims out of the danger zone as quickly as possible.  You can’t do that while the bullets are still flying if you hang back and wait for orders.  That’s what the Broward County Sheriff’s Office did – and they’re being (rightly) pilloried for it.  I wonder how many children died or were injured because that order was given?

I think every officer who dropped everything and responded is to be commended for their courage and dedication to duty.  As for command and control issues;  yes, they exist, but there are times when they take second place to saving lives.  IMHO, the Parkland school shooting was such a time.



  1. The thing I don't see mentioned is that Miramar is as far from Parkland as one can get and still be in Broward County. Miramar is on the southern county line, Parkland on the northern line.

    First off, it's a long drive and it will take them a long time to get there. Second off, it's not clear they were off duty. If they were on duty, there remains the possibility they would have been needed in their own jurisdiction.

    I don't know, so I have no opinion or position on the story other than that it might not be as straightforward as it appears.

  2. Cops will always put your safety last. First them, then their fellow cops, then you. You should arm yourself.
    SiG puts exactly the right spin on the post. Consider these guys had kids in that school or their sisters did.

  3. I trust that if Sheriff is an elected position, that there will be a new sheriff at the next election.

  4. I can't find any mention of when they actually arrived. After the first 10 minutes and yeah, they might have just been in the way. Every timeline I have read said all shooting had stopped within 10 minutes. Sounds like mistakes were made all the way around by law enforcement, including by these two guys. Especially if what SiG says is true and they weren't just in the neighborhood. I don't have any reason to doubt he is wrong.

  5. But the findings from Columbine, supposedly the Gold Medal of school shooting responses (the findings, not what actually happened) show that the way to stop a shooting/attack/assault is to dog-pile the living frack out of the situation, to enter as soon as possible, in spits and spats, to search, rescue, scout, and potentially destroy.

    Frack, if a school I was in was in an active-shooter situation, I'd want the DOT guys, the FDLE, State Troopers, Fish and Wildlife, local cops, local sheriff deputies, non-local cops and deputies, piling on the school like it was a football in a fumble at a college football playoff.

    Damn. Will nobody call a spade a spade and point the blame at the correct invdividuals, the School District, the Coward Sheriff and his people, the FBI, and the administration of the Great Lightbringer Himself, The allmight Lord Obama (hwack-ptuie)???? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller? Fry? Fry?

  6. And as to the two Miramar SWAT members, they were in the area of the incident when the call came out.

    Again, the proper response is "YES" and the response time is "NOW." Otherwise you get the 3 hour wait that killed so many at the Pulse Nightclub attack. (Cops on site almost immediately. But no cops entered, all cops went home alive afterwards.)

  7. I don't know all the details, but it sounds like they were at least TRYING, and now they're punished for it.

    Way to go, good way to make sure that the next time something happens, everyone will stop and check their rule books before trying to do ANYTHING.

    We really are just about done, aren't we?

  8. Once worked for a man with a Harvard MBA. His philosophy was procedures covered 90-95% of the daily business minutia. How the 5-10% was dealt with separated a viable business from a bureaucracy. I believe that philosophy should apply to law enforcement.

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