Loss for words

I haven’t fully reviewed the article yet, but I wanted this out there ASAP to start the prayers for these officers and their families.

Be safe. Watch your ass. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times…traffic stops and domestics. They’re the most unpredictable and dangerous details we go to.

This tragedy was brought to my attention by another Officer. Thank you for taking the time to hit me up. Stay safe, brother…or sister.

I just don’t know what else to say at the moment.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

10 thoughts on “Loss for words

  1. There are many, many things wrong with this story.

    It wasn't polite to say last week, but its time now- there are some serious training issues going on at OPD, and evidently in Pittsburgh, as well. These departments owe these officers better training, and the officers deserve management that isn't afraid to sideline or dismiss officers that aren't serious. Fucking off and not paying attention, or just being a doofus to begin with, risks more than your own neck- you become one more factor weighing against your partner and fellow officers making it home safe.

    This is not to denigrate the memories of the 7 officers that have died in these two stories- doing the job and going into harm's way takes guts. But when this many officers fall to too-similar circumstances, management is clearly not creating competent forces.

    There needs to be some discussion in this country about how officers are trained and vetted.

    Also, this illustrates the problem with restrictive gun laws. I presume PA has similar law to CA, in which someone convicted of simple battery (PC 242 in CA) gets a 10-year ban on firearm ownership. If this nutjob in PA had been prosecuted for fistfighting with his neighbors, there is no way he should have had ANY guns, let alone an AK-47.

    It does no good to have laws that DAs and cops refuse to enforce, and neighbors that are too cowed or stupid to report this violent shit's propensity to collect guns.

    Safety is EVERYONE's job, and its about damn time that American's got serious about it and STOP FUCKING AROUND.

  2. Thanks M/C. I wrote you earlier about this story. It's brother by the way. Thanks for posting the story it's another tragic day for us.To North State DA:
    Thats a hell of a judgemental comment. To accuse dead coppers of "fucking off", before their bodies are even cold is outrageous. That 3rd Pitt cop was off duty on his way home when he heard the help call. He responded, then entered the kill zone and took a fatal bullet to save someone elses life. I don't know about you but i call that KING KONG BALLS. That kind of sacrifice and dedication is whats supposed to brings us home safely. However, when weapons of war are waged on us training can fall short. We are taught to take cover behind walls and so forth. What good is that against an AK-47? I have suffered the loss of 2 copper friends who were murdered in the line of duty. To say I take exception with your comment is putting it mildly!

    Thanks Motor Cop, you stay safe out there too!

  3. @NSDA

    The Pittsburgh officers were responding to a domestic dispute call, a typical occurrence for nearly every LEO on a beat. The perp was lying in wait for them. This was a cold-blooded ambush.

    No amount of training would have prevented this. This could happen with every doorknock and every vehicle stop.

  4. Anonymous-

    Just to be clear, I haven't accused any of the officers in these incidents of anything. My comments were addressed soley at management in these departments and at other officers that may have made mistakes that contributed tothese tragedies. These incidents are going to be analyzed, torn apart, and argued about for years. Its not impossible that every officer involved did everything right, and that the training they received was adequate to handle those situations, and that the bad guys just got lucky. But its highly unlikely.

    Totemizing these events and focusing soley on the tragedy and loss will only get one thing done- more dead cops. Both of these events, coming so close together, should act as a huge warning that our police are not adequately trained to handle entry situations when the bad guy has an assault rifle.

    The comment about "fucking off" was similarly not directed at any of the slain officers, but those officers on every force that are phoning it in, not taking it seriously, or keeping their head down and trying to cruise through. Every department has them. If you work for or with a department where every officer is motivated, sharp, and well-trained, then brother, you are the only one. In both of these incidents, had other officers arrived sooner, with better gear and proper tacticts, maybe the outcome would have been different- maybe not. But that question unasked is a time bomb.

    One thing that certainly WON'T keep any officers alive is sniping at people calling for reform and choosing to take offense at words and ideas that aren't in fact offensive. Quite frankly, I can think of no better way to honor the memories of those fallen officers than to keep their fellow officers from meeting the same fate.

  5. Per most media outlets, the suspect in this case phoned in a possibly false domestic disturbance call and then waited to ambush the officers as they arrive.

    Let's be clear, there are no tactics and no training that can prepare law enforcement for this type of incident. In this case, the only person at fault was the asshole with the AK. Not the cops, not Admin, not the media.

    How many 911 hangups have I been to? Countless. How many 10-33 (alarm) calls? Countless. How easy would it be to summon cops to your house using a diversion like this? Fucking simple. It's not a matter of being complacent. We don't send the SWAT team for a fucking 911 call. We send A cop.

    It could be any of us. We'll always need better equipment and more training. We'll never be as well armed as most bad guys. It's a fact of life. It's always safer and easier to Monday morning quarterback events such as these than it is to respond to them.

  6. So there is alot more to this story. First off, let me preface this by saying that the longer I'm in this business, the less I trust the media. They can get the most mundane, obvious details wrong. Here is the link I am working off:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30056990/

    It turns out that Richard Poplowski (hereafter scumbag) lived with his mother. He had been kicked out of Marine Corps boot camp after he snapped and threw a tray of food at his drill instructor.

    Sometime on the morning of 4 Apr 09, he started arguing with his mother. It turns out that his mom had a dog that was pissing all over the house, and scumbag was mad about it.

    Scumbag's mom told him that she was finished with him, and that he needed to move out. She called 911, and told dispatch she needed help kicking him out (this is from the article- my guess is that a mom kicking out her son wouldn't get a visit from the cops unless she also reported some kind of potential for violence.)

    To Pittsburgh PD officers showed up. Mom answered the door, and said her son was inside. The officers came inside, and confronted a hail of bullets. Mom says she had no idea what was going on. Both were shot in the head, and one was also shot in the torso.

    The third officer was in uniform, but had just finsihed his shift and was heading home. Somehow, he heard about the incident, and responded. He was shot in the street. No further details are yet available.

    Another officer was evidently caught a round in the hand during the firefight. Scumbag was taken to the hospital at some point after he was aprehended. He has gunshot wounds to the legs, but is expected to survive. He was wearing a bullet resistant vest, and reports indicate he got tagged at least once in the vest.

    Another story I read earlier (no URL avaialble, sorry) indicates that scumbag had been involved in conflicts with neighbors, some of them physical, in the past.

    Does this change anybody's opinion of what happened?

  7. I'd like to think the report from MSNBC only serves to illustrate my point. We go to hundreds of domestics (and this wasn't, by CA law, a domestic by the by). No amount of training could have prepared them for what happened.

    Can we approach every house like its a terrorist enclave? Sure. Is that appropriate? Who's to say. At the end of the day, I'm just tired about hearing about more dead cops.

  8. Holy shit, chatty cathy. You must have been one annoying thorn in the side of your law school instructors.

    Never were one to be at a loss for words.

  9. North state DA may have had some good points there but i will never know because a could not read that and still collect my paycheck in good conscience.
    -BIL

  10. Well it came out today. The dispatcher was told about the guns and didn't relay it to the officers. Those poor guys never had a chance. They're exonerated. They did their jobs professionally and heroically. They did us all proud. God bless them!

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