BE SAFE: How to Interact With Police While Carrying or Not

Sometimes it seems like a day doesn’t go by when we aren’t hearing about a school shooting or the police shooting an unarmed person.

While gun rights advocates do attempt to enter discussions about school shootings and disagreeing with gun grabber backed restrictions on the Second Amendment, there is a strange silence when it comes to police shootings.

As we are seeing with new laws being crafted in California, however, our LEOs (the iconic “good guy with a gun) are every bit as much a target of gun grabbers and their socially destructive agenda as every other legal, law abiding citizen of this country.  It is my contention that if gun rights advocates do not enter the conversation surrounding police shootings, we will lose the chance to find a constructive answer that enables police to do their job without unnecessarily endangering innocent people.

What Are You Thinking vs What Are They Thinking?

Most people don’t walk or drive around thinking that someone is going to call the police and claim they are committing a crime and may be carrying a gun.  To the average person’s mind, if they haven’t committed a crime, they don’t see a reason for the police to approach them as if they are a criminal.  Nevertheless, every police shooting of an unarmed person starts out with the police actively looking for a criminal that matches the description of the person that was shot.

As simplistic as it sounds, in order to begin restoring common sense to police interactions with citizens, it is important to realize that the parties involved simply aren’t on the same page.  Here are some possible places where you and the officers responding might be in terms of situation awareness levels:

  • Code White – If you don’t have much situation awareness, you may be thinking more about the the text you got a few minutes ago or where you are going to have lunch as opposed to what is going on around you.  While personal safety advocates don’t recommend being out in public in “Code White”, the sad fact is many people are.  In this case, if a police officer comes up to you, it is entirely possible that you won’t even think that reaching into a pocket could get you shot to death.  Needless to say, an officer that is on duty will never be at Code White in terms of situation awareness.  If you are in this space, you are automatically not on the same page.  While that won’t always have lethal consequences, it can most certainly lead to misunderstandings.
  • Code Yellow – When you are out in public, the optimal situation awareness level is yellow.  At this stage you are aware of everything going on around you.  There are no adrenalin surges to cloud your mind, but at the same time, it will be very hard to surprise you or cause you to do something you would regret later on. Ideally, when a police officer approaches, you and they should be at this level.  In this space, you are both aware that the officer is armed, and this gives you both a chance to act responsibly.
  • Code Orange – At this situation awareness level, you are aware that something is going on around you, or something is not right.  This is the stage where your heart rate may begin to accelerate, and adrenalin will start preparing your body to “flee or fight”.  To be fair, it is likely that LEOs spend a good bit of their time in this space simply because it is their job to deal with things that are wrong and potentially life threatening – like armed criminals.

They are also supposed to be trained on how to handle this level and switch quickly down to Code Yellow or up to Code Red based on situation assessment and without making a mistake.   You don’t have to be a police officer to know this is hard work and that mistakes can happen no matter how good you think you are.  If you think it is easy – try some shoot/don’t shoot training programs.

Look for programs where they will immerse you using VR or 3D technology sufficient to create an adrenalin surge, and then confront you with the opposite (ie something harmless) of what you believe is going on.

For the moment, let’s just say that where you might be expecting an officer to approach you in Code Yellow, he or she may be well into Code Orange without you having any inkling of what is going on.  During the encounter itself, the citizen may still be in Code Yellow.  They are likely to still trust the officer will not hurt them, because in the citizen’s mind they are innocent and, to them, it is obvious they are also unarmed.

At this stage, the citizen does not realize that they are in danger, let alone know what to do about it.  Even if an officer approaches you at a Code Orange level, it is, or still should be possible to communicate with them and come to a resolution that doesn’t include someone getting shot to death.

  • Code Red – When you are in this stage, all the evaluation is done, and you have only to follow through on whatever action  you think is best.  Typically, in a police and citizen encounter, a citizen will only go to Code Red if they are a criminal or seek to evade the police for some reason.  LEOs on the other hand, will enter Code Red for a number of reasons including defense of others, apprehension of someone engaged in a life threatening criminal act, or in self defense.

What Happens When Someone Calls 911?

When a police shooting happens, you will usually hear a blurb about how the police were responding to a 911, or some other emergency call.  In these communications, the caller may have indicated they were reporting a person with a gun in the process of committing a crime or fleeing a crime scene.

Regardless of the mindset of the 911 caller, the police will treat the call as a legitimate emergency situation and a plea for help.  It is their job to investigate and stop crimes from happening if at all possible.

In my opinion, which is based on observation of current events, when someone calls 911 and says that someone matching your description may be committing a crime with a gun; there is every chance the LEO(s) responding will arrive on the scene at Code Orange and climbing fast to Code Red.   It’s nothing personal, and it has nothing to do with race or any other factor frequently used as a talking point by activists who blame police solely for these shootings.



What if You are the Target?

If you are the subject of the call, do not forget that a Code Orange situation awareness level may be  aimed at you, and that the officer is entering the situation with potentially wrong, but damaging information that you don’t know about.  Do not forget they can make mistakes and misread every move you make because of that prior information.  You have no choice but to listen and follow what they tell you to do.

  • If they tell you to put your hands on your lap, do not move to put them on your head, yell, or ask what it is all about.
  • Do not move or speak unless directed to do so; and stay focused on what you are being asked.
  • Remember, you are dealing with an armed and trained person that believes they are responding to a crime scene, as opposed to an actual perpetrator intent on doing harm.
  • They are, however, stressed and may still be thinking about prior information supplied by the 911 caller.  As such, it is best to just let the officer do his or her job and give them time to get their own adrenalin issues under control based on the reality that you pose no threat to them or anyone else.
  • If you want to have a cell phone or some other device recording, it will have to be on and recording before the police come up to you. Do not try to start a recording in the middle of the situation because your hands will be moving towards something they may not realize, or may not believe isn’t a weapon.

Depending on the nature of the encounter, the officer may stand out of your direct line of sight, so you may not be able to see if he or she has a hand on a weapon.  By nature, it is entirely possible you will want to make eye contact or see the officer’s face during the conversation.  If part of your body is also out of their line of sight, any motion turning or moving towards them, to their mind minds, might also include the presence of a weapon.  It is not worth your life to try and turn around or move in such a way to see their hand is on a gun, about to be drawn, or is already being brandished.

Once the situation is neutralized, and when you are safely away, you can take legal action by filing an excessive brandishing complaint if the officer pulled  a weapon on you. If a formal brandishing complaint doesn’t produce suitable information about how the situation came about, move on to notifying your political leaders of the situation with that officer.  If that doesn’t work, contact the media, and make use of social networking.

These steps should  trigger a complete investigation of the situation, including an examination of the 911 caller.  If you discover the caller was affiliated with or in support of anti Second Amendment or any kind of gun grabber agendas,  contact your federal lawmakers and make them aware of the situation and how you plan to vote.

Next, contact every business that appears to be against gun rights and inform them that you will no longer do business with them because  you feel their support of the gun grabber agenda put your life in danger.  You can find out what PACs and non-profit organizations businesses give money to at this link.  Since some gun grabber non-profit organizations are using various legal loopholes to shield their donors, it is more important than ever to ask for a change in laws to require all businesses and non-profits to disclose all donors and the amounts provided.  This is not just about donors from inside the United States, it is the only way to find out about foreign donors and their affiliations.

Now let’s have a look at the two possible threat levels in the mind of the 911 caller:

  • Code Yellow – Given the possible motivations involved, some would say these people are actually in Code Red. People in this stage might call 911 as a matter of prank, or to set someone up.  They may not believe that there is actually something dangerous going on, but they will make something up to meet one agenda or another.   The caller may even pretend to have a meltdown or spout all kinds of psychobabble about how they felt threatened just because there is a gun (or something that looks like one) visible or printing.

For a person calling 911 in a Code Yellow condition, the goal is to get the police to do something to someone they would not normally interact with.  Even though “swatting” is a felony crime, it can have lethal consequences, as it did in at least one case in Kansas.  Perhaps it is a bitter irony that violent video games also play a role in police shootings just as they do in school shootings. But I digress, seeing as how the video game industry claims there is no connection between the rise in all kinds of shootings and their games.

  • Code Orange – to be fair, this is the stage at which most people call for help.  They know something is wrong, or that something bad is about to happen.  Unfortunately, this is also a stage at which people can make mistakes.  Sometimes it is just that – a mistake that has no ulterior motive or preconditioning.  This is also a time, however, when people may embellish and say there is a gun because they think it will make the police arrive faster.

In other cases, the mistake can occur because of a psychological phenomena known as cognitive dissonance. Basically, if someone has already learned or “knows” something, it will be harder for them to accept new information that is contrary to the old information.  Media shaping (which can create trauma) on one end and stressful events (as in a tangible and relevant  experience) on the other end of the spectrum act as a means to generate cognitive dissonance.  In this case, the more people see guns as a threat, the more likely they or others are to see guns present and as a threat everywhere they look.

Consider a situation where you are sitting by a window or doorway, and see someone, perhaps slightly out of focus, walking by, and taking something out of their pocket.  Prior to all the trauma and drama created by the negative media spin on school shootings, you would probably conclude the person is pulling out something harmless.  But what about now?  How many times do you have to take a second look to make sure the person is not drawing a gun?  How much more aware are you that the person’s hand position looks more like they are holding a gun than some other object?

I suppose it isn’t fair to say only gun grabbers with a tendency to be disturbed at the sight of guns will be more inclined to mistake a common object for a gun, and then report it as real threat.  All I can say about this one is it takes all kinds to make a world, and there are some very traumatized people out there that will call 911 and say they saw a gun, even if there is none present, let alone a threat if one is actually seen.  To these people, as long as it looks like a gun, then its a gun.  In their minds, appearances are everything.

To those with no tangible experience with guns, but have heard all about  “gun violence”, the threat is real.  These are the people that have been brainwashed into thinking they know what they are talking about by agenda driven profiteers.  The profiteers in turn, use and make money on promoting people who have an overwhelming and heartbreaking trauma in their past.  These experiences are “shared” along with emotionally reactive, hypnotic content in order to increase targeted beliefs (guns are bad and 2A supporters are murderers)  and core ignorance (semi-automatic guns are “military weapons”)  for the sake of bringing in more cash.

Anytime an organization breeds fear and says more restrictive laws are the answer, you should consider the possible lethal impact of their using the equivalent of human shields made up of an ignorant or traumatized population in police and citizen interactions.

Sadly, people with only media grade “experience” with guns and the Second Amendment aren’t likely to be amenable to learning more about guns because of cognitive dissonance.  It is also not likely they will overcome the fears that have been planted in them by people with agendas destructive to our nation.

As with drug addiction, phobias, and many other diseases, these people won’t get help and won’t even know to ask for help until the problem is exposed and dealt with for the illness it truly is.  Just as an aside, with all the money now available to study “gun violence”, perhaps it would be useful to see if police shootings are more likely to happen after all the publicizing of school shootings, and if media portrayals have a lethal impact on people that aren’t even carrying guns, but are being treated as if they are.

While my focus in this article is on police/citizen relations, I gently say that you should be very aware of your body language around other people.  Gun grabbers or others with some kind of unhealthy gun obsession or fantasies (distinctly different from healthy interests such as purchasing, cleaning etc)  may report you as being armed even if you aren’t. From there, the police may treat you as if you are actually armed, dangerous, and in the process of committing a crime.

Pay attention to how you pull your wallet out of your pocket, your cell phone, or anything else that someone suffering from cognitive dissonance might mistake for a gun.  Think about how your hand position looks to others and avoid looking like you are holding a gun.  This will go, hopefully, a long way towards preventing a situation where the police suddenly appear and draw down on you as if you are armed and ready to commit some kind of crime with a gun.

Because gun grabbers routinely villanize anyone that owns a gun or seeks to uphold the Second Amendment, they can and should be investigated for everything they say and the impact it may be having on the escalation of 911 calls that end in police shootings.  They should also be subject to lawsuits and criminal prosecution instead of being allowed to go on inciting undue stress and riots because of the resulting way police are put into a bad light and in the wrong context.

Quite frankly, when people as trained as the police treat and kill unarmed people as if they are armed and committing a crime, it should be a wakeup call that something is seriously wrong in our nation. Today, whether you are a gun owner or not, whether you are carrying or not, you may be identified as armed and dangerous.  This, in turn, can lead to a police encounter that will prove fatal if you don’t understand what is going on and maintain a degree of composure and act with common sense during and after the encounter.

Beyond that, gun owners and Second Amendment advocates can no longer leave the matter of police shootings in the hands of people with a gun grabber agenda.

It is time for all citizens to enter the conversation and come up with meaningful answers that serve the well being of our nation, protect our citizens, and ensure that our LEOs can do their job.

Written by

Carmela Tyrrell is committed to off gridding for survival and every day life. She is currently working on combining vertical container gardening with hydroponics. Tyrrell is also exploring ways to integrate magnetic and solar power generation methods. On any given day, her husband and six cats give thanks that she has not yet blown up the house. You can send Carmela a message at editor [at]

Latest comments
  • Carmela, you made this Too Complicated to help much. As my Deputy Friends would tell you . . . 1. Appear Calm, 2. Remain Calm, 3. Do Not Move unless Instructed – If he says “Stand Up” – Don’t start walking or turning, 4. ALWAYS – Keep your hands “In Sight” and Do Not Move them, 5. Do Not Talk – Period, 6. Listen to Instructions Given to you – And Follow Them Exactly, 6. Wait for the Next Instruction – Patience ! The “LEO” (Law Enforcement Officer) May be expecting you to draw a weapon – that Will Get You Killed. That is All !

    • Bill,

      I agree with you on staying calm… It is a vital key.

      As for moving your hands to where they can be seen…. That’s real dicey because adrenalin surges frequently come with tunnel vision. Your field of view and perception of angle will not be the same as theirs. Wait for them to tell you where to put your hands and take it slowly makes more sense. If they need you to stop moving your hands, they will tell you.

      I hope some LEOs who are in the field and grappling with this will contribute their advice, even if there is conflicting advice because of training, department procedures and such. As I said, this is the conversation no one wants to have because gun grabbers got the podium first.

      Biggest problem I see is too many people assuming everyone is on the same page.

  • Thank you, Bill, for this good comment. The last guy I heard about who got swatted, and lived to tell about it, reported that he was getting all sorts of orders yelled at him and he really didn’t know which one or ones to obey. And he may have still be holding his 3 month old son. Can you comment on best way to respond to such a situation – too many voices giving conflicting orders, but all from LEO’s?

    • Hey, Pelag – GOOD Question ! ! I asked some of my Deputy Friends – and they agreed. Tense situations Affect Everyone – LEOs Included – when adrenaline flows, things go bad quickly. Here’s my take – (I’m a firearms Teacher – I hate the word “Instructor”) for Sheriff’s Dept.; These guys are so well disciplined – They Always defer to ONE Deputy to give Orders: A. First on the scene, B. Watch Commander, C. “T.U.C.” – Tactical Unit Commander. With other departments – I don’t know. Poorly trained LEOs are a danger to Everyone – Try to stay Calm – follow one instruction at a time. Hell of a situation for sure ! !

  • I’m a greatgrandma. I went to school, bla,bla,…here’s my suggestion to the schools and police. Put an animal in your school. The animal will hear or sense the intruder sooner than any human!! They can warn the police to take action before it’s needed. Maybe, the animal shelter has some pets that will respond to training alerts taught in the schools, now. If, IF the schools had an animal on each floor, hallway, entrance, they can growl and alert the police in plenty of time to catch criminals before they shoot someone!! What do you think of my idea? Animals can be fitted for metal detecter and bullet-proof vests too!! Give the animals in the shelters a job that they a natural at. (and stop killing them after they have used their time in the shelter)!!!

  • My comment is not relating to your question, but this comment is…
    how I would react if the police would come to me, ordering me to show my hands, etc. I would also be still and allow them see that I’m not a threat to them. I used to be a security guard (12 years) still, didn’t know the ropes, because things change. Just try to stay calm and realize that they are just as scared of me as I am of them. Eye contact is best to have. Always say “Sir” or Madam” if they ask you a question. They need your assurance that you won’t try to hide anything from them.
    As for the first comment…..please consider..

    • Mary,

      The fact that both people are in a state of fear in these encounters is a very good observation. I also like your approach, although I think we all need to be having these conversations within our communities. Instead of going woo woo over what we see on TV, it is time to go to the source – to the police themselves and ask them what should be done. In a neutral setting where everyone is calm and reasonable, there should be a way to make our communities safer and repair the extensive and growing damage to our society done by gun grabbers and their agendas in these situations.

      I agree with you on the animals living in shelters!!

  • While it may be risky for the LEO, taking the time to asses the situation might be a good idea. In the situation addressed by Pelagiaeast, a person standing with his hands engaged in holding a baby would hardly be a threat. If there is noting in the person’s hands, other than baby, then there is neither gun, not bomb switch present. A lot of people yelling orders at one person leads to chaos. There should be just one, all others be quiet. There needs to be a level of responsibility on the part of a LEO where a person is said to be a threat, but when they get there, there is obviously no threat. Obviously more training is needed to get the incident of an unarmed, non-threatening person being shot down to zero. Doing what the officers say to do is important, that is true. However, in any emergency, only one person should be giving orders. As for the fake call to “swat” someone, that person should be arrested and charged with as high an order of criminal conduct as possible. Let them sweat it out that their little game might put them in jail, or in their own grave. That would be a definite, “game over”, and you lost, situation.

  • This might be the most useless set of ‘Monday Morning Quarterbacking’ I’ve ever read on this site. SHE GOT IT RIGHT in the article. The color codes for situational awareness are absolutely universal in the CCL community. The fact that none of you got that speaks volumes to your knowledge and any useful comment. JFG (just for grins) my son a LEO dealt with a man holding an 18 month old who had a gun hidden between him and the infant.
    I apologize but y’all’s inane comments just really pissed me off.

    Great article. Covered all the necessaries.

    • Don,

      I brought up the color codes because people may be applying that information in civilian encounters, but they don’t realize the police are likely to be having the same kinds of visceral and associated psychological responses; and those responses may be shaped by what they are being told in a 911 call. I can’t speak about the impact of that call, but I do observe that seems to be where all the publicized shootings start. It’s not the color of the person flagging their attention, it is the fact they are being told a crime is happening and the perp has a gun. Until we get past the “racial” issue – we are not going to solve this. Color codes was the only way I could think of bring this up, especially because anyone that is around guns or carries them should be well aware of this, at least at an instinctive level even if they aren’t fully schooled on the colors.

      When I read about the baby – your comment was my first thought about what could happen.

      Thankyou for the positive feedback also!

  • It is great to say what SHOULD happen, like one LEO giving orders. I am asking what one should do when a whole group of them are giving conflicting orders. Obviously, it would be ideal if ONE person was in charge giving orders. See my point? Too many voices giving conflicting orders. What would be the best response???? I, too, am a grandmother and can imagine this happening to me. I have grandsons that I might teach about this. It could happen to anyone.

    • “The last guy I heard about who got swatted, and lived to tell about it, reported that he was getting all sorts of orders yelled at him and he really didn’t know which one or ones to obey”
      I once, I read, I heard??? This is not a real situation. There are not multiple people yelling at you. No where in the article did this situation happen. The best response is obey the orders given to you. Unless you actually believe that 10 LEO’s will be yelling 8 different things at you at one time. See what I mean about I once heard. I once heard that the tooth fairy gave out nickels.
      I’m not being mean but you are actually commenting on your comment and not the article..

    • Pelagiaeast,

      Good question!!

      I wrote this article with it being one citizen to one officer in mind. But you are right, when a call comes in that there may be a gun, there may be several officers responding.

      I can tell you what I would do – freeze and flat out not move as soon as one conflicting order comes in. If I can be heard in the mayhem, I would say “conflicting orders, tell me what to do”. If I am grabbed, I would not attempt to turn or move – most likely go limp. But even that is dangerous because it can be misread with a group of people having an adrenalin surge and prior information that says you may be a criminal or armed, and therefore trying to fool them.

      It would be best to ask several people actively in law enforcement what is best to do. Ask for every jurisdiction that has officers in your area or that you are traveling through. If you get a discrepancy, go back and alert the other groups that you have conflicting information and see if they can sort out among themselves what people should do. Try to all the LEOs that might respond on the same page. Really, I think we should all be doing this. As I said – it’s a hard conversation to have because our society is already so geared toward blaming and not stopping to see if we can find a common ground and figure out where the problems are. Never an easy task when lives are at stake…

  • My encounters with LEO have been during traffic pull-overs. As the officer approaches i open my window and have both hands on the steering wheel (10 & 2), For night stops i turn on my cabin light and again open window and hands at 10 & 2. That way the officer can approach in a safer manner. I do not move my hands unless directed and make eye contact at all times. A courteous greeting doesn’t hurt either. I will also have my license, registration and insurance in hand. (by the time they reach my car), I get these documents ready while they are still in their car running my plates or whatever they do before they get out of their squad car.

    • Typically at a traffic stop, the officer does not like movement in the vehicle as he is walking up to you.
      The best thing is to stay stationary until he is at your window. Tell him your info is (Where ever it is) and ask him what would he like you to do.
      They get very nervous if you are doing a lot of moving around.

      • Makes sense, thanks for the LEO perspective.

  • I sincerely apologize for all that I said. After reading Carmela’s last response…….

    I can’t support “yes I mean no” responses with such an important issue.
    Still a very good article just not much behind it.

    So again, I apologize and will leave you all alone or maybe not leave you all alone… okay I’ll just go limp or maybe I’ll get real stiff… or maybe I’ll get light- lighter than air and drift off.


  • Good article. I agree with ‘Bill in Idaho’. Sudden or ‘purposeful’ movements that are not what the LEO has stated for you to do can, in some cases, be fatal. Do not come across as having an ‘attitude’ as that will escalate the situation very quickly. If you are a ccw holder, inform them upfront especially if you are carrying. If you are not a ccw holder and are carrying be prepared for a bad day. Answer questions politely, but directly and don’t ‘hem and haw’ about things. Above all…be polite and as calm as possible.

  • I know cops can royally f**k up from a personal experience in Miami ~40 years ago. 4 of us (all white) were crammed into a VW Beetle, with 2 guitar cases, returning from a Miami Beach party. Suddenly we were pulled over in Coral Gables and 4-5 Gables PD squad cars pulled up, braking hard and hemmed us into the curb. They yelled for us to all exit the car, legs spread and hands far apart on the roof of the bug-which we did. All the cruisers had both front doors open, windows down and 2 cops with their .357 service revolvers propped up on the window frame! After ~ 1 minute, a freckle-faced, redhead cop walked up to us. 2 more came up and frisked us. We were a bit nervous and asked them WTF was going on? After redhead went back to his car’s radio, he walked back to us. Then he told us it was in response to a cop getting shot by-4 BLACK MALES IN A 4-DOOR WHITE CADDY!!
    He told us we could leave and didn’t even apologize. At that point I went bonkers and launched a tirade of angry profanity at him and his buffoon pals. We got his badge # and filed a complaint with the dept. I doubt anything ever happened. Much as I respect and support cops, as well as the unenviable job they have (by choice), I also understand why so many people hate them and cases like the Parkland cowardice and Sacramento shooting don’t help.

    • Hey, Carlos. Are you Sure you weren’t in Boise, Idaho. Sounds like Boise City cops to me.

  • I have been retired from law enforcement for 21 years, so you decide how relevant my observations are. From 1976 until 1998 I was a LEO in a large California, SF bay area police department. 7 of those years I was a chief of police. During my career I fired my duty weapon on two different occasions during confrontations with armed suspects. On both occasions, in comparison to officer involved shootings today, I was far too hesitant in pulling the trigger. Additionally, I can recall at least 1/2 dozen other armed confrontations where I did not fire which by today’s operating standards, I would have been called a pacifist. Today’s officers seem poorly trained to handle confrontation. They seem to rely too heavily on non-lethal weapons, such as stun guns and bean bag rounds. I worked during a time when law enforcement was a “contact” sport. You had to have the hands on skills and control holds to subdue and restrain combative suspects quickly and effectively. And that included the use of the carotid restraint. Unfortunately, political correctness has effectively neutered the police. That’s not to say that ALL LEO’s are lacking. There are still a number of good cops out there that understand the job and are not walking around with hair triggers. But with the ever increasing beat down of the 2nd Amendment by the liberals, many municipal officers are accepting the false narrative that ALL gun owners and concealed weapon holders are dangerous. The one piece of advice that I would give you is this…..when a cop yells “freeze” you become ice! I don’t care how many are yelling at you, you are a stone!. Eventually, they will all quit yelling and one will take over with the commands. You keep your response to “yes sir” and “no sir”. And when you move in response to one officers command, you move like you’re up to your neck in cement. The goal is to be calm and cooperative, so the cops will be calm and controlled. You can always raise hell later if you feel you need to, because you will be alive to do so!

    • Hey, Buck. I cannot tell you How Much I appreciate your Response to this, AND For Your Service to your community ! Your Input and that from fellow brother LEOs is crucial. I pray for many more responses like yours. And a Big “Hats Off” to Carmela, for getting this dialog going. Bill

      • Thank you Bill for your support. I have lived peacefully on my North Idaho ranch since 2001. I don’t miss California or the insanity of liberals!

    • Thanks for the inside opinion Buck. I have lived in Pittsburg CA in the east Bay for 20 years. When I first got here, I loved our police. Now, I feel they are a threat. I believe the biggest factor is that now, people get into policing because they make dramatically more money than the average citizen. They start them out around here in the $90-100K range. With over time, its $150-200K for a kid just out of college. The police all live in wealthy areas outside of town, and have come to look at us as a if they are somehow above us.There is no sense of community from the police, only enforcement. The most enthusiastic police officer in this town is the code enforcement officer. I’m a white guy, married with 4 kids and with 4 college degrees including a 3 year masters degree, and I dread seeing police today as if I were a ghetto punk.

      • Dennis,

        Give the overall political atmosphere in California, I’m not surprised there is a withdrawal of the police culturally from the people. The police carry guns and have to work among people that have been convinced any sign of a gun is bad. On the other hand, they know the truth – that guns are necessary in certain situations.

        I would recommend getting together with other community members and stating your observations. Ask the police to spend more time with the people. As Mary pointed out – they may be just as afraid or just as put off as you are all feeling. Maybe talking things out will help. Also – if community members are in fact, afraid of getting shot by the police and issues like we are discussing here, use that as an opening discussion point.

        Do not expect these conversations to be easy. Emotions are strong on this, preconceived ideas and cognitive dissonance are at an all time high. I still believe if people try – it can be done with ground rules of respect put into place.

      • Hi Dennis, I’m going to give you a bit of jolt today, so hang on. I know Pittsburg VERY well! How well? I was born there in the 1950’s, I lived there until the 90’s. Graduated from Pitt high. My family moved there in the 1920’s. We lived in many areas of the town over the years, including off Harbor drive and Alvarado St. At one time I knew most of the cops on the department, including Chief Castliogne and Chief Casey. Pittsburg was a pretty quiet little town when I was a kid growing up there. But by the late 60’s it began to change. Racial issues and drugs became it’s downfall. Because real estate was cheaper there than in Concord or Pleasant Hill, many families like your’s moved there. Unfortunately, you bought in a “crap” hole town. Yeah, they spent a bunch of money on the waterfront and Seeno Construction built homes on every empty piece of land available. But as the saying goes…even if you put lipstick on a pig it’s still a pig. And Pittsburg politics are some of the most corrupt and liberal I have ever known. I could tell you stories about the town you probably would not believe! I still have family and friends that live there. I moved out of there and out of California in the late 90’s. As you know, Pittsburg has had 2 officers killed in the line of duty. I didn’t know Officer Lassiter but I did know Ray. I don’t know where you got the salary of $150k-$200k, but I can tell you that even with benefits and overtime, there is no way a patrolman is making that kind of money. The chief probably does, but not a street cop. $100k?…yeah, that would be accurate. My advice to you my friend is to get your family out of that town and state ASAP! I know it’s easier said than done….but Co.Co.County is in a death spiral! If you have to stay in California, go towards Redding or even further north. Best of luck to you!

    • Buck,

      Thankyou for your insights. I agree with you based on my conversations with both retired and active LEOs – there are changes in how policing is done. I think we could all learn a lot from constructive discussions in which retired and active LEOs get together and talk about these things.

      • Hey, Carmela – Good Morning to you. I think that you should stand up and take a bow for starting this Vitally Important discussion. And I apologize for my somewhat harsh first comment. I know how Very Valuable this overall topic is. Bill

        • Bill

          Good afternoon!!

          I think this conversation has to start somewhere, and your observations are as valid as others presented. Thankyou for helping get this off to a good start. Looks to me like we all have more questions than we thought we had answers for.

      • Thank you!

  • As a retired deputy sheriff and a concealed carry permit from 1963 the problem with the police today is half of them should never have become peace officers. They do not have the skills or the disposition. Soldiers trained to kill should never be allowed to be “cops” as police are instead trained to keep the peace and protect, not shoot first. Back in the 60’s we never had our guns in our hands rather our clubs which police do not even carry anymore. We expected violence, were ready, and were also not afraid of being shot at as it was part of the job. I remember watching our cruiser burned by the hell’s angels, could have easily shot them all but instead sat and watched.

    • Ridgerunner,

      Thankyou for your insights. I don’t remember now if the police shootings that are the most highly publicized were carried out by veterans. I will look into it though.

      • Hello again, Carmela. All that I can tell you is . . . My Veteran compadres in the American Legion and the VFW and the Retired Mil. Officers Association – All Agree: None of them, or their Vet. friends Ever Even Considered becoming a LEO; Period. Bill

        • Bill,

          I know many veterans that came home and went into law enforcement, including some I have known since grade school. Where I grew up, our Chief of Police was a WWII veteran. He was one of the kindest and most honorable people I have ever known.

          Every veteran is different. Some, like my father would not consider it either. Others feel they have valuable skills and abilities that make them good choices for this job.

  • I would say that about 10% of new officers are ill suited for the job. When you consider the number of armed confrontations LEO’s are involved in daily in this country a very small percentage are questionable shoots. You have to remember, the news media is grossly liberal, incendiary and anti-gun, anti-police and anti-military. They view themselves as part and parcel of the “social justice” system. They are uninterested in objective reporting.. There are over 1 million LEO’s in the USA. The majority of them will at some point in their career be involved in at least one armed confrontation. You will never hear about the 99% of those confrontations that are resolved without controversy. But take one Ferguson shooting, that was justifiable, and suddenly you have the attention and focus of every SJW on earth. They will ignore the fact that the suspect committed a strong arm robbery and assaulted the officer. Instead, the Soros and Bloomberg money machine will engage in fear mongering and riot sponsoring. I still believe that a majority of today’s officers rely too heavily on non-contact compliance. But I also understand that spineless politicians, Sheriffs, DA’s and Police Chiefs are complicit in hamstringing LEO’s.

    As for veterans serving in LEO positions? During my years on the job I worked with WW2 vets, Korean vets and Vietnam vets who were cops. I can remember a couple who I would consider questionable. But for the most part, MOST were good cops and I was proud to work with them. I have no doubt that there are vets today that should not be in law enforcement. However, I believe that to state that NO vet should be an LEO is terribly unfair, unwarranted and myopic.

  • Buck,

    I agree – the number of police shootings is small, just as the number of gun owners that go on rampages is also almost non-existent. The case that got me to thinking conservatives need to get into this conversation was Stephon Clark. For me, as an analogy – up to then – watching those videos and observing the adrenalin levels is very much like watching videos of people trying to control a skid in the snow or ice. I know right when the spin out will happen because I can see when the brake lights go on and know the driver made the worst possible move and hit the brakes.

    Just a few days before that I had gone out early to do some shopping. It was opening time, so the parking lot was pretty much empty. At one of the entrances, I saw a white officer with a black guy. I could not believe what I was seeing – the black guy was digging in his pockets (they were large and his clothes were baggy), moving around all over the place including closer to the officer, and stuff was falling out from his pant legs. Literally – this guy was doing EVERYTHING you don’t do around a LEO. That’s not all, though. I gave the scene wide berth, and next thing I know – I’m looking at not one – but TWO people recording the whole thing on their cell phones. Seriously – who brings a camera crew to go to the store, and who called 911 in the first place? Seeing the riots erupting all over the place, and just how close I came to witnessing such an event – made me think about this a lot more. The lack of conversation and direction from conservatives made me realize we have to get into this conversation and bring out the truth.

    I am very grateful for your observations about the way police cannot use non-lethal physical force like the used to. My husband, who also writes here and is a retired LEO says the same thing. In his day, the baton was an effective and primary tool, plus what you would call “contact sport”. Looking at this, I could almost say this whole “police shooting” thing was spawned directly from the “anti-police brutality” agenda, and perhaps where they were going all along. As I am often known to say – Anti-gun = Anti-LEO = Anti-USA.

    To see these shootings labeled as “racism” or “gun violence”, is, I feel a tremendous disservice to our LEOs and their efforts to ensure we have civilian peace officers instead of all enforcement being done by the military or, essentially, martial law.

    In my experience, gun grabbers can’t be bothered with the facts. If they ever stopped and listened to themselves for two seconds or could see what the impact will have on them, they would faint. I get a laugh every time they bring up Niemoller in other contexts; because they have no clue that what they do to gun owners and police today – is going to bite them on the butt sooner than later. It’s already starting with the suppression of 1A across many platforms, and the reductions in 4A that are underway as a result of “gun control”. What makes them think their precious cell phones and non-see thru backpacks won’t be taken some day in the name of psychiatric problems or “ewww… a cell phone… and it has a camera!!”.

  • Carmela, just a final response to your next-to-last paragraph – about “Marshal Law” and Military Law Enforcement; Every military man that I have known has always been outspoken about the Importance of Civilian Oversight of the military forces.(both Commissioned Officers and “Non-Coms”). And – to a man they feared the possibility of Marshal Law and a Military Junta. Scary for sure. Bill

  • Hi Carmela,
    Your observations are spot on. You mentioned the Clark shooting. My wife was the first one to tell me about the shooting. We cut the TV cord 10 years ago and never looked back so these days I look at Breitbart and occasionally Fox news. When she described the shooting to me, I thought to myself “not good”. After a couple of days I decided to look closer at the story and to watch the body cam videos. What I saw in the video convinced me that it was a good shoot. Clark was not an innocent “black man” out on an evening stroll with his dog. He was a convicted criminal out doing what criminals do in the cover of darkness, committing a crime. In his case, it appeared to be auto burgs and a residential burg. The “independent” autopsy screamed that Clark was SHOT 7 TIMES IN THE BACK!!!!….and apparently once in the front, for a total of 8 times in 2 seconds. To which I reply “and your point is?” Obviously the first round found it’s mark in the front. That shot either spun Clark physically or he turned away of his own accord. All 8 shots were fired so quickly that there was no way the officers could have known that 7 rounds struck him in the back. More importantly, Clark pointing that cell phone at the officers in a darkened backyard CAUSED the officers to use lethal force in what they believed to be in defense of their lives. Had Clark not escalated the situation, he would probably be out on bail right now. But the BLM and the liberal community doesn’t want to hear the truth. They won’t mourn a police officer who has been brutally murdered while trying to make the world a little bit safer, but they will zealously proclaim a thug and a miscreant a saint among sinners. The hypocrisy of it all is beyond nauseating!