In the past few years we have seen a drastic increase in the number of fatal attacks, to include ambushes, on law enforcement officers in the United States. A byproduct of these attacks has been the desire of the public to come to the aid of law enforcement officers that are being attacked. The decision to take such action is up to each individual, but there are some things you should consider before jumping into the fray. Of these things to consider we are going to focus on how to aid the officer without making him think you are there to assist the bad guy. The aspect that we are going to look at today is how to make contact with the officer that’s being attacked.
Properly making contact with the officer that is being assaulted is a crucial thing to consider since it is extremely easy for the officer to mistake you for an additional attacker that is joining the fight. If the assault you are trying to prevent is non-lethal (think of an officer wrestling around with a suspect or the two are simply striking each other) you should think about announcing your presence as you close the distance with the officer. Your announcement can be anything you want, but the simpler the announcement is the better it is. Single word announcements are the best to do since they are the easiest for people under duress to process. Terms to think about might be “friendly” or “blue”. Regardless of which term you use, make sure you continue to repeat that term until after you have joined the fight.
If the situation you are looking to involve yourself in require you to use a firearm you need to be extremely smart with what, and when, you are making announcements. For firearm relate announcements, the situation dictates what you should do. If you are near the officer you may want to continue with the call of “friendly”. If you are more distant or not in direct sight of the officer you may want to think about holding off on the announcement until you have successfully engaged the threat. While you don’t want to be mistaken as a bad guy with a gun in your hand, you also don’t want to invite the bad guy to a gun fight if you don’t have to.
One last thing; regardless of which situation you find yourself in, make sure you do what the officer tells you. The officer might be telling you to back away because he knows back-up units are arriving and they are bringing an ass-whooping to anyone near the officer that they don’t recognize as being a friendly player.
Until next time…………………