View Full Version : Moral dilemma: I know I'm not a cop ...

April 20, 2010, 04:53 AM
But is there a point at which a CC citizen should engage?

A few nights back, I watched three 20-somethings come out of a grocery store after me, all carrying boxes of beer. Two of them headed for one car about ten slots below the entrance and the third to his car, parked at the door. It was close to midnight.

A local LEO pulled up behind the one guy and I could hear their conversation as I stood by my vehicle. The kid's plates were out of date and the cop was doing his thing. I watched the two other guys stow their beer and then pay attention to the license bust. They started to walk toward their friend's car and it occurred to me that the LEO might become overwhelmed by the group.

The grocery prohibits CC, so my sidearm was in the car, but immediately accessible. I had a cellphone in my pocket but I reasoned if I called 911 damage might be done by the time they arrived. I slid into my car and took hold of my sidearm.

I continued to watch the situation, the two guys turned and went back to their car and the solo kid seemed to get off with a verbal warning.

All was well, no problems. I went home.

But what if the two had proceeded and crowded the LEO? Should I have held them at bay before they got to their target with a brandished firearm after calling 911?

Last thing I want to do is point or shoot my G26 at anything but a paper target. I really do not want to be a hero. This is all really way outside of the Castle Doctrine Law I studied and which law covers me for self-defense, to a point, here in Missouri.

If you kick in my front door and charge up the stairs to hurt me, then, yes, I will probably shoot at you to stop the threat.

But this situation really confounds me. Thoughts? Ideas? Answers from LEO's?

April 20, 2010, 05:56 AM
Thay can take care of them selves.One thing you dont want to do
around a cop is wip out a gun...good or bad.
I cc for me and my own.All others should do the same.

April 20, 2010, 06:11 AM
Good way to get yourself into trouble.... You dont know anything about whats going on.. LEO may have called for backup already.. Or one of those guys could have been a UC and it was a planned stop.... Just My 2 Cent
Watch Your Own Six......

April 20, 2010, 06:44 AM
If you decide to hang around and observe in case he does get in trouble, then you should first think of getting behind some form of cover where you can still be effective (able to see the others without the cop being in front of you) if it does snowball. sitting in a vehicle puts you at disadvantage:

you are surrounded by glass, where a bullet that will miss you will also pepper you with shards. the report of your own fire will deafen you (temporarily) and in order to move from there you have to use a door, so you are limited in options. a better approach would be to stand behind a vehicle where you could crouch behind the engine, getting some thick metal between yourself and small pieces of bad news.

and if trouble does develop the first thing you want to do is dial 911 and report what is going on. especially that if any other cops arrive they know you are there and armed.

That said, unless the cop is under attack you do not have any right to produce or use your firearm in any way.



April 20, 2010, 06:46 AM
Or one of those guys could have been a UC and it was a planned stop....

Good point. I've called 911 before and had them suggest that the situation I'd seen may have been an UC deal.

April 20, 2010, 06:53 AM
I cc for me and my own. All others should do the same.

Well, so do I, but my question was whether or not I should help a cop.

April 20, 2010, 07:31 AM
Well, so do I [cc for me and my own], but my question was whether or not I should help a cop.The foregoing advice to stay out of it is wise.

Now, had one of them shot the policeman, you would have had to make your own decision.

Should I have held them at bay before they got to their target with a brandished firearm after calling 911?No.

I patronize a different grocery chain whenever possible.

April 20, 2010, 07:34 AM
The cop can always call for backup - plus he is very well trained. I'd never interfere with a police officer doing his job. NEVER!

April 20, 2010, 07:36 AM
I am sorry.. in my last post.. I did not answer your question....
Should you help a Cop? Well I would look at it like this.... The Christian question would be would you help anyone in need?
Of course most of us would..
But watch that THINLINE between what you think is Right and what everyone thinks is Right....

April 20, 2010, 07:44 AM
Let the LEO handle it. If you pull your piece, he just might shoot you first.

If there is no LEO present, use your discretion. Your CWP gives you NO, absolutely NO arrest or detention authority or power. You carry a gun for one reason only - to protect your lfie and the lives of your family. Your one obligation is to come home to them safely. In most states, you can not shoot to protect property, especially someone else's. Be careful of "third party intervention". You must be absolutely sure of the situation and who the BGs are. Gawd forbid you should shoot an innocent.

Be a good witness, call 911. write down a description of the BGs, their vehicle, and anything else you notice.

If guns are present or used - you must determine if your life is in danger and act accordingly.

Sounds cold? Maybe, but my responsibility is to myself and my family - I am not my brother's keeper.

April 20, 2010, 07:55 AM
I wouldn't say never intervene. You should however be very cautious and only step in if things have obviously gone very very wrong. There have been quite a few doumented instances of passersby intervening in situations where a cop is in the process of getting a real beatdown or worse, and the person who stepped in was able to make the difference. Once the officer is overwhelmed there is an immediate danger of his weapon getting into the hands of the perp, and things going from bad to real bad. Can you imagine being in that type of situation with an audience of one or more folks, armed or not, who refuse to get involved?

The last instance I have personal knowledge of involved a female deputy who was for sure and for certain, getting the the short end of the stick in a fight with a nutcase woman with no teeth. She had the deputy down and was in the process of biting her like the catfish from hell, clawing at her eyes, and trying to get the HK on her belt. The guy who helped her ran up, took the OC off of her belt, and sprayed the dog doodoo out of the attacker. Fight over. Nutcase did not get the gun.

April 20, 2010, 08:00 AM
How about applying a bit of Common Sense.

There is nothing wrong with assisting a cop if he/she is in trouble. I'm not saying pulling your pistol if you THINK in might GET into trouble, but you can tell if one needs help.

When I was a young rookie, I was working foot patrol. I forgot what started it, but I remember I was in the process of getting my ass whipped good and propper. This "hooker" a lady of the night, working girl, (what ever you want to call her) took off her Spiked High Heels and comminced to whip the poop out of the bad guy. Saved my butt, but we had to wait two days for the guy to get out of the hospital before we could charge him.

Nothing wrong with observing to see if things are gonna go down him, just wait until they go down hill before you act.

April 20, 2010, 08:10 AM

Your best bet is to pull back to a safe distance and "observe and report". As you can see from your own example, had you become part of the mix it might have caused more confusion/problems than it solved. You are far better off in that particular situation going to "hot standby" with the cell phone, ready to call the troops if needed.

Now if you actually witnessed a beatdown/stabbing/shooting happening on the officer, then you have to do what you have to do.

Personally I always keep in mind that use of a handgun is going to, at bare minimum, cost me $10,000 (or roughly 15 DAYS of my life in terms of "earning power") and so I judge the situation accordingly.

April 20, 2010, 10:03 AM
I don't know about Missouri, but Colorado law specifically authorizes use of deadly force in defense of a police officer. But that's just permission, not obligation. You are under no legal obligation to intervene, even if the cop does get shot. As with any situation, deadly force should be the very last option. As the other posters said, get yourself in a tactically advantageous position, be a good witness, consider the possibility of undercover operations, consider the consequences of any shooting, and don't shoot until you are absolutely sure the cop would want you to, and don't display your weapon until you are very nearly ready to shoot. Another angle to consider is that, if you witness the murder of a cop and the BGs see you, they will definitely be coming after you with lethal intentions. Therefore, your best choice might be to get in your car and leave before anything goes down.

Glenn E. Meyer
April 20, 2010, 10:17 AM
There's no correct action or one answer.

The decision processes are complex, some quick, automatic and evolutionary and some, slow and rational.

You save a life. The victim goes home to their family
You get killed or hurt. Your family gets a plaque.
You don't save a life and you are safe.
You 'can't live with yourself' but you are alive.

It's easy to say, you will do X, Y or Z and the person who doesn't is stupid or a coward.

Think it all through, take some FOF - and still it will be complex.

April 20, 2010, 10:27 AM
It's you and your concience. There are priorities and you establish yours. Me and my family come first. My concience vs. me & my family. It gets really tougth I you identify with the victim, as in that could be my daughter, son, mother, sister, father and I would like for someone to help them if they where in the same situation.

You and your concience.

April 20, 2010, 10:32 AM
I constantly ask myself the same question. In general, I agree with staying back and calling 911. Watch and see if help needed. Hopefully, his backup will arrive first. If I see the cop losing a battle, I'd have to step in and take my chances. I couldn't let him get hurt or killed because of me not wanting to get involved. I'd tell the 911 operator I was an armed citizen so that any other LEO coming in would be aware of it.

April 20, 2010, 10:50 AM
If it were me, I'd sit back and be a good witness, and call for help unless things got really out of control. If the cop was incapacititated then I'd take action and be really, really careful not to be mistaken for the bad guy. Because back up is probably coming and bringing an ass kicking with them.

April 20, 2010, 10:55 AM
Generally, stay out of it and observe, intervening only when absolutely necessary to save the LEO from serious injury.

I could see perhaps offering some physical assistance in a scuffle, but inserting another firearm into a situation is only a dire last resort.

I think the best course of action for a concerned, law-abiding citizen is to witness or even photograph, etc., such incidents.

April 20, 2010, 11:05 AM
You stood there, watched and observed, so I am pretty sure if the three guys jumped the cop, started beating him up, you would have helped...most of us would..

I have help LEOs in the past, and didn't get alot of luv in the past...maybe because they see most of us as perps and criminals...

April 20, 2010, 11:05 AM
Is there really a question in your OP? There are so many "what ifs" in it.
So two guys stood around listing to their friend get talk to by a COP.
You got you "sidearm"? So when you see a COP pull over a car with three people in it do you pull over and grab you "sidearm"?

April 20, 2010, 11:06 AM
I fail to understand where the danger was in this situation. I mean, some kids were gearing up for some sort of party, one had expired tags, the officer took care of it.

I'm certainly not trying to be rude, I'm just trying to understand if I'm missing something here. Why was there reason to suspect anything nefarious? Sure, there was alcohol involved, but it sounds to me like they were just grabbing some stuff at the store. If that's the case, I know it wouldn't even cross my mind to intervene. I'd go on my way without ever even thinking about touching my sidearm.

I could understand it if this was some sort of domestic or drug related issue, but some kids buying beer and having expired tags doesn't really send up any red flags for me.

One thing that I would like to add is that if you did intervene and had to use you're firearm, most likely a jury would not look kindly upon a CCer "playing cop" as many would see it. Of course, your intentions would be good, but that is some risky business. Don't get me wrong, there are situations where the officer may welcome your help, but from what I've read most officers would not want any civilians intervening. However, I'd assume that if you saved them from being murdered, I doubt they'd complain.

Mr. James
April 20, 2010, 11:35 AM
I'm certainly not trying to be rude, I'm just trying to understand if I'm missing something here. Why was there reason to suspect anything nefarious? Sure, there was alcohol involved, but it sounds to me like they were just grabbing some stuff at the store. If that's the case, I know it wouldn't even cross my mind to intervene. I'd go on my way without ever even thinking about touching my sidearm.

Plus 10,000. I'm agog trying to figure out why it would even occur to anyone to take hold of a sidearm, given the facts presented. No disrespect intended, but this strikes me as a drastic over-reaction. In fact, given the scenario of an officer having a calm conversation with a subject, I probably would throw the car in reverse and go about my business. Literally, "nothing to see here, folks."

Now, if said officer is getting a beat-down, I'm going in hammer and tong, armed or not. May not be smart, but that's how it is.

Another consideration: unless the officer is in dire trouble, injecting yourself into the situation, even with the best of intentions, is just going to add confusion and one more subject for the officer to keep track of. He might not understand or appreciate your efforts in the slightest. He has enough on his plate with the three men, so I'd stay out of his way.

Best regards,

Bob James

April 20, 2010, 12:13 PM
It is not my job to protect the po po. I am not trained, nor am I knowledgeable in what they do or why.
Shoot another Citizen and it's YOUR butt. Shoot the cop by accident..............? Immediate worse case scenario.

I might, or might not, call 911, but frankly, its not my job. My concealed weapon is for the protection of my family and myself. I am not a sheep dog.

April 20, 2010, 01:41 PM
There have been quite a few doumented instances of passersby intervening in situations where a cop is in the process of getting a real beatdown or worse, and the person who stepped in was able to make the difference.

Ok, maybe I shouldn't have said "never". If the officer is down and still under attack, in that situation, I would probably intervene.

April 20, 2010, 01:52 PM
We had an incident here in Athens several years ago that almost resulted in an officer's death. She was working security at a Kroger grocery store when she was attacked by a mentally deranged man. Some of the customers did nothing but others tried to help. The attacker didn't stop until the store manager grabbed him from behind. The officer's femoral artery was cut in the attack and she almost died. http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/121307/news_20071213035.shtml I probably would have tried to shoot the man if I'd been there but I don't know.

April 20, 2010, 02:36 PM
All you have to do is ask yourself the following question...

Is pulling my gun worth getting...

- killed?
- seriously wounded?
- imprisoned for at least 8 years...possibly more?
- sued in a civil court for millions of dollars?
- another innocent person killed or wounded?
- losing your job?
- losing your friends and family?

I guess the list could go on and on, but if after you go through that list in your head and all seems acceptable then its probably a situation where you want to pull your pistol.

Keep in mind that the officer is the one who got themselves into the situation. The officer is paid, trained and experienced to do what he is doing, therefore, he should know better. If he gets wounded or killed, then its not on you. Its on him and the department.

The best thing to do would be to observe at a distance in a covered position and should you see anything untoward then call 911...the officer has a radio and they will call him. However, observing law enforcement activity can be dangerous. What if the criminals see you and then start to engage you?

Now lets say the officer is physically struggling with the 3 guys...you all of a sudden run in and try to help the officer. The officer then believes you might be with the 3 guys or an officer pulling up to the scene believes you might be with the 3 guys...then you get shot or beaten...

April 20, 2010, 02:39 PM
I probably would have tried to shoot the man if I'd been there but I don't know.

You'd have to be right on top of the guy to shoot him in that situation. Too many folks kicking him and trying to help the Officer to take a shot from any distance at all.

That's the thing - no civilian that I know is really well trained enough to take a shot at any distance with a conceal carry weapon when innocent bystanders are that close to the bad guy and 3rd party victim. Brute force, club, pepper spray, even a stun-gun would be useful....but not a small handgun, unless at point blank range.

April 20, 2010, 02:49 PM
You'd have to be right on top of the guy to shoot him in that situation. Too many folks kicking him and trying to help the Officer to take a shot from any distance at all.

Yep. Folks were trying to kick the man off the officer while he slashed at them and her and other innocents were around the store on a busy day. If you're right on the guy, you have to worry that the bullet might penetrate and hit the officer or someone else. I don't know if it would have been possible but I probably would have tried.

April 20, 2010, 03:21 PM
A state LEO told me that he didn't carry off duty, too much liability, and that getting invovled in a fight for someone else was too risky....he would standby with a cell phone report it in...

April 20, 2010, 03:58 PM
I talked with my brother (a deputy sheriff) about this. He said in most cases, especially in which an officer is getting his butt kicked, said officer would welcome the help provided you made your intentions known from the start. I also checked an LEO forum in which many officers wrote in to say basically the same thing. But in most cases it's best to:

1. Call 911 or get on the officer's car radio and ask for help.
2. Say to the officer LOUDLY, "Officer, I'm here to help if you need me."

And not necessarily in that order.

If the officer waves you off, fine. But in every case mentioned in the LEO forum I saw, the helper received a big thank you when it was all over.

I'd like to think I'd be willing to help in such a situation, but if deadly force became involved, the advantage would have to be on my side for sure. Discretion, a cool head, a a whole lot of common sense, as always, is a must.

April 20, 2010, 05:15 PM
All of the stuff mentioned so far has been useful info IF there's a life or death situation (keep in mind the OP stated that this was a case of expired tags).

I mean, if you want to sit around and watch simple traffic violations unfold just in case all hell breaks loose, go for it. I just don't see why there would be any reason to do so. Seems like a monumental waste of time to me, and definitely no cause for waiting around with a gun in hand.

Glenn Dee
April 20, 2010, 05:26 PM
Well from an old policemans point of view...

If you think the cop is in trouble... He's probably in trouble. Especially if you overhear something he didnt. If your in doubt I'd rather you err on the side of safety. Dial 911. You can do that officer more good by calling 911 than getting personally involved.

If you call 911, and the whole thing go's to crap... he may not have a chance to call for help. Even if he does... Help will be that much closer.

If you call 911 and stay on the phone... most likely the dispatcher will contact the officer and inform him of your concerns. He will be alerted and can re-evaluate his situation with the added information he gets from you via his dispatcher.

If you call 911 and it turns out to be a routine, nothing traffic stop what harm is done? I cant concieve of an officer who would take offence to a citizen being concerned about his well being.

It's possible that in this scenario the Officer also percieved danger in the posturing, and positioning of the subjects friends, and decided to de-escalate the situation by issuing a warning.

I hope this posting brings a little understanding to the O/P.

Glenn Dee :p

April 20, 2010, 09:35 PM
I would wait... wait... and wait some more. I definitely wouldn't get involved unless the situation went to straight crap, as in the officer is pinned down by gunfire. It sounds like in this situation, had the other guys approached the officer, he would have given them a good butt chewing and they would have backed out of the situation, leaving him alone in what he was doing.

April 20, 2010, 11:10 PM
The police (most at least) are very well trained, and can hold their own, even against larger groups of people. If they physically attacked him unarmed, or even with some melee weapon, I would call 911 even though he probably already called for backup. If he is shot, stabbed several times, or some other horrible thing, then you have to make your own choice.

My .02 cents: As long as the cop is on his feet, keep your gun in your holster. If he is fighting, he is going to adrenaline pumped and possibly disoriented. If your pull your gun at this time, even with good intentions, there is going to be a good chance your going to get yourself shot.

If he is knocked down or knocked out and they are trying to take his sidearm I would step in. Because at that point there would be a good chance he would be killed if nothing was done.

April 21, 2010, 08:14 AM
Glenn Dee got on his keyboard first, . . . and he did a great job.

Given that I used to be out and about (on the job) at odd hours, I could easily have been in this type situation.

I would have backed out of my space, moved around in the station until I had a perfectly clear view of the whole scene through my front windshield, . . . but at a comfortable distance away from the "action", . . . layed my 1911 in my lap, . . . got out my cell, . . . put it in 911 mode, . . . and acted as though I were filling out a trip ticket or something, . . . inside my vehicle with the engine running.

The first hint of trouble for the officer, . . . 911 would be called, . . . and from there I would make whatever decision was necessary. Leaving the engine running allows the car to be used for a weapon, blocker, whatever, . . . or to escape if it gets really hairy.

Moving from a place between the officer and the other two, removes me from being in any crossfire, . . . plus gives me the panoramic view of everyone.

I have done this several times when I have noticed what looks like a possibly ugly situation developing. Drove to a corner, . . . observed, . . . when nothing happend, . . . went on my way, . . . thankful.

May God bless,

April 21, 2010, 11:24 AM
When you see a cop on the ground getting stomped by all means, "step in", otherwise stay OUT of the way, for YOUR safety and HIS/HER safety.

They aren't the lone ranger, they have an entire department supporting them and while police are injured while performing their duties on occasion it certainly isn't the norm, otherwise they would drive tanks instead of Crown Vics and carry BARs instead of pea-shooters.

April 21, 2010, 11:32 AM
You may have been viewed as the real threat by drawing your own weapon. The resulting incident would have involved you and the cop, not the kid with expired tags and his friends. He would have already have called in the stop as a possible traffic violation. No use second guessing everyone and ending up getting shot. Had he come under attack it would be a different situation and still not an easy call. JHMO

April 21, 2010, 02:16 PM
My cousin is a hero to our local law enforcement officers because he intervened when one of the officers, who confronted a shoplifter in a grocery store parking lot, was down on the ground getting the h*** beat out of him and my cousin came up and gave the shoplifter a lights out punch. In answer to the OP, I am the son of a career county sheriffs deputy and my son-in-law is a state trooper and I know they would appreciate the help if needed. A person just needs to be sure that help is indeed needed and he doesn't create a bigger problem. All situations are different.

April 21, 2010, 02:46 PM
Missouri Shooter, not to be confrontational, but if they had been older would you have been suspicious of them?

As a 20 something year old myself, I hope people don't go for their guns when they see me purchasing some beer...:(.

From my reading of the OP, the guys did nothing threatening, sounds like they were just waiting for their buddy. It would have been more suspicious if the other two had booked it to their vehicle and drove off.

Glenn Dee
April 21, 2010, 04:20 PM
I had a very similar situation happen to me. I was walking a foot post in the south Bronx. I noticed a volkswagon bus occuped several times in the parking lot of a closed business... on a semi deserted street. I notified central and requested a plate check, walked over and investigated. Everything seemed fine... A van full of day labor guys. The driver had ID, and they were all very pleasent. I walked around to the passenger side to look in. Where I saw one of them shooting up. (drugs) The side door opened and they were all out and all over me in a flash... The only thing they said and I understood was something about "La Pistola". I knew if they got my gun I was a dead man. So I rolled over and lay on top of my gun, holding it with both hands and took a stomping. After what seemed like an eternity the most beautiful sound ever... Police sirens... The mutts decided that was agood time to make themselves scarce. One guy had to get in one last kick and I was able to hold on to his ankle until the cavelry arrived. I was taken to the hospital... so was he.

Now... what saved me? An elderly gentleman who was driving by saw what was happening... went and found a working pay phone... Called in for help... Then came back to see that I was alright. That civilian I believe saved my life that day.

Weather you CCW or not... A telephone is usually the best way to help any police officer. I have been assisted by an armed citizen... but that was a very different situation.

Glenn Dee.

April 21, 2010, 08:22 PM
If the officer was taking a beating I would help, if not I would do as others have stated and be a good witness. That Motorola on his belt is a whole lot faster than your cell phone.

Glenn Dee
April 21, 2010, 08:25 PM
oh boy!

April 21, 2010, 08:33 PM
All you have to do is ask the cop if he could use any assistance.You don't have to come out of the car like a Junior G man.If he wants help he will tell you what to do.Remember folks,cops are out there trying to keep a lid on things and a hurt cop will still get paid if hes laid up or his family will get paid if hes killed.Those two occurrences are not cost effective for the tax payer.Sometimes just letting the moron know that the cop is now not alone may stop many things from happening.

April 21, 2010, 08:49 PM
So if a cop is lying on the ground with multiple asailants beating him. Do I casually walk up and say "Pardon me officer, could you use some assistance?" or do I grab the first guy not in a uniform and stop him from doing any further damage? Or do I just stand there?

What would you want me to do if you were in the officer's shoes?

April 22, 2010, 08:53 AM
ActivShootr I would hope if you saw an officer on the ground getting stomped you would pick the BG closest to you and kick his teeth in and move on to the next one. I don't think this needs explaining though.

April 22, 2010, 12:38 PM
Next up, the companion thread 'What would make someone want to be a cop?' With visions like that of a day on the job where you're grappling for your gun/life and even the good guys are standing there having second thoughts about helping out...time for a carrer change. The word is that cops are underpaid so unless that's a lie, what the heck is it? Lofty ideals? the ego boost from the power? I admit I don't get it.

I don't know if I would help or not. Depends on the exact circumstances and how the spirit moved me.

Glenn Dee
April 22, 2010, 04:05 PM
Being a policeman (cop) is not for everyone. If you go into it expecting to get rich, famous, or unscathed... Think again. Yes some cops get rich... But not from honest police work. Yes some cops get famous... But that comes with a price, and is very unlikely. Some cops do retire without ever having an IOD. But again thats unlikely.

Most policemen (women)... do so out of a sense of duty, honor, and the personal need to make a real difference.

Besides... who wouldnt want to play cops n robbers.... with real guns.

:D Glenn Dee

April 23, 2010, 09:13 AM
This thread has done a 10/10 belly flop. :(

April 23, 2010, 09:55 AM
Thanks for your service. You have my utmost respect. As I stated in a previous post, my now deceased father was a career police officer and my son-in-law is currently a Michigan State Trooper. The risk/reward factors are very high in this honorable occupation and you are so correct when you state that it is not for everyone. I started out in college for a degree in law enforcement, got married and had children so I went to work and never finished my schooling. When I was in my early thirties I joined our city police reserve department which involved some training and riding with a full time officer one or two nights a week. I quickly learned that I was not police officer material. It takes a very special person to be a successful law enforcement officer and my respect for them really grew in the seven years I served on the reserve department. I guess that I understand some of the reluctance by some to help an officer in need but that will never be me, even at the cost of possible risk to myself. Again, Thanks for what you do and stay safe.

April 26, 2010, 05:00 PM
We all have our own morals, values and understandings of our local laws. I would never try and tell someone what they should or should not do when faced with danger. I can only share with you what I feel I would do.

I have carried a firearm for a very long time. I do so to allow myself the chance to defend against sudden life threatening danger that I can not otherwise avoid. It is not my intention to stand between two fighting men, chase a purse snatcher or investigate odd happenings in dark alleys. This is not to say that I will not help a fellow citizen. I am willing to help defend others but only in the most dire of sitations where the threat to life is (right here and right now).

Just as I am willing in help a fellow citizen, I certainly have a willingness to help a Officer who is down. Obviously the dynamic is much different and just exactly when and how to go about doing so would have to be determined in the moment.

April 27, 2010, 02:54 PM
Here in Omaha just yesturday a guy was in a walgreens when 2 guys came in wearint hoods one had a shotgun, the guy was CCW he shot the armed one dead the other was arrested later. Maybe these criminals will get a little scared and stop their bad behavior.

Glenn E. Meyer
April 28, 2010, 09:50 AM

Here's one where someone intervened (H2H) in a knife fight and guess what - didn't come out so well. Even if he wasn't left to die - he still might have gone on before help arrived.

So, it circles around - that before you say - you can't live with yourself, if you didn't help - you can't live with yourself if you are dead.

Thus, you need to consider this. Decide your priorities.

May 12, 2010, 11:44 PM
What would you do had you not been armed? Would you feel the same urgency to get involved?

Glenn Dee
May 13, 2010, 03:57 PM
7MM... Thanks for the Kudos. And in all honesty.. It was not only my pleasure to serve on that capacity. It was my honor to serve in that capacity. I thank the every day citizen for their trust in me, and Pray that I served them well...

Once again... If an officer needs help, I would expect the average person to help them. As I see it helping an officer in need is the duty of every citizen. I wouldnt expect a civilian to put themself in harms way... But a phone call to 911 or offering some first aid...

Maybe I'm just too old fashion... I'm not of the ME!!! generation.
I still believe that people should do the right thing.... Because it's the right thing. And I have gone completely off subject. Sorry.


May 13, 2010, 04:34 PM
But this situation really confounds me. Thoughts? Ideas? Answers from LEO's?

Before you talk about saving a cop from a gang of thugs, you need to handle the matter of being armed for your protection without worrying about what the grocery store owner thinks. Sounds like his store is a place where being armed for SD would be a high priority.

Why would you even think about approaching a cop with a gun in your hand so you can "keep them at bay"? I'm concerned about you--hopefully it's just inexperience.

AND QUIT LEAVING YOUR GUN IN THE DANG CAR when you go in the store. (unless state law requires you honor the posted sign).:cool:

Just my thoughts on the matter.

May 21, 2010, 03:56 AM
In that type event, I'd wait and see what the male subjects said or did before I'd act. If anything, I'd get the store manager or if on duty, a store security guard. In my urban area sworn LE officers and contract security guards are more common in strip malls/chain supermarkets. I would maybe call the local LE agency's non emergency # if the males were just standing or watching the traffic stop/field interview but acting shady. I would NOT engage either the police officer or the intoxicated males at all. The cop has enough to deal with and you do not need to give the drunk guys a chance to snatch your loaded weapon.
Remember; safety=distance. As a armed security officer and former MP I can tell you many "concerned citizens" have stumbled into highly volitile events and put cops/bystanders/security guards at more risk.

If I were a police or sheriff's dept supervisor and a citizen later told me why he called the office or reported an event like the post, I would fully understand it and inform the citizen that they did the smart thing.

ps: About 4/5 years ago I read of a small town police officer in a deserted strip mall parking lot who was shot with a shotgun by an unknown subject. The young cop was working on his reports/laptop and wasn't being alert. His LE vehicle was in the middle of the wide open parking lot. The incident was in the suburbs of Detroit MI.
The recent WA shooting of 4 uniformed police officers by a violent thug is another good example of LEOs keeping a keen eye while on & off duty.

Glenn E. Meyer
May 21, 2010, 11:17 AM

This an excellent read about the mind state of an LEO. The question is whether it fits you as a nonLEO.

The warrior and the merchant: Define who you are
Warrior! The word has caught on in everyday speech and has been applied to sports figures, articles of clothing, martial artists, military personnel, cops, and even various figures involved in peaceful activities. But, what is a warrior?
From Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Warrior: a man engaged or experienced in warfare; broadly: a person engaged in some struggle or conflict.
I believe that almost all cops, military personnel, and others would agree that we are definitely engaged in a struggle — both to maintain our nation and societal order and to actively suppress criminal and terrorist activities that threaten that order. Having established that, we next need to define our mission.
For most agencies, the words “Protect and Serve” are somewhere in a well-written mission statement. They define what we do.
• To Serve: To give service to or meet the needs of others
• To Protect: To keep others from harm.
Again, definitions that broadly define what we are supposed to do. Why then, is there such a disparity of opinions with regard to mindset and what we should be doing with regard to mission, training, and everyday activities?
Belief Systems and Values
To begin, I offer the following questions for you to ponder:
• For what or whom are you willing to fight, risk your life, and, if necessary, die?
• Is it fair to ask you to do that if you’re a cop who is charged with protecting and serving your community?
• Do you consider your status as a police officer a job or a calling?
• Is this a 24/7 commitment or an 8-12 hour shift commitment?
• When you swore your oath as a law enforcement officer to uphold, defend, and protect the constitution and the laws of your state, was it conditional in your mind or was this an absolute act in terms of service?
• How do you interpret the word ‘duty’?
• Is it fair to ask you do the above if you are off duty, don’t have any family with you, and you have your tools with you?
• Is it fair to ask you to carry your tools with you off duty even if you are not being paid to do so?
• Can we define a code of ethics, values and belief systems that we should be following?
Have you ever said or done the following:
• They don’t pay me enough to do this ______!
• My number one priority is to go home every night.
• Recited the police officers creed, “never get wet, never go hungry.”
• I’m not going to train on my day off unless they pay me to do it and give me free ammo...
• Shown up second or third on a call so you didn’t have to do the report?
• Avoided or held back on a call or failed to act because it was either a nuisance to you or you were afraid?
• Beat the crap out of someone during an arrest because “they deserved it”?
• Decided that something wasn’t worth doing because no one appreciates your efforts anyway?
• Put down a fellow officer because they pay for training on their own time and their own dime?
• Put down a rookie for being “too gung ho” about doing what he perceives to be his job. (Not talking about doing bad things here, just the attitude of total commitment).
Rank these in terms of Value to you:
• Country
• Family
• Friends
• Fellow officers
• Citizens
• Yourself
There is no judgment on my part in the above questions or statements. They are designed to help you clarify who you are and where you are heading. They are based on my own observations and experiences over the last 30 years, both as an officer and as a professional trainer.
Altruistic Behavior
There is a type of behavior that is manifested among those who serve selflessly which is called “altruistic behavior.”
From Wikipedia, we have the following explanation:
Altruism is selfless concern for the welfare of others. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures, and a core aspect of various religious traditions. Altruism is the opposite of selfishness. Altruism can be distinguished from feelings of loyalty and duty. Altruism focuses on a motivation to help others or a want to do good without reward, while duty focuses on a moral obligation towards a specific individual, a specific organization (for example, a government), or an abstract concept (for example, patriotism etc). Some individuals may feel both altruism and duty, while others may not. Pure altruism is giving without regard to reward or the benefits of recognition and need.
Pay particular attention to this behavior as it is fundamentally different from doing your duty and defines the differences in beliefs and values in individuals.
On a personal note, I believe that altruistic behavior represents the highest expression of warrior virtue. I also believe that society feels the same and that is why altruistic behavior is considered a virtue.
Enter, the Merchant
Again we refer to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a “merchant” is “One whose occupation is the wholesale purchase and retail sale of goods or services for profit. This many also include barter where money is not exchanged but a profit or equal value is made in terms of value.”
As one progresses in a career, there is a tendency to get what I call “creeping cynicism.” You realize that many people don’t really appreciate what you do, they just put up with you. Many don’t like you. You may feel that you are at odds with your administration or with your fellow officers. You burn out a bit; maybe a lot. You start to lose your enthusiasm for the job. Maybe your faith in humanity or doing the right thing is being eroded.
You gradually start to slip into the “merchant mentality.” As you go about your job, you subconsciously start to weigh risk versus reward or benefits versus hazards. You may become unwilling to give more of yourself because you feel that you’ve given enough or that people are asking too much of you. You may have some resentment when the department or your trainers ask you to train without compensation to you.
A question starts to intrude on your thought processes: “What’s in it for me?”
Many times, administration tends to overpromise what the department can reasonably do and stress out officers with increasing workloads with no increase of pay or benefits.
Service is a Voluntary Commitment, Duty is Not
I will not speak for others when I define my own values and beliefs. I also do not put myself above others or consider myself morally superior when I do speak out.
I think it is helpful to clarify your values and beliefs and prioritize them. Then you can make clear choices to better negotiate the path you choose in life. You can also determine your own levels of altruism, duty etc. and if cynicism is creeping into your life and undermining your values.
For me, being a warrior is a 24/7 commitment. This is my choice and my belief. It is independent of the job or the affiliations I may have. It colors my decisions on what I do, what I wear, how, when, and with what I choose to arm myself, as well as how (and how often) I train.
I train continuously. I try to carry what I consider to be an adequate firearm and sufficient ammunition with me at all times.
Though I would like others to voluntarily join with me in this belief, I cannot hold them to this voluntary standard. Again, this is altruistic behavior vs. the obligation of doing one’s duty. If they are doing their sworn duty while in uniform, that is what they are being paid to do and I cannot ask them to do more than they are willing to give.
Therefore, I also choose not to put myself on a higher moral plane or be disparaging of them if they do not choose to follow the standards I impose on myself.
To protect and serve means to put others needs ahead of my own self. I do not expect any reward for this service. If I could find a means of being paid elsewhere, I would protect and serve without pay. My sworn duty — when I was a police officer — was to uphold the constitution and the laws of my state, county, city, etc. It was to enforce the law, preserve the public order, and protect the citizens of my community.
To me, this means at any given moment of crisis, when life and death is on the line, my country and the lives of citizens or fellow officers have more worth than my own. This “gets me through the door.” Hopefully my skills will get me back out again. A sense of obligation to duty will also get one “through the door.” A merchant mentality will hesitate, hold back, and be indecisive.
These beliefs and values are not conditional or transactional on my part; they are absolute and still are to this day. When I train law enforcement and military in my academy, it is the needs of the citizens they protect as well as well as their own that I keep in mind and is why I will never lower the bar and let someone get through who cannot perform to standard.
One may talk about “warrior values” or “warrior beliefs.” Fundamentally, a warrior serves his country or his community, not just himself. What should you expect to receive in return for your service? If you are driven by altruistic behavior, you expect nothing. The reward is from the service that you gave. If you are driven by a sense of duty, you feel obligated to do your duty. You may only feel obligated to do so while you are being paid to do so. That is most certainly a choice.
Though we do need to make a living and most officers are paid to do the job. A warrior is expected to give service, risk life and limb, and do battle for his community and peers ...with not even a “thank you” in return most of the time.
For those driven by an altruistic drive, this is all part of the job. They get their reward from doing the service and don’t expect anything in return. This is directly at odds with the merchant mentality of getting more than you give or bartering for equal compensation for your acts.
For those driven by a sense of duty, it is also part of the job but you may feel that you are giving more than you are getting in return at times.
If you feel the need to be appreciated or thanked all of the time for what you do — or feel you “don’t get paid enough to do this _____” — then you are sliding into the merchant mentality.
It is helpful to separate your identity and the associated values as a warrior from your job at times. You train and you risk your life when necessary because YOU CHOOSE to do it, because that is what you believe in and what you value. This is not a merchant transaction where you feel you should be compensated in equal measure to the risks involved. You may never go in a room and take on a gunman if you value your life more than you value doing your duty or protecting another person, no matter what your technical skill level may be.
I’ve seen officers who look good in training but freeze up when confronted with their own death. It is total commitment to the values of duty and service that helps move us forward when others may hesitate or fall back.
A warrior serves his country and its citizens, period. It’s not a transaction, it’s not a self-serving commitment. It’s a code of honor that you voluntarily commit to, whether from an altruistic perspective, a sense of duty, or both.
For the leaders, take care of your people, protect them from overwork, shelter them from abuse, set the standards and live by them.
For the warriors, may God bless you and protect you as you go about your duties. Thank you for your service.
For the merchants, heed what I say. I will not judge you, but the people you serve (and serve with) will.

Obviously some things are job specific - but how altrusitic are you? You didn't make a committment to be such when you decided to carry a gun.

Don P
May 21, 2010, 11:42 AM
This an excellent read about the mind state of an LEO. The question is whether it fits you as a nonLEO

Hopefully the read below the above statement should open all eyes as to the OP's question.
As for myself I am not LE so therefor I do not fit with my non-LE mindset.

I am willing to pay the ultimate price with regards to my family and self in trying to keep us safe and secure. Hopefully that day never comes.

May 21, 2010, 01:19 PM
I was born to serve this nation in either the military, which I did for 21 years before being forced to medically retire, or on a police force somewhere. To my great dismay and severe frustration, the injuries I received during my last tour in Iraq prevent me from doing either one.

It is my natural nature to protect those who cannot or, will not, protect themselves, serve the public and when I die, I want it to be said that I was a man of God, a great family man, a man who would defend his country to the death, a man of great character, respect, honesty and commitment. God, Family, Country. I have lived my life by those statements.

I take a conversation like this very seriously. If I am in a position to help my fellow man, I will do so without regard for myself. If it would endanger my family, I would remain uninvolved until the threat/dire situation was gone, then offer any assistance I could.

I personally know my capabilities and have had extensive CQB training. I wasn't a door kicker in the Army, I was a UH-60 mechanic/crew chief. However, I served for the better part of a decade in an aviation group that worked with America's Elite Forces and Agencies. I only left that organization due to the burden it placed on my family. During my tenure there, I was blessed and highly motivated to being trained by some very good men from some fantastic organizations in CQB tactics and techniques. I did not kick in doors and run and gun on missions. On mission, I did my aviation job. I got to experience some tremendously dangerous and life threatening situations as well as numerous, intensively brutal training scenarios. I had a friggin BLAST my whole time there. The reason I say I've fired more rounds than most people will ever fire in their life is due to the weapon I had on my window sill. The fantastic M134 Mini-gun. :cool:

If I saw an officer in a gun fight with five gang members, I would attempt to let the officer know I was there to back him up. Simply approaching the fight from a different direction that shores up an officers left or right flank will inform the officer I am there to help as an armed citizen. I would attempt to do so in a fashion that would let the officer know I wasn't a threat, but an unexpected asset for his use and direction.

If that situation weren't possible, to relatively safely let the officer know I was on his/her side, I wouldn't enter the situation until I could do so with a high degree of assurance the officer wouldn't perceive me as a threat or I wouldn't force his attention to me during a critical point in his battle.

If I'm in a store with my CCW and thugs come in to rob the place, I will do whatever I could to prevent harm to others. If that required my drawing my weapon and firing on the criminals, I would certainly do so without hesitation. However, the situation may not require it. I'd rather just let the criminals steal what they wanted and depart with no shots being fired than possibly take a run of the mill armed robbery without active violence to the next level by my introducing my gunfire into the situation.

There are so many variables to take into account for any given situation, it's something that's very difficult to cover completely or even well.

Having said that though, I do believe my intent should be clear to my fellow forum members.

May 23, 2010, 06:27 PM
One of the scarriest things I have ever heard in my life is a police officer yelling for help. Once when I was a senior in highschool I heard this first hand. Without a bit of hesitation I helped him. It was a local PD officer that was responding to a call of a wierdo in the parking lot. The wierdo was a very large guy. The cop went up to talk to him, and then the guy grabbed the cop and slammed him to the ground very hard. He had a full straddle on the cop pummeling his face. I put Mr. Wierdo in a choke hold from behind, and locked my legs around him, then leaned back. Mr. Wierdo went limp. The cop made it out from under him, and cuffed him. It took 4 very large men to get that guy into a van. He had to weigh at least 280. The cop thanked me. I filled out a statement. Then the other cops thanked me. The officer that was being pummeled went to the local ER with a broken nose, a shiner that covered both eyes, two broken teeth, and a mild concussion.
I will help a cop if they call out for someone to help them. The other one I know was the tape of Texas DPS officer that was overpowered by 3 men on a traffic stop. They managed to get his gun, and they killed him with it. His screams for help will make the hair on your neck stand on end.

May 24, 2010, 05:34 PM
As I see it helping an officer in need is the duty of every citizen.That's how I see it as well. Just telling a cop you have his back if he needs it can sometimes make a difference in the way perps are acting toward them. This from my brother-in-law who was a cop.

May 24, 2010, 05:48 PM

Glenn E. Meyer
May 24, 2010, 06:01 PM
If this starts to cycle back to the same old - I think we are probably done.

Saying its our duty vs. the risk - been there, done that in every discussion of the issue.

Anything new or it's time to bring down the curtain?

May 24, 2010, 07:58 PM
I think this particular horse has been well beaten.

Glenn E. Meyer
May 25, 2010, 04:48 PM
I agree.

Thus, closed - thanks for all the thoughtful replies.