7.26.2012

Today’s Investigative Special Report July 25, 2012 “Dealing With Today’s Law Enforcement Specialized Investigations” “The Real Heroes Are The Front-Line Law Enforcement and Fire Personnel in the Aurora, Colorado Mass Murder Incident”



By Lawrence W. Daly, MSc

In a society where men are at war not only with themselves but with others comes a monster of a man by the name of James Eagan Holmes, 24 years-old. As you have become familiar with Mr. Holmes you haven’t nor will you know or hear about those on the law enforcement and fire-front line personnel who responded to the calls that shots had been fired in the Century 16 theatre, in Aurora, Colorado.

The unsung heroes are those men and women who wear the law enforcement and fire person uniforms. These are the people who were first through the door when everyone was running out of the theatre to find safety; they were putting their lives on the line.

DENVER, CO - JULY 25:  Aurora Colorado Police ...
DENVER, CO - JULY 25: Aurora Colorado Police Chief Dan Oates (R) arrives for a memorial service for Gordon Cowden, one of the movie theater shooting victim, at Pathways Church for a on July 25, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. Two of Cowden's teenage daughters were with him in the theater when he was killed. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes is suspected of killing 12 and injuring 58 others on July 20 during a shooting rampage at a screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Nobody said being a law enforcement official or fire person was going to be easy. In fact, the after effects of the death and carnage will haunt most of these individuals until the day they die. They have never seen anything like this tragedy, nor will they hopefully ever have to see another.

The law enforcement officials, under a great deal of stress, stress only a few officer’s will ever have to experience will need counseling, aggressive and intimate counseling which will keep the mental health and medical profession busy for the next thirty years.

Those who were a part of the incident, witnessed Mr. Holmes shoot one person after another will have great difficulty in dealing with the anxiety, depression, and anger they will experience for the rest of their lives. Imagine being the parents of the six year-old girl who was killed during the shooting spree. Twelve people lost their lives and 59 others were wounded or injured by the tear gas or firearms.

The major response plan for the City of Aurora worked, and not only did it work well, it saved numerous lives, protected others from being harmed, and ended with the apprehension of Mr. Holmes. In most jurisdictions major response plans are practiced and practiced until the administration believes they have the plan down pat.

To the law enforcement official and fire persons the practice of a major response plan is as boring as watching paint dry. However, as seen in the City of Aurora, Colorado the planning and preparation has seemed to have worked, probably better than any major response plan implemented before.

AURORA, CO - JULY 25:  Aurora Colorado Police ...
AURORA, CO - JULY 25: Aurora Colorado Police Chief Dan Oates (2ndR) participates in a prayer as he visits the makeshift memorial with his top brass and firefighters across the street from the Century 16 movie theater on July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes is suspected of killing 12 and injuring 58 others on July 20 during a shooting rampage at a screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Once things calm down and everything seems to be normal, then the major response teams will come together and examine, assess, and evaluate what aspects of the major response plan worked and which aspects didn’t work. Although there is no way to describe what occurred at the Century 16 Theatre, the experts will find methods and techniques for what could have been done better and what areas were done well.

The names of those who gave their public, medical, and media services need to be glorified, not that of Mr. Holmes. It should bother society that the attention of the shootings and mass murder surrounds a mass murderer who preyed upon victims who were as defenseless as they could have been. Already too much attention has been given to this evil and sick man. Enough is enough with where he went to junior high school and how quiet or loud he is.

The politicians, individuals, special interest groups, and specific groups will come out of the closet so they can be heard about their viewpoints about Mr. Holmes and his ability to obtain weaponry of such magnitude and what society should have done for him so he wouldn’t have turned out to being the deranged individual which he is.

One media outlet stated that Mr. Holmes had more than 6000 rounds of ammunition. This makes no sense, as most shootings last seven seconds to five minutes. Even with assistance, Mr. Holmes would have never been able to carry or fire this many rounds.

The concern of law enforcement officials should be, “What if my officers would have faced Mr. Holmes one on one, were the officer’s weapons sufficient enough to protect the public and themselves?” These types of questions are probably a question which eventually will be addressed during the examination, assessment, and evaluation phase.

Law enforcement and fire personnel need to discuss these questions about officer safety and it should be dealt with immediately across America. Maybe the next time an officer improperly body protected or not having the sufficient weaponry may become a casualty which could have been prevented.

In the law enforcement community, another question should be, “Are the officers being provided with the newest and best body protection and weapons to combat an individual like Mr. Holmes? The front-line law enforcement officials who responded to Friday mornings shooting are definitely considering this aspect of the response plan. The “what-if” questions will be asked of every technical and tactical aspects of this tragedy.

No law enforcement official was hurt during and after the shootings, although officers were at the theatre within 90 seconds. This response team should be praised by everyone from the President of the United States to the Chief of Police and down the hierarchy. In some areas of the country law enforcement responses to major crimes i.e. shootings, robberies, and other crimes may take up to five to fifteen minutes.

In an article written by reporter Siv Prince of The Daily of the University of Washington stated, “The average response time to calls is seven minutes, which is the national average for a large American city.” Although Seattle as a whole is at the national average, some areas are below that average,” Washburn said. As the report points out, police response often exceeds seven minutes when call volume is high.”
Although the reports have been mixed, witnesses stated that Mr. Holmes gun seemed to have jam. He then dropped the weapon and walked out to his vehicle which was parked behind the theatre, where he was eventually apprehended.
Just i
AURORA, CO - JULY 25:  Aurora Colorado Police ...
AURORA, CO - JULY 25: Aurora Colorado Police Chief Dan Oates (C) speaks with FBI special agent in charge Jim Yacone (R) before participating in a prayer as they visit the makeshift memorial across the street from the Century 16 movie theater on July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes is suspected of killing 12 and injuring 58 others on July 20 during a shooting rampage at a screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
magine if the response time would have been the national average of seven minutes or longer. Potentially the toll of victims could have reached an unbelievable higher number of casualties.
The reason for the Aurora City Police response time, Friday morning at approximately 12:30 a.m. needs to be examined, assessed, and evaluated, so other police agencies across America may learn from it.
Tomorrow’s news headline will be about Mr. Holmes, his profile, every little piece of information which can be obtained on him. Already, the media outlets have received much information about Mr. Holmes, where he grew up, how smart he was, and so forth.
This author would like to thank the law enforcement community, fire department personnel, medical personnel, and the media outlets for their responses to this incident. What needs to happen today is the focus needs to be changed from learning more about Mr. Holmes, to learning more about the victim’s.
Further, the names, ranks, and responsibilities of those who were a part of the incident, after the incident, and will be handling the investigation of this incident need to be recognized early on and praised for the work they did and will do.
The short and long term physical, psychological, and emotional affects are and will be an aspect that the public servants who were a part of this incident will have to be dealt with now and in the future. The mental health and medical community need to support the public servants for what they did, by providing the necessary services they will need to deal with this tragedy. It will forever change their life, no doubt about it.
The Real Heroes Are The Front-Line Law Enforcement and Fire Personnel in the above Aurora, Colorado Mass Murder Incident. The community of those who live in and around the City of Aurora need to thank and praise the work of these unsung heroes. Maybe, just maybe the next time one of these law enforcement or fire personnel need a volunteer or financial support, the community will step up to the plate and provide them with accomplishing those needs. Wouldn’t you say they are worth it and deserve it?







Lawrence W. Daly           
steppingstones.ws
206-650-0229
ld@steppingstones.ws
Puyallup, WA



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