Thursday, June 22, 2006

Cops Fired For Cowardice

This is an awful tale that was caught on tape inside a Chicago supermarket. As one officer struggled for his life with an armed suspect, three others ran away to safety. The officer properly shot and killed the offender.

We know we are not supermen and women. We know we should be careful and as safe as we can be but God only knows if we will somehow always overcome our natural fears to do our jobs. Not all of us are cut out to be cops. Overcautious cops are not that extraordinary but firing them is indeed very rare.

Two of the disgraced cops were recruit woman officers still within their probationary periods were fired and a third, a male officer who recently completed his probation is now facing action before the Chicago Police Board.

I have only one beef here and that is out of four officers sent to deal with a gunman three of them were not seasoned officers. This is like sending the blind to lead the blind. Another issue with some folks is that the two now fired probationary recruits are women. I’ve seen extraordinary courage in many women and cowardice in too many men.

When we hire man and women for police work they should be made of the right stuff. Three officers in Chicago did not measure up and need to find careers in some other field. I hope that the fired officers can get over the huge humiliation of their acts and move on to some other good and prosperous occupations where they don’t fail.

The Chicago Sun Times article is here.


Anonymous said...

The cowardice thes three showed is beyond contempt.

There is perhaps no greater crime than leaving a brother officer to die.

Yellow bastards!

Anonymous said...

The problem Paul, is that the City decided to go with youth as opposed to experience. This is the end result. They treated the seasoned vet as nothing more than a cranky old useless dinosaur and did everything they could to get him to pull the pin which many have. Then factor in that they will hire just about anybody now and look at what you get.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you 100%. It has nothing to do with being a male or a female, but rather the kind of person you are. I am a woman, relatively small (but strong) and find the same problem on the job. Some cops (both male and female)won't put their hands on anyone (and in more serious situations, opt out altogether). I am, in contrast, usually at the bottom of the pile in a scuffle. I am what a cop should be.
Our job is hard, we all know that. When civilians run away(as they should). It is our job to run towards it...and eliminate the problem.
We all know this job isn't for everyone. It's very hard at times. We deal with everything noone else wants to.
My question is...why are they hiring people who are so clearly unsuited for the job? It puts us all at risk.

John Mosby said...

Paul, there is a troubling double standard here.

The probies, who may have been in their first gunfight ever, were summarily dismissed, while the more experienced officer is getting full due process.

Yes, probationary employment is designed to give a swift exit to bad apples, but it is also supposed to be a period of training and counselling - not a one-strike-yer-out tightrope walk. The two probies could possibly be rehabilitated with retraining (which might include old-fashioned wall-to-wall peer counseling).

Lots of people have lost their composure in their first critical incident, then gone on to become seasoned warriors. Had there not been a 3:1 ratio of young to experienced officers - had the proportion been reversed - then an oldtimer could have grabbed the youngster by the scruff of the neck and put him/her back in the fight. As it was, the one experienced officer got decisively engaged early on, and the youngsters, with no one to lead them, reverted to instinct.

As previous commenters stated, it was as much a failure of the system as a failure of these individuals.


Anonymous said...


Obviously you are not the POLICE. I am. I want none of the 3 anywhere near me when I work. We deal with enough everyday at work to worry about your back-up.

This job is inherently dangerous: Nobody was forced to take this job. This job is not for everyone. Unfortunately it took 3 (2x F/1 1 x M/1) COWARDS to put an Officer's life in danger to bring this issue to the forefront.

Is this shocking? NO!

I applaud Supt. CLINE.

Anonymous said...

As a veteran Officer with 20 years of service that is disabled due to a violent attack by an Offender.I have to applaud the City for firing these Chickens. There is no place in Law Enforcement for Officers that are afraid of thier own shadow. The citizens as well as other Officers count on us to step in and solve situations that pose a threat to Lifes and or property. We all took this job to make a difference, even if it means at risk to ourselves. I say these Officers are an embarrassment to all of the hard working and dedicated Officers throughout Illinois and the rest of our Great Nation.

SCC said...

Just an FYI. Probabtionary officers are "at will" emoployees. They have contract protections up to a point but can be terminated for any reason whatsoever during the 18 month probationary period.

Second, they weren't sent to a "man with a gun" call. They were sent to a shoplifter call.

Both points being made, we fully support the firings by the Superintendent and the filing of charges for termination on the third officer. No one is taught to run from trouble as a police officer. An investigation will find that this was out and out cowardice, not a "tactical retreat" and return in force.

Paul Huebl Crimefile News said...

My criticism of concentrating recruits together on any call is not good. The blind leading the blind is always undesirable. Every call can bring a man with a gun or worse. Send the real police please…

The good news is the officer that was endangered followed his training and is alive as a result.

Anonymous said...

Here's a thought. Soon there will be many more "former Marines" looking for work after one to many deployments. Many former Marines (and other military members) are drawn to Law Enforcement careers. Hire them! They won't run from criminals!!!