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  • Need opinions,to debrief...

    Feeling a little odd and need to decompress a little.
    I cant talk freely about this story really as its a current case,and is very recent.Id just like some opinions on the situation,or officers points of view if they have had similar situations.Bear in mind we're in the UK so unarmed as standard.

    Last week our unit attended a call to a incident involving a firearm.Several suspects were circulated,and as we patrolled the area,suddenly we came across three of suspects.One ran and we chased him,other officers tried to stop him,but a hell of a chase took place.Long story short i turned a corner and he pulled a gun on us.I was only about 4-6 feet away.As he pulled the gun i cs'd him in the face and then basically ran,took cover and then as he ran continued the chase with everyone else.
    Short time later armed officers caught him nearby.

    Since then i feel well...odd.I dont want to go into work, i just want to stay at home with my family.
    Its an odd feeling of defencelessness,and just apathy now.

    I know i wasnt hurt,we got him,but the what if's keep going through my head.

    Anyone else experience similar??
    "Well, I never had an invisible friend when I was young, but I'm sure that if I did, it would be Constable Smiley."

  • #2
    You should not contain that feeling hoping it will go away by itself. You were through a traumatic incident and IMHO your feelings are fairly common. Is there anyone you can talk to? Does your PD have a stress unit or an equivalent?

    Never underestimate the need to rid yourself of "mental toxins".
    Disclaimer: The writer does not represent any organization, employer, entity or other individual. The first amendment protected views/commentary/opinions/satire expressed are those only of the writer. In the case of a sarcastic, facetious, nonsensical, stirring-the-pot, controversial or devil's advocate-type post, the views expressed may not even reflect those of the writer.


    • #3
      The "oh sh**" factor always gives you a different perspective on things for awhile. Even if you weren't hurt you were still in a dangerous, traumatic situation so talk or vent if you have to! Sounds like you handled the situation well and went home that night. Doesn't get any better than that.


      • #4
        I have to say I'm a bit disheartened of the lack of replies. We have a brother officer who went through a traumatic experience asking for our input and practically no one replies.

        That's sad.
        Disclaimer: The writer does not represent any organization, employer, entity or other individual. The first amendment protected views/commentary/opinions/satire expressed are those only of the writer. In the case of a sarcastic, facetious, nonsensical, stirring-the-pot, controversial or devil's advocate-type post, the views expressed may not even reflect those of the writer.


        • #5
          I agree that your feelings are quite common. Since we have a "gun culture" in the states, and we are armed all the time, you may be feeling a little more anxious since you don't have to deal with weapons that often.

          You need to find someone to talk to in order to work out your anxiety. If the agency has an on staff counselor who can talk to you, your minister, or even share with a close friend do so immediately.

          Also remeber that this incident was a one in a million. Over the course of my 20 years in LE, I have had guns pulled on me 4 times, knives 10, and so on. I fired my weapon for the first time in self defense 9 months ago.

          Good luck, and keep a stiff upper lip.

          John Ricks


          • #6
            Glad to hear your safe. That's the number one priority!

            Make sure you go for a run or get a good workout in to move the blood around get the toxins out of your system.

            And talk talk talk....

            I would also make your safety committee aware of the incident if you have one.

            Take care and jump back on the horse!


            • #7
              Perhaps talking with a chaplin or your parish priest(assuming you're religious) may help. Sometimes even if you're not they may be able to help you look at things a little differently which might be of benefit. Perhaps you have a close confidant on the department that you can discuss things with. No matter the choice you make, please do take brickcop's advice and don't try to bottle up your feelings regarding this incident.
              Still leading the team in PIMs, the fans are calling me a goon.
              This is Papa Bear. Put out an APB for a male suspect, driving a... car of some sort, heading in the direction of, uh, you know, that place that sells chili. Suspect is hatless. Repeat, hatless.


              • #8
                I am always impressed by the bravery of the English Police. You should be commended on the way you handled the situation. Myself, like most American cops, cannot comprehend handling any dangerous call without a firearm on our person. It sound to me like you used the force available to you in a quite appropriate manner, and came out physically unscathed.

                My personal feelings are that it is time to forget about tradition, and arm you for the job that you have to do. As a street cop, you are the first line of defense in your communities. You should be given the tools necessary to do the job.

                Carry on, Brother, and know that you are doing the good work that society needs and demands from us all. God bless you.
                Extremism in the pursuit of liberty is no vice. Barry Goldwater


                • #9
                  Your bravery is almost impossible for me to understand. I cannot comprehend the balls it takes to chase an armed suspect while unarmed.

                  Are there other officers who have shared similar incidents that you know of? Like others have said, a critical stress team or chaplain can also help. I am not sure how to put this, but here it goes. Direct that feeling of helplessness to make changes, you should be carrying a gun. The department is letting you down by not giving you the tools to properly protect yourself. If you can't protect yourself, how do they expect you to protect someone else.


                  • #10

                    What you are feeling is normal and your actions afterwards are valid. Anyone involved in a traumatic incident similar to yours will have felt the same. What you do with these feelings afterwards will determine how soon you get over it or what you take from it.

                    Not wanting to go to work is normal, you have experienced a situation that clarified your own mortality. All you have to do now is to overcome this and only you personally will know how to deal with this.

                    The key thing is it didn't happen the other way and you are safe.




                    • #11
                      In todays society, it is foolish to have unarmed police officers, in the UK or otherwise. Cops should have the equipment they need to do their task with as much safety as possible.


                      • #12
                        Thanks to all who responded...
                        Im feeling better and wasnt brave...At the time i was angry,annoyed and frankly felt so angry again.How dare someone do that.I agree with the go out and run/work out approach.My little fat butt has been running the past week and feels a lot better if not a bit cramped.
                        I wasnt brave though,just one of about 30 people who all worked that night to catch that guy.

                        Thanks again for the support,its nice to know the blue line is international.
                        "Well, I never had an invisible friend when I was young, but I'm sure that if I did, it would be Constable Smiley."


                        • #13
                          East you were brave and don't ever think you weren't. Here we're armed when we go out on patrol, you were unarmed and confronted an armed suspect. In my book that takes a lot of balls. What your feeling is very common. You were forced to see how short life could be and there but by the grace of God your life might have been ended there. The main thing is that your able to talk about your feelings and work on getting back on track. Best of luck to you and know that we're here if you need an ear.


                          • #14
                            Eastside go sick and stay there for a while. We were put in exactly the same position about 18 months ago. My partner picked up on speeding motorcycle and gave chase. Called for assistance and we made the GMP snake. Got the bike stopped only to have a sawn off pulled on us. The ****bag hit my mate round the head with it then rested the barrell on the brigde of his nose. (We are on the bike wing so the crash helmet prevented any physical injuries.)

                            After a few tense seconds the scumbag turned and ran I gave chase and we had a bit of rough and tumble until he was cuffed. This incident really affected my partner quite badly. He had 25yrs in the job and was demob happy. Never encountered anything like it before in his career one of the nicest men you would want to meet.

                            Your force will have councillors but you need to go sick and take stock put things in perspective. No one will critcize you or think bad of you. Talk to your wife and your friends. Do not let this fester it will tear you apart, I know from personal experience. Do not loose touch with your mates at work though pop in every so often whilst on the sick, for the latest gossip and the crack.

                            Insist on seeing your force councillor if not see one privately and present the bill to the force. ( Seen this done more than once, duty of care and all that.) Do not return to work until he says you are ready. They are are a far better judge of your mental state than you. Do not put on a brave face and return to work early, the force will not think better of you.

                            Remember this was a brave thing you did and the same goes for your colleagues. Do not be ashamed of how you feel. My mate did. He said he felt worse because I seemed unaffected by it all and took it in my stride. I then pointed out that I had been on five tours of Northern Ireland whilst in the Army at the height of the troubles been shot at once and blown up twice. So I had dealt with these feeelings before and was not uncharted territory for me.

                            But most of all feel pride in what you did. You an unarmed officer took a part in the pursuit and apprehension of a armed criminal. You potentially saved many people from being seriously injured that night. Well done and I`ll see you down London for the Bravest Bobby awards.

                            And yes I do think we should all be armed. Incidents like this and the terrorist threat only strengthen this argument.

                            Sorry i went on a bit.


                            • #15
                              Don't ever fool yourself, chasing armed suspects while unarmed is either exceptionally brave or insane, I am not sure which it is. First and foremost you went home at the end of the shift and not the hospital or the morgue. Your fear of returning to the street is probably the most normal feeling you could have. Quite frankly, if you didn't have that fear, I would be more concerned about you then I am now. Use the resources availalbe to move forward and recover the best you can. If this feeling goes unchecked it will not only impact you, it'll impact your partners, family and career. To be real honest one of the reasons I took this job was because of an incident while on patrol for a different agency. I was armed, but in a position that made shooting absolutly impossible. I got my butt beat but good, fractured ribs and broken nose and numerous contusions that lasted for weeks. SDPD came to my rescue at the very last moment and I'm here to tell the story so all is well that ends well. I know the feeling you're talking about. For weeks after that I was jumpy, irritable and in general, horrible to work with. My biggest problem? I was too hardcore to admit I had a problem and didn't get the treatment I needed. Don't make the same mistake I did.
                              Be alert...the world needs more lerts!


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