Just mere life is not victory, just mere death is not defeat.

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Why cowards should NEVER wear the badge.

I have posted numerous times about honor, integrity and doing right by your community.  I wrote an article several years ago about Getting in the Fight and what Dying Well means.  This is a serious subject which I want to touch on from time to time, especially when very public displays of cowardice are available, worst of all cases from a person who has been entrusted with the safety of children.  
According to numerous media outlets, Broward Deputy Sheriff Scot Peterson was at the school at the time of the active killer event.  He was armed, in full uniform and waited outside the building for four minutes during the six minute shooting spree.  In 2014 Deputy Peterson was named School Resource Officer of the Year for the City of Parkland.  You know what that means? He was really good at being friendly with the students and staff.

Let me tell you about something which you may or may not have known.  There have been several instances of violent events which have changed the way LE (law enforcement) operates/responds to such active events.  Waco, North Hollywood Shootout and Columbine are those triggering events.  Waco changed the way we communicate and the priorities of such barricaded situations, force is always the last option.  The North Hollywood Shootout changed the way we equip patrol officers, because of that many patrol officers are equipped with long guns, armor, extra ammunition and have training for it.  After Columbine we realized that having all this gear does not mean anything if we do not go in to handle the threat.  Now we are mandated with getting on scene, jocking up, and closing the time between the initial shot being fired and the time the active killer is killed.  This has been the standard "Active Shooter" trained response taught in modern LE.  Every single sworn officer knows that if an "Active Shooter" 911 call comes out they need to get in the fight as fast as possible, literally every single second means someone might be killed.  

This is something which any person who takes training seriously, and/or has the correct mindset understands.  Stephen Willeford got in the fight, barefoot, in Sutherland Springs.  He knew what needed to happen and he did everything in his power to get it done as fast as possible.  There are numerous LEOs who have done the same thing, gone in solo, and let hate fly as fast as possible.  This is because we know what happens when we hold the parameter, or call for a specialized unit.  People die, and that is unacceptable.

What happens when a LEO does not do this?  What happens when a LEO decides their oath, and their personal safety is more important than the lives of the very innocent children they were specifically assigned to protect?  Apparently the perfect storm of school shooting scenario's.  

If Deputy Peterson did not understand the fact that he was entrusted with the immediate responsibility of dispensing violence on behalf of the kids he was assigned to protect he should have no accepted the position.  He clearly was incapable of doing so, yet he was there.


Maybe because a uniformed school assigned LEO is a pretty good gig, it is easy, especially in a good school.  He probably thought he would never have to so much as raise his voice, let alone use force.  This was his retirement post, where he could just coast under the radar.  Bet those students who were killed did not think so.  Bet those slain  JROTC cadets who had more courage and honor in one pinkie than he displayed that day thought he was dependable.

Deputy Peterson can no longer die well.  That ship has sailed, and it is never coming back.  He could have been the best and most aggressive deputy in that entire department, but that does not matter, because he is still alive and those kids are dead.
What should he have done?  Run in there and possibly get hurt or killed?  Yes.  Not only yes, but fuck yes.  That was not only his job, not only his mandate, that was his honor, that was his integrity.  That was his defining moment in life, because in death he would have kept his honor intact.  He would have been a hero.  If he tried to stop the shooter and was unsuccessful due to injury or death this article would be about his heroism and how we should all strive have the courage, and honor, he had.  But it is not, it is about cowardice.  It is about failure.  It is about what happens when we put our children's safety, and by proxy our own, in the hands of the weak.

We should not expect our LEOs to be protectors.  We should expect them to be warriors.  Trained and confident, quick to violence but patient in action.  We should expect them to be equipped properly for their specific mission and skillset, and they should be called upon to act as needed in times of crisis.
Deputy Peterson's failure to act is endemic of progressively weak LE policies and training.  His failure is the failure of his department in seeking out and training strength, confidence and honor into their department's culture.
Those of us in the LE field should take note of whatever signs may have been clearly obvious, but ignored, and strive to destroy any signs of weakness.

Those in the general public should force such an assessment inside their respective police departments because if it can happen in one, it can most definitely happen in another.

We must all do our part to eradicate the culture of weakness wherever it is found, it is unacceptable in our police departments just as it is unacceptable in our military.  There should never be another Deputy Peterson as we have a clear sign of what not to do, and what to expect from our LEOs.