ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The death of a Boulder, Colorado officer while attempting to stop a shooter inside a grocery store has sparked debate on what the first responding officer should do when answering a call.
“It’s a matter of, let’s stop the threat as soon as possible, limit the carnage, and hopefully we go home at the end of our shift,” said Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple.
Apple said these situations are what officers and deputies trained for. There have been 103 mass shooting this year according to the Gun Violence Archive. One of them happened in late-January in Albany. The group defined a shooting as more than four people shot or killed, excluding the shooter.
“Years ago, the methodology for responding to these shootings was, sit back, wait until you have a team in there, get your formation, and go in and search the school. Well, you have a lot of carnage as a result of that,” Apple said.
In a new age of tactical response, virtual reality has helped train Apple’s deputies enter a situation alone, but advocate John Cooney said mental health response has lagged.
“Tactically it’s proven to be a good strategy, but we can only imagine the damage that it may fo to an officer’s psyche.”
Cooney is a retired polcie captain now working to break stigma in addressing an officer’s mental wellness. He hopes by bringing awareness to the issue officers will get the help they need both in the field and at home.
“knowing now that you can only hope you can find your partner to back you up, only hope, is a lot different than gaurenteeing.”