First and foremost, I have been a police officer for over 20 years. I have seen a lot of changes in the profession and witnessed good and bad police work. Though I was not there and am sure not everything has come out - or never will - it is disturbing what transpired if the facts are accurate. On its face, it appears that the BSL and BCSO officers had the situation under control and a rogue officer from Southport decided to escalate the situation and overreact with tragic consequences. I have had to work with officers like that and can tell you, no one in the police profession wants to have this type of person on the force. I read a lot of posts about the "blue code of silence" and cops "circling the wagons to protect their own" and acknowledge that is a problem, reason why I don't give out my name because to stand up and speak out against bad cops and bad police work does get you blackballed - something that is true in every profession but more so in police work since it is scrutinized so much and everybody who knows how to be a cop and what "they" should do. As tragic as this is, and, if the facts bear out that Officer Vassey used excessive force, I hope he is prosecuted and that the police community acts to prevent tragedies like this from happening again. I would like to know if Vassey was CIT (Crisis Intervention Training) certified - a program for officers to deal with mentally ill persons (and, contrary to another post, it is part of our growing job and responsibility to deal with these incidents). Unfortunately, the "old" guard of police work have been adverse to this and many forward thinking programs(some Chiefs need to retire), but I think if he had this training and used it, this would have been prevented - WWAY, do a story on CIT Training and how it may have prevented this tragic chain of events.
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