Reflections by a Dallas police officer
From one of Radley Balko’s links, this first-person report from a Dallas police officer:
Max Geron is a Major in the Dallas Police Department. He wrote this.
“Hey man this is Reuben. I don’t know if you heard but there’s a city-wide assist and reports of officers down at the demonstration. I’ve got some guys and we’re headed that way and I just wanted you to know in case you hadn’t heard.”
That was my first indication that something had gone horribly wrong. I glanced at social media and immediately saw throngs of people scattering from the anti-police brutality protests going on in downtown Dallas. I knew it was bad. They reported one officer having been evac’d to the hospital in a squad car – you know it’s bad when cops are evacuating other cops in squad cars and not waiting for ambulances.
I started throwing on my uniform and got a call from my ex-wife asking if I was ok because she was getting calls from relatives asking about what was going on in Dallas with officers being shot. I told her I was fine and on my way into work because downtown was chaos. I told her to love on our kids for me.
I jumped on the road, turned on the lights and siren and went screaming toward downtown. I listened to the radio as officers tried to determine where in parking lot off Lamar St. the shooter or shooters might be – frantically searching, trying to find out where he, she, they could be. My job then was not to put my car or someone else’s car into the ditch as I worked to get there as quickly and safely as I could. The adrenaline was coursing.
I called my boss and told him I was on my way and asked where he needed me to go. He told me to report to the command post at the convention center. I got close and saw a crowd of officers and stopped to ask them where the field command post for the demonstration was. They weren’t sure although it turned out it was about a half a block away. I got my bearings and found it in the confusion.
I climbed into the mobile command post and saw a friend of mine (a fellow Major) working hard coordinating the resources that were flooding into downtown. We talked briefly and he said, if you’ve got this I’m headed to the tactical command post near El Centro community college – where SWAT was coordinating their operations, at that time working to locate the shooter(s). Also in the command post were representatives of Dallas Area Rapid Transit Police, Dallas Sheriff’s Office and some federal partners. It was crowded to say the least.
I took over there and would be there for the next 12 hours. We had a good crew and worked to get a sense of how many officers we had and where they were. It became apparent that there were lots of officers running around with no particular assignment trying to find the suspects. I spoke to my counterpart at the SWAT command post and decided to pull all unassigned officers to the south side of City Hall and get them all accounted for – that helped.
I blinked and it was already 2 hours into the operation. I posted a quick “I’m working and I’m safe,” message to Facebook because my text and messenger apps were lighting up with inquiries from across the country from friends and relatives watching the horror unfold on television and social media. I began to post information to Twitter to let the community know that we were working hard to protect them and let know what was going on.
We then heard reports of someone putting things into a car that fled the scene. . .
Continue reading. It’s a good report of a terrible incident.