Shots ring out. You immediately face the choice – fight or flight. You cannot fight with a gun so flight is the choice, except flight exposes you. Cover and concealment is the only way to go and you do it as best you can, hoping to get out of the line of fire.
Shots ring out. You immediately race toward the sounds. You observe the people running in the opposite direction. You are looking for weapons. You are looking for suspicious persons. You are looking for the shooter. You are at the ready, firearm in hand. You are going north when everyone else is running south. You are a police officer. You are answering the call of duty.
Therein lies the difference.
Civilians are, and rightly so, only concerned with getting out of harms way. Police and other first responders are intent on protecting the civilians. It is that plain and simple.
Bravery and valor are coursing through the veins of the men and women in uniform. “To protect and serve.” is the universal motto of police departments. Those values, those attributes, are not learned in a classroom or on a training course. They come to an officer up-close and personal in the streets. Most police officers possess the characteristic that prompts them to live out that motto.
No matter your opinion of law enforcement in general you cannot besmirch the hundreds and thousands of times police officers run towards trouble. Without their professionalism and personal heroism chaos would rule the country. Without them facing the danger anarchy will rule the day. More people would be killed and maimed with impunity.
Evil resides just below the surface of society and those that carry a badge and gun are always on the lookout when if rears its ugly head.
So which way are you running?
Greg Demetriou is a highly decorated retired NYC Police Detective and is now the CEO of Lorraine Gregory Communications.