The targeted killing of law enforcement officers in Dallas was intended to intimidate and coerce a country and affect the conduct of government by assassination. But it does not change the resolve of sworn law enforcement to serve the people and bring justice to our respective communities.
Officers across the country will remember the fallen through their continued service. They are not deterred from the sworn duty to protect and serve.
Violent extremists who plot acts of domestic terror, those who are witting or unwittingly co-opted in their plans, and those who show their willingness to advocate, facilitate, or use violence for a political purpose will find justice. Law enforcement will not fail in any effort to bring justice to all those responsible for this heinous attack.
The murders of Dallas Police officers followed in the wake of an inordinate volume of hate sentiment and threat messaging directed towards law enforcement nationally. We remind the public that electronic threats may lead to arrest on federal charges under 18 USC §875, using interstate communications to convey threats of injury against an individual.
We ask the public to support their local police agency by reporting any suspicious activity or threats they may encounter which communicate an emergency involving imminent death or serious bodily injury. The immediate disclosure of this information may save lives. It will help prevent copycat attacks.
Officers are alerted to the very real danger of copycat assassination attacks. The threat of violent extremism, domestic and foreign terrorism is very real. Shortly after the targeted killing of two NYPD officers in 2014, there were three additional plots influenced by ISIL to behead people, bomb public events, and attack the police.
It is our continued duty to protect 1st Amendment rights and ensure public safety at frequent demonstrations, rallies, mass gatherings, and public events across the land. We must fail in no preparation.
Remember both fundamental and specialized training for mobile field force operations. Study and analyze problems faced nationally in these circumstances. Learn not just from success but also our failures.
Prepare for conflict resolution, confrontation, and ambush. The main course of action in planned assassination attacks is the ambush. Review and train quick reaction to ambush. Work to detect the predicate hostile surveillance which precedes all attacks. This is crucial to officer survival. Agency intelligence collection efforts must focus on hostile communication by networked extremists.
Equipment must be ready and available: Plate carriers, helmets, PPE, tourniquets, medical kit, gas masks, and patrol rifles. Prepare for both standoff and CQB engagements.
Beyond the strategic, operational, and tactical dimensions of police work is the matter of psychological response to critical incidents. We must dedicate ourselves to building officer resilience and recovery from the stress and grief. It is very normal to be upset and angry at the loss of lives as with Dallas. Talk to your partners. If you need someone else to speak to, agency services are available to help us through tragic incidents like this.
Stay ready and be the one that brings the others back……Semper in Via!
About the Authors: Lawrence Lujan and Aaron Cunningham are veteran law enforcement officers and proud members of the International Tactical Training Association. Please join us in the discussion at Tactical Solutions Magazine.by