Criticism of police response surprising

A police response Friday that drew six squad cars to McDonald’s on Nevada Highway drew surprising, to me anyway, mean-spirited attacked on the boys in blue on this newspaper’s Facebook page.

What really surprised me is that not all the information was in and people were posting harsh criticism for the perceived “over- kill.”

On the morning of June 14, I posted “Police appear to arrest two at McDonald’s for what was described as a family disagreement. Six cars responded.”

The first reader comment with in minutes was “Over kill ya think?”

I have to say I was completely taken aback. Police never know what situation they may be walking into, especially at a populated place such as McDonald’s.

Another person posted, “I think it’s crazy. They respond to domestic violence in a residential with 2 or 3 cars but at McDonald’s they send six!”

The number of cars was mentioned to show the reader the apparent severity of the situation, not as an example of some perceived police overreaction.

Turns out the number was warranted given the information the police had at the time.

According to police, the department responded to McDonald’s “regarding an allegation of attempted murder incident.”

The word “murder” is not something that is spoken of in these parts with any regularity. We aren’t immune to it, as the sad double-murder suicide in January showed us. But it is infrequent.

Turns out the Mohave County Sheriff’s office 80 miles away in Arizona contacted Boulder City Police to alert them to the possibility someone was headed our way to kill his father.

I would venture to say a call from one law enforcement agency saying someone is headed our way ready to commit murder gets a response.

Sure enough, a search warrant recovered two firearms in the suspect’s vehicle. The police knew going in the suspect, an Iraq war veteran, was traveling with guns. What they didn’t know is if he was armed when they approached him.

If you’ve read my front page story on the incident, the fact the suspect was released Tuesday night after only being charged with resisting a public officer, a misdemeanor, is irrelevant. The police were moving on information they had been given from another law enforcement agency. What if he was armed?

Retired police Sgt. Dan Jennings took to Facebook to explain the large response.

“Whenever possible, two officers should be present to arrest one suspect; in this case, as reported, two were arrested, therefore four officers should be present. This would explain the presence of at least four vehicles. Additional factors could have weighed in for more officers. Had the disturbance escalated and innocent folks were hurt, the same folks would be criticizing the police for not sending more officers,” Jennings wrote.

He then went after the critics stating, “To those critics, when you summon the police to YOUR emergency, be sure to tell the dispatcher you want only one officer to respond.”

While this police department, or any law enforcement agency, has its issues, I believe the off-the-cuff critics to this incident which could have escalated quickly, were disappointing.

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