WASHINGTON – More details have been released about exactly how law enforcement officers tracked down and killed the Navy Yard shooter.
At the scene of the shooting, a U.S. Park Police patrol officer and a D.C. police officer got together to form what’s called an “active shooter team.” Each officer was armed with a rifle, says Park Police Union chairman Ian Glick.
“They went in, addressed the threat, and neutralized him,” he says.
He says inside Building 197, the two had to navigate a maze of office cubicles.
“If you have any understanding of the way tactical law enforcement operations are conducted, each cubicle has to be cleared individually. So this is a rather daunting task as they go through and clear this. Towards the end of clearing this, the subject engaged them with gunfire,” Glick says.
Glick says the Park Police officer involved has been in law enforcement for three years and three months, and had no prior military training.
“He is basically ‘Joe Citizen’ that went into law enforcement,” he says. “I did the orientation for his new class prior to them going down to the academy in Georgia. And he said to me Monday after the incident, he said, ‘You know you were right.’
And I said, ‘About what?’ And he said, ‘When you came in and talked to my class you looked around the classroom and one of the first things you said was everybody in this room is one dispatch away from being killed.'”
Glick says the officer was profoundly affected by Monday’s events.
“This has been life-altering for him,” he says.
Glick says the Office of the Inspector General recently questioned the need for a U.S. Park Police program that puts rifles in the hands of patrol officers.
“The events on Monday, more clearly than anything, answer that question,” he says.
Glick is concerned that staffing levels will go down in the fiscal year that starts in just a few weeks, on Oct. 1.
“We don’t have another academy class funded for fiscal year ’14,” he says. “We stand to lose a significant number of officers in the coming months due to attrition through retirement. Those officers are not slated to be replaced, and anyone in law enforcement understands that hiring and training a new class takes approximately a year.”