Sunday, April 19, 2009

Columbine


Columbine

Lots of discussion this morning on Colorado, National and International news about the anniversary of Columbine tomorrow. I sometimes wonder why we commemorate disasters. I get queasy each time I watch the Challenger exploding or the World Trade Center collapsing or think of Columbine.

I realize that we are remembering the victims and their families and not the bad event but they are intermixed.

I have a connection with Columbine. I was the Director of Security of Jefferson County Schools from 1972 to 1976. I built Columbine High School at the same time we built Green Mountain High School and Pomona High School. They all had the same design and floor plan. When I was helping to put the security in the building we were only concerned about alarm systems for burglaries and not shooters.

John Stone the Sheriff on the Columbine event was a former Lakewood Agent as was I. I think that the event ended his Law Enforcement career. He was also a Jefferson County Commissioner before becoming Sheriff. Lots of connections.

The only problem I had was if I was in charge I would have sent the troops into the building and probably saved several lives. Waiting allowed some to die for lack of medical treatment while the shooters had already killed themselves. I realize that no one knew if they were dead but I would have gone in right away to find out. I still see that silly mistake being made even more recently in Binghamton. At Virginia Tech the police thought that the first shootings were the end and they backed off on their response only to have more killed later. Virginia Tech was the worst shooting in our history much to the fault of the local and state police.

I know it is easy to be a Monday morning quarterback but when I was a police officer I swore to "protect and serve" and waiting in the wings is not protecting anyone.

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