BEND, OR -- Local law enforcement agencies reacted to Thursday night’s shooting death of five officers in Dallas, and the wounding of seven others, with shock and sadness. KBND News spoke with Bend Police Chief Jim Porter shortly after Friday's morning briefing. He says just 12 hours after the Texas shooting, cops were frustrated with being lumped in with suspected bad officers. "Our officers are really confused and angry. I mean, we have an excellent police force – the Sheriff’s office and police department, our state police partners work very hard for this community to insure that things don’t happen. We do the right things, we have our officers in schools, we’ve been training in de-escalation for five years, we do biased-based trainings. We do all these things and we do them right." He added, "When this happens, we grieve as a profession."
Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson says it’s difficult for patrol deputies not to internalize these types of national events. "You can’t help but overlap it with your personal life. And, you can’t help but put a mirror image on what your family would feel if you had lost your life, or how it effects your office and how they move forward with their mission. You just feel a tremendous sense of loss." Sheriff Nelson told KBND News Friday, "I guarantee that they have a heightened sense of awareness and I’m sure many of them had conversations with their families before they came. It always reminds you of what you have and it always reminds you of your blessings."
Bend Police Chief Jim Porter agrees – it is difficult to process. "That level of anxiety doesn’t leave when they take their uniform off and park their patrol car; it also follows them when they’re grocery shopping, when they’re with their family camping, when they’re hiking."
Sheriff Nelson says, despite the loss of five officers in Texas, his patrol deputies still have a job to do. "We are always trained to be alert and always trained to be aware of what’s going on around us. I work with excellent people who have great training and great equipment, but it is good to have reminders during briefing training ‘hey, be on the lookout for this, or just be aware of your surroundings.’" Both Chief Porter and Sheriff Nelson agree that their officers deal with a heightened sense of awareness following national events involving law enforcement.
The Dallas shooting was the deadliest attack on law enforcement since 9/11. To hear more of our conversation with Bend PD Chief Jim Porter, visit our Podcast Page
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