The Concern Fades Between Events by Michael Widmer
Did you ever notice how concerned folks get when something tragic happens? And rightly so. More and more people feel like some things just can’t be controlled. So when a condition rears its head, it’s suddenly a major concern. It’s a natural reaction to look to our leaders and say “what are you doing about it”?
My main concern is mass killings in a number of environments. My major focus is in schools. To be clear, it is a difficult subject to address. After thirty-five years in law enforcement, I recognize how this keeps happening. Time in the street exposes just how much turmoil exists in some folks lives. And it can be many things that bring rage to the surface, but it’s not an excuse. The fact is that there are things that I believe can be done in schools to prevent mass shootings before they happen. We have become the master of response to these events and our cops restore order and deal with the carnage showing an unprecedented level of expertise. But if the shooting has started, it’s too late.
We can always expect to hear how more gun control would help, and how better mental health programs would benefit the effort. Those topics have become standard as well as the overused message that “our hearts go out to the families of the victims”. There will be debate over these topics, but it’s not likely they will be resolved anytime soon. I have supervised and handled many mass killings and I can tell you that there is no easy fix.
A few years ago I published my first book entitled “Intervention.” The book has a fictional story about very real events and a far-fetched, but telling story about a team that goes after potential killers. The invasion of citizen’s privacy plays a large role in the story. At the end of the story which gives the reader a “ride-along” with a team that has new rules, I have given some ideas about things that can be done to prevent shootings before they start and give the schools time for law enforcement to arrive. In July this year, the sequel to Intervention was published and is entitled “Before the Death March.” The story begins where Intervention left off and again at the end of the story I have outlined some additional measures that are a beginning to dialogue designed to have a life-saving impact. No, all shootings cannot be prevented, but many can. It involves some physical changes to schools and districts nationwide should use the talent in their own areas to help come up with varied efforts pointing at prevention.
“Intervention” and “Before the Death March” are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Google and I-Tunes. We had a signing at a large craft show here in Vail recently and many of you bought both books. I appreciate the support for a local author.
About the fading of concern – How many folks know that near the end of September a 14-year old reportedly killed his father at home, then went to school and shot multiple people, including a six year old boy in North Carolina? And how many know that the six year old died a few days later. When will the next shooting occur? The term “Death March” is a term I apply to these killings. The planning and coordination with local law enforcement must occur before the “Death March.”
Michael Widmer retired as a Sergeant from Tucson Police. He traveled to police departments nationwide, in England, and the Bahamas, after he retired, as a law enforcement liaison and a law enforcement software advocate. Michael reviewed government grant requests as a subject matter expert and most of his career was spent supervising undercover officers and supervising violent crime investigations.