Criminals Hate Cops & How a Split Second Saved a Man's Life*
I only had to draw my weapon a few times, and thankfully never pulled the trigger. But I did come very close one night.
It was soon after the Walsh street killings. Every cop was on edge and so upset because of the ambush and shooting of two young cops who were a few squads junior to me in the Academy. I knew them to say “hi” to. They were both based at our neighboring police station so we crossed paths regularly.
Constables Steve Tynan, 22, and Damian Eyre, 20, were checking reports of a suspect vehicle on Walsh Street, South Yarra, early hours of a quiet morning. The car had been left with the motor running in the middle of a suburban street, and when the young trainee constables went to investigate they were both shot at point blank range, for no reason except that these particular criminals hated cops.
Steve and Damian had no chance, and it was only then I realized for the first time that wearing a uniform and driving a police car we are walking, moving targets. These criminals see us before we see them.
In a similar situation late at night, my partner and I spotted a vehicle stationary with its motor running and headlights on. We approached slowly, and called out on our loudspeaker, “Step out of the vehicle.”
Nothing. Eventually we were out of our vehicle with our firearms drawn when slowly the man got out. He was large and over six foot tall. “Put your hands up where we can see them,” I shouted.
Again nothing. This went on it seems like an eternity. I had my firearm drawn on him and attempting not to shake, nervously. He then reached across his jacket pocket and inside his jacket, I was sure he was going to pull out a gun and fire on us. It was a split second before I almost pulled the trigger. Fortunately I didn’t because he did not have a gun but I can understand the feeling of ‘shoot or be shot,’ as I truly believed he was going to shoot me at that moment, and only a split second of hesitation made all the difference.
*This is an excerpt from Sex, Love & Cops.
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