Thursday, November 19, 2009

First-Year Police Officer Britt Sweeny Ready to Return to Duty, Honor Fallen Comrade

I think most of us have idly thought at some point about how we would react if we were involved in a shooting incident.  Maybe not as the shooter, but perhaps because of a news story or television show or movie, the thought came unbidden.  We can’t really know until we know, as the saying goes, and may I add that I don’t want to know.  When Officer Britt Sweeny – on her second night with training officer Tim Brenton (#6699) – was faced with just that situation she learned, as the rest of the police force and the city learned how she would react.  Her partner was killed instantly, and without hesitation Officer Sweeny radioed the call for help “shots fired”, and she jumped from the patrol car and returned fire.  When detectives found the car used in the attack they also found that one of Officer Sweeny’s slugs had hit the fleeing vehicle.  How terrible it is that Officer Sweeny had to learn firsthand and unequivocally of her mettle, created by an internal strength that cannot be taught.  She will say that her training is responsible for her actions, and to an extent that is true.  It is also no doubt true that she reacted in a split second to a threat, called instantly for aid, and still managed to step out of the patrol car and return fire.  I’m sure there were many veterans, fine officers all, who privately wondered if they’d have responded so brilliantly in the same circumstances.  How sad that Officer Sweeny, in her first year as an officer, has had to learn what she has learned about herself.  I am certain she’d have loved to be one of those officers who have never fired their gun on duty.  But that wasn’t Officer Sweeny’s lot.  She drew a very short stick – only Officer Brenton’s was shorter – in a very high stakes situation, and she mastered it.  I believe that training is excellent.  It is exceeded in excellence by this officer and her sense of duty, and her courage.

Local News | Rookie ready to 'fight the fight,' return to duty after officer's fatal shooting | Seattle Times Newspaper

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Sunshine on Discovery Bay

Sunshine on Discovery Bay
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