So yesterday I got an email about an emergency exercise this weekend asking for help. Local coordinator needs some help at Whitman County dispatch.
Unsurprisingly they wanted my information in advance to clear me into the building. I just got an email from the coordinator. Included in it was the response to him from the dispatch center.
Subject: RE: ARES Quarterly Exercise 10/29 Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2011 18:26:49 +0000
Ok but I want to emphasize, there is absolutely no weapons allowed in or near the
dispatch center. That being said, I will make sure the dispatch center knows you will
be allowed into the building.
Now I know someone probably noted that I have a CPL on my background check. Now for those of you from outside the area, here’s why this is a facepalmable moment.
Police said the gunman started shooting from a parking lot across from the Latah County Courthouse shortly after 11 p.m. Saturday. A hail of more than 30 bullets ripped through the county’s emergency dispatch center, Duke said. Dispatchers were moved to a room in the jail area of the courthouse. Officers rushed out of the building.
This incident occurred in May 2007, and the whole incident took place less just over 10 miles by road from where the dispatch is. In this incident officer Lee Newbill was killed as well as a civilian who responded to aid the officer. During the incident Whitcom actually took over emergency communications for Latah county.
There is first hand experience for the area, even this dispatch center, that the disarmament does nothing to actually make anyone safer. Yet instead of learning from that lesson and how ineffective it was at protecting people they continue the illusion. Not only do they continue the illusion, but ignore the fact that the person they’re admitting is statistically more likely to be law abiding than the general population.
So I will bite my tongue and leave it locked up. I will have the most important tool still with me, I just hate leaving the most effective accessory for use with the most important tool.
*As a random thought, I doubt they saw my ATF paperwork for explosives. I don’t see why the state records would indicate it, but I can’t help but laugh at what the response would have been if they had.