Today I speak with Capt Drew Willams of a large Metro Law Enforcement Department in the Denver/Metro area as he shares thoughts on leadership, response, management and personal safety during this crisis.
All right. Welcome back to mindset radio. I’m your host Jeff Banman. Today with me, I asked my good friend drew Williams, who is a captain of SWAT team and a major Metro law enforcement department organization here in the Denver Metro regional area. And I asked her to come on today and see if we could let me just talk about the current situation, current circumstances, things are going on. You know, we’re probably running around like chickens with our head cut off or we’re stuck at home sick. You know, there’s a lot of complexity going on right now in the environment and the situations kinda at hand. And so I thought drew might be able to come in and give us some thoughts. Is thought feeling approach, what’s going on, how he’s leading effectively now. And I know we’ve got a lot of leadership that listens to the podcast across both the fire service on portion of community, military world. And so drew, thanks for joining today.
Jeff. What’s going on brother? Hey, I’m honored to be back a part of it. Yeah, I’ll give you maybe my 2 cents a little bit of what’s going on in these unprecedented kind of chaotic times for all of us, I’m sure here on only in the Metro area, but across the country and across the world actually. So excited to be here. Thank you so much for having me back.
Yeah, man, I appreciate you coming on. I mean, I think this is a, I think, you know, I’d like to just kind of have a unique perspective conversation because I think core fundamentally, you know, emergency response is dealing with probably the same, you know, like I said, around the world right across the globe and you know, when I, I mean it seems like forever ago, but I reached out to a buddy today. I used to work with, you know, back like 2000 2001 when we were designing all the chemical and biological exercises, right? When you’re dealing with top off exercises in these national, you know, things that quote unquote could happen and you know, some of the biggest things you look at as, you know, rapid depletion of resources really doesn’t matter. Number of infected in some cases, right? But just a scare, you know, the fear, the, you know, the drain on resources across the board. Like they’re all gonna happen. They’re all, we’re seeing that and it eventually is probably going to get a lot worse. I don’t know. Matt, how are things going in your neighborhood?
Yeah, I think it’s a [inaudible] you’ve hit the nail on the head there. It’s pretty, you know, they, they pay us to do this for a reason. Right? You’re always planning, you know, always anticipating. The worst case scenario is always, you know, trying to figure out what the best approach is on these things. And it’s, it’s kind of funny, especially in the in the tactical arena, you know, I mean, at most times you get to your nail, the eye-rolling going and things like that will never happen here kind of stuff when you’re planning for it. Well, I don’t think we’re any more unique than anybody else that’s out there, but this has been kind of a roller coaster of rides, you know, it’s of those things where you know, if it’s a single act or if it’s a person or act of terrorism or you know, there’s a single event, you can kind of deal with things a little differently than you can with a spreading virus.
And so I think you saw everything here locally, probably just did across the world of, Hey, we’re watching this crazy thing happened you know, overseas and is it actually gonna get here? And then when it starts getting here and creeping up on our doorsteps kind of that Oh shit factor of it’s, it’s here. And then trying to anticipate. And then even worse is when it actually comes knocking on your front door. And so it’s in every state, but at least around us around here, and it’s even here in our local towns and our communities. So my challenge has been through this whole process is navigating the Alice even see if he even gets here to literally a landed my own agency. And so I’m trying to figure out our responses from those level has been daunting to say the least. Every single day it’s something new and different.
Yeah, man, I can imagine. I mean, like everyday you walk into the office every morning you’re walking in the office, like, you know, numbers are up, different things are happening. How are your people fairing? How are, how, how much, you, let me ask you this question. Like how much of your workforce right now is incapacitated or out of scope? I mean, what’s the,
What are you doing there?
Well, that’s a, I mean, again, great question. That’s one of those things that a Monday was a totally different Monday. Last year was a different perspective than, than Friday of last week. Sorry, my days are all running together. You know, Monday we started off clean slate in and we don’t have anybody sick or have any kind of issues. And by Friday, you know eight and then half dozen six to eight actually went out right away throughout that work week. Again, another struggle we’re running into is, is a particularly attached to the virus cause right now they’re not testing a whole lot of people for it. But people are getting sick. And I think I kinda want to go back a little bit to we in several weeks leading up to this and probably three weeks ago now, we had you know, pool of resources and we had all the CEOs and the the County and the area here.
Talking about the strategy and how we were going to set up our operations basically pressing forward cause it was becoming real. And I think the most for, or the first traumatic event that we went through, which I’m, which I’m sure aggressive country to too, was the closing of school. So our depleting and resources were not their virus issue. It was, well, one of us has to stay home, mom or dad to stay home. We do homeschooling. We have to, you know, run all this stuff and you don’t realize how many families are in first responders, how many parents that is had to go home and learn to be a teacher at home. And so we lost ’em right away. We lost a good majority of our staff or to be honest, the overwhelming pressing concern was what do I do with my kids? What I do if it gets here, how do I not infect my family but still maintain this profession that I’m in as a first responder? And it has been extremely daunting. Even the cases that I mentioned. It’s a daily conversation. It’s a pleading with medical professionals trying to get our tests moved ahead if we can have others. And at this point at least say to Colorado was pretty reluctant to move anybody’s tests ahead of anybody else’s. And so it was a waiting game. So I was really, really frustrating.
Man, I think you hit the nail on the head there. You know, two, two real solid points here that I think departments are dealing with. One, excuse me. After kind of dealing with crap myself for the last few days I may be coughing a little bit, sound a little scratchy, but you know, I think two, two major things you do with one, there is kind of the perception that somehow those of us in the response community are immune to what’s actually happening. Right. We don’t, you know, people don’t think, Oh wait a minute, the fireman, the cop, you know, they’ve got kids too, right? They’re in the same boat. I am, you know, so one, there’s that, there’s there’s like this Phantom perception that somehow we’re immune to getting sick. We’re immune to, you know, our kids are still going to school. Like, you know what I mean?
Like there’s this [inaudible] it’s not even a thought really, right. Cause there’s an expectation that there were always going to be there. So there’s that one piece that you need to do with, and then, you know, like you were talking about, you know, then it becomes this, you know, prioritization of resources. I remember back shit, I don’t know how to been like 2000 or something. We were doing one of the biological exercises and we were in some small town, middle America, and I looked at the chief and said, you know, chief, you got to get that. You’re probably going to lose half of your department within the first week of this thing. Like they’re going to go, I didn’t sign up for this. I’m out. No thanks. You know what I mean? I got to pick on my family, but they come first. I’m out. You know, I think is this thing drags on? Is that a concern you’ve got that you’ll, you know, that you’ll see a dwindling force maybe by own self selection in some ways? What’s your thoughts there?
Absolutely. I mean, I think there is the well, I think you have it on several different folds, right? I think it depends on where you sit in your, each individual agency or your response. I think we have those dedicated individuals that are the warriors of sense, right? That they don’t care whether it’s a virus, whether they care in a terrorist, where they curves a natural disaster or they’re going to be here, they’re gonna work around the clock. And those are the ones that you have to mandate some kind of rest time or you know, take care of yourself kind of period all the way through and you know, God bless them. So those are the people that we love to have. And then on the other aspect, I think you’re having truthfully, probably some first ever wake up calls of like, do I really want to do this?
Do I really want to go to work and potentially bring home something nasty to my infant, to my 20 year old, 13 year old, whatever it is. My parents, my 70 year old parents, I mean personally, you know here, my wife and I have our parents are at risk and so they are our primary source of daycare. And so you don’t want to have those issues. But I am still expected to go to work. She has to as a first responder. And so we have that fear of what are we going to get contaminated with and bring home and then how far do you go?
Yeah. So I think it’s a, do you have a D Khan? Do you have a day constipation, set up little garage,
Right? Or do I even come home, you know, the fall, I’d rather go pay if I couldn’t stay somewhere. Right. And so even in our strategies here at our agencies, we’ve tried to find areas we can cordon off and keep people as far as if I do get exposed, I can how’s, and you know, if I’m taking over a property and keep employees in a location that don’t want to go home away from their, their families and, you know, keep them safe and yeah, it’s extremely, it is extremely daunting. And again, I think it’s unprecedented times. I think I just, my phone’s going up here who, this sounds like the Denver mayor just did something here. Let’s see what he’s saying here. They just ordered to stay home order as we’re talking right here. So Denver, Denver, Colorado, where it’s under a stay at home order now.
So I mean, as you can see as we’re doing this show, things are unraveling and moving forward on us. And so right now my mindset is well I think we can go back and talk through many layers of this and you have a vast amount of experience and planning beyond the planning stages and moving into, you know, the civil disobedience and breakdown of our society if we get to that level. And that’s my role as a SWAT commander is to make sure how are our teams are in a support, whether we go to a lockdown issue or whether we start to see writing or a people started happening, how are we moving and shifting? And then again, unfortunately, the dynamic of these are husbands that have kids and families and what shift are we running, how much we expose them to, and then what do I expose them to? And so it’s been extremely, extremely daunting.
Yeah. How are you, I mean, I, you know, we’re kind of still, we’re still fresh into this and you know, from the looks of it, this isn’t, it’s not like this is going to like turn off next week. You know what I mean? And I think this is interesting differently than, you know, I, this is where I always got into it before, you know, pre nine, 11 and even post nine 11 when the whole chem bio stuff was really hot to trot. Right. still, even in those, in those phases, you kind of have a, an end point, if you will. Right? I mean, there is a containment opportunity.
Very few, you know, of the, the weapons that were being looked at were, you know, extremely contagious and those things he didn’t necessarily have. You have more of a fear factor because it came, you know, in a mode of an attack or it came in this, it came in that here, you know, you have an influence that you have a, you have an active, highly contagious highly persistent virus. Right. That, and that’s what we’re dealing with from a, from a technical standpoint you know, that we don’t know how long it’s gonna, you know, what the lifespan of this is going to look like. You know, we can learn, you know, what are we getting real info from China or not? How’s Italy managing through their stuff? Right? How w the ones that are coming before us, where are we? We may have all to put some projections in place, but truthfully, we don’t know. Right. I mean, like you said, schools could be closed for the remainder of the year or school year. You know, that’s a, that’s a pretty devastating impact on on the population in general. Just that alone.
Yeah. I mean, the, the economic impacts of this is, is more of kind of the thought process, I guess I would say is, I’m not downplaying by any means as far as my mind shifted pretty right away to out of school, out of work at an income desperate. You know how when we hit this 30 day period here in Colorado, we hit a, I haven’t got a paycheck in a month and I haven’t got food I haven’t got, and then you’re talking about opportunity. So then you’re talking about, well, gotta go hit my neighbors house or do I go down in the business? What do I do? You know, and I think in desperate times, that’s where, which is what’s unique about this isn’t, isn’t as acute as an active stranger or as like you said, a terrorist act or something that’s instantaneous. So we have this moment in time, which is horrific, but we can come out of it.
This as we keep ticking off the timeframe here is going to become problematic. And that is what we’re trying to anticipate is how do I deal with the virus coupled with criminal activity and the criminal element. And heaven forbid you know, people start getting things together in their heads or ideas together in their head and they started realizing vulnerabilities. And that’s where our Avenue has to be focused and make sure that we’re ready and we will be to respond to. We need to respond to. But again, it is a very, very challenging time. I mean, if I go back to my early days and as an operator on the team and you know, we were getting Intel briefs, this is way back when the war was still hacked of and you know, ISIS, we’re going to come take elementary schools, right?
Or we’re going to come take junior highs, right? And, and they were just by that single move, they were going to dismantle the country and shut it down. And you kind of already saw a little bit of this occurring. When we simply say schools are out. I mean, thank God our kids are safe, but in this measure you effectively did the same thing. Get them out of the schools, keep somebody home. Now we have unemployment. Maybe Katie will file for an employment in Colorado. There’s a messy process for that right now, which I’m sure it is in every state. So I just think it’s a matter of time as we keep ticking by here. We can’t be ignorant to the obvious and we have to prepare and plan. And try to communicate as best we can effectively as you can with our local communities to do the best we can and get resourceful and coordinate and help where we can to help.
You know, I know our agency is turning away a grant funding and or donations, things that were coming in for events and turning them back around the community and trying to provide for those that are struggling or trying to drive money somewhere else to try to help in these trying times. And I think that’s important for our local governments, which they are meeting on the regular, obviously you see as we’re talking here briefing each other on how we’re going to help as a state. But again, these are fearful, unprecedented times. I think it’s pressing that we keep our community in the know as much as we can and not spread fear. Cause fear. I think
100%. I mean, the other day I did my, you know, we’ve talked about uncertainty, fear, trust, freedom, right? That’s the, that was, yeah. And that is, that’s very Christmas, right? I made, that’s a cause that is it. One, we’re dealing in a highly uncertain environment. We don’t have a lot of control over what occurs next. We don’t have control over how long, how deep, how much, how far how widespread this gets. And even just in the state of cautionary, you know, moves, right? We don’t know how long we’re going to be isolated, isolated from each other stuck in the house with each other. You know, all that stuff goes into play. Fear will begin to chunk in because in that state of uncertainty, right, we start projecting forward, we start to deal with what ifs. What about this, what about that?
You know, and then we start to end in, I think when you, we see trust begin to break down and our resources in our government and in our, you know, people that are there to provide for us or protect for us. That’s where, that’s where we start to really good on this pipeline. And that’s where I think, you know, we as a community, from a first responder standpoint, from a leadership standpoint, you know, really need to kind of step outside the, I would say the general issues and look deeper into the human issues. Right? I mean, I don’t know how you know, how the workforce is going right now for you, but are you doing any training or any conversations around, listen, you know, you need to, as a, as a law enforcement officer now I would assume, or if I was teaching, I would say, listen, you know, if there’s anything you put on besides your vest in the morning, it’s your empathy, right? You need to be, you know, empathy needs to be in the car with you at all times because you’re dealing with people who are under duress basically. You know, while they may not even seem like it yet,
They all are and
You know, so are you, how is, how’s the force doing? Like how, what are you as a leader here?
You know, what are you communicating out? How are you working with your, your people now? What kind of mindset, what kind of focal point are you trying to get them into? What’s going on there?
Well, my hope is, I guess we’re not too drastically different than those across the country. I think you absolutely hit on the head. We’re looking at our services that we provide and what do we need to be providing and what do we need not to be providing. And being patients like you said do I actually need to be out there monitoring stop signs and pissing people off? Probably not the best time to be doing it. Right. do I need to make sure I’m being community? Like I said, trying to be more community oriented and make sure we have services set up and you know, I think you saw here with the pooling of resources with our restaurant industry and these drive up abilities to get certain things and I mean overnight you saw a boom and whether it was everything from your food to your gym equipment to your there’s that personal need.
I need to be there. All of our services had to get super creative. And I think ironically, out of all this, I think we’re going to see some efficiencies come that we’ve never seen before and trying to show how, you know, trying to show how we can survive as human beings, but then also even in a police department trying to see like, man, what services are we providing? We were used to providing it this way, but look how effective it wasn’t. We had to, you know what I mean? To get rip the bandaid off. He had to deal with it. Now is what it looks like. So virtually, I guess to your point we had this conversation today at our, at our daily staff was how do we communicate because we are virtually people are working from home. They can, right?
So we have remote individuals, I’ve never done it before. It systems had never been in place before. And this is all over the County. And how do we keep constant communication even with our own employees so that they’re in the know and they’re not panicking. So when they respond out there, they have the best knowledge. So we do. So we have a lot of stuff we’re doing is, you know, our zoom conferencing or we have face to face interactions the best we can over that. We have limited our staffing to needed personnel only. We limit our productivity on the street to needs only. We support all of our frontline services, whether it’s our fire, EMS and we have different protocols now place, which I think is kind of for the first time in my career were being staged by medical and we usually stage medical to come into our scene. Right. yeah. Now we’re, now we’re getting a you guys stage and we’ll handle this first and make sure you’re not the blue can area on anything.
[Inaudible] Emergency. I’ve been telling you 30 years.
That’s what I said. I think that of this out of this is going to breed, even though it’s great out of this, was going to breed those conversations. Right. I think that’s what it is, is that I’m not the macho guy with the badge and the gun anymore. We’re having, Oh it’s in my face now. And everything you’ll have it, everything from your PPE. I mean that’s thing we’re hounding on people from the jump. It was making sure you’re wearing the right stuff and, and when this person broke not to make light of the situation, but literally my doors knocking down with what do I wear, how do I handle this? What am I supposed to do? And really you’re telling people they weren’t using universal precautions anyways. Like on your, on your everyday job you’re going out there with and really, cause this is nothing, you’re not going to get in a big suit over and unless, you know, there’s a full blown exposure to it.
But yeah, I mean literally within the early days of this was, I mean in your TEDx suit and gas mask it like we want patrol like that and wear it all day long. We just didn’t have enough information. Right. And so I, they just feeding the right correct information and making sure people know and then again, I can’t get a note back to educating the public whether that’s this stay at home, whether you believe it or not is beyond the point. It is what it is. You got to just deal with it and we need more people to abide by what’s being told. And so even within our our ranks, you saw that where you had some chiefs and sheriffs that were very, I don’t even know if this is real or not, and then all the way down to those that wanted to immediately react just to try to get ahead of it.
But you look at the generational times and you’re talking about when you walk into very senior leadership I, I’m sure you can imagine your organizations you’ve been involved with, even the military when you were in is like, Hey, I’m sending everybody home. They’re gonna work from home. That was a struggle for a lot of people. How does, how do you know, just, just generationally speaking of, you know, we’re, we’re used to being visible. I need to see you for 40 hours a week or more. I need to, you know, and then to say, you’re gonna go sit at home. What are you going to do? Yeah. So yeah, it’s a very unprecedented right now and it’s a it’s exciting to kind of go through. It’s historic. I said, listen, command the other day, I said, you know, that’s an honor to go through this was the people and being a historic venture right now, but it’s a huge, massive learning curve and my hope is in the end we learn from this very effectively and that we have much better place measures put in place for going through.
Yeah. And I think there’s a, and I think there’s, so I’m going to dive into my world for a second. I’m going to, I’m going to creep over into kind of the human behavior aspect of this for a minute, because I think there are some big lessons that I hope will be that I hope will emerge out of this. You know, it’s interesting, it’s been interesting to watch kind of the behavior patterns lately of people. I feel like spirits in general are still very high, which is great. I still feel like there’s a level of kindness and caring and generosity amongst the community today. You know, and so I’m going to speak from Joe citizen now, cause that’s what I get to be. You know, and I’d like you to kind of share this back with me, like what you’re seeing from a law enforcement perspective.
So I am seeing a lot of that take place. I, you know, the incidents of kind of, you know, me focused, you know, single focus stuff according and things. I, I’m not seeing a ton of that right now. The interactions I’ve had gone to the grocery store doing whatever, I’ve been very pleasant. So, you know, we did hold a whole line of like, buy your coffee from the person behind you at Starbucks the other day, which was kind of cool. Right. so yeah, I am seeing that go on. I also know there’s going to be an end point to that, more than likely, you know, but within the, within the department, you know, do you, are you setting in resiliency plans? Are you setting in now? Kind of likeL you know, we have our normal stuff, but now are we really elevating the care and attention and you know, mental resources,unot just out outside the physical stuff, but like the behavioral resources for the force. Are those, are those coming forward? Are you looking at those,uyou know, keeping people in their job on the street, on the squad car, you know, protecting the citizens, doing what needs to be done. How’s that going?
Yeah, I think that’s the ever evolving plan that we’re constantly working off of. Right. And our strategy is the, like you said, it’s new and it’s just getting there. I mean, we just drastically changed their shifts around this weekend, so I mean, they’re working on a new modified schedule. They haven’t worked before, so I’m sure that’s going to have just XL some dilemmas as we move forward. Exactly. So yes, I constant checks and balances and then learning from others too. I mean you try to figure out what your strategy might be unique to your own agency, but then learning you know, so can my support staff support the road staff and vice versa. And do we give time on off periods? We acknowledge family services. We do a lot of unique things that are at sea. We have a lot of the spouses are involved anyways with a lot of activities that we have.
We have groups that we work with and so we keep information flowing and resources. But you’re hearing, I love to have people in my house, but then I also don’t have exposure right as you’re trying to figure out the balance between a community effort there versus running into additional exposure. But yeah, the mental drain that we’re seeing in the daily check-ins I think are super critical. Like I said, whether it’s face to face, if you can, and our distances, it’s, it’s kind of ironic. We don’t even brief in the same room anymore. We don’t eat in the same room anymore. We have different, larger, big, larger rooms we eat, you know, kind of spread everybody out. It’s kind of interesting. But histo still keeps that personal touch I think. And that’s where even from our executive level down is how do we keep that influence there and acknowledge we’re all going through this together at various different levels and then how much stress we endure for how long can we endure this and move on.
I mean, there was a, even something came up this, this, this week for me was I lost a key asset and I had to reach out to a, another organization that’s around us to fill in because I had people out sick and it’s different area. And even putting, realizing that that resource has always been there. Like, let me just call them, Oh, bring me somebody. Well then they’re going, Oh, hang on a second, let me check my staff level. What can I do here or there? Right. So, even when we talk about if it gets to a point where if we have SAR dealing with disruption and going to the grocery store, like you said, because maybe we’re limited only five hours a day, we can go to the grocery store, we have thousands of people standing in line patients, right? How do we do with them? How do you deal with major crime where people sick and ill? It is truly well,
Yeah, man. I mean I’m sending out notes this week to all the departments and everybody from the foundation standpoint, from the operation mindset foundation and basically going, okay, listen, we need to do like we’re an open resource right now. You know, if we need to do online trainings, online webinars briefings call structures, you know what I mean? We need to set up private coaching lodge or counseling lines or whatever else. Like, that’s one of the things that we’re really taking on this week is to say, how do we, from the foundational standpoint, support the mental, physical, emotional health, right, of our responders in ways that we may not have thought before to do. Right? you know, because it is, this is the essence of it. It’s the ability to do your job. It’s the ability to take care of your family. And, you know, the longer we see these things go on, you know, we’re not ahead of the power curve when it comes to our force, right?
Our, our response force, those that are serving us and making that a priority, you know, because there are people too. I mean, they’re, they, they’re they’re, they’re operating with the same limitations as everyone else. It’s not like you got a free pass, you know, out of this, you know, that you’re good if somehow you live in a bubble and you’re not impacted by everything else going on around the world. You’re just as impacted. Plus, now you have to not only deal with, you know, all your, all the regular stuff that’s going on that’s still going on dark. My buddy in Chicago the other day, he’s like, you know, down in certain areas of the city, they don’t even know there’s a pandemic going on. You know what I mean? There’s still sharing, sharing cigarettes, hanging out and you know, isn’t, isn’t impacting sales of certain goods per se.
You know, so not only do you have the normal course of work to deal with what you now have to deal with differently, you now have, you know, all the additional stuff. So, yeah, man, I mean, I think it’s definitely gonna be a, an interesting challenge. And I like what you said earlier where when you emerge on the, on the flip side of this thing, what, how can I restructure, right? What are the efficiencies, what are the things that we need to do and how do we, how do we deal with stuff? And I think, you know, in our conversation, I’m going to tip back to it because the more we’re talking, the more it really sits with me. I think that the best thing, especially from a law enforcement standpoint, because you’re, I feel like you’re a little bit more frontline than the fire service guys. Sorry, sorry. Just bear with me. I know some of you are out there like going, no, screw you Jeff. I’m a fireman, so I can say this, but I feel like you’re more, you’re closer to the VA population on a regular, a more consistent basis cause you’re out there, right? You’re patrolling, you’re on the streets and aging differently.
Speaker 3 (30:29):
Well, I think what’s ironic about this job is that really we’re becoming kind of a fire service in the re reactor reactive response, I guess I would say, right? I mean that’s the the bell goes off and we’re kind of going right now and it’s one of those things that, yeah, they might be out there, but think about it. We’re you know, and, and I’m highly supportive of the fire service too. I did that for a little while as well. It’s just a it is unique times when we’re, when you’re telling the cops they can drive around, but you’re really just driving around, you know, you’re not out there looking and doing unless it’s absolutely egregious. And getting to a point where, where you’re talking about you’re actually right, none of us are out of this and we’re depleting resources down to percentages.
Speaker 3 (31:12):
Even myself, even the chief of police or the sheriff, wherever it is going to be on the street at some point. Right? And so you look at those scary measures of none of us are out of this realm. It just depends on how much of it gets taken down by either sickness fatigue, rotation. However, we have this built and we all have our allocations go for staffing where we reached this measure. Then we enact this level of plan all the way through our strategy. And yet we have it literally built to the truly bare bones minimum number it would take to be efficient as an agency before you call in another agency to even help you. Right. But at that point everybody’s going to be depleted down. So.
Speaker 4 (31:50):
Speaker 3 (31:51):
Yeah, we’re back in those times where this one kind of reminds me of a, and all you guys are, they’re very good at event planning and thinking ahead can lean on it, but it’s kind of like for us pre Columbine, right. You know, it was like trying to think of, Oh, maybe somebody else someday hurt somebody in a mass incident. Right. Or a shooting incident. And in here I was like, it wasn’t ever gonna happen in Colorado is ever going to happen where we’re at, you know that it lands right in the our backyard. Of course. Well, look at how that single effort and the Hollywood bank robbery really shifted law enforcement. Right. And so I think this might be one of those modes where too, we have another incident that happens that we’ve, yeah, it could happen, could happen while it’s happening, and then it causes us to then shift and learn.
Speaker 3 (32:32):
So it’s not the abnormal anymore or the farfetched kind of dreamland. Those who skilled at looking that far ahead are always better prepared. Kind of like watching that doomsday, doomsday preppers, right? Or whatever they’re calling it. It’s like one of those things where I’m sure there’s plenty of them out there that are laughing and having a fun time right now, understanding that they get to, they were so far planned ahead and those of us that weren’t right. But in our world is trying to be realistic with that. And where does funding come? Where does, you know, the initiatives come into to really run these models? And I think I’m here to try to try to draw some good out of this as the again, working to be more efficient. What we can learn from, how can we get better. And I think that’s just, we’re going to learn through this process as it goes, as we have already to this point.
Yeah. So this would be a national challenge I would think. Right. Especially from a law enforcement standpoint. So how do you balance the worst case scenario with the high empathetic, you know, there’s a medical crisis basically is what this is, right? They, that, that can, that it’s the things around it that can devolve into a, you know, a variety of other things. How do you, how are you finding, especially at a leadership level, balancing kind of the planning for what could and being available to what is now. Does that make sense to you? Like a, yeah.
Speaker 3 (34:06):
Should we, it’s kind of like prioritization I guess is one of those things when I have time and ample time, I’m trying to game plan. Especially with the tactical response. I, I’m trying to, I mean, I just ran our emergency plan and still doing that and it’s an ever evolving day to day. And then I wish I was the highest power, a beat and acting sometimes, but I’m not. So I had to get that up the chain of command and make sure everybody, you know, everybody buys. We’re still, I’m not saying easy. This is something, I mean it is truly taken my mindset of not getting lost and switch. You said, you know, got to see beyond what’s right in front of us and try not to stay focused on this thing. And literally I brought this school, I mean we’re at a command level.
Speaker 3 (34:53):
This is, you know, all the big waves and they’re talking about this virus virus. And the first thing I’m worried about is this, two weeks ago, Hey, Monday morning the schools are closed. So you guys even think about that in a minute. I said that in a room. The whole, the whole environment shifted to Whoa, all right, it’s right. Our staff, for me, impact is so let alone the virus not getting here. It’s what’s really happening on facts that are occurring on the street or what decisions are being made. And so, I mean when they shut down even things his his small down as a personal services, you know, on Friday like you can’t have your nails salons or hair salons. We were dealing with that. Well they’re still up and running. We’re still dealing with gross, you know, different issues that are coming up there and it’s real.
Speaker 3 (35:30):
And then when these orders are put in place, who has the authority to enforce them, where do we stand? Who has a supportive that is that the local community up to the governor’s office? Where’s this run through? And it’s causing all kinds of communications that you really don’t see unless it’s the big natural disaster kind of element. Big EOC involved, you know, issues. You have these high level people that are in rooms together that are now forced to make decisions. And I think that’s where every day, I’d love to tell you, I mean the plans we had in place, we had a broad plan and it just gets narrower and narrower and narrower every single day. We’re making modifications to it. Right.
I know Tyler survivor’s contact with the enemy. That’s the way it goes. Right. You know? Yeah. We used to say first exact jumped out of the plane is always the plan. Three minutes out, doors open, paper gone. You know what I mean? Now now exit the aircraft and goes out of job. So I think this is, you know, and this is one of these, this is one of these unique times and we talk about like in the coursework where it’s like the balance between the presence, like what’s actually taking place, what are the conditions and allowing that to drive your actions, but then also being able to step back and plan, you know, the options and play it out a little bit and play the what if, what could, how about, you know, game going forward so that you know, you’re not caught off guard.
So nothing is unexpected. I’m curious, I’m curious of something, and I don’t know if you can answer this or not. And you can’t, it’s fine. But are you seeing like this week, right? So what are we now, two weeks into this, roughly about here in the end, the very in area, roughly are you seeing, are you seeing a decline in any of the, I would say run of the mill crime stop? Are you seeing some of that Wayne A. Little bit during this time, given everything that’s gone on, are you seeing a drop in certain things that may be freeing up resources and other areas? How are, how’s the population responding?
Speaker 3 (37:36):
That’s a great question. I think again, it would be unique to the sure local jurisdiction or the economy that you’re in. I think everybody kind of felt a natural, maybe pause or a slower kind of decline and then you got people at home, right? So let’s just use this for example. So I think we might see a little dip in general routine calls for service for a little while. Until I’m tired of my spouse right now to decide day, get a domestic right. Or until, you know, I have a mental episode or I’m at home and now I have to deal with the response there again until just kind of enough time taste by. So right now it’s kind of holding the gun. It’s almost like a hold your breath moment, like, and you’ll see what’s kind of happening. Yeah. You know, it’s the plus you’re getting, I mean, I don’t, I want to dive in the social media world, but then you’re getting all of the, everything from, you know, here comes a national guard all the way down to they’re not doing anything to, you know, all this propaganda that’s out there that’s not even supported by any factual basis as you have all these reactions that are happening all over.
Speaker 3 (38:40):
I mean, just trying to get factual information in the law enforcement world is, is, is a challenge. Like we’re trying to trying to figure out what is truly out there when it’s occurring, live enough to that we can be effective to respond to it. And so yeah, I think for your, you’re seeing the, maybe the police contact go down, I would say, right. Cause we’re going to limit overall exposures unless they’re absolutely necessary. Right. so I think that’s gonna that’s gonna drive some things that decrease. But again, as the more we’re restricted to our environments that we ever truly get put on a true lock, you’re in your house, you know, you’re quarantined or you’re isolated in your house for X period of time.
Yeah. What you’re talking about that the other day just, yeah, no, no different. One thing to, for me to say, Hey, I’m going to self quarantine. I’m going to sit down. I’m not going to, you know, I’m going to limit my space and we’ll live in my travel, which you’ve totally done. I didn’t go to San Diego last week like I was supposed to. You know, all those things, that’s one thing, right. And is one, and I can, and even the orders like the order that just came out, same thing in California you know, in New York it’s like, okay, we’re asking you to stay home. We’re, yes, we’re putting an order in place. Don’t go, you know, anywhere besides gross shorted the bank get gas, right. Critical things that you need to function. Yes. You can still be outside, you know? Yes, you can.
We went for a bike ride the other day. It was nice. It was nice to see people riding bikes and out, you know, an exercising outside and doing things and walking. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, it’s like, it’s like dogs or dogs are in heaven right now. They’re getting more walks than they could be. You know, they got their own around and they’re getting more walks than they’ve ever gotten their entire lives know. But but yeah, so, so that’s one thing, but then when it becomes imposed, when it becomes okay. You know what I mean? Like you were talking about earlier, grocery stores will only be open from this time, this time with this group. Or you’ve got to start sectioning off the cities or the environments and going, okay, quadrant a can go to the grocery store between 5:00 AM and 7:00 AM. You know what I mean?
Like that’s where that’s going to apply tension, right to the environment. And I think that’s incumbent. I’m going to go back, jump back a little bit. That’s where we in the community need to step up our game in terms of a greater level of understanding, greater level of compassion. You know what I mean? We got to bring that calm to chaos like that, that, that concept, that’s got to get ratcheted up right now in a massive way because you, we’ve seen this before from anywhere. Parsers law enforcement, military, if we don’t remain, we’re not the, if we’re not the anchor of calm in these moments as a force, then we are chaos, right? Then we’re actually the chaos that is created. And so I think that’s one of the biggest things that I’m, you know, really hitting in any of the programming that we’re doing these days. You know, out to the departments. It’s like you whenever you need to do, you need to meditate. If you needed breathing exercises, all these things we’ve talked about for so long that you’re blow off. It’s like these are the, these are the vehicles that enable you to be that calm in the chaos, right. If your, it’s a different game. You got to really got to put your big boy pants on and calm, ready for people to be agitated, irritated, upset, angry at you. Right. Cause you’re going to be the face of it.
Speaker 3 (42:14):
Yup. I had a new level. This is a whole different, like, like yeah, like you said there, the rationalization of everybody’s under stress at this point and everybody’s under the fear of the unknown and it’s just heightened. Everything is heightened and it’s at a a new level that’s not the norm, I guess I would say for the law enforcement officer or, or first responders or run into as well. I mean, it’s one of those things that
Speaker 3 (42:42):
You know, I feel for anybody right now in the first responders world, hospitals, everything has got to deal with the panic that comes. Right. And what were [inaudible] dealing with and the anger and the frustration. Man, I got people literally at home, they can’t get tested. Right. And there’s a whole onslaught of people that can’t get tested and they’re angry and frustrated. And what does that do?
So again, I think it’s just boiling.
Speaker 3 (43:04):
And so we were okay for right now until we reached that point of, like I said, something just pops off. And my fear honestly is when is opportunists? And then we’re seeing copycat and we’re seeing kind of what’s occurring, rise, Overwatch coast to coast. And if people started seeing if there’s big disruptions, the panic that’ll hit us being where we are located in the country probably will be more of the, we’ll look what happened in LA, look what happened in New York. Look what happened, you know, in DC, this is a Holy crap. We got to do it now cause it’s happening there. And I think that’s going to be the image you’re seeing it even with these with these shelter in place orders, right? You waited til, Oh, I got 40 million people in California, now I can do that with 40 million. You know, Colorado shouldn’t be that hard.
Speaker 3 (43:51):
Five and a half million. Right? So it just kind of is, it’s kind of ticking Domino’s, I guess I would kind of say. And that’s where trying to keep our head in the game and making sure that we’re prepared to have those things unravel. And again, getting back out to the community is one of those things that make sure that they understand what’s occurring, how we’re responding, everything from literally a picture of this. Cause you, you, I mean, you’re, when you’re on that fire truck right now, you’re not going in, you know, now they’re sending a medic in one medic in at a time, maybe have this, maybe have that maybe two medics, however it’s set up with them. It’s a whole different strategy just to go into a, you might have a heart attack issue. Right. You know, and it’s just changing everything down to like I said, how much do I really want to pull this car over right now for us? And what does it worth?
Yeah. And that’s a tough balance round. I mean it’s a, that’s a, that’s a difficult balance to, I mean, cause even then it’s like there’s almost, it’s hard sometimes to ask somebody to back off their job a little bit or to make a different decision. Right. Or to account for multiple other factors. So, you know, I mean there’s definitely, you know, in my, in my world of design, right, what tends to be diversity, complexity, those are the three, you know, dial nods. And when those things go up, I’ll go up, you know, it’s your fuck time. Here’s your D shirt. So
Speaker 3 (45:14):
Yeah. Well, you would think about this. I mean, you may want to do what you want to do and put that person in custody. Right. And where am I going to take them? Exactly. Right. Where am I going to take them? And then I’m going to, in fact, a whole area that has a whole jail system. I mean, you’re going to, I mean, there, I mean, everything we’re doing right now from the one officer that comes in contact or the car they’re in to the, where you put them to the, everything is changed. Wow. And so, I mean, it’s one of those things where, you know, those are the measures that people don’t think about is like if I get somebody that’s truly exposed and they truly committed a crime, I mean, what’s our normal recourse? That’s what, what does the community expect us to do?
Speaker 3 (45:50):
And those normal things is, Hey, you’re arrested. You go to jail. Well, it might be a simple statement, but not today’s day. We’ve got to consider it as what? Yeah. So that’s changing every day. Right? And then heaven forbid we get a big, you know exposure in one of those major jails or prisons or whatever it’s going to be. It’s an interesting to see how they’re, again, that’s what they need to be strategizing, which they are, how they’re going to do what these kinds of exposures as they come in there. But it really is shifting the whole face of law enforcement and, and response. And so it’s a, again, I hope we have some answers and we’re learning from all of them and try to do the best we can. But truthfully it’s, you, you want to balance with what, what is our government doing? What are we doing local as local governments and trying to figure out the best plan of attack we can and be as transparent as much as possible.
Man, I think that’s the, I think that’s the only answer right now, right, is be open, right open to what’s happening. You know, like you said, you’ve said this entire time, things are changing and there’s got to be the openness to that change. There’s got to be the openness to be able to adapt to what’s taking place and how it’s taking place and innovation. Hi. Right. Creativity cover common. It’s creativity, all that stuff, right? It’s now’s, now’s the time. Merry Christmas. You know, we weren’t full of shit for so many years. This is, this is the way it goes. So, well brother anything you want to say out to the community, all the, you know, law enforcement, fire service, anybody listening to, anything you want to add, throw out as we wrap up.
Speaker 3 (47:23):
Oh, Hey, I just wish everybody all the best. I mean I think that’s what we’re trying to struggle is work together. I don’t think there is a
Dividing line between any of the first responders. We’re all in this together and I think I just want to make sure that we echo that and we support each other and share creative ideas what we’re doing. What worked for you and your community what didn’t work for you and your community. How can we get legislation moving forward? How can we drive things such as the simple, Hey I got a first responder. Suppose we should have legislation that allow us to get testing done and get that person either positive or negative, get them back in the field so that they are responsive to our community and they can be out there to them. That’d be as transparent as we can. Making sure we give people a open and honest, you know, PPE measures they can do for themselves. How they can better prepare, protect their families, how they can take care of their, their property and sense and just make sure that they understand that our services are going to look drastically different. I mean, the first time I had a cop respond to a house, you could imagine with wearing a mask and over their face, it caused some alarm. Right? Well that’s the environment that we’re in and now, and so people just got to understand things are changing. But again, I wish everybody all the best is out there. And if I can help in any way, then more than happy to help them.
Yeah, absolutely. I think we’re going to be cranking off some some indefinite moves here utilizing the Facebook group where utilizing every resource we can. You know, cause I get go thing for me is I get to talk to people all over the country. Right. And and I know we’ve got some smaller departments. I’ve got notes from chiefs and other smaller departments that follow us, you know, that may be 10 people you know, and so by all means, if there’s anything I can do to facilitate, you know, connections and, or resources, please. That’s, that’s why I created the foundation. That’s what it’s there for. It’s all part of it. So we’re gonna, we’re definitely gonna be stepping up our game here in various modes of sports. So drew, thanks for coming on, man. I know you’re slammed and busy. Thanks for taking the time with us to have this conversation. I really do appreciate it, brother. Thank you so much. Absolutely an honor. Everybody stay safe. Keep your head down.
Speaker 5 (49:27):
All right, so thanks for tuning in today. Listen, I knew everyone out there is busy, crazy lot going on. There’s a lot to deal with right this second, please take the time you need to set up recovery processes, transition processes, take care of yourself. If you’re not good, we’re not good. And that’s the way it all goes. So stay tuned, check the site, check the Facebook group, check the stuff coming up here. For resources. We’re going to be pouring out of the foundation. Reached out to my people to get a lot of support so that we can get out and get some programming out. You all get some conversations out and always, please do not hesitate at all to reach out. If you need some support, if you need to have a conversation we can get on a call.
Speaker 5 (50:15):
I’m here and available. I will make myself available completely. Send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Catch me on Instagram or Facebook or wherever you want to. Just know that I myself will be available, that people that support us will be available, got access to great support mechanisms, psychologist, et cetera. Whatever you need, you just let us know and we will get it out there for you. So again, before we close out the show in its normal fashion, please, please, please be safe. Take care of yourself and just keep it in your head. If you are not good, we’re not good. You know, I need you to be good. I need you to be good for me and for my family. You know, you’re shouldering the burden right now, so thanks for everything you’re doing. Thanks for putting it out there. Please be safe and you know, we will talk to you again soon, my friends. Thanks.