Recent events in our country involving “Active Shooters” have caused fear within many communities. These incidents have created interest and concern about how police officers will respond and react.
Overall, Zionsville is an extremely safe town. Our police officers work hard every day to help ensure a peaceful environment free from crime and danger.
However, no town or city has a monopoly on safety or is immune from the threat of a person who is intent on harming others. Regrettably, statistics involving active shooter incidents are sobering and reinforce the need to be prepared.
Last week I met with our police officers to discuss the importance of training and readiness to respond. I provided them with year-to-date mass shooting statistics in the United States. Sadly, since these meetings, the numbers have continued to increase. This year, to date, there have been:
• 269 mass shootings
• 308 dead
• 1,114 wounded
These shootings have taken place in many different locations including a hospital in Oklahoma, a graduation party in South Carolina and an arts festival in Michigan.
Zionsville police officers have received Active Shooter training. Our police department is a team. Just like a sports team that practices plays to get better and ensure every player understands their position, we, too, drill and train to improve. We continue to prepare and include training from the best instructors.
When I met with Zionsville police officers last week, I discussed my expectations for response and protection of life. Every one of our officers assured me they would not hesitate to immediately locate, engage, and take action to stop a shooter. That includes me.
On the day of the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, I had eight grandchildren all in the same grade school. I do not believe I could overcome the grief of losing any of them in such a horrific manner. I, too, would put myself between children and such evil.
Our schools all have trained police officers who are devoted to the safety of children, teachers, and staff. I have great confidence in them. They are committed to keeping threats out of the schools and taking action to ensure safety.
Many police chiefs and sheriffs have stated, “the last thing on earth a shooter is likely to see is one or more of our officers.” That is also true in Zionsville. We take our responsibilities very seriously and are unwavering in our duty to protect others.
Zionsville police officers reflect the highest ideals and standards of law enforcement and care for others. I am extremely proud of and honored to serve with them.
Michael T. Spears
Chief of Police