PAJ Issue 3 NA


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I awoke on this rainy June 9th morning to learn of yet another Canadian police officer, gunned down 12 hours earlier while execut- ing a warrant for criminal harassment at a home in Edmonton. This time, it was 35-year-old Edmonton Police Const. Daniel Woodall, dying almost immedi- ately after coming under fire -- police said the gunman fired 52 bullets at officers from inside his home. Woodall, married and a father of two, died from what Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht described as a "catastrophic wound". His partner, Sgt. Jason Harley, a 15-year-veteran, was first at the door and was hit by a bullet in the lower back. Knecht said he survived because of his bulletproof vest. Woodall was also wearing body armour. The killing of this 8-year member of the Edmonton Police Service occurred in the midst of more and more stories -- both in the mainstream press and social media -- breath- lessly telling us just how out of control police officers in Canada and the United States have been, with wild video footage as proof that cops do nothing but prowl our streets in order to assault and kill innocent citizens. There is no disputing the increased tension currently felt on the streets, especially when you consider that just about everyone is armed with -- and ready to use -- a cell phone to capture the latest takedown by evil cops of yet another innocent criminal and plaster it on YouTube and other social media sites. In this new witch-hunt world, where everyone is a reporter and cameraman, cops are all fair game for public hangings. Of course, we all know that it's not that simple. With all of the hysterical coverage flooding our news, it is refreshing to read the sobering and intelligent reflections by retired FBI special agent Thomas C. Knowles, as found in his timely commentary, Cops Aren't Your Enemy, which is featured in this issue of Police Advocates Journal. I had the privilege of meeting Tom in Fresno, California, where he lives, back in 2009 when we both worked on a special project. This man's credentials are beyond reproach, with 40 years of law enforcement experience. In fact, he is such a go-to guy when it comes to police tactical skills that even Hollywood turns to him for advice on how to make FBI scenes more realistic. Knowles helped actor Billy Bob Thornton in his portrayal of Federal Agent Thomas Morgan in the 2008 thriller, Eagle Eyes. During my visit to Tom's home, where we feasted on BBQ ribs, I was fascinated by his analyses of police work, of the public's perception of how cops do their jobs, and his tremendous insight into how we can all work together to find solutions. I also admired his honesty and being able to address issues from many angles, even if it was not always favourable to the blue line. As Tom states: "In almost every instance, by the time a cop pulls his or her service weapon and fires, the system has failed. A police officer's use of lethal force, in almost every instance, isn't the disease. It's a symptom of broader challenges and bigger problems. Deadly force, most often, is the end result of a failure -- and often many cascading failures -- elsewhere in our society leading up to that fatal encounter." His analysis is a must-read for all police officers, and for every citizen who actually and truly believes that cops have a secret agenda to shoot first, ask questions later and then go home and get a good night's sleep. 1 w w w . p o l i c e a d v o c a t e s j o u r n a l . c o m FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK COPS AREN'T YOUR ENEMY BY FREDERIC SERRE, MANAGING EDITOR, Const. Daniel Woodall Retired FBI special agent Thomas C. Knowles

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