Nomination for Hero Badge

The Albuquerque Police released the video of an accidental shooting, where one narcotics officer shoots another during a “buy bust” operation. The wounded officer survived, is medically retired, and just received a settlement from the City.

“Buy Busts” are meat and potatoes for any narcotics unit.  When done right they are highly choreographed affairs.  That means that all of the officers have a specific role to play and nothing is ad-libbed. There are rules.

Every enforcement operation has an operational plan and an operational briefing prior to the action. In my unit, without exception, If an officer does not make the briefing, he doesn’t participate in the enforcement action. The shooter, Lt. Brachle did not make the briefing.  He had no business being on the arrest team.

I saw a number of other poor practices that may or may not have contributed to the failure of the operation. If nothing else these lapses may be indicative of a unit that was over worked and under trained.

On the positive side, with the exception of Lt. Brachle, the team members maintained fire discipline, contained the scene, effected the arrests, remained calm, and rendered effective first aid that saved a team member’s life.

There is a reason we called the trunk of the Commander’s Gran Maquis the command bunker. When he got too excited, we threatened to put him in his command bunker. It had the desired calming effect.