In the wake of both recent police shootings of African Americans and attacks on law enforcement officers, people are looking into law enforcement programs like “The Bulletproof Warrior” that may have contributed to increasingly hostile relations between civilians and police officers.
The reason why people are looking into “The Bulletproof Warrior” in particular is because Jeronimo Yanez, the police officer who killed Philando Castile in Minnesota, was trained by this program. “The Bulletproof Warrior” is operated by Calibre Press, and it focuses on teaching law enforcement officers to always be prepared for a threat. Trainers in this program teach their students that law enforcement is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, and that police officers need to be in a constant combat mode.
Students in “The Bulletproof Warrior” course are also shown graphic videos of police officers being shot in the line of duty. Those who are hostile to officers are taught to be regarded as “predators” and “adversaries.”
Some critics regard this kind of militaristic training program as fueling tensions between officers and civilians in recent years. Indeed, the New York Times actually reported that the past few years had the least amount of violent crimes in recent memory. Perhaps organizations like “The Bulletproof Warrior” are creating imaginary threats that do not exist in the real world.
Authorities in “The Bulletproof Warrior” program, however, claim that not enough media coverage has shown the “guardian” mentality they hope to inspire each of their students with. While they do not shy away from showing the harsh realities of being a “warrior” for law enforcement, this organization strives to make law enforcement officers understand the “guardian” role officers are responsible for.
Lt. Jim Glennon, one of the instructors for “The Bulletproof Warrior,” said that he explicitly teaches his students that they are far more likely to die of a heart attack than to die from a felon’s bullet. Glennon only wants to create a realistic sense of balance between the “guardian” the “warrior” mindsets in his officers.
Other police units across the nation are looking into ways of diffusing violent situations without the use of firearms at all. For example, police officers in Richmond, CA, are now taught to try to resolve conflicts without firearms.
With all of the recent police shootings and attacks on police officers, people around the nation will investigate programs like “The Bulletproof Warrior” and experiments such as limiting firearm use in Richmond, CA, to see if there can be a thoughtful solution to the excessive violence erupting in the USA.