Two Police Officers Back On the Job Next Day After Horrific ShootingUT Tower
Officer-involved shootings in America are, sadly, a staple of our regular news cycle. But in addition to the considerable trauma inflicted upon the public’s psyche when things of this nature occur, what about that of the involved officer or officers? How are they, who serve as first-hand witnesses to such situations, treated in the aftermath?
Nowadays, police departments around the country have strict protocols in place to protect the affected officer and ensure his or her well-being. These guidelines – such as mandatory time off with financial compensation, desk work, and evaluation from a trained psychologist – take into account his or her emotional reaction to shooting on and/or killing someone in the line of duty. These measures are not a punishment – quite the contrary – many agree this time away from the policing fray offers the cop space to decompress and process what happened, oftentimes without the stress of lost pay.
But how does today’s reality compare with that of police officers on Aug. 1, 1966, the day of the UT Tower shooting? How were Ramiro Martinez and Houston McCoy, who stormed the tower and took down sniper Charles Whitman, left to cope after being thrown into such perilous and terrifying circumstances?
Both men were back on the job the very next day.