Community, Health & Wellness

Coral Springs PD Role Then and Now

Off 15

The ripple effect of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was tremendous. Not only were the kids in that particular building affected, but so were all of the MSD students, their families, their friends, and countless others across the country. However, people often neglect to realize the immense trauma that law enforcement officers have had to cope with since that fateful day. We, as residents, are accustomed to viewing our police officers as heroic figures who we count on to jump right in when disaster strikes. While our officers are indeed heroes, they are also human beings. On February 14, they witnessed a horrifying scene that undoubtedly left them with their own emotional scars.

They, too, have a perspective worth hearing about.

Due to the ongoing investigation of the events that happened that day, the Coral Springs Police Department could not have any face-to-face or telephone interviews to discuss the shooting, nor could they provide the names of any officers who offered insight into their experiences on that day. However, in a collective written response, the CSPD officers described their immediate reaction as they entered the 1200 building on February 14.

“Despite the emotional gravity of the situation, we immediately fell back on our active shooter training,” they said. “There was a lot going on. Cell phones ringing, students crying – it tested our resolve to focus on what we needed to do.”

While some officers were given the job of eliminating the threat, others were tasked with evacuating students and staff, and still others immediately began treating wounded victims. Prior to this incident, all Coral Springs police officers had been given a kit to provide emergency medical treatment – something which turned out to be extremely valuable while working on the scene.

“We are trained to use this kit containing combat gauze, tourniquets, and occlusive dressings. That training proved to be crucial in this incident,” the officers said. But it wasn’t only the Coral Springs Police that provided this aid: “Countless Broward County Sheriff’s deputies, officers from multiple jurisdictions, and Coral Springs – Parkland EMS personnel assisted in treating the victims of this tragedy.”

Granted, the CSPD officers are well aware of the controversy surrounding the law enforcement response on that day, and they continue to cooperate with all authorities that are investigating the incident. In their response, the officers affirmed their commitment to “learning from [their] experiences” and continuing to work with other agencies to ensure that tragedies like these don’t happen again. At the same time, they noted, they continue to have a “tremendous working relationship” with the officers of the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

“There were many courageous deputies and officers who responded on that fateful day, from multiple jurisdictions, whose actions were nothing short of heroic,” they said.

Of course, since the terrible tragedy, the CSPD officers have also had to take care of themselves and their emotional wellbeing. In the aftermath of the shooting, the police department offered both individual officers and their families counseling, and Critical Incident Stress Management team members from Coral Springs, Plantation, and Pembroke Pines were available at any time of day. But for the officers, what continues to be one of their greatest sources of comfort is spending time with their family and friends.

That and serving the people of the Parkland and Coral Springs community. The officers said that their favorite part of working in these cities is the support they get from the residents who live in them. After the shooting, they said they received countless letters, emails, and social media posts from residents expressing their gratitude and support.

To this day, they continue to feel that outpouring of love.

“The support we get from our community is unmatched,” they said. “We receive daily messages and phone calls from community members thanking us for our service.” When asked whether this event will continue to impact our community in the future, the officers said there is no way for it not to.

“You can’t be touched by tragedy without feeling the effects of it,” they said. “The victims of the MSD shooting… were our friends, our family, our neighbors whose lives were cut short by a violent act. There are empty chairs at the dinner table every night where children used to sit with their families in our community.”

At the same time, the officers shared their hope for the future and their commitment to continuing the healing process:

“What we’ll take away from this as we move forward is the chance to come together, to heal, and to learn, not just locally, but across the country.”

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial
Web Statistics