A North Texas sheriff left no doubt about his policy on engaging active shooters. The sheriff made it clear his deputies will not wait for SWAT or other agencies. “We go into engage and stop the shooter and save lives,” the sheriff wrote in a memorandum on Wednesday.
Denton County Sheriff Tracy Murphree sent a memo to all employees of his office on Wednesday making a clear policy statement on active shooters. The statement comes on stark contrast to the apparent lack of action taken by Broward County sheriff’s deputies in Florida.
Sheriff Murphree wrote:
With the recent tragedy in Florida, I wanted to make clear my policy on responding to an active shooter. All commissioned Deputies, if you repond to an active shooter you are expected to take immediate action. We do not stage and wait for SWAT, we do not take cover in a parking lot, and we do not wait for another agency. We go in and do our duty. We go in to engage and stop the shooter and save lives.
The sheriff closed the letter by asking any deputy who felt they could not follow the directive to notify their supervisor and request a re-assignment.
Four Broward County Sheriff’s Office deputies waited outside the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School while the attack on the school continued inside, Breitbart News’ AWR Hawkins reported on Friday. Initial reports indicated that one deputy remained outside the school. A CNN report later expanded the number of deputies waiting outside to four.
Coral Springs police officers were reportedly stunned and upset that the four deputies remained outside the school — even after the officers entered the building.
After questions arose regarding the actions of the deputies, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel refused to accept responsibility for his deputies’ lack of action.
“I gave him a gun. I gave him a badge. I gave him the training,” Sheriff Israel told an NBC6 South Florida reporter in a video interview tweeted by Erika Glover. “If he didn’t have the heart to go in, that’s not my responsibility.”
Sheriff Murphree served as a Texas Ranger before running for office as a county sheriff. Texas Rangers are known to follow the legendary quote, “One Riot, One Ranger.” The Texas Department of Public Safety reports that quote is more of a paraphrased statement of the sentiments of Ranger Captain W.J. McDonald. Nevertheless, the legend lives on in the attitude of Sheriff Murphree.
If the Broward County deputies were confused about the policies of their boss, Denton County, Texas, deputies have no such doubts.
In the very clear words of Sheriff Murphree, “We go in to engage and stop the shooter and save lives.”