The Case Of Melvin Santiago Of The Jersey Police Department

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Melvin Santiago of the Jersey City Jersey Police Department was not simply shot in the line of duty, he was viciously ambushed by a man determined be a cop killer and, possibly, to commit suicide by cop (Kulbarsh, 2015). The attacker, Lawrence Campbell, age 27, assaulted an armed security guard inside the Walgreens pharmacy, took the guards pistol, told witnesses he was going to be famous (New Jersey police officer shot, 2014). Campbell waited in the parking lot for the first cruiser to arrive and opened fire on officer Santiago as he stepped out of his vehicle. Thirteen shots were fired, and Santiago was struck in the head. As the shooting was happening, other officers arrived and began firing at Campbell from their vehicles. He was shot …show more content…

Some may argue the attack would not have taken place if Campbell were not able to secure the firearm from the armed security guard. Campbell was a highly motivated and opportunistic killer who would have ultimately made good on his promise to be a cop killer, either that day, or another day. This incident is a perfect example of what a determined and highly motivated killer can do when they have no regard for their own life or the life of others. Officers must train and respond properly to deal with such a premeditated and vicious attack. It should be noted, almost two years later when the investigation results were made public, it was disclosed that Campbell had PCP and alcohol in his system at the time he shot and killed officer Santiago (McDonald, …show more content…

To limit the liability of associated with armed guards, many companies rely on outside contractors. These contractors typically provide security officers with limited training and experience. It is a well-known fact, that the private security industry in America needs to be better regulated (Walter, 2015). Among security professional associations and organizations, the consensus is almost unanimous that security officer training and licensing standards need to be increased nationwide. The quality and training of security guards has sadly not improved much over the last 15 years (Henion, 2014). Walgreens most likely relied on their security contractor to ensure the required training for all security officers. Living in such a letegious society, blame for this event was pointed in several directions. To make the statement that Walgreens was responsible for the murder of Santiago, simply because they elected to have an armed guard on duty is oversimplifying the situation and not placing blame where it really belongs. A motivated murderer on PCP decided to kill an officer to gain notoriety. Unfortunately, he was successful in his goal. If the guard was unarmed, the killer would have chosen another location for his planned attack and attempted to secured a weapon in a similar way. The results would have been

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