For many, the images and sounds of carnage that unfolded Thursday night in the heart of Downtown Dallas are haunting.
“Automatically those thoughts come back to you and you start reliving that all over again,” KCK Police Chief Terry Zeigler said.
Zeigler learned of the deadly ambush from his wife after he arrived home from the department’s award ceremony that honored Detective Brad Lancaster. Detective Lancaster was shot and killed in the line of duty in May.
“Losing one officer in the line of duty was catastrophic and hard enough on this department,” Zeigler said.
The chief who has served the KCK community for 25 years can’t imagine what Dallas Police Chief David Brown is going through currently as he tries to comfort the families of the five officers killed Thursday night.
“How do you make the pain go away? Policemen are problem solvers and we fix things, that’s what we do and when something happens to your department it’s difficult to figure out how do you fix it? ‘cause you can’t,” Zeigler said.
On Friday morning Brown and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings held a news conference informing the public that the gunman, Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, was killed when officers sent in a robot with a bomb.
"We're not going to let a coward who would ambush police officers change our democracy,” Brown said.
Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James agrees.
“I can tell you that I don't think that we have the tinder and the gasoline and the matches that close together that it's going to happen here,” James said.
He’s confident with KCPD’s Chief Darryl Forté’s leadership and the extensive training officers undergo which includes de-escalation techniques.
“But you know you can't control people who are crazy,” James said.
Watch the video in the player above to hear our full interview with Mayor Sly James.
Forté provided this statement Friday:
“The events in Dallas last night were horrific. I know the hearts of every member of the Kansas City Missouri Police Department – and the hearts of police around the nation – are very heavy today. In the words of Dallas Police Chief David Brown this morning, “Our profession is hurting. Dallas officers are hurting. We are heartbroken. Please pray for our strength during this trying time.
We know those officers were killed running toward gunshots. That is what police do, and I know our officers would do the same because they have. I am proud of the members of the Kansas City Missouri Police Department. I am proud of their bravery and courage. I am proud of the relationships they have forged with other members of our community. I am proud of the way we work together with the other residents of our city to improve the quality of life for everyone. I am proud of our officers’ compassion and judgment. I am proud of their willingness to learn new and better ways of doing things, to embrace change and to protect and serve their community when faced with more scrutiny and danger than ever before.”
Within KCPD, it’s standard protocol to have officers in pairs. Starting Friday afternoon, officers in KCK will be paired up, if staffing allows, in response to the deadly ambush.
Zeigler adds for future protests, they will be adding an additional layer of security. They’re keeping the specifics under wraps.
Andres Gutierrez can be reached at email@example.com