Attack in Chattanooga, Its Only Just Began

The attack today that took the lives of four Marines in Tennessee underscores two things.  First, how vulnerable our nation is to terror attacks and second, that it will be local police who confront and defeat the threat.

Today, a heavily armed Muslim terrorist attacked a United States military recruitment center, firing multiple rounds into the office.  Incredibly, no one was hit.  But the suspect wasn’t finished.  With the police in pursuit, he made it to a United States Navy office several miles away and opened fire, killing four Marines.  Chattanooga Police and Sheriffs officers converged and after a gun battle in which a Police Officer was shot and wounded, the suspect was killed.

The tragedy of the loss of the Marines in a terrorist attack on United States soil goes far beyond the mere loss of innocent lives.  It has demonstrated to the world and our nation, just how vulnerable we are in this global war to fight terrorism.  The police in our nation are charged with fighting crime, protecting their communities from burglars, gang members, and the criminal that preys upon the weak and innocent for personal or financial gain.   And while terrorism has struck this country in dramatic ways as 9/11 and the Oklahoma bombing demonstrate, we are entering a whole new era of terrorism that will put local Law Enforcement directly on the front lines and in greater danger than ever before.

Unfortunately, this takes place at a time when the police themselves have been under attack from all sides.  The President of the United States has not only publicly insulted and humiliated the police but he has in effect removed from them, the ability to access arms and equipment necessary to confront this threat because he believes in “softer policing” and has ended the ability of local law enforcement to obtain surplus military equipment.  This is the same equipment that could save the lives of the police as they confront the very real threat of Muslim and other Extremist terrorist groups.  Much of the media has targeted police and pushed out an agenda that is clearly biased against Law Enforcement and deep animosity and distrust of the press by the police will take years to improve and normalize.  Soldiers in the “war on police” have not only become the criminal whose life choices make the police their natural enemy, but District Attorneys, Courts, Politicians and segments of the population who have been manipulated to turn against them.

The police themselves have become disillusioned, demoralized and are developing a “bunker mentality” in which, they are afraid to actively engage the criminal element for fear of administrative, criminal and/or political retribution.  In essence they are afraid that they will become “sacrificial lambs” in a perverted atmosphere of political correctness when their actions result in “use of force” situations.  They watch helplessly as officers in Baltimore are attacked and injured while their Mayor and Police Commissioner blatantly lie and deny that they used the police for “cannon fodder” during the riots that claimed that city.  They see the Mayor of America’s largest city tell the world that he councils his children to distrust the police.  They see the President of the United States send envoys to the funeral of a man who attacked a police officer in Ferguson while ignoring the hundreds of killed and thousands of injured of those whose law enforcement duties have savaged or ended their lives.

The American Law Enforcement Officer has never been in more danger, physically, emotionally and politically.  As we enter this new era of terrorism within our borders, it is urgent that the police and the communities that they serve unite.  It is time to understand that police work can be very ugly to watch and in this age of non-stop surveillance of the police by IPhone, dashcam, bodycam and video, more and more of that ugliness will be made available.  This is the reality that the men and women who wear a badge face every day.  They deserve to protect themselves and deserve your understanding as they protect you.


LT. Randy L. Sutton (RET)

Randy Sutton is a 33 year Law Enforcement veteran and the National Spokesman for "THE AMERICAN COUNCIL ON PUBLIC SAFETY." ( He served ten years in the Princeton New Jersey Police Department and 23 years with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department retiring at the rank of Lieutenant.  He is recognized as one of the most highly decorated officers in the LVMPD history, having awards for Valor, Community Service, Exemplary Service and multiple Lifesaving awards. He has trained thousands of Law Enforcement Officers in the United States on the subject of "POLICING WITH HONOR," and has been recognized by the President of the United States while receiving the "POINTS OF LIGHT" award.  He is the author of "TRUE BLUE Police Stories by Those Who Have Lived Them," "A COP'S LIFE," "TRUE BLUE To Serve and Protect" and  "THE POWER OF LEGACY, Personal Heroes of America's Most Inspiring People."