Would armed security officers in Omaha have saved lives?

Last week seemed to be a bad week for Malls and Churches. In Nebraska and Colorado, gunmen killed innocent people who were merely going about their daily lives. The situation could have been much worse in Colorado Springs but for the quick repsonse and bravery of a female security officer. The Pastor, Brady Boyd, rightfully cited the security officer for her brave actions and said; “she probably saved 100 lives”.

That is why it is difficult to understand the comments made to CNN from certain security sources. Don Greene, a retired FBI agent said that it would be difficult for anyone to have predicted the actions of the killer at the Westroads Mall in Omaha. Fair enough. However, the Omaha Chief of Police reported that mall security officers actually noticed the young gunman when he entered the mall.

Being unarmed, that is all they could do – observe. That is what they would have had to do in Colorado Springs if none of the security officers had been armed. According to the Pastor there, more than 100 people may have been murdered by the high-powered rifle wielding killer. However, one officer was armed and the news is now hailing this officer as a heroine.

Back to Mr. Greene. Mr. Greene was asked, in his expert opinion (one presumes as a retired FBI agent), if he believed that mall security officers should be armed. “Absolutely not”, shot back Greene. He further added that had security been armed it could have resulted in a “gunfight at the OK Corral” scenario. For some inexplicable reason, he added; “then we might have had 23 dead instead of 8″.

I wish I knew how to contact Mr.Greene today. I would love to ask him if he wished to stand behind his original comment. When I was at it, I can assure you that I would ask him to explain how he arrived at his calculations.

Lou Palumbo is another security source that I would like to interview. Mr. Palumbo told CNN that Malls should have Law Enforcement personnel watching people as they enter the Mall. I would tell him; “Mr. Palumbo, please do some research. The Council of International Shopping Centers tells us that there are 1,200 enclosed shopping malls and 50,000 shopping centers in this country. If you assign a Police Officer to watch every entrance, you would need more than 250,000 Police Officers to report for duty on the first day”.

That does not even take into account the number that would be needed to relieve officers on sick leave, admin leave, vacation, promotion, etc. Does anybody really think that we will have a 400,000 strong Federal Mall Police Department any day soon? Be thankful for private security.

It makes one wonder where CNN finds their security sources.

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  1. Jerry MacCauley says:

    Some excellent points John. As a matter of fact, you nailed it when you mentioned the “expert” opinion of a retired FBI agent. When has the federal government ever provided security at a large venue, without the assistance of local police or private security? The fear of the armed guards causing a shootout that would have resulted in many more deaths is not only arrogant, but irresponsible. One can only assume that Mr. Greene does not feel that anyone other than a fed can handle a firearm properly or effectively. If that attitude persists, we can expect many more tragic incidents in these “gun free zones.”

  2. Anonymous says:

    From what I understand the FBI has some poor shooters, maybe thats why he thinks this. Its seems to me that people think malls would just come in one day and hand out gun to the guards. Like no training would take place. If that was the case then hes right, no way should they be armed. But to think that would happen is just stupid..

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