The Natchitoches Rotary Club held its 2nd annual Bulletproof the Blue fundraiser to benefit the Natchitoches SWAT Team. Last year the event raised $10,000 to purchase bulletproof vests for the Natchitoches City Police Department. This year their $15,000 goal will go toward purchasing vests, helmets and communications gear for the SWAT team.
Beyond the fundraising aspect, the main goal of this event is to change the public’s perspective of what a law enforcement job entails. It’s easy to sit back and judge law enforcement for those split second decisions they’re forced to make on a daily basis. All too often the public will comment:
“They should have done this or that”
“That’s not what I would have done”
“They could have handled that better”
“They had no reason to shoot”
But people often forget to put themselves into the shoes of the police officer they’re casting judgement on. Think about the stress of the situation and the mere seconds they have to read each situation they walk into. It’s not always as black and white as it seems.
At Bulletproof the Blue, participants went through four different scenarios at Dark Woods Haunted Attraction, which were geared to showcase what officers encounter. A domestic dispute can be tricky, especially is you can’t tell if there’s a gun involved. A traffic stop could turn deadly if the driver exits his vehicle holding a revolver. When an armed suspect rushes at you what do you do? When you enter a hostage situation in a dark building, how do you quickly and accurately take out the threats, while identifying the good guys and the hostage.
It can all happen in the blink of an eye, and Bulletproof the Blue drops participants into these stressful situations to show them it’s not as easy as they may think.