Former cop: Dallas ambush could 'attack psyche' of local law enforcmenment, sparking changes

Posted at 7:47 PM, Jul 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-08 22:47:57-04

In the wake of the Dallas ambush shootings, one former police officer says many local law enforcement may take on a “new mindset.”

“This has risen to something that's never occurred in this country,” said Kevin LaChapelle.

The former El Cajon police officer worked for seven years in patrol and the gang unit.    

When asked if this tragedy cold be a tipping point, LaChapelle responded, “I think this is very, very significant.  They now feel like sitting ducks. I’d be surprised if officers didn’t have a completely different mindset today than they did yesterday."

LaChapelle says the officers' immediate concern is copycats.

“This attack on their psyche is definitely going to have consequences on how they do their job."

He believes the mindset will creep in out in the field, including traffic stops.

“Before the officers could focus on a vehicle. Now they have to focus around the vehicle and what's around them,” said LaChapelle.

He says a divided attention could add to the dangers. LaChapelle predicts new policies could be implemented to protect officers: patrols in pairs, possibly even a third officer.

“Because one officer is going to have to be assigned to protect other officers so the officers can do their jobs,” said LaChapelle.

That could stretch police manpower.

In some cases, LaChapelle believes officers will be less willing to engage. One example would be suspicious activity in a park.

“They’re going to have to ask themselves, ‘Is it really worth the risk? Should I come into the park park and talk to someone? Or should I not approach? That could lead to more crimes and consequences for the community,” said LaChapelle.