San Diego law enforcement react to Dallas shooting

Posted at 5:09 PM, Jul 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-08 20:09:43-04

Law enforcement officials and community leaders in the San Diego area offered an outpouring of condolences and expressions of support to their Dallas counterparts Friday in the aftermath of the ambush shooting deaths of five officers.

Seven other officers and two civilians were wounded in the attack, which erupted Thursday night during a protest against recent police shootings in other states. A former Army reservist -- believed to be the lone shooter -- was killed by a police-detonated bomb following a shootout with officers.

San Diego police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said via Twitter that she and her officers were "sending their thoughts and prayers" to the Dallas Police Department.

On Thursday night, SDPD officials temporarily instituted two-officer-only patrols as a precaution, public affairs Lt. Scott Wahl said.

"It is helpful for a couple reasons," he said. "One is safety, and two for support. It allows officers to talk to each other and share their emotions as they are processing what has happened."

It was unclear if the change would be in effect again Friday night, according to Wahl.

On Friday morning, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore issued a statement praising the slain and wounded Texas law enforcement personnel and their colleagues.

"The brave men and women of that police department who ran into the face of fire to protect civilians while they themselves were suffering incredible loss and tragedy deserve our recognition and support," Gore said. "These are trying times, and they test our resolve to hold onto the ideals that brought us to this profession and continue to drive us to do what's right."

The "despicable" ambush attack was "committed against officers who were in place to protect the rights of those who were demonstrating against recent police shootings," he said. "And we must continue to work to heal the divisiveness in our communities as we strive to be impartial in our policing."

Unlike the SDPD and some Los Angeles-area police agencies, Gore's department was not mandating two-deputy patrols in response to the Dallas attacks, though the sheriff was making sure his personnel were "aware of the heightened emotions in the country after the tragic deaths this week," agency spokeswoman Jan Caldwell said.

Members of the San Diego Police Officers Association also offered condolences to their counterparts in Dallas.

"We hope for a quick recovery to those who were injured, and our hearts go out to the friends and families of the officers who paid the ultimate price tonight," a statement on the SDPOA's Facebook page said.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said in a statement that there is no justification for violence against fellow Americans or against law enforcement officers, who work to protect people and their right to protest.

"I ask San Diegans to express their opinions peacefully and cooperate with police as they keep our communities safe for all of our residents," Faulconer said.

"I call upon every leader and citizen of every race and ethnicity to join together as one to denounce violence, hate and discrimination," he said. "We must not allow our differences to betray our shared humanity. Let us move forward as one, unified people."

City Councilman Scott Sherman expressed his sorrow and well-wishes to Dallas via Twitter.

"No words," he wrote. "Thoughts and prayers to our police and their family members nationwide."

Officials with the San Diego County Office of Education responded to the violence with a Martin Luther King Jr. quote.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that," they stated. "Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."