Former NY state trooper weighs in on Va. tragedy

Posted at 11:11 PM, Mar 31, 2016

What happened in Richmond is a reminder of the dangers men and women in uniform face every day. One local former New York State Police captain says the level of danger for law enforcement today is heightened.

"It does point the present danger that law enforcement faces on a daily basis, an hour by hour basis," said former New York State Police Capt. Robert Buchholz.

Buchholz says the unknown is always on the mind for a police officer, but the nature of this training in Richmond, Va., didn't call for any heightened alert or for Trooper Chad Dermeyer to wear a vest.

"In this particular situation I’m sure the focus of the police was community outreach as opposed to going in there and trying to execute a warrant or make an arrest. The mindset is totally different," added Buchholz.

It was near the end of the counter-drug mission training when Trooper Dermeyer attempted to approach a man at the Greyhound bus station. Police say the man pulled out a gun and shot him.

There are reports saying the shooter was mentally ill. Buchholz is a gun advocate, but says he feels it is a scary reality officers face, how a gun can fall into the wrong hands.

"Aside from ISIS and terrorists, people I mean the people that are doing these things for the most part are people that are mentally ill. They’re not criminals trying to shoot their way out of a bad bank robbery situation," said Buchholz.

Getting home to his family was the first thought when he put on his uniform every day, he says that hasn't changed for officers today, if anything he says the change is that there are more obstacles preventing law enforcement from doing that now than before.