After the shooting stops, the suspect is arrested, and the adrenaline rush subsides, come the “what ifs.”
What if the wounded detective had not been wearing his body armor? What if he had been struck in a vital organ?
Those are questions every law enforcement officer on the scene could be asking, even a 37-year veteran who was shot at for the first time.
From the very start of the Tonawanda ordeal, police were preparing for the physical and emotional aftermath, relying on the skill and experience of a support group known as “Catch A Falling Star.”
Cindy Goss is an instructor and consultant for Catch A Falling Star which provides support for police and first responders in Western New York.
Goss told us, it is critical to start the healing process as soon as possible, and help those involved in high-stress situations, accept that they are human, and learn from other officers who have faced similar ordeals.
Cindy Goss also says, police and other uniformed services have always been stigmatized when asking for help, but she adds, they are slowly making progress bringing that curtain down.