Wayne R. Spees


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“It’s never fireworks…”

By Wayne R. Spees on Jul 24, 2018 4:41:37 PM

“Pop, Pop, Pop”

Over the course of my law enforcement career I have interviewed hundreds of witnesses and victims of shootings. More often than not, I heard the phrase, “At first, I thought it was fireworks.” Why do you suppose people who are hearing gunfire assume it is fireworks? Well, when we are at work or some other place we presume to be safe, we often interpret our experience via what we want to hear – and what makes the most sense in terms of our context and life experiences. For many people, those experiences don’t regularly include the sound of gunfire. So when we hear a “pop, pop, pop” (or something similar), we default to the assumption that those sounds are fireworks. Fireworks means “no one is shooting”. Fireworks means “I’m not in danger”. Fireworks means “everything will be ok.”

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Situational Awareness in a Post-Las Vegas World

By Wayne R. Spees on Oct 17, 2017 1:41:33 PM

Are You Ready?

As a retired cop of 31 years, I have been around violence most of my adult life. I have seen firsthand what man is capable of against his fellow man. I have witnessed how people react to violence. It is common for people to freeze. It’s as if the brain will not accept what is unfolding right in front of the eyes. Also, under extreme stress our problem-solving skills go right out of the window. I think most people would rather live in denial than to acknowledge violence, especially when it is happening to them

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Active Shooter Response: Preparing for the Unthinkable

By Wayne R. Spees on Sep 7, 2017 3:50:06 PM


The Unthinkable

So, you stroll into the office like any other workday. As you sit down at your desk you suddenly hear the sounds of loud bangs down the hall. Your first instinct is to think, “What was that? Were those gunshots?”  It doesn’t make sense to you. Then you hear several more shots, followed by screams. Suddenly you feel sick to your stomach and your heart starts pounding. You can’t believe this is happening, and a feeling of panic overwhelms you. 

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