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Home  >  Topics  >  Gangs

January 11, 2010

Calif. cop kicked out of school while arresting gang member

The officer was kicked out for not consulting the principal of the school

By Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross
The San Francisco Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO — A San Francisco police officer was ordered out of John O'Connell High School for arresting an alleged gang member in connection with a double homicide without first consulting the principal.

Officer Joel Babbs, who is assigned to the department's schools detail, thought he was doing his job Dec. 15, getting a potentially dangerous suspect out of the Mission District school as fast as possible and without incident.

Expert Perspective

Two words for this officer: Nice work.

Regardless of what the principal in this situation says, Officer Babbs showed wise tactical thinking when he chose to remove this suspected gang member from school quickly and in cuffs. His understanding of the revenge mentality of gang members and his recognition that the recipe for a potential school shooting situation that could put countless students and teachers at risk was in place is admirable.

This incident, as with others we’ve spotlighted recently, is yet another example of making sure that regardless of the potential “backlash” of your actions and the outcry of the tactically uneducated, you must dedicate yourself to doing what you have been trained to do and what you know is right and necessary given the situation.

To possibly help avoid a powerplay situation like this in the future—or at least to give you a heads that you might have a problem with a school administrator—consider touching base with the top people at your local school(s) now and use this incident as an example of a scenario you and they could end up facing at some point, particularly if you’ve got a strong gang presence in your area.

Read more: Dedicate yourself to the job, regardless of backlash

Full story: Calif. cop kicked out of school while arresting gang member

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