Targeted. That’s what Wichita police say happened to two of their officers in the past week.
Eric Piotorwski is a field training officer who has been with the police department for 26 years.
He is using those incidents as learning tools.
“Build relationships,” he tells his recruits. “That way when something does happen in the neighborhood they may have talked to you or met you.”
New recruits at the Law Enforcement Training Center are learning that during their job anything can happen.
“I think that overall just by the numbers there are a higher rate of police ambushes that have been happening across the nation and the numbers don’t really lie,” says Piotorwski.
On Wednesday, an off-duty officer was shot at four to six times while working security at Warren East. Then, Monday morning an officer found his police truck shot up.
“My initial thought is, obviously, we have a dangerous job and that is the reality of the job that we do,” explains Piotorwski.
It’s something you think might rattle a police officer.
“Actually, it kinds of drives me. That is why I chose a job in the training bureau so i could give some of those things back.”
Piotorwski believes that even though they may face more dangers there’s ways officers can learn from them.
“If you are going to sit and do paper work, have a buddy pull up to you and watch out for you,” he says. “It is our job to preach to the younger officers that hey you do need to be aware.”
He also tells me the department sees this as an opportunity to encourage officers to engage with the community even more.