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Police Operating on 'Heightened Sense of Reality' After Dallas Shooting

Flickr/dallashabitatphotos (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
The nation is mourning the loss of five Dallas police officers after a shooting Thursday night.

From Texas Standard:

Police departments across the country, and especially across Texas, have been reeling from last week's police shooting in Dallas – mourning officers lost, but also operating on a heightened sense of alert.

For many departments, this sense of alert means more officers on the streets, more tactical units on standby, and new questions about how police interact with the public.

Charley Wilkison, executive director of the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, says that officers are feeling the effects of recent events.

"Of course, there's an acknowledgement and sorrow, and the realization of what's occurred," Wilkison says, "and then this grim determination and commitment to soldier on to do what they've been called to do."

He says that officers have to face a reality check in the wake of events like last week's shooting.

"There's a heightened sense of reality. Because the fear part, of course, officers are trained to deal with that," Wilkison says. "Texas has lost the most law enforcement officers in the line of duty in each state in America, and so that's absolutely something they aware of coming into the job."

Texas will be sending 150 officers to assist with security at the upcoming Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Wilkinson says that he's concerned for the safety of those officers, given the climate surrounding Donald Trump's campaign.

"I'm fearful that something will happen to them, especially with some of the political circumstances surrounding Donald Trump's candidacy," Wilkison says. "It seems to be very heated, and in very heated moments where people are clashing, and physical confrontations that we've all seen, I'm worried about those officers."

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.

Rhonda joined KUT in late 2013 as producer for the station's new daily news program, Texas Standard. Rhonda will forever be known as the answer to the trivia question, “Who was the first full-time hire for The Texas Standard?” She’s an Iowa native who got her start in public radio at WFSU in Tallahassee, while getting her Master's Degree in Library Science at Florida State University. Prior to joining KUT and The Texas Standard, Rhonda was a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio.
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