“He was the first one through the door the day of the shooting. He was shot several times. His body armor and Kevlar helmet saved his life. His body armor took several rifle rounds to the chest/abdominal area and his Kevlar helmet took the rifle round to the head. Additionally, he took several hits to the legs and arms. He is still currently in another surgery and will have many surgeries in the coming months. He is expected to survive his injuries but there is a significant likelihood that he will never return to work.”
Well wishes and Prayers, whichever you prefer, to Timothy Matson of the Pittsburgh PD SWAT team. He was the one first through the door noted above. A Warrior AND a Guardian through and through, proven on that day. A martial practitioner as well – and in a tragic twist of fate he was a Guardian for the people and culture that birthed his chosen martial disciplines. Knowing how martial artists think, and what goes through your head when you go through THAT door, I can imagine what went through his mind when he steeled himself to step through that threshold.
He saved lives that day, but he paid for them with his own blood. With all the stuff and nonsense that plays out in the Media these regarding police officers, the absolute rubbish that cops are “occupying armies” or that people of ANY community will not call them is absurdity. The people of EVERY community call them – they don’t call the gang bangers, the drug-slingers, the child traffickers, the terrorist or terrorist wannabes, or the insane people in their communities to stop what is going on. They call the COPS. Still.
Think about that for a minute. Kinda upends the narrative.
It certainly does not mean we couldn’t do it better. Matson was obviously highly trained, a SWAT cop and a martial arts instructor. These are not your average cops, but they SHOULD BE. It’s your community leaders and police politicians that won’t pay for that kind of training to occur, and the officers that choose to be average. Most officers who rise above pay for a great deal of their training on their own, and do it on their own time. They choose to be better than “average.” To be better prepared and more capable that what is provided them by their career field and professional culture, which pays a lot more lip service to training than is ever actually done.
But within law enforcement culture there is little incentive to do this extra work – it rests solely on the initiative and desire of the individual officer to go above and beyond. But why would they do so? This I know personally and deeply.
To be the one to be the First Through the Door when it counts. To be prepared to handle whatever happens appropriately, with composure and fortitude and skill that “average” cops don’t have. Never will have unless they, too, make the same personal sacrifice of time, and money, and yes, sometimes even blood.
Here is a link to the Go Fund Me account for Timothy Matson.