Local law enforcement react to tragedy in Bristol after 2 officers ambushed, killed

"We know that there's always an element of danger, but I commend the officers that go out day in and day out. They do these jobs knowing that there is a possibility that they could be injured or killed."

CRANSTON, R.I. (WLNE) — Police across New England mourned the loss of their own on Thursday, after Bristol, Connecticut, Police Sergeant Dustin Demonte and Officer Alex Hamzy were shot and killed overnight in a suspected ambush-style attack. 

“It’s the call that you never want to get in the middle of the night,” said Cranston Police Department’s Col. Michael Winquist. “Sometimes, you can do everything right, and despite all your training and your efforts…ambush-style attacks can occur. There’s very little that you can do sometimes about that.”

Law enforcement experts, like Todd McGhee, a former Massachusetts State Police trooper, noted the importance of dispatch relaying information to officers.

“Those dispatchers are really the hub of information sharing,” he explained. Law enforcement said the goal is for dispatch to relay as much information as possible to the responding officer, so they know what to anticipate on arrival.

“How many calls have you been to at that house before? Are there weapons mentioned during the call?” asked the colonel.

And, it doesn’t stop when officers are off the clock.

Winquist said safety mechanisms used in the profession, are often at the forefront for officers in their personal lives and while out in public.

“You might sit in a certain direction in a restaurant — you might park your vehicle a certain way. You might not realize it, and usually a family member will bring it to your attention,” Winquist explained. “We don’t turn it off when we go home.”

Once the investigation is complete, Wednesday’s tragedy in Bristol could be studied to see if any additional training can be instilled to reduce the risk that comes with these types of calls.

“We know that there’s always an element of danger, but I commend the officers that go out day in and day out. They do these jobs knowing that there is a possibility that they could be injured or killed.”

Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island