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by Peter Moskos

November 6, 2009

Three Cheers for Police Sergeant Kimberly Munley

She did her job. And then some. And more.

Update (November 12, 2009): Seems that Senior Sgt. Mark Todd did a lot of what was first credited to Munley. Oh, the fog of war.

Regardless, three cheers to both of them.


Yael said...

I love it that you said, "She did her job." Because she did. And, inarguably, she did it well.

But now she's being lauded as a hero. Is she?

We love heroes in America. But what is a hero? Is it someone who reacts in a particular way to a particular situation? Or is it someone who proactively goes out and prevents that particular situation in the first place, likely in a way that takes the hero well outside of their comfort zone. And if that's the case, then the world's greatest heroes are probably the unsung ones.

I'm not downplaying a job well done. Three cheers for Officer Munley, by all means. I'm just voicing my opinion that a truer form of heroism would have been if someone had spotted the warning signs exhibited by Mr. Hassan and had the balls to act on their suspicions, whatever that might mean. Treading on dangerous ground, no doubt, though doing so could potentially have prevented this tragedy. We can never know.

Sadly, however, it seems that Americans are reluctant to take action based on a fear of 'profiling'.

Perhaps a truer form of heroism might be refusing to allow political correctness and religious tolerance to become a smokescreen for dangerous complacency.

PCM said...

And you're advocating what, exactly? Religious intolerance?

Regarding the idea of hero... I'm generally skeptical of the "hero" label. But if we are going to use that term, I think Sgt. Munley qualifies. She was doing much more than the cliche of "her job."

What makes her a hero is that she did her job so damn well while putting her life on the line.

As a cop in that situation, I don't know what I would have done. Take cover and call for backup come to mind. I have no idea. Maybe if I had her military background and special training I could have done like she did. But I seriously doubt I would done anything as well as she did. And when you combine how well she performed in a high-stress situation with the danger she put herself in... that's what makes you a hero!