Women in combat

One aspect of the Eric Frein manhunt that has mostly escaped readers is the way that this episode, featuring a strong, independent female police officer under fire, doesn’t bode well for the champions of women in combat:

Late on the night of Sept. 12, Cpl. Bryon Dickson, 38 years old and the father of two young sons, was ending his shift. As he walked out of the Blooming Grove barracks, a neat, tan-brick building nearly surrounded by woods, he suddenly dropped to the ground.

A colleague who was just beginning her shift heard a sound like a firecracker, saw Corporal Dickson on the ground — a few yards from flagpoles flying the American and Pennsylvania flags — and went out to help, only to hear another shot that kicked up a cloud on the lobby floor.

She retreated into the building and tried, unsuccessfully, to call 911. Her wounded colleague asked her to bring him inside, but she could not reach him. She called out for assistance.

Trooper Alex Douglass, also just beginning his shift, walked up from the parking lot toward Corporal Dickson. He, too, fell to the ground, shot, but crawled to safety into the lobby. Using bravery and the shield of a marked S.U.V., other troopers managed to carry their brother into the barracks.

In other words, she heard a shot, ran away, didn’t shoot back, couldn’t manage to call for help, and wouldn’t take the risk of going back out to drag the wounded into shelter. Then, when other male officers arrived, she didn’t help them go out to get him.

Also, since when are police officers “assassinated” rather than “shot” or even “murdered”? They are armed civilians and petty agents of the state, not heads of state. Are they really to be considered “politically prominent” now?