Personal protection expert gives insight into officers' mindset on 'swatting' call

Published: Jan. 3, 2018 at 6:32 PM CST
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With more than 30 years of law enforcement experience, Eyewitness News personal protection expert Joe Schillaci has never responded to a swatting call, where an address is targeted for a prank to draw a large police response, but he has responded to many false calls.

Often with no way of knowing exactly what they'll encounter when they arrive on a scene, Schillaci says officers take every call seriously. He says footage from the swatting incident that led to a Wichita man's death last week is "horrifying" to listen to and to watch.

He says the swatting case is difficult to comprehend.

"This is a no-win situation for everybody, especially the family of this individual that was killed," Schillaci says.

On the Dec. 28 call to a home near McCormick and Seneca, Wichita police thought they were responding to a homicide and hostage situation. On that call that turned out to be a prank, Andrew Finch was shot and killed by an officer.

Police say that officer thought Finch was reaching for a weapon.

Schillaci says all calls, even those that turn out to be fake, must be handled the same.

"It's it's not a fake call and you don't act accordingly, then you have to deal with that aftermath," he says.

Schillaci says it's almost impossible to describe what it's like to respond to a potentially dangerous situation.

"You truly cannot understand the magnitude of it until you are there, and I've been there," he says.

Schillaci says no matter how well trained an officer is, they can never train for the aftermath of something like what happened on Dec. 28.

"Not only was this family affected for the rest of their lives, but that officer will live with this for the rest of his life," Schillaci says.

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