DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Police work has always been dangerous, but recent incidents involving officers has alarmed those who wear the badge.
“It takes its toll on our officers,” said Dallas Police Chief David Brown. “They are our heroes. They perform this job without a lot of credit but they do it admirably.”
Two separate shootings endangered Dallas police officers Monday.
The first began just before 2 p.m. when police say William Banks tried to rob a woman at gunpoint for her purse.
He later led police on a car chase, abandoned the vehicle and took off on foot.
Police say Banks ran around a corner and purposely waited for officers with the intent of ambushing them. Three officers approached with guns drawn.
“Officers rounded the corner at a wide angle so that they could see him, before he could see them,” said Brown at a press conference Monday.
The wide-angle approach is a critical tactical move police learn in training. Officers shot and killed Banks.
Brown says the officers handled the situation in textbook fashion.
“It’s exceptional police work. If they had just cornered at a short angle we would be talking about injured, dead officers,” he said.
Chief Brown said at least one bullet fired by officers traveled through two walls of the nearby apartment. Brown says debris from the bullet fell on the head of a three year old, but that the child was fine.
Just hours after that incident a woman called 911 to report a man walking around with a gun at an apartment complex in North Dallas.
Police say gunman called 911 himself describing what he was wearing.
The audio was as follows: “There’s a guy walking around my apartments in a gray hoodie with a gun. I think he may hurt somebody.”
Little did police know it was a trap. Ronald Workman, 66, was the first officer to arrive on the scene.
Police say 19-year-old Bryson Howard fired at Workman –– the bullet pierced the driver side window, struck the officers lapel mic and lodged in his jaw. But Workman kept working.
“He called out on radio where he was, he directed officers to a safe location. He performed admirably and courageously after being shot,” said Brown.
Workman is a 10-year veteran who became a police officer at the age of 56.
Before becoming an officer he worked for Texas Instruments and later became a travel agent.
In the last year, Chief Brown started an initiative where officers read tips and watch videos in their squad cars on how to stay safe on the job. The initiative is called, “Everyday is a training day.”
“It’s the mentality you have to have to stay alive to stay positive,” said Brown. “To do whatever you need to do morally ethically and legally to survive this job.”