By Steve Sanson
Veterans In Politics
Veterans In Politics video internet talk show interviewed Randy Sutton, retired Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) Lieutenant and founder of The Wounded Blue.
Sutton was a Princeton New Jersey Police Officer for 10 years; he was a detective when he moved to Las Vegas, and spent 24 years with the LVMPD, a total of 34 years with Law Enforcement.
Sutton’s First Shooting
While on probation with the LVMPD, Sutton was involved in his first officer-involved shooting with a 15-year-old gang member who had his weapon pointed directly at him. Sutton fired and the round hit the wall and the shooter gave up.
Sutton’s Second Shooting
Sutton said the second shooting was a life-altering moment. Stan Hyt, former LVMPD officer, our cohost and current candidate for sheriff, said he was present during that shooting. Then Sutton continued to let us know what happened. He said the shooter was in full tactical gear, but he was close enough to the shooter to kick him; the shooter went down and came back up with the muzzle of the weapon pointed directly at him.
Sutton said they both fired at the same time and said that during the exchange of gunfire his weapon jammed. The shooter continued to shoot while he rolled around on the ground to avoid being shot.
Sutton said other officers started to fire on the shooter and the rounds were going over his head. Sutton told us the shooter had 43 gunshot wounds in his body while he was still running towards him. The shooter, however, was deceased at the scene.
Sutton’s Third Shooting
Sutton said his third shooting was an armed robbery while he was still a sergeant. Sutton told us he shot at the ground and the perpetrator stopped in his tracks.
Sutton’s Fourth Shooting
Sutton’s fourth shooting was while he was undercover with a federal task force. Sutton said the perpetrator ran over his partner and his partner was plastered on the windshield of the vehicle. Sutton opened fire with a 12-gauge shotgun. The perpetrator is now doing five life sentences.
Sutton’s Fifth Shooting
Lieutenant Sutton said the last shooting was suicide-by-cop as he gave the order to his fellow officers to shoot to save the life of a woman and child.
A Policy Change
Sutton said Administrative Leave should be changed to Critical Incident Leave because it stereotypes officers.
Administrative leave is a temporary leave from a job assignment, with pay and benefits intact. Police officers are routinely placed on administrative leave after a shooting incident while an investigation is conducted, without implying fault on the part of the officer.
Sutton speaks about other events
Sutton has written several books as he tells his story about many life-saving incidents. Sutton tells of while he was a Princeton cop he watched a man burn in his vehicle. He couldn’t remove the civilian from that vehicle and said that that incident was more traumatizing than the officer-involved shootings.
Sutton had been assigned to many departments on the force but he called it quits when he had a stroke in his patrol car in 2009.
Sutton told us he is not afraid of dying; he is afraid of living. Sutton also told us that the police department turned its back on him and refused to pay his medical bills.
Sutton went to the Sheriff and asked him why he is treating him like this. And the Sheriff said, “It’s not personal, it’s business.” Sutton ultimately won his lawsuit against the LVMPD and his medical bills eventually were paid.
The Wounded Blue
Sutton said after that many officers across the country came to him about similar stories, which lead him to form The Wounded Blue.
Sutton said his organization has helped over 12,000 law enforcement officers across the country.
Sutton also told us there was a policy with the LVMPD that if you were injured on the job you would be assigned to light-duty, this was the compassionate thing to do. But the current Sheriff Lombardo changed that and said if you are not able to go back to full duty in a year, you are fired.
Sutton tells how police departments across the country terminate officers and don’t pay their medical bills when they get injured on duty.
Each year, over fifty thousand American law enforcement officers will sustain injuries from the assault and on-the-job accidents ranging from minor to catastrophic. Most Americans assume that in the event of sustaining on-duty injuries, law enforcement agencies and the local, county, and state governments that employ them would be responsible for taking care of them, financially, medically, and psychologically as these injuries are incurred while serving the people they swore to protect.
Officers who are injured often lose a major portion of their salaries during their healing process (if the injuries are only temporarily disabling) and also lose the ability to earn enough to feed their families. That is why The Wounded Blue exists to correct this injustice by fighting for our injured law officers.
Suicides run rampant in Law Enforcement and police officers don’t trust their police department. Sutton talks about a program he created entitled Code-4-Total-Wellness that would take care of injured officers’ complete needs.
Randy Sutton is a true American Hero!
By Steve Sanson