Officers across U.S. reflect
"First, you think about the loss, and your own mortality," said Lt. Lyn Benoit of the Grand Junction, Colo., Police Department. "Then you think about what went wrong."
Cpl. Tony Ranieri of the Spalding County Sheriff's Office said that before his agency even knew it had a connection to Carr, deputies were talking about what happened in Tampa from Carr's transport in a car without a screen to separate suspects from officers to the position of his manacled hands.
"We're probably just as guilty of carrying criminals in cars without cages," Ranieri said. "All of us discussed it this morning, and we're not going to do that anymore."
Any time an officer dies in the line of duty, police departments nationwide are notified by a computer bulletin. Last year alone, there were 160 such notices.
But the events that left three Florida law enforcement officers dead this week seem to have a special, emotional resonance.
"The fact that there was three of them, the fact that (Carr) had been apprehended and then escaped, makes this particularly gruesome," said Lynn Lynos-Wynn of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
Lt. Bruce Price is with the Patterson, N.J., Police Department. For him, procedure takes a backseat to the faces of the dead cops he saw in his newspaper.
Like Tampa, his department transports suspects in uncaged cars.
"Everyone here is talking about it, but it's just a tragedy," he said. "You just think about those guys' families -- and your own."
In New Hampshire, the Tampa deaths have dredged up painful memories of the slaying of three police officers last year. Two were killed in a shootout, while the third was shot days later after attending their funerals.
"It devastated morale all the way up here," said Hopkinton police Chief Ira Migdal. "One of my part-time guys worked down there and wanted to go to the funerals, but he can't -- the ones up here just tore him up."
The news from Tampa also made Migdal think about the time he was shot in the knee 12 years ago by a violent teenager. "At times like these, it bothers me that I survived. It makes me feel so guilty."
In Waco, where four federal ATF officers were killed in a standoff that ended in the fiery deaths of more than 80, the standoff here provoked an empathy born of experience.
Assistant police Chief Brent Stroman knows what it feels like to be second-guessed and knows how hard that will be for officers and families who will face the investigation that invariably follows such a tragedy.
"They'll feel not only the loss, but also all the media attention and the questions that will be levied," he said. "That's another trauma in itself.