Brier Mayor Responds To Officer Dan Anderson’s Firing For Responding To Shooting, This Is Some Bull…

Brier Officer Dan Anderson was fired after responding to an active shooter call.

Brier Officer Dan Anderson was fired after responding to an active shooter call.

Brier Mayor Responds To Officer Dan Anderson’s Firing For Responding To Shooting, This Is Some Bull…

Brier, Washington – Brier Mayor Bob Colinas has released a statement about Officer Dan Anderson’s termination, and it at the very least contains misleading information.

Officer Dan Anderson is a 25-year law enforcement veteran who retired from the Washington State Patrol in December to take a job as a police officer in Brier. On July 30th, Officer Anderson heard a call for help go out to respond to an active shooter in nearby Mukilteo. That shooting left three people dead and one seriously injured. Thanks to Officer Anderson’s quick response, he was one of the first officers on scene.

After the incident, Officer Dan Anderson reported that Brier Chief Mike Catlett fired him for leaving the city in order to respond to the shooting. When Officer Anderson left to respond to the shooting, he was the only officer working in the city at that time, so he left the city with no on-duty officers within the city limits.

To put things in context, Brier frequently has nights where there is not a single call for service. The low call volume is why they only need to staff one officer at night. Violent crime in Brier is extremely low. Brier is ranked the 13th safest city in the state. The chances were exceedingly low that there would be a call where someone’s safety or property would be in immediate danger. In the unlikely situation that such a call did come in, other agencies would potentially be available to assist.

Here is Mayor Bob Colinas’ full statement about Officer Dan Anderson’s termination:

It is the general policy of the City of Brier to not discuss personnel matters. However, in the interest of accuracy The City of Brier would like to take this opportunity to provide the public with additional information in regards to the separation of Daniel Anderson from the City of Brier Police Department.

It has been represented to the press by sources other than the City of Brier that Dan Anderson was terminated from his probationary employment as a Brier Police officer because he left his post as the only on duty Brier police officer to respond to a general request for mutual aid by the City of Mukilteo Police Department when responding to the tragic shooting incident that resulted in the deaths of three young people. This is not a complete or accurate description of events.

In fact, Mr. Anderson was let go from his probationary employment because it was determined that during his probationary employment he was not meeting the expectations of the Police Department in several key performance related matters. Prior to the Mukilteo incident, these matters were pointed out to Mr. Anderson by the Police Chief during his probationary employment in an effort to seek improvement in Mr. Anderson’s performance. Mr. Anderson was allowed to repeat his field training with a second field training officer. Ultimately this effort proved unsuccessful and a conclusion was reached that Mr. Anderson should not become a full time post-probationary police officer with Brier.

Mr. Anderson’s decision to leave his post as the only Brier Police officer on duty to respond to the Mukilteo incident 14 miles away was another example of a performance issue. He was not personally asked to respond. He heard a general police dispatch request for aid by “available officers”. He elected to leave the City to go to Mukilteo on his own volition in response to a general request for aid made by Mukilteo. He did not confer with his Chief of Police before making this decision. The Chief was available by cell phone. Mukilteo does not share a border with Brier. Mukilteo does share borders with Everett and Lynnwood, both who have large police departments and with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s office. Brier has a very small police department and Mr. Anderson was the only on duty officer in the City when he elected to leave and go to Mukilteo. The fact that nothing bad happened in Brier while Mr. Anderson left his assigned post was fortunate but, not foreseeable by Mr. Anderson at the time of his action.

The City Of Brier continues to support its police officers providing mutual aid to surrounding police agencies when done so in accordance to police department policy and in the exercise of sound judgment so as to not put the citizens of Brier at potential risk for lack of available police service.

This statement includes several claims that don’t add-up.

Mayor Colinas advised that Officer Dan Anderson was actually fired for poor performance, citing his need to “repeat his training” with a second field training officer. We had suspected that it was possible that Officer Anderson’s performance may have contributed to his termination, but the mayor’s misleading statement puts that into question.

It’s very common for law enforcement officers to have field training extended to shore-up any training issues. However, it’s almost unheard of for an officer to have to “repeat” field training unless the initial trainer was deemed incompetent. Mayor Colinas’ statement on the matter is possibly based on a miscommunication.

What’s most concerning is that Mayor Colinas reported that the effort to repeat Officer Anderson’s field training was unsuccessful, which is why he was terminated. That’s clearly not true. Officer Anderson must have fully passed field training, or he wouldn’t have been working alone. Police agencies don’t say, “You’re too incompetent to pass training, but you’re responsible for handling the law enforcement for an entire at night city by yourself. Good luck.”

We also find issue with Mayor Colinas’ statement that “The fact that nothing bad happened in Brier while Mr. Anderson left his assigned post was fortunate but, not foreseeable by Mr. Anderson at the time of his action.” Actually it was foreseeable, considering the fact that an emergency police call in the middle of the night in Brier is an exceptionally rare event, which is why they only staff a single officer. (Editor’s Note: This information was gathered from officers who work in the area.)

In the event that there is a seriously dangerous situation, other agencies are usually called to back-up the Brier officer. Those same backup officers could potentially respond to assist Brier by securing the scene or handling a call in Brier if needed. Having another agency handle your calls is far from ideal, but an active shooter is an exceptional circumstance. Officer Anderson leaving the city was not much different than if he had be busy handling another call within the city, and the response to the second call would have been the same.

We’re assuming that Mayor Colinas released this statement after working on it with Chief Catlett, and we hope that the  misleading statements about Officer Anderson’s training are result of a miscommunication, and not a bold-faced lie about the situation.

The mayor’s statement did contain one reasonable piece of information, and that was that Officer Dan Anderson failed to call the chief when he left the city. Is that mistake worth termination? Share your thoughts on this article’s comments on our Facebook page. We expect that Chief Catlett’s side of the story doesn’t match either the mayor’s statement or Officer Anderson’s account of events. We will keep you updated as we get more information.