Operations: Armed for Survival
By Randall Resch,
AT Operations Editor
I’ve noticed an increase in justified or reckless shooting incidents by tow truck operators confronted by vehicle owners or someone violently interested in a vehicle being towed … whether legally or not. And, these shootings have left individuals dead as well as leaving the shooter with a potential prision term looming. I’m not here to judge … only to question why it needs to happen.
First off, be sure this narrative isn’t about anoyone’s consititutional right to carry a handgun, rather, this narrative is specific to the monstrous liability that exists for tow company owners who permit their employees to carry while working, especially when providing private-property impound services in their community.
Owners, know this: the actions of your employees are your responsibility, also known as “vicarious liability.” Just ask any lawyer what it means, or Google it to see just how responsible you are. If you conduct business operations in states that allow “personal carry” or “concealed carry,” you too have a vested responsibility in what comes with employing personnel who are allowed to carry on-the-job. If there’s a need to carry, it makes perfect sense to me that a fearful mentality of “it’s me or them” will come into play if and when a confrontation happens with an aggressive person.
If you’re the owner and you’ve worked hard to get there, everything you’ve built comes to the “front of the class” if your employee uses a handgun to protect himself … justified or not. While a resulting investigation may find the reason to be justified, your company might still be sued by the family of the deceased.
For companies located in right-to-carry states, this is an increasingly important topic to discuss with your employees when it comes to confronting vehicle owners or those within the complexes where vehicles are being towed. Angry vehicle owners carry guns too, but the difference between most “shoot/no shoot” scenarios is their current state of mind. If your company provides private-property impound services in right-to-carry states, you owe it to your company’s preservation to seek alternatives vs. shooting it out in the streets.
A Jan. 15, 2012, shooting in Dallas, Texas, occurred when the tow operator was being followed by an angered vehicle owner, who subsequently pulled over only to find himself face-to-face with a potential homicidal maniac. I ask why pull over? If an angered vehicle owner or aggressor is following you and acting like a lunatic, get on 9-1-1 immediately and let the cops know what’s up. It’s not a matter of “fight or flight” here. Never stop and confront, because the moment you go toe-to-toe, chances are … the guns are comin’ out.