POCATELLO — It was the late 1980’s and Lieutenant Paul Manning was, for all intents and purposes, still wet behind the ears as a police officer.
He’d dispatched to a reported bank robbery that day and was parked just down the street from the bank.
“Unbenknowns to me, I’d parked across the street from the bank robbers’ getaway car,” Lieutenant Paul Manning, Lieutenant of Investigations for the Pocatello Police Department, told KID Newsradio.
Lt. Manning had been quick to respond. So quick, he’d catch the bank robber off guard as the thief ran around the corner with his spoils in tow.
“We met face-to-face and I ended up getting in a foot pursuit with him, chasing him down,” Lt. Manning said.
Lt. Manning was on his own. The backup unit dispatched to come help had just gotten in a car accident and there was no word as to when the next available unit would arrive. As both cop and robber took off, the bank robber reached for his gun.
“He was reaching for his gun,” Lt. Manning said. “He…was going to shoot at me, to try to get me to duck or dive so he could try to, you know, beat me to his getaway car.”
Undetered, Lt. Manning caught up and tackled the thief.
“After I got him proned out on the ground, I was just kind of standing there for six or eight minutes waiting for somebody to come help me,” Lt. Manning said. “It was at that point I really realized that I could hold my own…II thought that as about as bad as things could get.”
Now, after over three decades in law enforcement, Pocatello Police Lieutenant Paul Manning has turned in his badge as he enters retirement.
In his 35 years of working in law enforcement, Manning says he’s seen police work change. Technology alone has allowed police officers to do their jobs more effectively. But, with the advent of social media, technology has also created a new line of internet-based crimes officers must respond to.
But, not all the changes Manning has seen come as the result of new or innovative strides in technology. Manning says, in many ways, police work has become more dangerous for law enforcement.
“What concerns me is the officers across the country that are getting ambushed,” Lieutenant Paul Manning, Lieutenant of Investigations for Pocatello Police Department, told KID Newsradio. “In my 35 years, I had my share of gun calls. But, during the many years I was on the street, you know it was very rare to have an ambush. I would just encourage my felllow officers everywhere to really get trained up and really use their situational awareness because I think this ambush has just become a real problem.”
Despite the dangers, Manning says police work has been positive and fulfilling.
“People here are great,” Manning said. “I think the law abiding citizens, really like the Pocatello Police and I think they support us.”
Manning began his work for the Pocatello Police Department in October 1982. During his time there he graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Law Enforcement Executive Development Association program.
His last day on the force wason January 24. The department held an open house in his honor the following day.
Manning says he plans to teach firearms through the Idaho State University Law Enforcement program.