Nearly every profession has some kind of protocol. It may be a checklist that workers go through once a day (turn on the lights, set the temperature, turn on the machines, unlock the doors, etc), or it may be a list of rules they have to follow. Protocols are designed to prevent us from forgetting things and making sure that everything that needs to get done actually gets done. But the downside is that they also prevent us from having to think. Some people may believe that not needing to use their brains helps to take pressure off and is therefore a good thing.
I was walking through the intensive care unit today after seeing my patients there, and I happened to notice a man who looked to be in very bad shape a few beds down. In the 0.4 seconds it took me to glance at him, I was able to see that he was comatose, intubated on a ventilator, had a cervical immobilisation collar on, and had an intracranial pressure monitor in his brain. As you can imagine, one must be severely injured to require such equipment.
I also happened to notice that he had three armed police officers in his room. Three. When someone is under protective custody (ie someone who has been attacked), there are generally one or two officers guarding the room from outside. Only people who are under arrest (READ: bad guys) have the officers in the room with them. And only REALLY bad guys need three of them.
After surveying the scene, I approached the nurse and asked the obvious question - is this guy who is in a coma, unable to breath on his own, probably close to death, really a flight risk? The nurse started laughing, and I heard his laughing continue and intensify as I walked out of the unit shaking my head.
I imagine that this particular police department has a protocol that "ALL REALLY BAD GUYS MUST BE GUARDED BY THREE ARMED OFFICERS TO PREVENT FLIGHT". And I imagine that in most cases, this is a good thing. But here it makes no sense whatsoever.
I would welcome any police officers' or other public servants' comments. Please tell me I'm wrong.