PBA president Patrick J. Lynch said:
“There are those who question the tactics and procedures following a terrible tragedy like this so they can learn from the facts, try and improve from it and to prevent it from happening again. And then there are those who simply want to capitalize on the tragedy for their own political gain who pretend to be friends of the community but do nothing constructive to help.
“Police officers are put into crime ridden areas out of a deep respect for all of the good people who suffer the repression of thugs and criminals. Police don’t make these places dangerous, criminals who have no respect for the law or the rights of good, honest people do. And while we police officers risk our lives in these dark, poorly managed and maintained buildings, we have every right to take precautions to protect ourselves from danger because we too want to go home to our families.
We are deeply saddened at the loss of Mr. Gurely in this tragic accident and we send our thoughts and prayers to his family. We also feel deeply for the police officer who will have to live with the results of this terrible accident for the rest of his life. It is sad that we have to send armed police officers into these buildings but until those who make their careers criticizing police devote themselves to assisting police in the removal of the criminal element who terrorize public housing, we will have to continue to do so.”