Universal Translator

Saturday, October 3, 2015



In response to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Hermosa Beach Police Department has remarked one of their police cars from black and white to pink and white.  They have also placed special markings on the car relating to breast cancer.

Breast cancer is a terrible disease, but why is is more terrible than other forms of cancer, or heart disease; which actually kills more women than breast cancer?  There are many other worthy charities; suicide prevention, prostate cancer, POWS, SIDS, AIDS, PTSD, are all worthy of support.

There is no direct correlation between breast cancer and police work.  I think this is a distraction that is unrelated to police work.  Police public relations should focus on crime prevention and the prevention of illness and social ills that impact law enforcement.  Missing children, homelessness, mental illness, suicide prevention, are all good examples of this; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


Most officers seem to wear their handcuffs in the back.  Many wear them in the small of the back.  Wearing handcuffs in the back can be a health risk.  Having to pairs of handcuffs pressing on your kidneys all shift can do long term damage to your kidneys.

A friend of mine used to wear a double handcuff case.  He carried it in the center of the rear of his back.  He confronted a suspect who pushed the officer over backwards.  The officer fell back and landed on his back.

His back was injured and his police career ended because of the injury.  The presence of a large, hard handcuff case in the back is dangerous.  Move your gear around the wear your handcuffs in the front or on the side; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Where do you wear your handcuffs?  How many handcuffs do you carry?  Do you carry extra handcuffs in your gear bag?  I work patrol in an urban environment with nearly unlimited back up officers very close by. 

I carry one set of handcuffs on me and several more in my gear bag.  I carry the set on my belt at the front between my belt buckle and my holster.  I don't anticipate that I will ever have to handcuff anyone with my gun out at the same time.  So I can keep my handcuffs on my right side; I am right handed.

I used to wear two sets of handcuffs on my back.  But after wearing them that way for years, and sitting in the patrol car for hours, it was hard on my back.  The cuff cases pressing against my kidneys was uncomfortable and I am sure it was not good for me.  So I moved my gear around and started carrying my handcuffs in front, much more comfortable; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Shooting Policy


A police department has a new policy that says officers are never to shoot at a vehicle unless the occupants are a deadly threat with a weapon other than the vehicle.  So if someone tries to run down and kill a police officer, the officer is not permitted to shoot the driver of the vehicle.

There are several problems with this policy.  If an officer is in fear of his life and he shoots the driver, will he be fired?  Will the agency be sued and face greater liability or less liability because of their policy?  If the officer does not shoot and is injured or killed, will he or his heirs sue?  Will the agency have liability for that? 

What if the lives of third parties are in danger and the officer does not shoot?  Suppose someone says that if the officer had fired, the dead innocent bystander might have lived?  Police use of force policies should allow the officer the greatest possible discretion under state and federal law.  Officers should be trained and skilled enough to make those decisions; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Replica Gun


Police responded to a 911 hang up call.  This kind of call can be anything.  Often, it's a mistake.  Someone intends to dial 411 or some other number and when they realize it's the police, they get embarrassed and hang up.  Still, you can't know what has happened until you get there and check it out.

Three officers arrived and were confronted by a man with a handgun at the door, he closed the door on them.  During the course of the incident, the man eventually exited the apartment and pointed his gun at the police.  All three officers fired and hit the suspect.  It turned out to be a replica gun.

The officers gave the man verbal commands to drop the gun, and he refused.  The officers could not help but shoot because his actions would give a reasonable officer circumstances to fear for their lives.  Replica guns typically look very much like real guns.  So do pellet guns, BB guns and even toys can look very real, even from only a couple feet away; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Wheelchair Shooting



"Police shooting of man in wheelchair sparks controversy in US" screams the headline.  The news has become opinion, and inaccurate opinion as well.  The police did shoot a man who was in a wheelchair.  A man in a wheelchair who had a handgun and a man who refused verbal commands to put his hands up.

The man was a career criminal who had a history of violence, attempted suicide, and of resisting arrest.  He was confronted by police after a report that he had shot himself and still had the gun.   The controversy was that the media only told part of the story in many articles.  They failed to mention that a gun was recovered or the man's criminal and psychological history.  

 They also have blown the incident out of proportion as most people never even heard of the incident.  A man in a wheelchair likely has mobility problems, but he may still be able to walk.  A man in a wheelchair may even have upper body strength much greater than the average person because they have to push themselves around.  A man in a wheelchair is often able to shoot a police officer; that's what the SGT Says.