Universal Translator

Monday, September 15, 2014



Officers working boat patrol on a lake went into pursuit chasing a stolen boat.  Near the end of the pursuit the suspect jumped into the water.  The suspect was eventually taken into custody on shore.  There are tens of thousands of rivers, lakes and several oceans in the United States, not to mention swimming pools.

No matter where you work, you are likely to have bodies of water in your patrol area.  Every officer should be trained how to swim in the police academy.  They should learn basic water rescue techniques to rescue people who are drowning.

They should learn fast water rescue techniques, and should have some equipment in the patrol car to preform these rescues.  Every year in the USA nearly 4,000 people drown, often including a couple police.  Some of these could be saved if police were trained to perform water rescues; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, September 14, 2014



New York Police are going to have three days of use of force training per year, to include verbal, and other non-firearms techniques.  There is much agencies can do to train their people that costs little or nothing.

All firearms training should include other techniques.  Verbal commands along with shooting, such as "drop the weapon" are helpful.  Use a bag to practice baton techniques and then shoot, both to practice the baton and to see how tired an officer is when he has been using a baton for thirty seconds.

At roll call supervisors can provide a short training session.  Large agencies can make DVDs or on line training available for each location to use, they only need to be five or ten minutes long.  Officers attendance should be documented so the agency can insure everyone gets the training; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Back Up


Whenever possible, officers should have a back up officer with them whenever they make contact with a suspect.  Even a minor crime or just a suspicious circumstance can go badly.  In this instance a CHP officer responded to a report of a person walking on the freeway.

There is a video that shows him over her and punching her in the head.  Of course, the video does not have useful audio and does not show the nature of the contact prior to the punching.  I doubt there is a good reason to be hitting the woman that way, but without a back up or video we end up with a he said / she said problem prior to the punching.

If you are backing up an officer who initiates in in appropriate behavior, it is part of your duty to help them return to correct behavior.  In this instance, two officers may have been able to subdue the woman without having to hit her.  Police work is difficult work and two heads are better than one; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, September 12, 2014

High School


Another high school shooting plot by two disgruntled high school students.  This time the plot was discovered and police raided their homes and arrested them before anyone could be hurt.  This is the best possible outcome.

In many areas the police do not work well with high school teachers, students or administrators.  Police need to reach out to establish lines of communication with each of those groups.  The time to do that is on a day to day basis.  Stop by the school and chat with the people in the office.  Assign officers to work at the school on a regular basis so they become a fixture at the school.

Attend PTA meetings and high school football games and any other opportunity to be visible.  Officers who work at the school should be there voluntarily.  They should be officers who work well with kids, not everyone does.  So when a report of a potentially illegal incident is made the officers will be there to accept the information and act on it; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, September 11, 2014



The worst day in the history of American law enforcement was September 11, 2001 when Radical Muslim terrorists attacked the United States and killed over 70 police officers.  Some of them were killed trying to rescue victims of the attack.  One was killed while trying to fight the hijackers of the plane that crashed in a field.  Many others died later of cancer from inhalation of debris at the World Trade Center site.

Radical Islam takes many forms and goes by many names.  Sometimes like the Taliban it is sponsored by state governments.  Other times like ISIS it tries to overthrow existing states and create a new state.  Sometimes they are Americans who convert to radical Islam and other times they are foreigners.

Terrorism is here in America.  It can take the shape of an active shooter, a bomber, or by raising money for terrorism both here and abroad.  As police officers we have already responded to dozens of terrorist attacks. We have had scores of officers die in those responses.  On this 9/11 anniversary, remember or dead and honor them by continuing the jobs they started; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Officers should be monitored by their supervisors so their behavior is proper.  Officers need to know and understand the law, their duty manual, and their training and supervision must conform to those expectations.

Officers will sometimes make a mistake, or perhaps make a poor judgement call.  Officers who make a mistake or a bad call should be re-trained and the incident documented.  If officers continue to make the same or similar mistakes, they should continue to receive both further training and progressive discipline.

Just as crimes come in infractions, misdemeanors and felonies, not every violation of the rules should result in termination.  Every violation of the rules should be coupled with training.  Officers can't obey rules the don't understand or that require skills don't know how to employ.  Officers should be saved whenever possible, but truly bad officers should not be allowed to endanger themselves, their co-workers, the agency or the public; that's what the SGT Says.