Saturday, February 28, 2009

Walther Recall

Home Page - Walther America

There is a recall on the Walther PPK and PPKs made in American by Smith & Wesson. Check out the link and find out which ones are being recalled. The guns may fire, even when the safety is on when the hammer is lowered. This of course is extremely dangerous and must be corrected immediately.

Walther recommends you stop carrying the gun right away and make arrangements to get it repaired for free. Walther makes excellent guns, and the PPK and PPKs are great guns in particular. I actually carry a PPKs as my regular back up and off duty gun, but a much older one than the recalled ones.

A back up gun should be small, lightweight, easy to carry and reliable. That way you carry it all the time and have it when you need it. That's what the SGT Says.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Escape By Helicopter

Two men who had previously broken out of a Greek prison by escaping in a helicopter used a helicopter to escape from prison! The prison officials allowed these two, who were in prison for kidnapping for ransom to be together. They allowed them to exercise together in a open yard. These two people should have been isolated from one another, and they should not have been allowed to exercise together or go out in the open.

The government has arrested several people and have fired several officials. This is very shoddy prison work and there is unlikely any way this could have happened without help from the inside of the prison by at least one guard and probably more. Modern prisons are very difficult to escape from, humans have been holding others in custody for thousands of years and we have just about perfected those skills.

Being a prison guard is a difficult job. They work the toughest beat there is, everyone they encounter is a hardened criminal. Everyone they meet is ready to kill them, attack them, scam them, lie to them or try and use them in some way. Even other guards my try and use you to gain favors from prisoners. Prison guard pay and benefits are often low, and the working conditions dangerous and unrewarding. The temptation to take a little extra for a minor favor can be great. I congratulate those brave men and women who guard our prisons with honor and professionalism; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Features

The SGT Says blog has been updated and hopefully improved by the addition of a few more features. YouTube now provides police related videos. Simply follow the tool bar on the left side of the page down to the four squares and click on one and you should see a police or law enforcement related video. These videos are randomly selected from the most popular police videos on YouTube. It should serve as a reminder that much of what we do in the field will be recorded on video and so you need to insure what you say and what you do is professional at all times.

I have also added a small feed back icon at the end of each daily blog entry. As always you can continue to make comments on any entry. I try and read them all and respond to each one. If I missed yours, sorry, write again and I am sure I will catch it a second time.

There is also an "Shoot the Fly" game at the bottom of the left side of the screen. It is a first person exercise in hand and eye coordination about shooting flys out of the air.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lighting Security

A while back, I wrote an article about the use of motion detector lights for home security. I received a very nice reply from a great expert on the use of lighting for security and I am pleased to print his reply below:

"With that I have one observation to make that you may or may not agree with. It relates to motion sensor lights. Like you, when they go off they used to freak me out. However, my approach into someone's yard was not the same approach that is taken by a burglar, peeping tom, etc. So, I have a problem with motion sensor lights and I no longer recommend them. Here's why.Most motion sensor lights are aimed for the center of someone's back yard. So, if you are walking through the middle of that yard the light will kick in. However, the criminal is not walking through someone's back yard but typically hugging the wall of the house, carefully looking into windows, and cutting screens to open windows and enter. Because the motion sensor does not see the perp it never goes off when you need it. That creates a false sense of security for the homeowners and can lead to lax home security because of the dependence on the motion sensor light. My solution is to remove the motion sensor light and replace it with a dusk to dawn High Pressure Sodium (AKA sodium) 35 watt security light. The fixture will screw right in place of the motion sensor light, throws a soft light over the entire rear yard, casting shadows from trespassers, and costs only about $20.00 a YEAR in electricity, it is that energy efficient. Any big box hardware store will have them and, if not in 35 watt, can order one."

Jerrold G. Antoon, MS,CPP,RL
Instructor/Coordinator Security and Crime Prevention Training
Fox Valley Technical College

Thank you Mr. Antoon for your insightful remarks.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Traffic stop turns into fight

A police officer makes a traffic stop for a minor traffic violation. No big deal, he probably does that several times a day. The driver is a small female, the passenger is going to the hospital and needs a wheelchair according to the driver. She gets out of the car, the officer approaches her with his handgun in his hand. He asks her for her paperwork, driver license, & etc. She is uncooperative and starts yelling at him. He holsters his handgun and keeps his composure and continues to try and get her to complete the traffic stop. The passenger gets out of the vehicle and hits the officer. They struggle and more officers show up. Eventually, they get the passenger and the woman handcuffed.

The officer handled this situation well. There are some things that he could have done differently. Since he had his handgun out he was obviously concerned about the woman exiting the vehicle. He could have ordered her back into the truck. Since there was another person in the vehicle and the driver was uncooperative he could have asked for a second unit sooner and perhaps even faster. When the passenger exited the vehicle, the officer moved so that he did not have his back to his patrol vehicle, he moved to the front of the suspect vehicle. That is probably not a good place to be at. Since he had backup on the way and nearby it would be better to retreat to you the vicinity of your unit so responding units could find you faster.

When conducting an investigation, remember you are in charge. You must take control of the situation. Things go very out of control very fast and so it is important that the people you investigate do what you tell them to do, failure to do that allows bad things to happen. Keeping control and preventing bad things from happening is you job; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, February 23, 2009

RIP Jack Cover

Taser Inventor Jack Cover Dies at 88 - AOL Money & Finance

Jack Cover died at age 88. He was the inventor of the Tazer. His invention has probably saved the lives of thousands of criminals, hundreds of officers and the health and safety of thousands of officers and suspects. Many suspect who otherwise have to be shot or beaten severely have been saved that by getting tazed. Many officers who would have been slow to shoot someone have been able to taze suspects and avoid having to get injured or killed by the suspect. Thank you Mr. Cover.

Natural those who hate the police but seem to love criminals continue to call for the Tazer to be considered as a deadly weapon. So that would place the Tazer at the same level as a gun. There is no reason to place the Tazer as a deadly weapon. Almost anything can be used to kill someone, and certainly people sometimes die as a result of being hit by a Tazer. Usually those people would have been killed by any alternative method of control.

I wrote a while back about a man who was tazered and then fell two stories to his death. He was not killed by the Tazer, he was killed by a fall. The Tazer use was incidental, yet events like that cause people to claim another Tazer death! The Tazer is an excellent weapon and until we get the Phazer on stun it is one of the best weapons in our tactical tool box; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ramos & Compean - Ex-Border Agents Ramos, Compean Leave Prison

Thanks to all of you who helped to get these two former officers released from prison! As you may remember I urged officers to ask President Bush to pardon these two former Border Patrol Officers. They were involved in a shootout along the Mexican border with a drug dealer. The wounded drug dealer was brought back to the US to testify against them and was given immunity from prosecution.

There are several things we can learn from their misfortune. Officer survival is more than not getting killed or hurt, it is not getting fired, prosecuted or sued. Always report incidents as accurately as you can and as soon as you can. Always get legal representation to assist you if you are involved in a major incident. You can be truthful and still phrase the events in a manner that is more accurate and more favorable to you if you have proper counsel. Officers sometimes leave out important information in reports because they make assumptions or because they so seldom write major reports they don't understand all that my need to be included.

I have frequently read reports from officers that sounded like what they did was terrible, but when reviewing the incident with them, I was able to clarify the nature of the event and determine that they acted properly. Simply because they had never written a shooting report and did not know what types of facts to include. Do the best job you can, report the facts as you know them to be, get legal counsel to help you report major incidents, tell the truth; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Patrol Car Street Racing

Ontario police officer charged with street racing in unmarked police car - Autoblog

An off duty police officer from Ontario, Canada was charged with street racing in her take home police car. When did this seem like a good idea? As police we are given special privileges to do things that other people can't do, like drive with red lights and sirens, carry guns and make arrests. A few of us get take home cars, which is very expensive for our agencies and a valuable benefit.

Now this officer is off duty, in an agency vehicle, and street racing. That not only brings disgrace on herself, but her agency and all police. People see a police officer doing something stupid and it reflects badly on us all. Somethings like an error in judgement during a use of force incident can be excused away by poor training, high stress, but when a officer willfully does something stupid for no reason other than a lack of maturity, then we all look bad for no reason.

This incident happened in Canada, thousands of miles from me, and yet the news media felt it was important to publish it all over the world. If a gardener, plumber, surgeon was arrested in a company car while street racing we would never have heard about it, but police are held to a higher standard, that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Move, Shoot, Reload, Communicate, Observe V

Move, Shoot, Reload, Communicate, Observe. Check the surroundings. Most officers killed in shooting die because there are multiple suspects. The second suspect may be inside the building while the first one is engaging your outside. There may be a get away driver down the street in a car. While most of the time suspects will flee, sometimes due to gang affiliation or because they are relatives of the first shooter they may be more willing to come back and shoot at you!

Once you are sure the initial suspect is no longer a threat, once you are sure you have dealt with any additional suspects, take a moment to observe the scene. Don't be in a hurry to rush up to the suspect. Look around, and over the initial suspect. Look behind yourself. Try and get to cover and reload your weapon.

Control your breathing, look around again and then communicate your status to your dispatcher. Check to see that you are okay and have not been hit. The excitement of the event may cause you overlook that you have been shot. Once you are sure you are okay, have checked the area, notified Dispatch, only then should you consider an approach to the suspect to take him into custody; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mexican Drug Gangs

Mexico drug gangs threaten cops on radio, kill them Reuters

In Mexico the drug gangs are out of control. A voice was heard on a police radio frequency that threatened to murder two on duty officers and soon afterwards the two officers were found murdered. The article was not very clear about the specifics, but it seemed as if the officers were on patrol and alive when the threat was made; and the intent was that the police were not safe even when on duty as individuals.

To my mind this type of threat should be considered as an officer needs help call and the officers named should go directly to the police station or other safe and public location. All other on duty officers should group up and be prepared for a shooting incident. They should also lock down the police station. Drug dealers should not be able to threaten police without an immediate reaction from law enforcement.

Other agencies should flood the area and any know members of the drug gang should be picked up for questioning, and arrested for even minor offenses. The drug gang should know that their activity will come with a price, and the price should be that they should be hounded day and night. The street dealers and drug addicts should be arrested and so hurt the drug gang in the pocketbook. These gangs are starting to come to the United States and we need to be ready; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Move, Shoot, Reload, Communicate, and Observe IV

Move, shoot, reload, communicate, and observe. Your communication with your Dispatcher is of great importance. As soon as you are able, call your dispatcher and notify them that you are in a shooting incident and tell the Dispatcher your status, and that of the suspect. Most gunshot wounds are survivable, so it is important to get help started in your direction as soon as possible to aid in the survivable of anyone that may be injured. Most officers who are killed in shooting incidents are killed when they face multiple suspects. By getting more officers on the way, they can improve your odds in a shootout.

Tell the dispatcher the following information:

That you are involved in a shooting incident;
Your location, not just the address, but the specific location at the address;
Suspect(s) weapons, location, number, description;
Any injuries to yourself or the suspect(s).

Few incidents will get a faster and larger response than an officer involved shooting. Armed suspects who are trying to kill someone need police response more than just about any other activity. Responding officers need to find you, in the backyard, in the attic, in the basement, in the garage, on the 17th floor. Time is a critical element in response to a shooting so knowing exactly where to go to help you, so unless you are on the front lawn, more information is better.

Information about the suspect is important. If the suspect escapes, that information will be needed to locate him. If there are multiple suspect the responding officers need to know that just one suspect captured will not end the incident. A suspect with a rifle is much more dangerous at a long range than a suspect armed with a pistol or knife.

EMS will need to respond and deploy to render aid to officers, bystanders, and suspects. They need to respond carefully until the incident is stabilized and they can do their jobs safely.

Communication is critical; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Speeding Tickets

The $3,000 Speeding Ticket - WalletPop

Some states are adding some kind of surcharge on tickets for those with extra points on their license. Certainly I don't mind for criminals to have to pay for their crimes. Speeding tickets are for one purpose, to educate the public so they drive more safely. If that does not work, eventually they will accumulate more tickets and then have to pay enough in fines and increased insurance that perhaps they will drive safer to avoid the expense of more tickets. Finally if they don't learn to drive safer they risk revocation of their license and if they get more tickets then the license is revoked.

Speeding tickets should not be a source of revenue to help pay for government services. Government should be supported by taxes and bonds and perhaps fees for services. They should not support the government by additional fees on what are generally law abiding people who got a speeding ticket.

Making the government run on fines leads to corruption. Elected officials pressure law enforcement to write more tickets. Officers then start writing tickets that are marginal just to fill the coffers of their agency. Officers who write lots of tickets or supervisors who pressure their officers to write many tickets get promotions, leading to more officers writing marginal tickets, even tickets that are really not valid, but close. Officers should write tickets for the public safety, not public treasury; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Move, Shoot, Reload, Communicate, and Observe III

Move, Shoot, Reload, Communicate, and Observe. There is so much to say before, during and after a shootout. Identify yourself, and give commands; even if it seems pointless. "Police officer, drop the gun." That does not mean that you cannot shoot before giving commands. You shoot when you need to but you give commands as soon as you can. Suspects sometimes claim they did not know uniformed officers were really police, they claim they did not know what to do, so give commands as soon as you can give them.

Tell your fellow officers what you are doing and what you want them to do. "Gun, take cover." "Gun, shoot." can be helpful to other officers who are not in a position to observe what you see or who may not be looking in the same direction you are looking. I like to announce they type of weapon the suspect has first, so the other officers can start processing that most critical bit of information first.

Sometimes people in the vicinity of a use of force incident need to be addressed. Civilians often don't recognize the danger they are in or they don't comprehend that the incident is really happening. They may need to be ordered to get away or get down on the ground for their own safety. Law enforcement shootings are very dynamic events, there is a lot going on and then need to be well managed to minimize the danger and safe human life; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


A security guard was fired from his job. Later he came back to the office and stabbed several employees, until he was shot by another guard. Workplace violence can happen at any type of workplace. As more employers have to lay off workers the threat of workplace violence may increase. Workplace violence can happen right after a precipitating event or as much as three years afterwards.

At least two police agencies in California have had to lay off police officers. Imagine an officer who is laid off after working for an agency for several years. The economy is poor so he can't get another job right away. There are no other agencies hiring right now so he can't get another police job quickly. As we all know, few young police officers have any money saved and they often have a spouse and kids and a mortgage and car payments. Unemployment only lasts six months to a year. The value of the house is going down, the wife is working and so he has to take care of the kids. After the unemployment runs out he has to take some low paying job as a guard or maybe at some retail store. The bills pile up and perhaps he loses the house. The spouse and he argue and soon it is time for a divorce. Who will he blame for this? Perhaps the agency that let him go. Perhaps the city council or mayor or chief of police? Perhaps his partners who did not take a pay cut to avoid lay offs?

There is much that can be done to prevent workplace violence. Supervision that is fair and consistent is important. Documentation and discussion of employee problems is important. When someone leaves, make sure you get all their copies of all their agency keys. Make sure that the door codes are changed, and even locks are changed if necessary. Insure all the remaining employees know who has been terminated and that they are not permitted on the property unless escorted like any other visitor. None of this is fun, but it is necessary; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Move, Shoot, Reload, Communicate, and Observe II

Move, shoot, reload, communicate, and observe. Those tasks must be done with every shooting situation. Reloading is important and it is very easy in a stress filled situation to fire more bullets than you think you have fired. Recently at the range, I had a senior officer stand 5 yards from the target, hands at his side and weapon in the holster. He was to draw his Glock model 22 .40 caliber handgun, fire at the target while moving to cover. The cover was a barricade about two yard in front and one yard to the left of him; all in less than ten seconds. When I told him to go he fired seven rounds and they all hit the target, in about five seconds. Good shooting, good movement, good hits. I asked him how many rounds he fired and he told me "Four." He was certain it was four, I even asked him if he was sure. When we counted seven hits on the fresh target he was amazed.

Imagine the high stress environment of a real shooting situation. There it is unlikely that counting the number of bullets you have fired will be successful. When you have a moment, preferably behind cover, it is time to reload. Retain the magazine if possible, but put a fresh magazine in your handgun. A fully loaded high capacity handgun magazine can easily be emptied in only a few seconds.

If you are with another officer, tell them you are reloading. If you are with another officer who is reloading, slow down your shots so you will have enough ammunition left until they can fire again. Ammunition management is an important aspect of any shootout that lasts for more than a couple seconds. A Glock and three magazines is only about 45 bullets and they can go very fast. While that may seem like a lot of ammunition, with multiple assailants in different direction it can be used up very quickly; that 's what the SGT Says.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Fresno PD Takes A Hit

Police Beating of Homeless Man Probed

Police in California were video taped punching a homeless man who was resisting their efforts to bring his arms behind his back and handcuff him. He swung at one of the officers, he had a warrant out for his arrest for previously assaulting officers at another agency, and he tore the badge off of one of these officers. The man is clearly shown resisting in this video, he has neither been handcuffed nor searched at the time of the video.

The news media are obviously taking the side of the homeless man. They call him a "homeless man" not a "suspect." They speak of the police "getting out of hand." Most inflammatory of all, they loop the video so it appears as if the officer hits and hits and hits and hits far more often than actually happened. They also fail to mention that they loop the video. The video also only shows a very small portion of the event, not the initial contact, nor the subsequent contact.

Homeless people can be very dangerous. I have rarely encountered one who was not crazy or on drugs or alcohol or all three. They nearly always carry knives. This suspect was being placed under arrest and did not submit to the arrest as is required by law. He resisted and was punched several times while the second officer tried to handcuff him. While this is not an excellent example of police work, it is not an example of bad police work. That's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Move, Shoot, Reload, Communicate, Observe

Move, shoot, reload, communicate, observe. All of these tasks belong together. If you find yourself in a shooting situation, you should be moving to cover, or at least out of the kill zone as best as you can. A simple side step to your right or left will cause the criminal to have to observe what you have done and then make a decision to change his point of aim and then shoot again. That lag time works to your advantage to give you time to draw your weapon, aim and return fire and give verbal commands.

Even if you shoot a whole magazine before you think to give a verbal command, order the criminal to stop shooting, drop the gun, get down on the ground. Verbal commands may be complied with at any time during the encounter, so give them as soon as you can and continue to give verbal commands. Your goals are to win the encounter, stop the criminal from hurting you or another innocent person and take them into custody.

If you are not moving or shooting, then you need to reload. That can mean to replace an empty magazine or replace a partially full magazine with a full magazine. If you can, save magazines that still have ammo in them. Most shootings don't last long and a full magazine is very helpful. Reloading should be done from cover, it at all possible. Before you give up cover to take a criminal into custody, it is best to have that full magazine if you can. Most of the time when officers are killed in a shooting, there are multiple suspects. If you only see one suspect, there may be another. Watch out for the other guy; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pay Cuts or Job Loss?

Would you bankrupt your agency? Vallejo, California and now Stockton, California have had severe financial problems. They have had to lay off officers and this despite a high crime rate in Stockton. Police are not paid enough. Police deserve to be paid vast amounts of money for the good things they do, but if you are in police work for the money, then you are in the wrong business. The best police do it for the love of the job, not for the love of the money.

Police officers should be able to make a decent middle class living, but too often greedy unions have managed to increase pay and benefits to the point where they are much greater than the average middle-class wage. In times of economic plenty, this is not much of a problem, but in times of economic down turn, it becomes difficult for agencies to continue to pay officers at that rate. In fact some retirement plans are bankrupting agencies and even states.

Is it better to take a pay cut or to have officers cut from your agency? Just as when officers stick together when threatened by a physical danger, officers should stick together when faced with a fiscal danger. I think it is better to take a small pay cut than to allow other officers to lose their jobs all together. It will be difficult for them to find new jobs in times like these; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Last week I got to go on a tour of the Los Angeles Police Museum.
A very nice lady, Pamela Huhane, gave us a tour of the facility. It is one of their old police stations built in 1925 and served over fifty years as a police station. Located at 6045 York Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90042 it would probably be familiar to you has it has appeared in many television shows and motion pictures. The building sat vacant for several years before it became a museum and so required extensive restoration. Now it is a fantastic museum with uniform and firearms displays, hundreds of photos, cars, trucks, and even a helicopter.
Does your agency have a sense of it's heritage? Do you maintain photos or artifacts or cars from years gone by? Having a sense of history can be an important part of building morale and giving officers a greater sense of belonging to something larger than themselves. Most agencies over time will do many good things, and survive assault, scandal, and even death to become what they are today. By looking back at the history of our agencies we can see how far we have come and we can see the shining example that others have provided for us, so that we too can continue that tradition, and pass in on to those who will follow us; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Spank Your Child Go To Jail

Feds spank spankers with arrest - Gadling travel blog news, stories, deals, and tips. Go there.

A drunk woman on an airplane smacks her kids around, threatens the airline stewardess, creates a disruption on the plane and then gets arrested. The media, naturally sides with her. The other passengers have an expectation that they can fly without unruly children crying, and creating a disturbance and distraction. They have a reasonable expectation that they don't have to put up with a woman who kept hitting her children and making them cry. The flight attendant had an expectation that she would not have a passenger throw a drink on her.

The unruly passenger was charged when she got off the plane. They used a portion of the Patriot Act that makes it a crime to abuse the fight crew of a commercial airline. Certainly it is improper to throw a drink on an airline stewardess. The media tried to make the claim that the government was only trying to up the statistics for the prevention of terrorism by using the Patriot Act. I suspect it was simply a matter of that was the most appropriate section to charge the drunken woman with in this instance.

The media too often takes the side of the criminal. Flying is inherently dangerous and lives of everyone on board are at the mercy of the flight crew, including the stewardesses. They do more than simply hand out drinks and peanuts. They have to control everyone on board the plane. They have to ready the passengers in the event of an emergency and be ready to open doors, inflate rubber escape ramps and help people out. Many passengers owe their lives to the brave actions of a stewardess. I think it is highly appropriate for law enforcement to stand behind them when a passenger is abusive to a stewardess; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Black Death

Al-Qaeda cell killed by Black Death 'was developing biological weapons' - Telegraph

Is your agency and your regional health services ready for a biological attack? Only a few years ago the US was attacked by anthrax spores. Probably one man was able to mail letters filled with anthrax to many people and caused a terrible panic and ended up with many buildings evacuated and one person dead.

Al Qaeda had a bit of an "industrial accident" and managed to kill all the men working on the biological weapon by mistake. That is a chilling accident for what it tells us about their intentions. It tells us that Al Qaeda still intends to make terrorist attacks. It tells us that Al Qaeda wants to use biological weapons. It further tells us that they were quite far along in their development of biological weapons, that the accident killed so many, so quickly.

Just after the First World War there was an epidemic of flu in the United States that businesses closed, hospitals were fulled, and the dead were literally piling up in the streets because the morgues were full. Can you agency continue to function if a third of the employees are out on long term sick leave, or even dead? How many will come to work if mass transit does not run, or if their children are all sick from a potentially deadly disease? Can you continue to manage your jail system if there is a widespread epidemic sweeping the region? Important questions that need answers; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Internet Is A Public Place

Are your kids on Facebook? Are they posting things about you and your family that you don't want to be public knowledge? These days kids all have digital cameras and cellular phones, and often they can shoot short video clips. A few months ago, my daughter asked me about serial killers and without my knowledge or consent videotaped my answers and then placed them on the Internet. Once I saw them I asked her to take them down and not to post information about family members without permission.

How would you like to be in court testifying about some topic, only to have the defense attorney bring up your private comments about the topic from some posting on Youtube or other Internet site? This could pose at least a distraction to a jury, disrupt your train of thought on the stand, and possibly destroy your credibility. We often say things that when taken out of context or that we are quoted on years later may not make sense, or my give a false impression of your feelings toward a specific incident.

You have to assume that anything you put on line, may end up in the hands of a defense attorney, a district attorney or even individual jurors. The Internet is a public place and we have to be aware that the information we post there may be seen by people you did not intend to have read it. If you are looking to get hired or promoted a background investigator seeing you drinking a dozen beers may not be as impressed as your friends were at the party; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, February 6, 2009


A state trooper has had his ammo pouch and one magazine destroyed by a gun shot. Deadly force incidents are often unpredictable, but we have to train to survive them. How much ammo do you carry on your person? How much extra ammo do you carry? Do you carry a back up gun? How much ammo do you carry for it?

I carry my Glock, with two extra magazines. I have two more extra magazines in my gear bag in the trunk of the car. I carry a back up gun with two extra magazines in my gear bag. There is a shotgun in the car, with a side saddle of extra ammo. I carry a sleeve of shotgun ammo in my gear bag. I also carry a box of .40 caliber and a box of shot gun ammo in my gear bag.

There have been several incidents over the years when responding officers needed not dozens of rounds of ammunition, but hundreds. The SLA shootout in Los Angeles thirty years ago had armed suspects holed up in a house and the police fired thousands of rounds at them. Officers were having to return to the police station to get more ammunition. Having more ammo can be a lifesaver; that's with the SGT Says.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Kids & Cars

CDC - Childhood Injury Report

The Centers for Disease Control say that the most frequent cause of death for children is transportation related. Getting run over by cars, falling off their bicycles, or being in cars that crash. Thousands and thousands of children per year are killed because of car crashes. More than murder, child abuse, poison, or any other cause.

That means we need to do our part to minimize that problem. Every day we can drive by school zones and make sure drivers are driving the speed limit. Every time you see a kid in the car without a child seat or a seat belt, stop the car and write a ticket. Every time you stop a car for speeding and there is a kid in the car, write a ticket.

The enforcement of laws relating to traffic and children's safety should be a high priority, given the number of deaths relating to children and transportation. Enforce child bicycle helmet laws, and make sure the kids cross at the crosswalk. Keeping the kids safe, that's an important part of your job; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


If you are not using the sights on your hand gun and you are shooting at a target, are you still aiming your gun? Of course you are. When you were a little kid, you pointed your finger at people and said "Look mommy." Your mother told you to stop that. She did not have to train you how to point at things, it was natural and instinctive.

Look at something in the room with you that is about ten feet away. Then close your eyes, and point at it with your "trigger finger." Then keeping your had stationary, open your eyes and see where you are pointing. Chances are you are pointing at it center of mass.

When you draw your handgun, you place your "trigger finger" either on the trigger if you are intending to fire immediately, or you place your finger alongside the frame, parallel to the barrel. Anywhere you point your finger, you point the barrel of the handgun. So even if you don't use your sights, you are aiming the handgun. Anywhere your finger points, your firearm points; you are aiming; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Credit Where Credit Is Due

How is your credit? If you are trying to get hired, then your credit is very important. Having good credit shows you can manage your money properly. It shows you are not going to be in financial trouble and make bad decisions that can affect your police career. If you are deep in debt your mind will not be on your police work, it will be on your debt problems. Having a partner who only cares about money is not safe, they are very distracted.

Law enforcement requires officers who can pay good attention to the work at hand. Failure to do a good search, failure to watch the hands, failure to have probable cause for an arrest can mean failure in your career. If you are distracted by debt, then your mind is not on the job.

Your agency is going to trust you with a gun and a badge and with their reputation. Getting your car repossessed or your home foreclosed will make both your and your agency look bad. There is also the temptation to take money if you are heavily in debt. You make a traffic stop and the violator offers you $50 it is tempting if it can mean making a credit card payment. You make a drug raid and there is $2 million in cash, in small bills on a table. $10,000 is only a tiny part of that and it could save your house. No one will notice it being gone and it will fit in your pocket. So you could save your house. Or ruin your life, go to prison for ten years and damage the reputation of your agency; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Teens With Knives

Teen Tries to Stab Parents Over Cell Phone - ParentDish

A sixteen year old girl took a knife and tried to stab her parents; even chasing them into the bathroom. The police responded and were able to talk her into custody. A sixteen year old girl can be big and strong enough to stab someone to death. The media, naturally plays down the threat she posed to both her parents and to the responding police. Had she charged the police, they may have had to shoot her to death to protect themselves. Then, the media would have bemoaned the death of a misunderstood girl.

Response to a knife wielding person can be tricky, it is deadly force, a knife can deliver a deadly blow very fast. Still, a knife is not a gun and does require actual physical contact to be effective. Most suspect are not very skilled with the knife, but even a single hit from a unskilled suspect can be fatal. Keeping your distance is your single most effective tactic when dealing with a suspect armed with a knife. Along with distance, use barriers to protect yourself. Talking to the suspect through a screen door or from the other side of a chair can give you some lag time.

Employment of less lethal weapons is also a good idea, if they can be used without undue danger to the officer. OC spray can blind them, but you may have to get too close to deploy it effectively. A Tazer is an excellent tool, but again the range is only fifteen feet and may not be enough to keep you at a safe distance. The baton can disarm a knife armed suspect, but is very dangerous for the officer to use; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Password Protection - Hackers Crack Into Texas Road Sign, Warn of Zombies Ahead - Science News Science & Technology Technology New

One of those roadside warning signs was hacked into and the message was replaced with one that read "Zombies Ahead, Run." While that may be an amusing message and probably no harm was done, this is just another example of how many of our systems that are vulnerable to tampering.

Suppose they put a different message warning of a road closure, perhaps hundreds of cars would have been mis-directed off the freeway and jammed up traffic for miles. While there would not likely been anyone injured as a result, the loss in productivity could easily be in the millions. People show up late to work, stores don't get opened for business, teachers don't get to school and so one. One of the goals of the Islamic Terrorists is to do economic damage, and a few millions of dollars in economic damage for a few minutes return is a good investment.

The road sign company said that most users of these signs don't bother to change the passwords and don't bother to lock them up. What else in your agency is the same way? Is your station locked up? Are your patrol cars locked? Does your agency have computers that are protected by firewalls, anti-virus protection and do your passwords get changed? Simple procedures but they pay off big; that's what the SGT Says.