Tuesday, June 30, 2009

AB 1060

California Assembly Bill 1060 says in part:

"THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares that allowing customers to purchase alcoholic beverages through self-service checkouts: (a) Facilitates the purchase of alcoholic beverages by minors. (b) Permits customers who are in an advanced state of intoxication to purchase additional alcoholic beverages, in violation of state law. (c) Allows for greater theft of alcoholic beverages, there by depriving the state of tax revenues. SEC. 2. Section 23394.7 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read: 23394.7. (a) No privileges under an off-sale license shall be exercised by the licensee at any check stand, where the customer is able to scan and purchase alcoholic beverages using a point-of-sale system with limited or no assistance from an employee of the licensee."

This says that self-service checkouts can no longer be used to sell alcoholic beverages. This is a very good idea and is designed to keep alcohol out of the hands of kids, people already under the influence and I hope it passes; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Heat Is On

It is summer and it is hot out there. Take water in your patrol vehicle and drink it during the shift. With body armor and all the other gear it is easy to become dehydrated. Air conditioning is good to help keep you cool but the air it generates is often very dry. Coffee or soda with caffeine is not what you should be drinking. Water is nearly free and has zero calories.

I have had officer keel over due to a lack of water while on duty. Drinking plenty of water will prevent that. If you have officer who are deployed on a perimeter or at a crime scene, make sure water is distributed if the officers are there more than thirty minutes.

At the scene of a traffic collision, officers are out walking on pavement, pushing cars, helping injured, collecting data and can get overheated easily. Take the time to make sure your partners are properly hydrated. If you feel they are not, then have them take a break for a few minutes and tank up on water. If your partner falls over due to heat stroke they are just as much a casualty as a gunshot victim; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


The standard priority for first aid has been airway, breathing and circulation for nearly as long as I can remember. When officers are shot in the line of duty, this ABC may not be the best method of prioritization. A gunshot would will cause massive bleeding, so perhaps the priority should be to treat the circulation problem first.

Slapping on direct pressure or a quick tourniquet to stop bleeding may be a better solution to clearing the airway or checking the breathing. Gunshot wounds will cause massive bleeding, they may or may not create airway or breathing problems. This is especially critical when the wounded person is in an area of danger.

Of course, ABC is still the standard, and I am not advocating that you abandon it most of the time. There may be occasions where controlling bleeding is the most important thing you can do, so that you can move the victim out of the kill zone; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Physical Training

In the police academy we trained for physical fitness by running in a group of 75 people. We exercised in a group of 75 people. We did push ups together as a group of 75 people. When was the last time you exercised with 74 other police? Perhaps training us in an exercises program that we could realistically continue after the academy would have been a good idea? Getting 74 of your closest cop friends together every morning for a brisk run is generally not going to happen.

Then, when someone in the group did something the tactical staff deemed as "bad" we were punished by having to run, or do push ups. So one of the things we learned was running or exercising was something you did as punishment because you were "bad." Once out of the police academy, I never wanted to run or do push ups again.

In firearms training we have learned that we can unconsciously train people to do things we don't want them to do. Like fire the gun whenever they hear a whistle blow because every time we shoot on the range we blow a whistle as a "shoot" command. Part of what good range masters do is eliminate unconscious training. The physical training staff needs to train officers to keep fit in ways that officers can sustain after they get out of the academy and continue to retirement, that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Gun Training Without Guns

What if you don't have a range, can you still do firearms training? Of course. I like the Red Gun. Heavy, same size and approximate weight of the real gun. Practice looking at a target, unsnapping your gun, drawing your weapon, and coming up on target and bringing your trigger finger onto the trigger, while giving a verbal command. "Police, don't move" is always a good one.

Then, scan to your left, center, right, center, look to your rear, then to the center front and finally put the handgun back into your holster and snap it in. Do all that without looking at the gun or the holster, instead look at your target or the area you are scanning. When you scan, move your upper body like a tank turret, pointing the weapon to the left, right, and rear as you look for additional suspects. Most of the time when an officer is killed there are multiple suspects, so scanning before you put the gun away is a good idea.

A fast draw and being able to get up on target quickly is a very important skill. Identifying yourself is very important so the person you are pointing a gun at knows you are the police, it also can help in court. Most shootouts happen very fast, a quick draw gives you more time to aim; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Chase Scene, Take 1

My friend Terry is a fine Southern Gentleman from the great state of Tennessee. He was going to be in a movie about law enforcement and he told me all about it. He said:

I knew I was going to be doing a foot chase like four days in advance.

I had four days to prepare to be in a foot chase.

I thought about my foot wear, my radio placement, my path.

Anything and everything to be at the top of my game for the camera. I scouted out the route we would be chasing the "bad guy" and made my two officers do the same, I walked every inch of the route and paid attention to the layout and any potential hazards. I choreographed all our movements. There is a lesson in there for us guys who do this stuff for real.

It got me thinking, our little exercise in cinematic exploit really drove home the importance of "mental rehearsal drills" for tactical scenarios and "know your patrol area."

Maybe all cops could learn something from the actors. Maybe we should all start planning plan now for the next foot chase, the next felony stop, the next hold up alarm, the next burglar alarm, domestic or "loud party with 300 people in a residential back yard" call.

Can you imagine how much officer safety could be enhanced if we all spent four days planning for the various tactical scenarios we routinely or rarely face every day?

Maybe we could cut that number of officers feloniously killed from 60 a year to zero per year!

Thank you Terry for that great advice, that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bank Robbery


An armored car guard walked into a bank and shot a robber who was robbing the bank at the time. Armored cars and banks are frequent targets for banks. Our agency has taken a proactive approach and has trained many of our cities bank employees what to do in the event of a robbery.

If a robbery alarm goes off, how do you respond? I like to take the patrol rifle, take cover outside and wait. Once I have officers covering every entrance, then I have dispatch phone the bank. I want the dispatcher to ask the bank manager to tell her if there is a robbery in progress or not, describe himself, and then come outside with his hands in plain view.

Only after I verify the manager is not the robber do I then release the perimeter. I don't want to confront a robber inside the bank. There are too many people inside an open bank to have a gun battle. The safety of the people is more important than the protection of the money. I want to capture the bank robber, but I don't want to get a bank teller shot; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


There are some crimes that are more worthwhile to enforce than others. Drunk driving is one of those crimes. People who drink and drive kill tens of thousands of people every year. Driving under the influence of alcohol kills about as many people as murderers kill.

By strict enforcement of drunk driving laws, we can save lives. DUI enforcement and public awareness has reduced the number of people who drink and drive. Look for the signs of DUI drivers. People doing almost anything unusual in a moving car can be a sign of DUI. A vehicle that is driving too slow, or too fast, not tracking in the lane or stopping too far back from the limit line at a stop light.

Persons who are DUI sometimes drive at night with their headlights off. They sometimes fall asleep at stop lights. DUI drivers also sometimes have one vehicle traffic collisions. They hit parked cars, they run into fire hydrants, and trees, and drive up on curbs. Look for DUI drivers, and save a life; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Shotgun to Handgun

Can you transition from one weapon to another seamlessly? If you have the shotgun, can you transition to the handgun? If you are closing in on a suspect that you have to handcuff, and have a shotgun in your hands what can you do?

There are several techniques that can be employed. First, hand the shotgun to another officer. If you are next to your unit, you can put it in the car, perhaps even lock it in the truck or in the back seat cage. If you are not able to do that, then you can sling it. If you don't have a shotgun sling, perhaps you can disable the gun. A pump action shotgun can have have the magazine nut unscrewed and the gun becomes unserviceable.

The key with this is to think about what you want to do in advance and practice it. My agency has slings for all the shotguns, but before that, we used to practice taking them apart. Planning your actions at the scene is easier if you have practiced the techniques in advance; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

New Challenges

Russia Fears Korea Conflict Could Go Nuclear : Homeland Security News

For eight years America has been fighting the War on Islamic Terror. In some ways this war is winding down and in other parts of the world the war is very much on going. While soldiers are coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, the threat of a war in Korea looms in the distance.

If the nation had to fight a large conventional war that had huge manpower requirements, could your agency deal with the problems that would bring? How many of your officers are in the military reserve or National Guard? Could your agency function if they all had to go away for a couple years? Do you have reserves or other manpower to call upon in the event of an extended emergency?

With the world in a flu pandemic, the possibility of a war in Korea, and economic crisis going on worldwide, along with the continuing War on Islamic Terror; agencies could face new challenges in the next couple years. Agencies need to be ready to deploy to combat civil unrest, health disasters, and terror attacks, perhaps with reduced staffing; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Searching News


Handling prisoners is aways dangerous business. Jailers are zoo keepers for the most dangerous animals in the world. Humans are intelligent, and want to be free, not locked up in jails or prisons. With nothing but time on their hands prisoners will try almost anything to attack a guard or to try and escape.

Every time someone is arrested you need to handcuff them, and search them for weapons. You never know how someone will react to being arrested and otherwise calm rational people will strike out to avoid going to jail. You may also have arrested someone who turns out to be a dangerous person who has a lot more to lose than a few hours in jail on a minor traffic offense.

I handcuff the prisoner first, then search them. That way I have an inherent advantage over their mobility. Handcuffing only takes a moment, but a search can take a while. Searching should be done systematically and the same way every time. The only time I don't search immediately is if I have to move the prisoner, then I control the hands until I can move them to a safe place to search. Each time you take custody of a prisoner from another officer, search them again, that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Tow Truck

YouTube - Tow-truck motorcycle

This video shows a new tow truck that is actually a motorcycle. The motorcycle folds up the tow truck part and carries it in the back. The advantage is that they can move through traffic like a large motorcycle. Too often traffic is backed up for miles because of a disabled car parked in a lane and no one can get to it for an extended period of time.

This simple technological breakthrough can help to cut traffic snarls and speed traffic on it's way. This is the kind of innovative solutions that we need to keep urban traffic moving. Cities, counties and transit districts should seriously look at this type of towing vehicle.

Technology is needed to make our streets and highways move efficiently. This is just one of may examples; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Off Time

What do you do on your time off? Do you spend all your time reading my blog, shooting, hanging out with cops? While all of those are good things, you should not spend all your off time doing them. Law enforcement often becomes a lifestyle. We sometimes think it is us vs them. It is not, we are part of them. We are all citizens of the nation.

It is okay to go out and meet those other people. Sure, some of them will be worried that you are in law enforcement, but that gives you a chance to tell people who you are and what you are about. Law enforcement should not be kept hidden away. We should be proud of what we do and share it with other people.

You need to have interests outside law enforcement. Hunting, camping, fishing, stamp collecting, or even army men or blogging. Often when officers retire or otherwise leave law enforcement, they don't have a good time. Sometimes law enforcement becomes a persons whole life and then don't know what to do withthemselves; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Death Penalty


I understand that people have a right to a defense attorney when they accused of a criminal offense. That is not a problem for me. What I have a problem with is when the person is guilty of the crime and the defense attorney tries to destroy the reputation of honest people, and once the person has been convicted keeps trying to cast doubt on the conviction.

This criminal was put to death for the murder of a child. The time he spent on death row was longer than the life of the child he murdered. That is not right. He killed an eight year old child and then spent nineteen years on death row. That child did not get nineteen years.

A trial should not be a word game where we try and trick people into saying the wrong thing. A trial should be a search for the truth. A search for truth to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused. Society is not served by criminals being released, nor by innocent people going to jail; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Write It Up

Report writing is one of those tasks that we all have to do at some time in law enforcement. The first thing to do is think about what happened, before you start to write. Then do a brief outline of what you need to say. Use a computer to write your report. If your agency does not write reports on computer, they need to start, right away. Gun, body armor, car, radio, computers; those are the priorities for modern police procurement.

Once you outline the general ideas about what to say, then fill in the details. Write the report as if you are telling a story. Tell it in the first person like you talk. Write as if you were telling your mom or some other regular person about your incident. Don't use police language unless you explain what it is; 459 P.C., Burglary.

When you finish writing, have the computer spell check your report. Read it over and if you are alone, read it out loud. It really helps to catch mistakes. Then print it out and read it again. The printed will allow you to catch things you did not catch on the screen. Then have someone else read it for you. You can't proofread your own work. Then turn it in to the sergeant for approval; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Party Time

Saturday night I worked patrol and was dispatched to a loud party call. It's graduation time and there are lots of teenagers and young adults having parties now. They often play loud music, but in my city they generally are good kids and not much of a problem. Four of us arrived, two two-officer units and we spoke to the owner and they agreed to shut down the party. A typical three bedroom stucco house, but with 250 to 300 people in the backyard!

We did not realize it when we arrived that so many people could be stuffed into the backyard. It was quite a shock to see people exiting the party in such large numbers. Many had been drinking and if they had started throwing bottles or fighting we would have been hard pressed to get them back under control for a while. The young people in our city are mostly good kids and the first time we went there they exited rapidly and there were no problems, many even wished us goodnight and apologized for the noise.

About an hour later we got a return call to the party. This is the learning point here. Never "pre-dispo" a call. Don't think because you have been there before and there was no problem last time, that there will be no problem on subsequent trips. Treat every response like a new one, because each circumstance is new. When we arrived the second time while there were only about 50 people there, they were very confrontational and in the end two were detained and two others were taken to jail. We ended up having to call for Code 3 back up and it was tense for a while. I think our rapid intervention and arrival of the helicopter and other ground units prevented this from becoming a major incident.

As it was, no one was hurt, the crowd dispersed and all but two went home for the night. It could have been much worse if we had 300 people there the second time. Don't assume that subsequent calls at the same location will be the same. Each call is unique and should be handled fresh, that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Keep Yourself Safe

How can we reduce the number of officers killed in the line of duty every year?

  1. Wear your body armor. Every day, even when it is hot and uncomfortable. Our soldiers do it in Iraq, you can do it in Mississippi. If you don't have body armor, get it. It is cheaper than a new gun, it is cheaper than a year's life insurance. If your agency won't buy it, then next year ask for it rather than a raise in pay. They should buy body armor, it is safety equipment. Even an old piece of armor is better than no armor.
  2. Wear your seat belt. Every day, even if it is uncomfortable. We ticket those civilians who don't wear theirs, we should wear ours. A fair percentage of our officers killed in the line of duty are killed in traffic collisions.
  3. Learn to swim. Several officers a year drown in the line of duty. If you can't swim, learn how. Many organizations even give free swimming lessons. It is not hard and everyone should know how.
  4. Call off your traffic stops. Let dispatch know what you are doing. If they don't know where you are or what you are doing it is hard to get help for you.
  5. Wear a back up gun. Guns are mechanical devices and they break. We drop them, they get taken away. Only a gun can replace a gun, get that back up gun out when your duty gun is not usable.

These are five steps you can take to make sure you get home at the end of the shift. Keep yourself safe, that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Drug Wars


Mexican police found eleven bodies stacked inside a stolen American SUV. They had been murdered in drug related gang warfare. The drug wars going on inside Mexico have been getting worse and worse. The criminal activities of these drug cartels have been spilling over into the United States.

One way we can help to diminish these activities is to more aggressive in our enforcement of drug offenses. The money that runs these drug cartels comes from the sales of illegal drugs to Americans. Our people are spending money that goes out of the nation and goes to fund organized crime and even terrorism. These American drug uses are funding the very people who want to destroy our nation. The terrorists are getting the money they need to attack us from us! This is may be the first time in history that a war is financed by the very people who are being attacked.

Write tickets for those who are in possession of even small amounts of marijuana. Take people to jail and prosecute them for even tiny amounts of cocaine, heroin or other illegal drugs. The law enforcement of the United States needs to mount a street level counter-offensive in this drug war and war on terrorism. If the money dries up that we send to the Mexican drug cartels it will be harder for them to operate; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Crime Wave

Forbes ranks Memphis second most dangerous city : Local News : Memphis Commercial Appeal

Forbes magazine used the FBI statistics to determine the most dangerous cities in terms of violent crimes per 1,000 people in the population. It is amusing to then read the caveats and weasel words from those areas as to why things are not really that bad. That's part of the problem. In order to get better, you have to admit you have a problem.

Cities with high crime rates can turn around if they have city leaders who want to reduce crime. Get the city officials to meet with any group that will talk to them and explain why crime is bad and what can be done to stop it. Make sure the police and courts have the resources they need to do the job. Then focus on basic police work and putting bad guys in jail. If you have a crime problem then arrest everyone who commits a crime, prosecute them all and send as many as you can away to state prisons and county jails.

One drug addict can do two crimes a day to support their habit. That is over 750 crimes a year for one doper. Put them in prison and crime will go down. Put them in prison for possession, prostitution, driving without a license, child abandonment, warrants due to traffic tickets, anything to get them off the streets. It does not matter why they go to jail, just get them into jail, that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Death Penalty


This is the perfect argument for the death penalty. It should be applied swiftly and not get delayed for years on appeal. Appeals should only be based on the guilt or innocence of the defendant and they should be the first thing the state or federal supreme court does for that session is handle the death penalty cases waiting in line.

The criminal in this case was a convicted murderer who then murdered another inmate and a guard. He killed them with a sledge hammer. A terrible and brutal murder, the guard was a woman. This criminal should be put to death right away. Murderers should not die of old age waiting for their death sentences to be carried out.

There is on other punishment that can be given to these life time criminals who kill, and kill and kill again, even in prison. This savage should be put to death before he kills another guard or another prisoner. People like this are too dangerous for guards to have to watch for twenty or thirty years; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

LAPD Murder

LA Detective Charged

The Los Angeles Police Department has over eight thousand sworn officers on the job. They work in a violent, dangerous city and risk their lives every day that they put on their uniform. Over 200 officers have been killed in the line of duty since 1859 when the department was first formed. That's over one a year. Far too many, in the course of your career as an LAPD officer, you can count on thirty of your co-workers dieing while at work.

Now an LAPD detective has been charged with the murder of a woman, before she was a police officer. If this is true, then somehow the background check missed that and the police at the time may not have done a good enough investigation. With thousands of officers sometimes a background check will miss something. In a county with a thousand murders a year, sometimes a few won't get solved.

This case, strangely enough, is actually a good example of how good LAPD really can be. They never gave up on the murder case, their cold case officers matched up some DNA and found a match. Then when the evidence showed that the suspect was an LAPD officer, they did not hesitate to make the arrest. LAPD does a difficult job well, that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Taser Force

If a suspect grabs your Taser, how is that different from someone who grabs your gun? As a uniformed law enforcement officer having someone Tase you is very dangerous. Once you are immobilized they can take your firearm and murder you. If you are faced with a suspect that either has a Taser or who takes your Taser away, you should consider that you are in extreme danger, especially if you are alone.

You have several options. The first is to put something between yourself and the suspect with the Taser. Step outside the door, get away from them to gain distance. The largest disadvantage of the Taser is the short range.

If the suspect has their own Taser, you need to shoot them with your Taser immediately if they are the least threat to you. If they take your Taser away, you may need to consider using deadly force against them to prevent them from getting your gun. If you are really good with your baton, you may be able to knock it out of the suspects hands but I don't know if I would want to rely on that technique. If you are with another officer the need to go directly to deadly force would be greatly reduced but you need to gain control of that suspect immediately; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Thank You SGT Curry


Sgt. Manuel Curry, age 84 died recently after serving the City of New Orleans since 1946 as a full time sworn peace officer. I salute you SGT Curry for your dedication to service, and law and order. He even served during Hurricane Katrina, unlike other, younger men who ran away and abandoned their city.

This is an example of a true police officer. Someone who loves the job. This is what it takes to be a cop, someone who lives it as a lifestyle. Police work is much like being a fireman, nurse, teacher, doctor, or soldier. The best ones don't do it for the money. They do it for the love of service to their fellow man, their community, their nation, to humanity. You can't pay someone enough to run into a burning building, or work in a hurricane.

This is why in some ways I don't think police should be paid a lot of money, because cops should not be drawn to the job for the money. They should do the job because they love it. They should get paid a living wage, but people should not say, "I want to make a lot of money, I will be a police officer." Too many parts of the country now pay huge sums to police, and often those departments have more than their share of officers who are just working a job. They should be living a lifestyle; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Bad Video

New Jersey Police Beating

Obviously, no New Jersey cops are reading this blog. How many times do I have to tell you that we have to remember how the things we do will look no video? No, don't get me wrong, the guy who got beat up is probably lying about his version of events. I have never told a suspect, "Zip up your jacket." I can't imagine a single reason why these cops would have done so either. I suspect the conversation when something like, "Turn around and put your hands on top of your head." "I am not going to do that, and you can't make me." Then the fight was on.

The suspect is pretty large and by his own mothers admission has mental problems. So I am sure he could fight pretty well. They obviously would have had a time getting him into handcuffs if he did not want to go. There are ways to deal with this that would have looked better on the video.

Don't stop right up on top of the guy. The passenger could hardly get out of the car without having to be on top of the suspect. This would have been an excellent opportunity to use a Taser. If the agency does not have one, this would be the time to go out and buy a ton of them before this happens again.

"I am not going to do that, and you can't make me." ZZZZAAAAPPPP. All done. And it looks better on video; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Drug Testing

For cops to get hired they have to jump through a lot of hoops. Physical agility test, drug test, background check, interview, credit check, psychological examination and often much more. Once we get hired we attend a police academy and some field training after that. We get a few reviews and then we are off probation, and on the force for thirty years, barring some major event we are never looked at again.

People who work in fast food restaurants get drug tested and many get annual or random testing after that. Why don't cops get drug tested more? Alcohol and drug abuse are major problems in our society and when cops get into those there is a serious downside for the officer, his peers, his agency and our society.

I don't think that it is unreasonable for all officers on an agency from the chief of police on down to have to take a drug and alcohol test about halfway through their shift once a year in the month of the anniversary of their hiring. They should not know the exact day, just the month. If the officer fails, he should be suspended, have a hearing and be fired if found guilty of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs while at work. It is too dangerous for cops to drink and drive, or get high and carry a gun; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bad Cops

4 Americans Strangled in Tijuana

Can you imagine a more difficult job than being an honest police officer in Tijuana? There are corrupt police, drug lords and a society that just assumes all cops are bad. There are a few cities in the USA were police corruption is bad too. New Orleans and Memphis police departments both have poor reputations.

Out of the thousands of officers that work those cities, some, perhaps even most, are actually very good police. They risk their lives to serve and protect and to do the best job with the equipment they have. It must be a terrible thing to know that your partners, your supervisor, even your command staff may be corrupt, maybe even to the point of working with the criminals.

How can good cops make a difference on a bad department? First of all, stay a good cop. It is easy to go alone and do that which is wrong. Do your job as well as you can. Train the new guys so that they will become good cops. Use your influence to try and bring back those friends who have strayed from being good cops. Don't be afraid to speak out against the others who commit crimes. Work to get better training, gear, and pay so that you can attract better applicants.

Try and work shifts with officers you know are good cops. Form a small group that you know won't tolerate corruption and work to increase the size of that group over time. Even if you have to do it on weekends, on graveyard, in the dangerous park of town; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Range Monthly

Tonight I conducted range training. Our chief can to the range and shot. He shoots every month, just like the rest of us. Does your chief shoot? Does all of your command staff shoot? Do all of your officers shoot?

Every employee of the police department who carries a gun as a regular part of their duties should go to the range every month. Firearms training is a perishable skill and if it is not practiced every month you will become rusty. One of my officers had not shot for a couple months and when he came in he put the bullets into the magazine backwards! It happens when we don't practice.

Firearms training is very important and there is so much to cover shooing less frequently than monthly means you either have to have very long training sessions or you are leaving out too much important training. Our range sessions are very short but we cover many topics. Today we did transition from handgun to rifle, shooting from cover, movement to cover and shooting while moving. We fired 20 rounds. You don't have to shoot a lot of bullets to learn a lot of skills; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Home Grown Terror


Four home grown Muslim terrorists tried to blow up synagogues and shoot down American military airplanes. There could be Islamic extremists right down the street from you right now. The terrorist movement does not function like they typical top down organization. The leader does not issue commands and the followers don't immediately rush out and do what he says following the manual.

Leaders in the movement issue general instructions. "America is the great Satan." "Americans must die." Then, people who support that ideology go to work and think about what they can do to forward the agenda of those that they idealize. These are particularly hard to fight against, because each small group of people operate independently and are not at all connected with each other.

Just like the man who shot a the two soldiers at the recruiting station. He was not connected to any particular organization. That makes these difficult to detect because they have no contacts with others of the same organization, since there is not organization as such, no members list. Home grown terror, it's here; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

No Phones, No Radios, No Computers


A cyber attack on an American city. Is your city ready? Can your agency survive without computers? Can you survive without phones? How about without radio? What is your back up plan if all the high tech stuff just shuts off one day because someone hacks your computer system or knocks out a server? How about if they hit a repeater on the hill that has all your city radio antennas on it?

If your phones go out, will your radios still work? If your systems go down can you contact your officers by their personal cell phones? Are there neighboring agencies that can lend you communications gear? Will the pay phones in your area still work? Are their other agencies at your level of government that still have communications? Sometimes the buses or city crews or even parks and recreation have radios that might still work.

How about private companies? Are there security companies or taxi services that can still operate? If your communications don't work, you need to field every officer you can get, so the public can flag you down and report crimes. You need to be highly visible. You need as many cars on the street as you can get, so one officer cars may be better. Planning is still your best solution; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pharmacy Shooting

Pharmacy Shooting

A couple career criminals come into a pharmacy, pull and armed robber and the pharmacist whips out his gun. He shoots one, then chases the other for a while, comes back and shoots the first one to death. Then the cops come and he gets arrested, for murder.

Can we expect a pharmacist to have the same self control and presence of mind in a deadly force situation that we expect from a peace officer? At the end of a pursuit, at the end of a shooting incident officers who are trained for those situations are filled with adrenaline. They often have to have others help them regain the control necessary for effective law enforcement.

This incident was terrible, it is unfortunate that these two young men chose to become criminals and rob this store. It is unfortunate that this pharmacist did not exercise the control that we expect from our law enforcement officers. Bad business all around, that's what the SGT Says.