Thursday, December 31, 2009

Party Time

Patrol patterns need to vary depending on the circumstances. New Years Eve is a big night for parties. People like to drink alcoholic beverages at New Years Eve parties. People who drink alcoholic beverages often do not drive well. This is a good time to patrol areas near parties.

Rather than drive around in a housing tract looking for parties, drive around the perimeter of housing tracts waiting for cars to exit. Don't drive inside the tract looking for parties because you might inflame party goers and precipitate an incident. By driving the perimeter you can watch for people who are exhibiting signs of poor driving.

Patrol those areas where kids may go to drink alcohol. School grounds after hours, video game stores, tattoo parlours, parks, and empty homes and buildings. Kids using alcohol is particularly dangerous, they often have no idea of their limits and often don't drive well in normal conditions. Watch the parties, that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Old Criminals

http://kxoradio.com/content/view/6541/1/

An inmate has died in prison at age 72 of natural causes. He had only been in prison for two years for child molestation. Just because someone is old, does not mean they can't be a dangerous criminal. Even the Bible tells us that we have three score and ten years, seventy years. In the past, criminals did not live to become old people. The criminal lifestyle is hard to maintain when you are older. Now, more criminals are sent to prison for long periods and are being released at age 60 or 70. Hardened criminals who have spent thirty or forty years in prison.

Criminals older than 60 years old have killed police officers. Older people are making up a larger and larger percentage of our population. Americans are living into their eighties. Medicine and society are giving older people more opportunities. Some of those opportunities are criminal.

When dealing with older suspects don't discount the potential danger they pose. There are some things that you can do to make it easier to deal with them. Speak up so they can hear you, hearing loss is common with the elderly. Look directly at them and speak to them, not to younger relatives. Allow them to sit if possible when contacting them, weakness often comes with age. Don't mistake weakness with an opportunity to let your guard down; that's what the
SGT Says.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Guns

http://www.campussafetymagazine.com/Articles/?ArticleID=47

Just because you declare a school, church, courthouse or other place a gun free zone, does not mean no one is carrying a gun. It just means the honest, law abiding people who are paying attention to where they are at are not carrying guns. It is up to law enforcement to get the rest of them.

People who carry guns often touch the gun frequently. They act nervous, especially when approached by police. When in a crowd at a stadium or train station, I like to stand at the edge of the crowd and watch the people. Observe their behavior, watch for bulges in their clothing that could be a weapon. Sometimes they will even dump the gun when they think they are being approached. Guns can be tossed in toilet tanks, stuffed down seat cushions, and even just drop them on the ground and walk away.

If you think you have a suspect with a gun, don't be in a hurry to tip your hand. Make the stop when you have the advantage. Watch them for a moment before yo stop them in case they have partners. Approach them rapidly from behind if possible. Control their movements and their hands. Keep their hands away from the weapon and try and stop them where they are away from other people. Keep yourself safe while keeping others safe; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Guards & Liability

Private security, properly trained, screened, hired and supervised are no more dangerous than police and should carry no more liability. Police academies are very long, but most of it is not applicable for security work. Vehicle code? Child and sex crimes? Driving? An armed security guard standing a post does not need all the training that a regular police officer will require.

They don't deal with the variety of crimes that police have to deal with and if there is something they can't handle, they call the police to handle it for them. The liability should be the same for a security officer as it is for a police officer. Is he trained for what he is doing? Was he screened for the type of position he has? Is he properly supervised at his job? Security officers use deadly force often, just as police do and just as private citizens do. Private security guards are a great way to provide protection at a fraction of the cost of police. But they do not replace police, they are only a supplement.

Look at your local police academy, and how much real training is given in use of force, probably only a small part of the academy. Give that to a guard and then screen out the bad guys and the people who should not be in the protective industry and they should be fine. If a criminal precipitates an act of violence, the liability should rest primarily on him, not the cop, not the guard; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hands, Cover, Back-up

http://policeone.com/policeone/data/memoriallakewood.jpg

Officer involved shootings are on the increase. Watch the hands. Suspects use their hands to attack. They draw a gun, a knife or a blunt instrument with their hands. Watch the hands.

Use cover. Get behind the engine block, the wheel of a vehicle, a solid concrete wall will stop most handgun rounds. Use cover.

Don't rush in. It is okay to standby in a good position, wait for back up as you assess the situation. Don't rush in.

Sometimes you can't see the hands, and you need to read papers. Sometimes things happen quickly and you don't have time to find cover before the shooting starts. Sometimes you have to go in and try and save people without waiting. Sometimes is not always, use the techniques when you can, that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Radio Codes

http://www.officer.com/web/online/Top-News-Stories/Feds-Work-to-End-Use-of-10-Codes/1$49499

The Federal Government is working to get agencies to do away with ten codes. I agree that they should be greatly cut back and standardized. When I joined the department we had page after page of radio codes to learn. Many of them were so obscure that the average officer probably never used them in a 30 year career in law enforcement.

One of the codes was for a plane crash. How often does an officer respond to a plane crash? Even officers who work at an airport probably don't have that many plane crash responses that they need an actual code for it.

In times of stress, it is easy to forget information that we don't use very often. When working with other agencies, the same code can be used for two different meanings. This can lead to dangerous understandings. Agencies should use a phonetic alphabet and a short list radio code of no more than the twenty most common codes; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Blessed Are the Peacemakers

The Gospel According to St. Matthew, Chapter 5, verses 7 - 12.

" 7Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."

When you worked patrol last, were you merciful?
Are you pure in heart?
Are you a peacemaker?
Do you stand up for righteousness when you are at work?

This book was written two thousand years ago, and it is still good advice for the average cop on the street; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Shooting

Some of the best firearms training has involved in the firing of a thousand rounds by a single shooter in a one day session. Most law enforcement gun battles take place in only a few seconds. The ability to draw, aim, and shoot accurately, several rounds on target is critical to winning a gunfight.

I used to run a three week course of training for private security. The three days were spent on the range. The last of the three days was a drill for drawing, aiming, and shooting accurately quickly. We practiced several techniques. One was to draw on command and shoot 2, 3, 6 rounds before the person standing next to you. The competition added a bit of stress, and added a measure of the rapidity of the learner.

We also used to fire several hundred rounds in quick succession. Firing nearly as fast as we could fire them. This provided an opportunity to gain speed, but also provided a type of torture test for their firearms. Repeating the draw, aim, and fire over and over again in rapid succession increases muscle memory for the shooters. Practice the skills you need to survive on the street, that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Draw, and Don't Shoot

Some of the best firearms training I have done involved shooting few or even no rounds. Often, officers doing range training draw and shoot, draw and shoot, draw and shoot, draw and shoot, draw and shoot... but seldom draw and don't shoot. In the field, officers generally draw and don't shoot. So, why don't we train that?

If our officers are trained to draw and shoot, and in the field they draw and shoot - at something they should not shoot, can they claim they are only doing what they have been trained to do? If a little kid with a plastic gun jumps out of the closet and yells, BANG, and our officer draws, and shoots, not because he really feels threatened, but because he was drawing in response to the perceived threat and then fired because he always fires when the draws, is he to blame, or are we to blame?

Prepare the range as always. Prepare to fire. The trainee should be armed, loaded and ready. Give the command, standby, ready, draw, don't fire. Draw and yell, "Police officer, don't move!" Scan left, center, right, center, and reholster, without firing. Draw, give a verbal command and don't fire. In doing this drill, I have had a few officers actually fire, proving the value of this type of training, that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pursuits

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,580616,00.html

Officers were chasing a reckless driver. One of the officers was placing a spike strip in the road and was run over and killed by a fellow officer. Perhaps one of the worst things you can do on duty, accidentally kill a fellow officer. No matter what the circumstances, you will feel terrible and guilty.

High speed vehicle pursuits are one of the most dangerous activities that are engaged in by police. The circumstances change quickly and it can be difficult to react quickly enough to avoid dangers. Suspects crash, go places where we would never take a car, and even drive in the wrong direction.

Placing a spike strip is an extremely dangerous activity. A pedestrian is very difficult to see on the highway. A pursuit going 100 miles per hour will travel a mile in about 45 seconds. Stand on the edge of the road, rush out into lanes with the spike strip, place it on the roadway, and then run back to safety. All in only seconds. A difficult task, a dangerous job, that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bang

As your hand reaches down to unsnap the holster, lift your left foot off the ground. Move your left leg to the left as your thumb breaks open the holster snap. Bend your right elbow as your hand movement begins to reverse upwards as your fingers and thumb grasp the pistol grip. Your left leg moves away from the right leg to a place about shoulder width away.

Your right wrist flips up, pointing the barrel of the handgun forward, the instant the barrel is clear of the front of the holster. The left foot contacts the ground and you move the center of gravity of your body leftwards. The barrel of the pistol is parallel to the ground and your right index finger is alongside the frame of the pistol.

Your left hand is coming up from your side, and moving across the front of your body. The fingers and palm of the left hand are flat as they slide towards the pistol. As the right hand begins to move away from the holster and forward the left hand grasps the right hand over the pistol grip. The elbow of the right right arm straightens up as the pistol is brought forward, and up and out away from your body. The left hand holding the pistol in a grip over the right hand.

Your eyes are both open and you are focused on the threat. Your head is straight up as you bring the front sight in alignment with the right eye. The focus of your right eye drifts back and sees the rear sight for an instant and aligns it with the front sight. Your eye stays focused on the front sight as your right index finger moves to the trigger. The pad of the finger presses backwards on the trigger as your eye continues a sharp focus on the front sight and a fuzzy focus on the target. It takes a lot for one little BANG, that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Faster, Faster, Faster

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-captain-killed8-2009aug08,0,2757244.story?track=rss

Several career criminals murdered a police captain. Now years later they are getting sentenced for their crimes. The criminal justice system moves too slowly. Justice delayed is justice denied. An innocent person should not have to wait for years, even decades to be found innocent. A guilty person should not be able to delay justice for years before they are punished.

Many career criminals get out of bail and continue to commit crimes. This is particularly true if they are pretty sure they are going to be convicted and spend many years in prison. The courts should run twenty-four hours a day, just like crime and law enforcement operate.

Other aspects of the criminal justice system should also go faster. Jury selection should be very limited. Each side and the judge should get a few peremptory challenges and that's all. They should not have to show a reason to exclude the juror, they should just be of the jury. People serving on jury duty should get full pay while they serve, up to thirty days. Companies will not lose much by having to pay their employees for jury duty, most only serve for a couple day. Move the system along; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Car Alarms

Recently I read a safety tip that suggested keeping your car keys next to your bed at night. The idea is that if you hear a noise or have any kind of emergency that might need the police or paramedics, you simply activate your car alarm. The car alarm will alert others that there is a potential problem. Theoretically the neighbors will call the police and the bad guys will run away.

There are several caveats with this plan. You have to live close enough to other people for them to be bothered by your car alarm. Or you can have members of your own household respond or all for help. Of course, you also have to have a car alarm, and be alerted to the problem so you can sound the alarm.

All of this depends on how we respond when the car alarm activates. How many times have you driven past a ringing car alarm and just ignored it? How many times do car alarms ring and we don't get called to respond to them? Even in parking lots we often don't give them much more than a passing glance. Complacency is hard to overcome; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Strike to Gain Time or Distance

Over the years I have found women's' self defense classes to be interesting and potentially useful for law enforcement. They are designed for small people to fend off much larger attackers. As law enforcement we sometimes have to take on suspects that are significantly larger than we are, and often without immediate help.

Some of the principles that we can look to when fighting a larger opponent are useful when applied to police work. Strike against those portions of the suspects body that are not made larger by exercise.

Most people are greatly distracted by strikes to the eye. Even if the strike does not hit the suspect, the suspect with something thrust at their face will jerk back. That short advantage can give you time to go to an appropriate weapon. A foot strike downward on the kneecaps can incapacitate a suspect and give you time to step back and gain distance. A foot strike downward to the top of a foot can also slow a suspect and give you a moment to go to another option. Naturally your mileage may vary and you must comply with your agency policies; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Electrical Weapon

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/09/02/wireless.electricity/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

There is a new technology that allows electricity to move across open space. That is, wireless electrical transfer. This could be the technological breakthrough that we have all been waiting for to use in a new weapon.

Imagine a Taser, without the wires. Imagine not having to be tangled up in the wiring, and not being limited to the fifteen or twenty feet range of a tethered Taser. A weapon that will instantly immobilize a suspect with a range of fifty or a hundred feet, and then they will be all better in an hour would be the perfect police weapon.

I hope there are those in the law enforcement weapons development field who are working on just this type of technology. Phasers on stun, suspect in custody, that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tee Shirt

Look at someone wearing a tee shirt under their regular shirt. There is a little white triangle of tee shirt exposed. That is your aim point. When you have no other choice but to shoot at a suspect that is the place to place your rounds.

That little white triangle is above any body armor. That little white triangle shows the lungs and spine. Getting hits on that little white triangle will likely bring down the suspect rapidly. Stopping the suspect is the goal of shooting the suspect.

Think about how you look in uniform. Does your uniform has this little white triangle of death? You may want to consider a dark blue or black tee shirt. Perhaps a dickie to cover the tee shirt. Officers need to be aware of how they attire themselves and dress for duty and tactical survival; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Officer Deaths

http://www.policeone.com/police-heroes/articles/1978133-Number-of-officers-killed-by-gunfire-increased-24-percent-in-09/

Wear your vest. Every day on duty, in uniform. In the station, in the patrol car, on a stakeout, on a DARE speech, no matter what your duty, wear your vest. If you could predict when and where the shoot outs happen, you could catch all the crooks.

Wear your seat belt. Every trip, every time, if you are in the car and it is moving, you need to have your seat belt on. We all know that seat belts save lives, let them save your life too. You have better control over driving the car if you have your seat belt on. You can control your driving, but you can't control the other drivers, wear your seat belt.

Call for back-up, wait for back-up, don't get complacent while waiting. You need to maintain a good position. Get to cover. Observe the location. Keep your weapon ready. Just because you are waiting, does not mean the suspect will wait, that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Don't Do This

Memphis police officer indicted for sex with prostitutes» The Commercial Appeal

If you work for Memphis Police Department, please read this carefully:

It is not appropriate to have sex with prostitutes while on duty, in the police car.

In fact, there are several things wrong with that. When at work, you should do your work, the police work that you get paid to do as a police officer. That means you should not have sex while at work.

You should not have sex with prostitutes, in most jurisdictions, prostitution is a crime. As a police officer you are supposed to arrest criminals, not engage in criminal activity with them. It is in direct contravention to your role as a police officer.

Since Memphis Police Department has had five police officers accused of this type of activity, I felt this special training was necessary. It probably also applies in your jurisdiction too, that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Keep Up

http://www.triggerpulltactical.com/


Here is a link to a tactical training site. Law enforcement changes all the time. Criminals develop new ways to commit crimes. Courts develop new ways to interpret a law. Technology changes the way we do our jobs.



Criminals used to steal horses, now they steal cars, and peoples identity. Courts used to let law enforcement interrogate people without attorneys, not we have to give them the Miranda advisement. We used to have cars without radios and used call boxes to phone the station and get our calls. Now they dispatch by computer.



It is imperative to keep up with all these changes. Blogs like this one and websites like the one I linked to are good ways to get new information. Law enforcement is not just a job, it has to be a lifestyle, because it requires that type of commitment; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Family Training

When was the last time you trained your family? You better be ready, but so had they. Too often officers are ready to respond to a problem that happens when they are off duty, but the family is not ready. Will your two year old tell the robber at the 7-Eleven store he better behave himself because his daddy is a policeman?

Does your wife know to step away from you and seek cover if your tell her to do so? Or will she argue and question you and create a scene, just when you need surprise the most? Can your children call 911 on your cellular phone? If you carry a gun, you better be carrying a phone.

Do the people you hang out with, who are not cops, know what to do if you have something go down right in front of you? You have to train the spouse, the kids, the family and the friends that if something goes down and you have to take enforcement action, they need to seek cover, get to safety and call for help on 911; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Explode Your Gun?

http://www.wtov9.com/news/21866969/detail.html

While on the range, a .45 caliber Glock handgun exploded in the hand of the deputy shooting the weapon. The sheriff has speculated that the new gun exploded because of faulty ammunition. Sometimes guns are faulty, sometimes ammunition is faulty. Shoot enough guns long enough and you will be almost certainly have one malfunction.

Several years ago the company I worked for tested three handguns from a certain manufacturer and we managed to destroy two of them in only a few hours of shooting. These were good guns from a major handgun maker and brand new, right out of the box. We were using quality ammunition.

Everyone on the range needs to wear quality eye protection. Often when a gun "blows up" a few small bits will be thrown out and they can do severe damage to the eye. Everyone means all persons on the range, not just on the firing line, that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Freedoms

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/6711353/Deadly-Russian-train-blast-claimed-by-Chechen-rebels.html

Muslim extremist terrorists blow up a train in Russia. Western media naturally ignores the obvious and simply calls them "Chechen rebels." As police in America we need to know that Muslim extremists could blow up a train here any time. We are at war in two Muslim nations, we have troops and advisers in many other nations, all fighting Muslim extremists.

Train bombers are sometimes suicide bombers, and sometimes they leave the bomb on the train. They also leave the bombs at train stations. Seldom do they leave a bomb along the track to blow up the rails or a passing train.

You don't need to have long distance full size passenger trains in your area to have to worry about this type of attack. Local commuter trains have been attacked in many countries. Watch out for the package left alone or the person who fits the profile of a suicide bomber. It could happen in your city, you need to be ready; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cheetah

When criminals run away, they start off with a huge burst of speed. Just like a cheetah they can't keep that pace up for long. Sure, they are fast, but they knock off pretty quickly. Your criminal cheetah will probably not last long either.

The adrenalin rush, the fear, the desire for the crook to get away is going to wear off quickly. So the key to catching these guys is three things. The first key is to be even faster than him and actually catch him right away. With all the gear we wear, that is hard to do very often. The second key is to pace yourself. Just keep the bad guy in sight and eventually you will catch up with him. He will be tired and you will be fresher. Naturally, that is very terrain dependant.

The third key is to surround him and search for him. Bring in other units from other directions and cut off the runners escape. Then have everyone move in and search the area, with dogs or helicopters if possible. Then you find the guy and not only are you not tired, you have plenty of help; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Foot Patrol

Are you walking or patrolling? Do you see her dress, or do you see her hands? Look at the waistband for weapons. Look at what's in the hands, is there a weapon, or drugs. Look at the demeanor, is the person nervous because an officer is walking towards them?

Foot patrol allows you to walk up on criminals before they even know you are there. The key is to observe the people for criminal activity, not just wander around and hope to find something. Stop and look. I like to look for people who are looking around, as if they are the lookout for other criminals. I also like to observe the crowd and watch their behavior. After a few moments their behavior will fall into a pattern. Anything that disrupts that pattern may indicate criminal activity.

Criminals try to look like they belong, but they often don't. Look for that which does not fit. People who are wearing the wrong clothing for the location. People who are not participating in the activity that the others are doing. People who are not shopping at the shopping mall. Don't just walk, patrol, that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ambush

This year has been the worst year for police ambush deaths in many years. There are three basic types of ambush. Officers are lured to a location, officers are found at a location, officers are randomly shot on the street. A once rare occurrence has become more common.

How can we defend against this type of attack? The first way is to always be aware of your surroundings when on duty. If something seems like it is out of place or unusual, then you should slow down, get more help and raise your level of caution. If a suspect wants to lure you to an ambush, they make fake a call for service, then shoot officers as they arrive. It is always a good idea to park a bit away from the address of the call and approach carefully on foot.

If a suspect tries to ambush you on a traffic stop, they may exhibit unusually brazen driving behavior to try and get you to stop them. Don't focus on just the traffic violation, watch the suspects actions, his hands, and make sure you control the situation. If the suspect does not do what you tell them, escalate your awareness and get more help.

When you are at a stationary location, make sure you are watching those around you. Of particular importance is those who enter after you enter. If their behavior or clothing does not fit the circumstance, be ready to respond to a potentially deadly threat. On duty means on alert, all the time; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Traffic Direction

Yesterday I worked a 5K / 10K run. We had to block off the streets that were being used for the run participants. Keeping the runners safe is the most important aspect of the duty. One roadway was three lanes and it ran directly into the race route. To slow traffic, we coned off two of the lanes so that the cars only had one lane of traffic intersecting the race route. That meant the officers only had to stop one car to stop all of the cars. In addition to cones, we placed one marked patrol car with all the lights on to help both block the lane and direct the traffic.

Slowing the cars before they got to the intersection made it safer for both the runners and the officers. Cutting the traffic down to one lane made the traffic that the officer had to watch, much more manageable. We were working during the day, so we did not have to employ lights or flares.

Several other techniques were employed to make the job safer. Wear your yellow and reflective traffic vest. Don't stand directly in the traffic lane. Direct traffic from the sides of the lanes, not the middle. Stand with your side towards the traffic flow, it makes you narrower. When in doubt, stop the traffic and figure out what you want to do before you proceed, that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Presence & Verbal

When suspects see an officer in uniform, sometimes they simply give up in submission to your authority as an officer. Your mere presence can create an arrest. That's why officers wear uniforms, as symbols of authority. Sometimes suspects will stop committing crimes, and run away.

When you use your voice, you can command others. You can command others to do what you require them to do. You have the legal authority to force your will upon others. You have the legal authority to command them to stop, to move, to force them to give up their liberties simply by the use of your voice.

Two of your most powerful tools are your presence and your voice. Use them carefully as you would your aerosol weapons, Taser, baton and gun. I try and move quietly so that suspects frequently don't know when you are there, then you can employ your presence and your verbal commands to best advantage; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Stay Back

Today I saw an officer from a large local agency. He had made a ped stop on a busy street. The suspect was sitting on the curb with his hands in his lap, looking up talking to the officer. The officer was standing with on foot in the gutter and the other leg with knee bent and foot on the curb. One quick punch from the suspect and he will hit the officer in a very manly and uncomfortable place.

Having a suspect under your control means not taking chances, and not taking the suspect for granted. This suspect looked like he may have been a homeless guy. Many homeless people commit a lot of crime to survive. Many homeless don't mind going to jail because it is a place to live and food and medical care. One way to go to jail, is to attack a cop.

Keep enough distance between yourself and a suspect to avoid getting punched or kicked. Keep the car hood between yourself and the suspect. Stand behind the suspect while he sits on the curb. Stay out of harms way; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Radio Codes

http://www.officer.com/web/online/Top-News-Stories/Feds-Work-to-End-Use-of-10-Codes/1$49499

The Federal Government is trying to get agencies to drop ten codes and other numeric radio codes. After the recent national emergencies of Hurricane Katrina and 9/11 showed that different agencies could not communicate by radio. Part of the problem is that they do not have radio system interoperability. The other part of the problem is that we all speak a slightly different language.

I have never been a big fan of radio codes. It takes a very long time to learn to use the radio codes when first starting with a particular agency. Even neighboring agencies often use different codes and can't understand each other.

My thought has always been that a few codes, maybe a couple dozen are all that get used all the time anyway. Why not just have a radio code that consists of those codes and say everything else in plain language? 10-4, that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Be Ready

Officials: Police Fatally Shoot Washington Suspect

A police officer found a wanted car and then found, and shot and killed the suspect in the recent murder of four police officers. Basic police work. Know who the bad guys are in your area. Know what kinds of cars they drive and know where they hang out. Go to those places and hunt for bad guys.

When you find a car that you think may belong to a bad guy, run the plate and do a traffic stop. Investigate as any other traffic stop and be ready to find what you are looking for. Too often police are murdered because they are looking for bad guy, but not really expecting to find bad guys.

A police officer is feloniously killed every five to ten days here in the United States. Every few days a police officer finds something bad and gets killed. You have to be ready. You must be prepared like that officer who found the suspect that killed four other officers but was not able to kill him. Be like that officer, be ready, that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Coffee Shop Survival

  1. Sit so you can see the entrance.
  2. Make sure your dispatcher knows where you are and what you are doing.
  3. Watch who comes in and who goes out.
  4. Be able to get to your gun, draw and shoot if needed.
  5. Don't become so absorbed in what you are doing that you forget where you are, in public.
  6. Remember, anything you do can get you shot, even doing nothing.
  7. If that little voice in your head says there is a problem, don't ignore it, act on it.
  8. If more than one of you are at the location, don't park together, don't let the suspect know how many officers are inside before he comes inside.
  9. Don't sit where you can be seen from outside the coffee shop.
  10. Don't go to the same place, sit in the same spot, on the same day, every day.

Getting into a routine that says, I get my coffee, I catch up on some paperwork, I chit chat with the troops and then go on patrol, write a few tickets, then go home at the end of another boring day can get you killed; that's what the SGT Says.