Sunday, January 31, 2010

Range Training

Range training should include multiple targets. The targets should include both targets that need to be shot and those that should not be shot at. When we confront bad guy in real life, they seldom are in isolation. Bank robbers, and convenience store robbers generally rob those businesses when they are open.

Open businesses mean shop clerks, store patrons, and the obligatory innocent bystanders. All this activity means when we arrive at the location, we have to pick through the crowd and find the person or persons with the guns and shoot only them. At the range we can help to simulate this by having photographic type targets with and without deadly weapons displayed.

Set up at least two sets of targets, one shoot, and one don't shoot. Turn the lights down a bit on the range, or go to the range at night. Don't let the shooter see the targets until the time to begin the training session starts. I use our barricades to prevent them from seeing the targets, and in our indoor range, I turn the lights way down. Once the trainee is released to fire, I move the barricades or have them walk around them and begin. It allows the trainee to make a determination who if anyone should be shot; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Range training should include more than just blazing away at a bunch of paper targets. When people come to my range, I watch what they do, how they do it, and then provide them with feedback on alternate methods of doing what they do, or with techniques to improve their skills.

At a recent range training session we were working in a very low light condition. The shooter was to turn on his flashlight, determine which of two targets needed to be shot at and then shoot it while he moved to cover. One target was typically an armed person pointing a gun at the officer and the other target was a person without any weapons. Most of the officers kept their flashlights turned on during the entire procedure. Identify the target, shoot, move to cover, reload, shoot.

Once the target is identified and the determination has been made it is a proper situation to shoot, the flashlight could be turned off. There was enough ambient light to see the general outline of the suspect target. Using the night sights on the handgun allowed most shooters to shoot as well or better than trying to shoot with handgun and flashlight, even those who had the flashlight mounted on their pistols. The night sights work best in fairly dark conditions. The suspect will have more difficulty seeing the officer if the officer has his flashlight turned off. Sometimes being in the dark is not so bad; that's what the SGT Says.


Jewelry salesman shoots 2 amid East Memphis robbery : Local News : Memphis Commercial Appeal

The right to keep and bear arms is in the Constitution. In states were this right is not infringed, the people are safer. There is nothing wrong with giving the average citizens who roam the streets the right to carry a firearm for their personal protection.

If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The average criminal does not think twice about carrying a gun. They don't care about the penalties for the illegal carry or use of a gun. The average citizen is afraid of that because they can't afford to go to jail, even for a short period of time.

A criminal goes to jail for carrying a gun, the day he gets out, he will go get another gun. If an honest citizen goes to jail for carrying a gun, he will never carry a gun again. Only the good people are prevented from having weapons. Police work is very reactive, people should be allowed to defend themselves; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


LockMart Exoskeleton Update Defense Tech

RoboCop could be coming to a police department near you. This company is developing a device that works like an exoskeleton. Insects can carry so much more than their weight because their skeletons are on the outside. Not very attractive, but very practical.

Police work often requires that we carry around a lot of gear and this device is designed to carry the weight for soldiers who carry around a lot more. While I suspect that this item would not be needed for regular street cops, but certainly SWAT teams or other specialized units could use this type of equipment.

Police uniforms have not changed much since the days of Bobby Peale. The addition of body armor, and hand held radios are a big deal, but would not change the landscape the way this device could do for police work. Imagine Border Patrol or Fish and Game Wardens who can carry 50 or more pounds without any fatigue. Imagine a SWAT team that can carry very heavy bullet proof armor but not be hindered by the weight. This could be a big deal, that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Police Corruption

Police corruption is a terrible thing and it must be stood against by those within the department. The legal and physical power of the police is great, but their moral power is their greatest asset. Losing that causes them to lose the best tool they have to fight crime.

When an agency needs new equipment or pay raises, having the morality of honest cops behind you is very important. The city government is more likely to hear from a populace that is favor of giving police higher budgets, even if it means more taxes, if the police have a high moral standard.

Sometimes police make a close call when they have to use force, shoot an old woman, or young teenager or break up a riot of young people the community will reflect on the morality of the police. If the police have a history of corruption, then the community will be less forgiving of the close calls. Having an honest police force is like money in the bank when you need it to help solve a problem; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Police Gear

Ex-Amtrak cop sues RR over shooting at take-out Philadelphia Daily News 01/21/2010

An officer has a department issue holster that is worn out and a woman grabs his gun and shoots him in the foot. There is so much wrong with this type of incident. Amtrak police officer pay starts at $21.90 per hour. The officer should have been issued a new holster by his agency if it was worn out or defective. The officer makes enough money that with one days pay he could buy almost any duty holster on the market. This type of incident should never happen.

Agencies have a duty to provide their officers with the proper equipment necessary to allow the officers to do their jobs safely and effectively. Officers have a duty to their families to come home safe each night. If your agency does not provide you with the gear you need to do your job, then you need to do your job, then you must get it for yourself. No one has a greater interest in your safety than you have.

This incident could have been much worse. The woman could have killed the officer. She could have killed others too. As a supervisor, I used to keep a little stash of gear to issue out to my folks as loaner gear until we could get the proper gear through channels. I understand that if a holster breaks at 3:00 a.m. you can't just go to 7-Eleven and pick on up. So keeping a little used, old but serviceable gear handy can be a lifesaver, that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, January 25, 2010


A driver was found asleep in his car. He was drunk. The concern would be that the suspect could wake up, get a jump start and drive away. He could be drunk for hours. Drunk drivers kill as many people as murderers. Drunk driving suppression is a very important duty.

I suppose one of the key factors was that he was at home, in the front seat of his vehicle. Few people get drunk at home and then go out to the car to sleep it off. He was either returning home from drinking or got drunk at home and intended to go someplace and his car did not start.

If he was parked in the parking lot of a bar, sleeping in the back seat, with his shoes off and his jacket wadded up as a pillow, I would be inclined to think that he was sleeping it off; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I have just about always carried a knife on duty and I certainly use it more often than I do my firearms. I actually carry three knives on duty. One a generic Buck knife, a folding hunter knife that is probably thirty years old. It is designed to be opened with two hands but with practice I learned to open it one handed in an instant. I carry it in a pouch behind my pistol.

I carry a small Buck knife, like their Rush model, with a single hand opener on it. It is in my front left pocket. I can open it in an instant with my left hand. The final knife I carry is my larger version of the small one. I carry it on my right rear hip pocket. I can open it with my right hand in an instant. I use Buck knives because they are made in America, have good customer service and are inexpensive and durable.

The folding hunter I use for general knife work, I pry open gates, and cut strings and rope. The small folder I use for cutting tape to open boxes. The final one I use if I need a weapon to prevent my pistol from being taken away. The other knives can be used for that purpose if needed, which is why I carry them in different parts of my person. A knife is an important tool and can be a weapon if needed; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Police Funeral

Tomorrow I am going to a police funeral. A Reserve Police Officer for the agency that I work for has died. He was there years before I became a Reserve Officer, I never met him or even heard of him. He is still my brother, and I would never miss my brothers funeral.

As police, even reserve officers, we see the worst things in the world. Child abuse, rape, murder, and terrible accidents. We see old people who are neglected, young ones who care about no one but themselves, and homeless people who once were loved as children. We have to respond to it all and handle it with professionalism.

People scream obscenities at us, they try to punch, kick, stab, run over and shoot at us. People are seldom happy to see us, victims blame us, and suspects will sometimes try anything to get away from us. I don't think it is too much to go to the funeral for a man who no doubt did much of that, even if I never knew my brother in blue; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, January 22, 2010

On Target, On Time

I went to the range today and we did some off hand shooting. Not actually with the left hand, but with the barracade, shooting from the left side. One thing I frequently notice is officers will acheive the most bizarre shooting poses when shooting from the off side of the barricade.

Shooting from either side of the barricade should be done in a posture that is natural, steady, firm and practical. I am a big believer that the shooting posture should generally be the same whenever possible. Part of the training to be fast, is to be consistant. Go from gun in the holster to gun on the target in the least amount of time.

Police gunfights are generally a couple shots in a couple seconds and they are done. Officers can't spend too much time trying to figure out what posture to acheive. Get into a shooting stance as close to instantly and start shooting. I try and use the same basic stance every time, in part to cut down on the time it takes to draw and get on target; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Man With A Knife

memphis police department; hermitage street; - WREG

A mentally ill man gets a knife and the police are called. One of the officers was so close to the suspect at one time that the officers uniform was cut. The officers eventually shot the suspect to death. A man with a knife call is very dangerous. A mentally disturbed person is also very dangerous. Combine a mentally ill man with a knife and you have a potential disaster, as happened here; the only consolation is that no officers or third parties were killed.

The first thing about people with knives is that they are not just a threat at arms reach. They can be fast and nimble and can get that knife close to you in the blink of an eye. The officers responding need to keep a distance while they work to get the knife away. Pepper spray, pepper balls, shotgun with bean bag, and Taser are all good weapons to employ to immobilize or at least degrade the abilities of a man with a knife. There are many choices of less lethal weapons to choose from, but your tactics must be good too.

There are also other options, a convex shield can be used by a large powerful officer to pin the suspect against a wall, or even the ground if they can be knocked down. A fire hose can knock a suspect to the ground, but officers really need to be trained with it, or at least practice a bit before trying that move. I have even seen a ladder used to pin a suspect. Keep your distance, talk calmly to the subject, try to immobilize them, use deadly force only to prevent great bodily injury or death; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bad Picture

A chief of police was in a video showing him doing martial arts, and firing at the range to promote his martial arts fighting. His city council found out about it and he was suspended. If you are taking your photo in uniform or with the police car in the picture, make sure that you are in full compliance with the law, agency policies and the photos are in good taste.

No matter who the intended audience will be, you should count on the photos being seen by your mother, your chief of police, your city council, and the public. How many times have we seen officers taking pictures of themselves with big guns, hot babes, and all kinds of other things that are generally not proper for them to be doing while on the job.

Digital technology makes it very easy to send a photo. Posting photos on the Internet can just about guarantee that people you don't want to see them will see them. Wives become ex-wives and send email with bad photos in them. Friends are less careful than you are and send them to someone you don't want to see them. The best defense is to avoid taking bad photos, that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Right Hand Only

What's in your hands? When on duty you need to be aware of what is in your hands so that you are ready to respond with deadly force in an instant. Deadly force encounters often take place in a couple seconds and so you many not have time to put things down to draw your shooting iron.

I try not to hold anything in my right hand when I am on duty other than my pen, my eyeglasses, and my weapons. Being right handed, it is my natural inclination to try and do everything with my right hand. After a while I have been able to do a few things with my left hand, in order to keep my right hand free.

One thing I often do, is to keep my right hand locked down over my pistol in the holster. That helps me to be cognizant of my weapon, and to keep my right hand free. It is a simple thing, but it one tiny way to be a little bit safer; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Loud Commands

A suspect that disobeys a clear command to "Stop" is exhibiting a danger cue. That is the type of information that you need to pay attention to, and should cause you to take more action. You need to repeat the command, if possible, and you need to take action to protect yourself from a potential attack.

Move to cover, get something between yourself and the subject. Take a positive action to draw a baton, OC spray or Taser may be proper responses to a threatening suspect who refuses to stop when ordered. A suspect that ignores a verbal command may be a potential attacker. Giving the command again, in a very loud firm voice can help in several ways. It will display to the attacker that you are serious, it will alert potential witnesses that you are in trouble, and it shows restraint on your part.

Often, police use force properly, but the witnesses only see the reaction of the officer to the threatening acts of the suspect that preceded his use of force. By giving loud verbal commands, witnesses are more likely to see the beginning of the attack and not just the results. It also helps your case in a use of force incident by showing the suspect was the instigator of the assault; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Police, Stop

When making a use of force decision, it is important to consider many factors. Some of the most important factors are actually outside the direct control of the officer. The suspect and his actions and his weapons are two of the most important. Sometimes we will not be able to clearly identify a weapon, so we must often make a determine to use force or not based on partial information.

I like to use verbal commands whenever possible. Then when I write my report, I can explain what I did, what I commanded the suspect to do and then how the suspect reacted to my commands. If I command a suspect "Police, stop, don't come any closer, don't move" that is a very clear statement of what I want from them. My body language will also work with my words to express my desire that the suspect is to stop moving towards me. With my right hand on my pistol, in my holster, I can hold up my left hand, flat of the palm facing the suspect, left arm extended in the direction of the suspect while I speak to them in a loud, clear voice.

Notice I start with the identification of who I am, "Police." I don't give my name, or agency as such, I give the clear identification that I am police. I then tell the suspect exactly what I want in small, short words that are easy to understand. Even children or people with limited English skills can generally understand me, that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


When trying to get hired by and agency we often have to fill out a resume or a form explaining what we did at our previous job. One way to help yourself with this task is to consider the job from a police perspective.

Let's say you worked as a bagger in a grocery store. Not very police related, or is it? If you worked there very long you probably helped to observe, report and perhaps apprehend a shoplifter. You may have been at work when the store was robbed. Include your actions during those incidents in your job description. "Watched for shoplifters and detained two suspects in seventeen months working at the store." "Gave courtroom testimony about an armed robber that I witnessed at the store." "Performed first aid on a customer / co-worker who slipped and fell while at work."

These show that you have some transferable skills from being a grocery bagger to law enforcement. They indicate that you handle emergencies well and that you have experience in dealing with the public. Even returning lost children to their mother is a duty police often perform at large events and is not an unusual in large shopping centers. Taylor your resume and job descriptions to law enforcement, that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I recently attended a retirement party for another officer who had thirty years on the department and they showed photos of him from his long career. I realized that I probably have four photos of me in uniform after nineteen years in the same agency.

So I asked some of the other guys and they all said, they too had very few pictures of themselves doing police work. Our station has a large number of photos of officers both posed and candid doing police work in the immediate post-World War Two era. One shows and officer wearing riding breeches firing an M-1A1 carbine. How ironic that in probably 1954 our agency had a "patrol rifle" and yet thirty years later when I came along we did not have them!

The other interesting photos are traffic accidents, a parade, photos of the station and the old jail, and naturally the police cars. I have been going around with my digital camera taking photos of my partners and our cars, and asking them to take pictures of me. In return, I have sent them emails of the photos. I am careful not to take photos of us using guns or doing anything controversial. I don't take photos until the situation is under control and we are ready to leave the scene. I don't want the photos to be something a complainant, suspect or other person will want in any investigation. Take photos, but take them with care and respect, that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


We had a small earthquake here in California this week. Just about everywhere has it's own share of natural disasters. Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, blizzards, are you ready from a law enforcement standpoint for the "big one" to hit your town? Have you prepared your family to survive a major disaster? You may not be able to get home in the event of a disaster and the wife and kiddies may have to fend for themselves for up to a week without you. Do you have food, clothing, blankets, medical supplies stockpiled and ready at home and in the car?

Can you survive at work for a few days without going home? I carry water, handcuffs, ammo, and other supplies in my truck so that if we have the big earthquake while I am at work or somewhere in between I can get home on foot if I have to do so. I have extra gear in my locker, socks, underwear, spare uniform so that I can stay in service for a few days if I have to do that.

Is your agency ready? Do you have earthquake, blizzard, riot, fire, flood, volcano supplies on hand? Can your agency feed you for three or four days? Is there back up power for your dispatch center, can you get gasoline for the patrol cars if the electricity is out for three or four days? The time to be ready is before the incident, not after; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Patrol Rifle

I was doing some range training the other day and was reminded of the value of the patrol rifle. We use a semi-automatic version of the M-16 rifle. Our course of fire had the operator shooting at a man size target from about 20 yards away with the rifle as he walked towards a barricade about ten feet from the target. Once at the barricade, the shooter was to transition to handgun, Glock Model 22, 40 caliber, in most cases, and engage the target from behind the barricade.

Some of my officers have very little rifle experience. My agency requires a 24 hour course to be certified to use the rifle on duty. A couple of my folks have not attended the class, but I have them do the monthly rifle qualification anyway so that when they take the class in the future they will be a few steps ahead.

Nearly everyone shot better with the rifle, from farther away and moving than they did close up and stationary with the handgun. The patrol rifle is a very stable platform, it is very accurate and very user friendly. I encourage all my officers to deploy the rifle whenever there is a good potential for a shooting. Armed robberies, bank alarms, high risk traffic stops, and naturally any sort of active shooter or man with a gun calls are well served by the presence of officers with the patrol rifle. The greater accuracy is a tremendous asset for law enforcement; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


We don't get much rain here in Southern California, but it looks like we may get some very soon. Each year we see the number of officers killed in the line of duty is generally divided between those who are feloniously murdered and those who die in accidents. Most of those accidents are vehicle related.

When driving in the rain, slow down. That 40 miles per hour speed limit sign tells you it is safe and legal to drive 40 mph in good conditions. Rain is not a good condition. Your stopping distance is greatly increased by having wet roads. The first few hours of a good rain are the most treacherous. The drivers are unused to driving on wet streets and the oil is seeping up from the roadway making it even slicker. After a few hours of good hard rain, drivers will be a bit more used to the rain and most of the oil will have washed away.

Rain decreases visibility, even your overhead red, blue and amber lights will be less visible due to the rain. If you get a traffic accident with injuries call, there is a temptation to race over there to help, remember you can't help if you don't get there because you crashed. And as always, wear your seat belt, that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Don't Smile, You Are On Red Light Camera,0,3286125.story

In California we have some cities that have chosen to install cameras at intersections controlled by traffic signals. If you run a red light, there will be several big flashes and the cameras will take your picture. Now our governor has proposed that those cities be permitted to install speed sensors on the light poles and the same cameras can take your photo when you are speeding.

I am all for traffic safety, we have twice the number of people killed in motor vehicle collisions than are murdered every year here is in the USA. These red light cameras were initially proposed as a way to make dangerous intersections safer. Now, the true purpose has been revealed, along with the true reason to install speed cameras, they are to raise revenue.

The cities that use red light cameras often try several different little tricks in increase the take from these bandits. One thing they do is to cut the time of the yellow lights, even a fraction of a second can bring in big revenue. People get used to a three second yellow light, so you cut it to 2.7 or 2.5 seconds and catch a few more people without any increase in expenses. This is not law enforcement, it's corruption; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pre-Tramatic Stress Counselling

A private security guard is on duty in a bank and he is confronted by an armed bank robber. They exchange gunfire and the officer is hit, but the suspect is killed. The security officer was wearing body armor and was hit in the chest. His armor saves him from serious injury.

Later, the security officer was moved to another post because of threats to the officer at his post from other criminal elements. The company moved him for his own safety. The officer suffered some degree of post traumatic stress.

Armed officers would do well to get pre-traumatic counseling. Reflect on the possibility of using deadly force or being involved in deadly force encounters. This will help inoculate officers from the effects of post traumatic stress. Talk to your co-workers who have had similar encounters, your religious leaders, and your relatives about you potential use of force; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

No Code of Silence

Sometimes there is a bad cop in the mix. Since we have to hire people and we are all sinners before God, we will have a few who are not suitable for police work. Police in our society have great power. We can take away people's freedom and even their life under some circumstances. We must be sure that those who do this job do a good job of it.

If you have a partner who does something wrong the first obligation you have is to speak to him about it, sometimes it means you have to stop him right there. If your partner is using excessive force, be a good partner to him and make him stop. Your moral courage may save his job and even keep him out of jail.

If you think your partner may be doing something else that may be criminal or immoral than confront him. Tell him what you know and ask for an explanation. Sometimes there is a legitimate reason for what on the face of it may seem wrong. If not, you need to go to a supervisor with what you know. If you are not sure, ask a trusted senior officer about the circumstances. You owe it to your other partners and your agency to insure all of your partners are performing their duties with honor, that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Hire Good Ones

Memphis police recruit charged after making sex tape with minor» The Commercial Appeal

This guy was hired by the police and then soon after was arrested and charged with having sex with a minor and taping the incidents. This could be an indication of many things, most of them bad. The department may want to look at their background check procedures. It could be that the background checks are not investigating the personal lives of the applicants. It could be that the background investigators are not well trained or are not experienced enough. It could be that the background investigators are very overworked and not able to do complete jobs on the applicants.

They may also want to look at the psychological screening. I suspect they are doing that, but if not, they probably should. If they are doing a psych, they may want to change vendors if they are using an outside agency.

In the long process of hiring a new officer there are many decision points where an officer may continue or be disqualified. It is an important part of the police department. Everything starts with good hiring. If you hire bad people, you will not have good cops, that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Range Safety

Always wear ear protection on the range. I like to wear ear muffs rather than ear plugs. Muffs provide better hearing protection. I also like to wear ear muffs that have speakers in them. That way I can hear what people say to me and yet still have hearing protection. As a firearms instructor, it is a must and really should be worn by all officers.

While they are expensive, often a couple hundred dollars, they allow everyone on the range to hear range commands, receive instruction and over the life of the ear muffs they are not that much. Mine have lasted over ten years of often heavy use at the range.

Once range training is finished, be sure to wash your face and hands. You want to rid your body of the lead residue. Even blowing your nose can help prevent some lead absorption. Naturally, you should not eat, drink, smoke or chew gum or tobacco on the range; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Meeting or Traffic Stop

While driving home from work today I saw two officers who had just completed a traffic stop. The suspect was getting into his car and the two officers were standing on the curb chatting with each other. They both had their backs to the suspect vehicle. The suspect was a male about fifty years old.

I don't know why they stopped the car. It may have been speeding. It may have been that he had expired registration or a tail light that was burned out. There were two units on the stop so they must have called for a second unit for some reason. Since the suspect was getting back in his car and driving away, and the officers were unconcerned it must not have been a problem.

Perhaps he was a wanted criminal, maybe a murderer or even a cop killer who gave them a false ID and managed to get away. Perhaps he tapped the tail light and it came back on and they just gave him a warning rather than check his identification or run him for warrants. Maybe he seemed harmless enough. It would have been better to watch him until he drove away, or they could have held their little meeting elsewhere, that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tactical Pants

Today I added a new link to Tactical Pants. They have an interesting article about cats and police work. Pretty funny.

Not all police work has to be serious. Check it out.

There is plenty of good information out there on the web. Read some of it, take what works for you and discard the rest, that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Romans 13:4

US Marshall & shooter killed at Las Vegas courthouse shootout (video)

It is an easy gig. You just sit in the lobby. Watch the secretaries come into work in the morning. Drink some coffee. Have a donut. Once every couple hours you patrol the building. Once in a while you toss out some nut case. It's air conditioned, so that's a plus. Then the day comes when a man enters shooting a shotgun.

Building security can be very dull and boring. Often nothing will happen for days, even weeks, and sometimes months. It can seem to be a total waste to even have armed officers there at all. Then the day comes when something really bad happens, and you earn your pay for your whole career in only a few seconds.

As of now they have not released the motive for this attack, they may never find out what it really was that caused this guy to enter a courthouse with a shotgun. Maybe he was upset with a verdict. Perhaps he was unhappy with one of the other agencies in the building, perhaps he was a Muslim extremist on jihad, or just an insane person with a gun. Whatever the motive, an officer is dead and a second officer has had a life changing event, but he did a good thing to save other, innocent lives. Romans 13:4 "For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil," that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


There are some times of year when stupid people think it is a good idea to celebrate by doing something stupid. Often at New Years or other dates people go out into their yards and fire guns into air to celebrate. This is never a good idea.

Almost every year we read about someone who has been struck by one of these bullets that fall to earth sometimes over a mile from where they were fired. Since officers have to be out on patrol there are a few techniques that I have used to stay safe for the mad minute or two when the lead is flying in celebration.

Hide under a bridge or in a parking structure to prevent falling bullets from hitting your police car. Stay back from the entrance to avoid them flying under the edge of the opening. Go into an underground parking garage if possible. We don't have any tunnels in my town but they too would be great places to be to avoid falling bullets. I like to stay out on patrol, in case I have to respond to a call of someone shooting or to a victim of the gunfire; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


When conducting a cursory search for weapons, take away anything that can be used as a weapon. Don't just focus on guns and knives. I remove almost anything that can be used in any way as a weapon. A pen or a pencil can be used to stab someone and can make a pretty terrible wound if the stab is to the face or eye.

A metal comb when raked across the face could cause a serious injury. A pair of nail clippers if opened and held in the hand can slice open flesh. Think about those items that are not permitted on airliners. Those items are forbidden exactly because they can be used as weapons.

I don't let anyone smoke during a traffic stop. A cigarette flicked into your face can give the suspect enough of an advantage that they can distract you and attack or escape. Don't let the suspect have any advantages, that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, January 1, 2010


Two deputies shot during ambush in Wash. state Idaho News from KTVB.COM Boise news, Idaho weather, sports, traffic & events Regional News*

How do you respond to an ambush? You are on patrol, driving down the street and someone opens fire on your car with a rifle. An excellent tactic is to simply drive away. Get out of the kill zone as quickly as possible. Your car can certainly travel much faster than you can on foot. Don't travel in a straight line, make a turn, get out of the line of sight of the attacker.

It is okay to drive on the lawn, over the curb, on the sidewalk to get away. Strict adherence to the vehicle code is not something to worry about when you are being shot at by someone who wants to kill you. You may want to consider backing up, at a high rate of speed, but don't drive in a straight line for long.

The other option is to counter-attack the ambushers. Drive directly at the shooter. Get down below the level of your engine block and use the car as a ram. Your seatbelt and air bag will provide some protection from a collision, and ramming another car or an armed suspect in the open in my opinion is a valid use of force; that's what the SGT Says.