Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Reserve Officers

Twenty years ago I started work as a reserve police officer. As a reserve I have worked just about every detail that the regular officers work. My uniform, authority, equipment, training, and screening is identical to that of a regular full time police officer.

Being full time and paid have nothing to do with the quality of work that a police officer will perform. I have known both good and bad regular and reserve officers. It is the dedication to the profession that is the critical factor. I have known regular officers who would not go to any training classes unless they were paid. I have known reserve officers who would pay to go to classes, and then attend the class for free, just to learn more.

Police departments are well served by having reserve officers. They provide a back up manpower source to the regular department at times of emergency or personnel shortage, at minimal cost. Reserves work many activities that regulars often don't want to work or have to work on overtime. This includes special events, parades, school events, and DUI checkpoints. Reserve officers, any agency that does not have a reserve program needs one; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Peace and Order


There is a new device that creates a feeling of heat on the body. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is putting it in one of their custodial facilities. The plan is to use the device to control prisoner rioting and fights.

Already I have read the comments of some fool on a website that this is just another method to torture people, and it will not leave marks. We must do a better job of training the public. There are only a few methods of controlling inmates and suspects that are out of control. A group that is fighting may not stop just because the officers tell them to stop.

Until only a few years ago the only techniques we had for stopping such activity was to shoot people or to go in with sticks and beat people. Both of those techniques were bound to leave serious injuries or even cause deaths to the rioters and sometimes to the officers. The use of tear gas, OC, Taser, pepper balls and other products have helped to minimize injuries to both officers and suspects. We need to better articulate to the pubic that our goal of maintaining order and safety is to avoid, not create injury; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Good Samaritan

The Gospel according to St. Luke, chapter 10, verses 30 to 34:

30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

A man was beaten and robbed. The people passed by and ignored him. The cops came and rendered first aid and assisted him in getting treatment for his injuries.

Nothing has changed in 2,000 years. Read your Bible to find out truths that are eternal, that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

New Car Type

LockMart Exoskeleton Update Defense Tech

Robocop may be just around the corner. This is an exoskeleton. It is like a skeleton that is powered and you wear it like big clothing. It is a machine that responds to your movements and makes you better, faster, stronger than you are now. It is initially designed for military use, but I can imagine civilian police uses for this device.

Suppose you have a suspect that is barricaded inside a house and shot a few people. If the terrain won't allow an armored car to approach and pick up the wounded, perhaps you can put on the super suit, run up, grab the wounded and carry them off. Faster than you can move normally, even carrying a 250 pound wounded police officer in your arms.

Perhaps the same scenario you can have several officers don the suits and assault the building. Just knock down the walls and charge right in. Taser the guy and end the situation without injury to yourself or the suspect. Rangers can use these devices to patrol wilderness areas that can only allow foot access. Walking for twenty miles with 200 pounds of gear would be easy in a suit of this type. This can be as important as the car in police work; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Make New SGTs

If you are a supervisor, can you be replaced?

Are you so valuable that you cannot be replaced by anyone at your agency?

If so, how can you retire, transfer, or be promoted?

As a supervisor it is your duty to develop your subordinates so that one day they can take over your job. The officers under your command must be combed for men and women with leadership potential. It takes a year of training and five years of field experience to become a good police officer. It takes another couple years to become a good field Sergeant.

The good sergeant will identify officers to guide towards potential supervision. When there is a major incident the supervision candidate can be debriefed afterwards on how the incident was conducted with an eye towards the supervisory aspects of the incident. The supervisor candidate can be given the authority to assist with scheduling, payroll, vehicle management and other supervisory tasks.

Being a good supervisor involves more than just being good at catching crooks, good officer safety and being a good shot. There is budgeting, and recruiting and staffing issues. How to schedule vacations and keep enough officers in the field are important skills too; that's what the SGT Says.



Some agencies are using UAVs to patrol thier beats. This is a great idea. Right now, and for the past sixty years helicopters and light airplanes have been patrolling the American airspaces. The use of the UAV is no different in principle from manned aircraft flying over our beats.

There are several advantages to UAVs. Helicopters are very large and noisy. It is easy for suspects to see them and hear them. Citizens who are minding their own business are often disturbed by orbiting helicopters watching a pursuit or crime scene. A small, quiet UAV will be less intrusive to the law abiding citizens.

In a typical year, a couple police helicopters go down. Often we lose one or two brothers in blue in those crashes. With UAVs this will not be a problem, since they are unmanned. The UAV is also much cheaper than a regular helicopter, allowing more agencies to use them and more areas to receive air support. They can also maintain longer operational periods at lower costs; and that's always a good thing; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tase Granny

Ripple.us.com » Blog Archive » ‘Don’t taze my grandmother!’

Media distorts proper police use of force!

That's the headline for this article. Officers responded to a EMT call of a woman who needed to go to the hospital. The adult grandson was unable to control his bed ridden grandmother and so he needed to call for help. When police and EMT's arrived the grandmother, who was quite old, pulled a large knife and threatened to kill anyone who came near her.

So what choices did the officers have? Leave her to die? Leave her to the grandson who called them because he could not care for her? Shoot her with a gun? Beat her until she drops the knife? Go into standoff mode, surround the house and hope she does not die or commit suicide while they are waiting? Move in and risk getting sliced up? One good knife hit to the neck, eye or wrist and your life has changed forever.

So the officers fired a Taser and did not contact. So a second officer fired, made good contact and they moved in and took the knife away. She was not hurt and was able to get the medical care she needed. No officers were hurt and the grandson was not hurt either. Naturally, the woman, her grandson have decided to sue and the media are on their side calling the whole department Taser happy. Perhaps next time the media would prefer the officers try five or six baton strikes to grandmas arm? Major bruising and a broken ulna are not better than a couple Tazer holes; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Protect Your Gun


For many years a large percentage of the officers killed in the line of duty were killed by suspects who took the officers gun away from them, and then shot the officer. As use of force trainers we spent a lot of time and effort on gun retention training. We got pretty good at it and some years went by without any officers being killed by their own weapons.

Still, we must remember the lessons of the past. These problems are never solved forever. If our officers forget how to protect their guns because we have not taught them and reminded them recently how to keep their guns, they we as trainers and supervisors have some of the responsibility for those officers who have died.

Officers must always be aware of their weapon and who is near it. Officers must know to clamp down on their weapon if someone tries to grab it. If someone grabs their gun, officers must know that the fight is still not over. Hold the suspects hand clamped down on the gun and holster. Use the non-gun hand to strike the suspect, go for the back up gun and shoot the suspect or pull the knife and stab the suspect. This is a fight to the death, and it does have to be the death of the officer; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Management or Leadership?

Police departments need leadership, not management. Leaders look at a problem, determine how to fix the problem and then go get it fixed. Sometimes they fix it themselves, sometimes their people fix it and sometimes they need an outside resource to fix the problem.

Managers manage problems. They make big problems into problems that are more manageable. They manage the problem so it does not get out of control. They coordinate the response to the problem so that it is managed properly. They never really get around to fixing the problem. Fixing the problem is not a management issue.

If your agency has a problem with recruiting qualified new hires, a manager will set goals to reduce the open positions by the end of they year and take an even larger bite out of the open positions over the next three to five years. Leaders will make changes that will cause so many qualified applicants to want to work there that you actually have a choice of who you hire; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Password is Password


Information safety can be just as important as officer safety. Do you want criminals to hack your department or personal computers? Of course, not. So it is important to do what you can to minimize that possibility. One way is to make passwords that are hard to guess and yet easy for you to remember.

How many of you use your rank, badge number, your name or the name of your kids or pets as some or all of your passwords? Your date of birth, the name of your spouse, are all common for passwords. While these may be easy for you to remember, they are also easy for hackers to figure out. Experts are now saying you should use passwords with at least twelve characters in them.

There are now programs that can simply hack away at your machine with billions of random words and they will eventually figure out your password. The key there is to pick a difficult password and don't share it with anyone. The longer it takes these programs to find your password the more likely they are to become disconnected to your machine and move on. Your data is important and you don't need crooks getting hold of it; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Red For Safety

Every new police officer should be issued a gun and a red gun with their first badge. Firearms training is important and safety is important too. The red gun is perfect for training to draw and re-holster the firearm. It is totally safe and you don't have to worry if you have unloaded your gun or not.

When officers train in the field they should use their red guns, not their duty guns. While trainers try and keep ammo out of the hands of trainees there is no fool proof system when using real guns. That's why I don't advocate using real guns in training. Sim guns and red guns are the best alternative. They cannot be loaded with real ammo and fired.

I think the supervisor should keep a couple red guns in the supervisor car so that if they need to do some impromptu training in the field they can substitute the red gun with the duty firearm. The back up gun should also be removed from the trainees. I always bring a red gun to the range to use for demonstrations, I don't have to worry about safety as much with the red gun; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Target Identification

Range training in low light is important. Some times of year in some places it's more dark than light. Low light training should be done in total darkness, limited darkness and just a bit dark. You want to simulate dusk, dawn, moonlight, full darkness.

Police work happens 24/7 and we run into bad guys at any hour of the day or night. We also have to find them in attics, basements, and even caves. We need to practice shooting in very low ambient light. Night sights on the pistols are a very good idea. Flashlights on the pistols are a good idea too, but often unreliable. Officers need to know how to shoot with a handheld pistol too.

Shooting at night is not that much more difficult than shooting in the daytime. The real trick is target identification. I like to place "don't shoot" targets on the range in conjunction with "shoot" targets when doing night or low light shooting. Then the officer has to make the identification before he can start shooting. Target ID is the critical skill at night, that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Private Prisons


A few prisoners escape from a privately run prison in Arizona and so suddenly they have to re -evaluate private prisons there. When you have prisons, you will sometimes have escapes. The human animal is the hardest animal to keep in the zoo and the keepers, public or private know that it true.

When prisoners escape from a state run prison, does the state legislature re-evaluate state run prisons? Do they consider replacing them all with private prison facilities? Of course not.

We need a reasonable mixture of public and private prison facilities. Private companies when properly supervised and with decent contract parameters can provide excellent custodial facilities. Competition helps both the public and private sectors. It is the best way for us to judge the value we get from our public sector law enforcement; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Help Someone

When you did your oral interview and they asked why you wanted to become a police officer you told them you wanted to help people. It's part of the stock answer everyone gives and nearly all of us mean it at the time. Did you help anyone today?

Did you stop for the stranded motorist who was too stupid to fill up their car with gas?

Did you wait while the auto club came to change the tire for the woman at the side of the road?

Did you spend a few minutes listening to an old person about how crime was so bad and it did not used to be that way?

Did you show the inside of our police car to a little child who was too awestruck to speak?

Did you joke with a co-worker?

Help someone today, you told them in the interview that you wanted to; so go do it. Not everyone you help has to have arterial bleeding or get rescued from the kidnappers; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Minor Crimes, Major T/C


A police officer was killed in a pursuit. He was chasing a car with no license plates. He had a ride along who was also injured. The officer was killed when his vehicle flipped and he was ejected. There are several concerns that I have with this incident, based on this news report.

A car with no license plate is often indicative of criminal activity. Of course, not having a license plate is illegal, but often criminals remove a license plate when they steal a car or when they are out to commit other crimes. It is, however, on the face of it, a minor crime. Fleeing from the police is also often indicative of other criminal behavior, the attempt to hide contraband, or evade arrest on other crimes. On the face of it, fleeing from the police is also a minor crime.

He had no license plate, if I stopped him I would have written him a ticket and let him go. He was running from me because I was chasing him. Both of these are too minor of offenses to risk your life to stop. I am also concerned that the officer was ejected from the vehicle when it overturned. My first thought is that he was not wearing his seat belt. Naturally, I don't know any of the details of this incident. My prayers go out to the family and agency of this officer. I remind you to think of that when you fail to buckle up; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, August 16, 2010

We Have Learned Something


Los Angeles Police Department chased a suspect and then used force on him at the end of the pursuit. It was all caught on television. Some have expressed concern that this could be a replay of the Rodney King incident and that there may be rioting in support of the suspect.

I noticed several differences in this event that may help to reduce the likelihood of rioting. One of the most important differences is the media have not played an edited version of the incident over and over again as they did with Rodney King. Back then you could hardly turn on the television without seeing the incident replayed so that it was always fresh in every ones mind. The media also edited the incident so that all the baton blows were one after another, rather than over a long period of time, making the incident seem much more brutal.

The other difference is the politicians and police command staff are not playing to the media the way they did in the Rodney King incident. In that incident, politicians and police condemned the incident without having full knowledge of what happened. They did not watch the unedited tape, or get the officers statements prior to making comments. In the most recent incident, the politicians and police have been more fair and reserved. They have called for investigations and for people to wait and see what the officers have to say about what happened. There is a process for investigating use of force incidents and I am glad that this time the main stream media, politicians and police brass are allowing that procedure to go forward; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Wear your vest every day. All day, whenever you are in uniform. Even when it is hot. There are several strategies you can employ to help you wear your vest. Get it tailored so that it fits you. An uncomfortable, ill fitting vest is hard to wear. Snug up the straps, a vest that moves around will wear on you and will be bothersome over time.

Put some baby powder on under your tee shirt before donning the vest. It will help to absorb perspiration. And wear a tee shirt. It will also help to absorb perspiration. Always keep a few extra tee shirts in your locker so that you can change shirts during the shift. I frequently wear two and sometimes three tee shirts in a single shift.

Back in the old days, we only wore a front piece to our body armor. If you just can't stand to wear your vest anymore due to heat or other problem, you could consider removing the rear panel and wear only the carrier and the front panel. This would be a last resort just prior to not wearing a vest at all; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


The other day I was talking to an officer who said he would never criticize another officer who was involved in an incident, particularly if he was injured or killed. He said we can't know all the factors that lead to his decision making process, we were not there and we did not have to make those potentially deadly decisions on the spot like the officer involved. His is very right about that, we were not there. We can't know the terror, the adrenaline, the danger first hand like our brother in blue who faced a dangerous situation.

I believe that we can help to make sense of the situation and to learn from what he did. We can make the mistakes ourselves or we can learn from the mistakes of others. Often there was no mistake. Sometimes we simply have choices, one choice may work, the other choice may not, but until we try them we won't know because the outcome is situation dependant. I chose to wear my body armor. If the suspect shot me in the face the armor will not protect me. I chose to wear my seat belt, but if I am hit by a train the seat belt will not protect me. I still believe that wearing my armor and my seat belt are good choices.

The Gospel of St. John says in Chapter 15, Verse 13 "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Our friends in blue who have laid down their lives before us went to work every day knowing it could be their last day on this Earth. They know that a tiny mistake or just bad luck can mean disaster. This has been a very bad year for law enforcement officers in America. I examine officer involved incidents not to dishonor those who have shown their love for their friends, but so that my other friends won't have to lay down their lives; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Motorcycle Gangs

The Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc. has published No Angel by Jay Dobyns in paperback. This book was written by a former ATF agent who spend about a year working undercover penetrating the Hells Angels.

Many people seem to think that because the Hells Angels donate a few toys at Christmas time that they are good guys. They think that because they like to party and ride nice motorcycles that they are all just misunderstood fellows.

This book reveals the truth about members of motorcycle gangs and it is not pretty. It also explains the toll that working undercover for a long time has on the officer and his family. I read this book when it was first published in hardcover and if you deal with motorcycle gangs or long term undercover assignments will find it useful; that's the view from the Hysterical Right Wing.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

NYPD Wears a Vest

Police: 2 Officers, 3 Other People Shot in Harlem

Things went very bad at a party in Harlem and a man broke out a gun and started shooting. He murdered one person before police could arrive. Several units arrived and a number of officers started shooting at the suspect. In the confusion, one officer shot another, who was saved by his body armor.

Of course, the real blame for this incident lays with the criminal who began shooting people at a party. There are other factors to look at to determine how this officer got shot. One of the first rules of firearms safety that I just posted about was not pointing a gun at anything unless you intent to shoot it. Perhaps the officer who fired the round and struck his partner failed to heed that warning. Perhaps the officer who was hit failed to notice that he was moving into the line of fire of another officer who was already in the process of shooting. Perhaps the shot was just a miss and went past the suspect and struck an officer on the other side of the suspect. At this time we don't know all the facts and just can't say. New York PD is an excellent agency and I am certain they will determine the facts of the case.

What we do know for sure is one officer shot another and he was saved by his body armor. Summer is here and we need to make sure we are wearing our armor. If your job is dangerous enough to require you to wear a gun, then you need to wear a vest. In fact, I go beyond that. If you wear a police or security officer uniform at work, you need to wear body armor, it should be as much a part of your uniform as your patches, badge, belt and shoes; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Firearms Training

Firearms training consists of many steps. It is more than just going to the range and cranking out a few rounds. Each step is important in the training of an armed security guard or police officer. Far too often training consists of little more than basic marksmanship, cleaning and not much else.

The use of the firearm in the line of duty is one of the most serious actions an officer can take. Yet, too many agencies refuse to do much training. The cost of only one inappropriate shooting incident can bankrupt a company or even a city. Despite this, agencies will scrimp on training, particularly in times of budget cuts.

Good firearms training does not have to be expensive. The biggest cost is the cost of the hourly pay for the officers. By law, employees only have to be paid minimum wage. Initial training can be done at a significantly lower rate than that for incumbent officers. Firearms training is a perishable skill and needs to be refreshed frequently, at least quarterly; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Firearms Stress

Firearms stress training will teach the shooter to perform all their firearms functions with the added factor of doing them under stress. There are many ways to induce stress. Safety in stress training is paramount. Don't introduce very much stress to start with. You don't want to overload the shooter so they can't function safely.

Have the shooter perform simple marksmanship skills, but tighten up the "bullseye" area. Make them shoot at a smaller target. Have them shoot a reactive target that will move or make a sound when it is hit so that everyone will have instant feedback on the quality of marksmanship. Tell the shooter there is a strict time limit on the length of time he will have hit the target a specified number of times. Each of these factors will increase the stress on the shooter. Introduce them one at a time.

Have two shooters fire next to one another and tell them they have to shoot faster and more accurately than the person next to them. Ideally, the shooters should be of similar skill levels. Have the shooters fire in low light, or no light. Have the shooters identify a shoot / no shoot target before firing. Have the shooters fire at multiple targets. All of these are techniques that will increase stress, yet can be done on almost any range, with no additional expense; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Firearms Tactics

Firearms tactics should generally be taught as the shooter has begun to understand and demonstrate the basics taught before, including safety, marksmanship, and so they can begin to move to more dynamic shooting. One of the first aspects of tactics is the concept of cover and concealment.

Cover will provide protection from bullets. Stone and concrete walls, automobile engine blocks, and other objects that are solid and bullet proof are cover. Most police officers who are shot and killed are close to cover and did not use the cover to protect themselves. Often this is because their training has not conditioned them to look for or use cover.

Concealment will prevent others from seeing the officer. A curtain, interior house wall, darkness will all provide concealment. Concealment will not directly protect the officer from bullets, but most suspects will not simply blast away blindly trying to shoot at something they can't see. These are the most basic tactics we need to be teaching; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Firearms Speed

Firearms speed will come with practice of the techniques. The techniques practiced must be perfect ones, so that bad habits will not be practiced. The student will become faster, but by eliminating extra steps, will become faster still. Just like the Olympic athlete who cuts a tenth of a second here and there eventually cuts off a whole second, the law enforcement shooter must do so also.

Don't look at the holster, look at the target. Looking down will only slow your draw. Unholster the weapon with one hand. If your holster requires two hands to draw, then you need to either figure out how to draw with one hand or get a new holster. Some holster companies recommend that you practice the draw a thousand times before you carry your gun on duty. That's three or four times a day for a year. That's about 90 times a day for two weeks after you buy your new holster.

Bring the gun up to your eye, don't bring your head down to meet the gun. Bring your non-gun hand up as you bring the gun up. Make all of this a smooth motion. Smooth becomes fast with practice. It is okay to start out slow. The key is to practice and to make an effort to get faster. You should be able to draw your duty handgun from a snapped in holster and fire three rounds in no more than five seconds, that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Firearms Accuracy

Firearms accuracy is essential. If you can't hit the target there is not much point in shooting. Accuracy is best taught on the range taking plenty of time and with each individual getting individual instruction. I used to teach with a ratio of one instructor to each five shooters. I also had five shooters from the next string who were acting as coaches for the shooters. That way everyone has at least one set if not two sets of eyes on them every time they shoot when first learning on the range.

The sight picture and sight alignment should be taught in the classroom prior to any gun handling. The sights are a critical component of the firearm tool and should be used as often as possible when shooting. Accurate point shooting is possible even at rather long ranges, but for most the use of the sights, even at close ranges is best. Officers in the field frequently miss all or most of their shots, even when the suspect is at arms reach.

Officers must be trained to use their sights whenever they can. I like to train officers to at least use their front sight when point shooting or when shooting one handed. It is faster than using both sights and while not as good as both sights, it is much better for most than no sights at all. Put the front sight where you want the bullets to go and pull the trigger; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Firearms Presentation

Firearms presentation is how the shooter moves the firearm from the holster to the position where it can be discharged. The typical method for teaching presentation is to tell the shooter to take their gun out of the holster and point it at the target. While this general statement is true, it is lacking in substance. The gun should begin the range training secured in the holster with all the snaps snapped and all the buckles buckled. The gun should be brought into a position to fire smoothly and as rapidly as possible, using the least amount of motion.

This is a time / motion study. Use the least amount of motion so that you can use the least amount of time. Grasp the firearm while it is still in the holster in the same position you will have it in your hand when you are ready to fire. Use the fingers or thumb to unsnap the weapon and begin to draw the weapon both upwards and pushing the muzzle end forward against the forward edge of the holster. When the muzzle clears the top of the front of the holster, the muzzle should actually snap forward, bringing the wrist up a bit as well, so that the barrel is pointed as close as practicable to the horizontal.

With the assumption that you have identified a target and intend to shoot, you can place your finger on the trigger and even as you draw, you can begin firing as soon as the barrel is pointing in the direction of the target. A few rounds impacting the ground between yourself and the suspect as you bring the weapon up can ricochet forward and hit the suspect in the ankles, depending on the nature of the ground between you. As you continue to bring the gun up you can fire at the suspect and hit him in the ankle, knees, thigh, groin, stomach, and up to the center of mass chest area where we really want to place our rounds. These shots can be taken while the weapon is still close to your body and before you finish your presentation.

Finish the presentation by bringing the firearm up to your eyes. You should generally attempt to bring the weapon up into both hands. The barrel should not rise higher than horizontal, unless necessary to achieve target alignment. Both hands provide a much more stable platform than one hand. The non-gun hand should come up, but behind and under the firearm. This is critical to avoid shooting yourself in the hand. During the initial training the concentration should be on a smooth, not fast presentation. The smooth presentation with practice will be come the fast presentation; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Firearms Cleaning

So that firearms can function reliably for a long time they need to be kept clean. Cleaning keeps firearms from rusting and from becoming inoperative. Every time the firearm is fired, it should be given a short general cleaning. The barrel and chamber need to be cleaned up with a brush and a couple patches.

I like to use Break-Free because it is a cleaner, lubricant, and preservative. Any number of quality products are fine as long as you follow the directions on the product. I also like to use a brush that is not metal, but synthetic plastic. I also like to use a plastic toothbrush, like those used by the military.

Mrs. Bunkermeister saves the old tee shirts and towels for use on the cleaning table. A way to get free cleaning stuff! I use them both to do the cleaning on and to generally wipe down the weapons. I also clean the weapons at least annually, even if they are not fired. I also send them out to be cleaned by an armorer every year or two so all the bits are cleaned on the inside too; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Firearms Functioning

Firearms function is important to know so that the officer knows what aspects of the firearm do and how important it is to keep them maintained. Firearms are often classified by the type of action they have as part of their design.

Some firearms are called single action. The classic cowboy gun the Colt Peacemaker is one example of this, as is the famous Colt M1911. These handguns are called single action because the pull of the trigger will perform a single action. That action is the release of the trigger that has already been cocked by hand.

Some firearms are called double action. The Smith & Wesson 686 revolver is a double action firearm. It is called a double action firearm because the pull of a trigger performs two actions. It draws back the hammer, and then it allows the hammer to fall to allow the bullet to fire.

The double action is generally preferred in law enforcement because the pull of the single action is generally very light compared to that of the double action. The light trigger pull will sometimes result in unintended discharges that could result in injury or death. The double action, with it's heavier trigger pull is usually safer for law enforcement use to minimize the likelihood of an unintended discharge. The single action does provide a lighter trigger pull, which can permit greater accuracy. With proper training and experience, however, both can still serve a role in modern law enforcement; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Firearms Safety

Firearms safety is the first thing to teach new shooters before they shoot or even handle any guns. Firearms safety needs to be monitored and explained at every phase of firearms training. There are the four rules that all firearms instructors generally teach.

Treat all guns as if they are loaded until you verify otherwise.

Never point the muzzle of the gun at anything you are not willing to shoot.

Keep the finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.

Always be sure of your target.

There are many variations on these rules, but they cover most circumstances for safe law enforcement firearms handling. Too many times officers have been killed or injured because of a failure to conform to these rules.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Firearms Training Theory

Firearms training should begin with the theory and science and history of firearms development. By learning how and why firearms got to be they way they are today, we can better understand about the types of weapons we carry, the features they have and why they are important.

Why do we call a bullet a round? In the olden times, firearms shot round balls of lead using loose powder. The number of times you could fire was more dependant on the number of round lead balls you had, as opposed to the amount of powder you had with you.

The powder could be reduced to enable you to shoot more rounds, with less range and accuracy. You still had to have a ball to fire, so the question of "how many rounds do you have?" indicated how many times you could shoot. As they technology transitioned to modern bullets, the language did not change and so we still call bullets "rounds," that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Police Commission

Murderer Could Sit on Detroit Police Board: Top News Stories at Officer.com

Police commissions and police boards are a total and complete waste of time and money. They serve only to politicize police services and not to improve police services. Police commissions are generally made up of political appointees who know little or nothing about police work and often little about the law. Why would you want people who don't know how to do a task, determine if a task was done correctly?

Police already have to answer to their supervisors, the city council or county board of supervisors, they have to pass the scrutiny of the district attorneys office and state investigators. The Federal Bureau of Investigation also investigates reports of police corruption. Why do we need a further level of interference of a police commission?

The City of Detroit is considering the appointment of a man who was convicted of murder in the second degree as a member of their city police commission. What possible value would his appointment serve? This is a slap in the face to every officer on that department. On the day that person is appointed the entire department should resign from their jobs that's what the SGT Says.