Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Taser Use

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has issued new rulings on the use of the Taser. In both cases the court seemed to indicate that they want a suspect to provide both active resistance to the officers and perhaps even pose some sort of threat to the officers involved in the incident.



The courts were vague in my opinion and I think that will cause officers to limit their use of the Taser. In the past when someone refused verbal commands to comply with an officers direction, say to put their hands up or behind their back to be handcuffed, the officer may have used a Taser to overcome the passive resistance.



Now the court seems to be saying the even active resistance may not be enough to use the Taser if the officer is not in any danger or the suspect is not trying to flee or there are no exigent circumstances. I would suggest that any use of the Taser be documented in a written report. The use of the Taser should be fully explained as to why the subjected needed to be Tasered, mentioning the suspects refusal to obey verbal commands, the danger the suspect posed to the officer or others and any exigent circumstances present. Continue to use the Taser, but explain it’s use more carefully so we can keep this excellent tool in the inventory; that’s what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Solve Murders


Cop's Book Says Sean Combs, Suge Knight Ordered Tupac and Biggie Killings - Page 1 - News - Los Angeles - LA Weekly



When major crimes go unsolved, when suspects are not identified and prosecuted then convicted the public becomes disillusioned with law enforcement. Major cases that involve celebrity criminals or victims are important to solve in a timely manner so that the public will retain confidence that the police are competent and the criminal justice system works properly.



Sometimes that means agencies need to put together a large task force to deal with the crime. Often that means that several agencies will have to work together to solve and prosecute the case. Such officers need special training so that they can be aware of the policies of their sister agencies and so they can provide the prosecution with the type of information they need to bring the case to a successful conclusion.



As a profession, we need to allocate more funds to detectives, and crime scene investigation. If agencies can’t close cases then they are missing a serious aspect to law enforcement. While funds for special equipment, training on such mundane topics as report writing, search and seizure, evidence collection and interrogation are often seen as less exciting as active shooter training they are essential for getting convictions. Bring the crooks to justice; that’s what the SGT Says.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Riding a Dead Horse

There is an old joke going around the Internet. I don’t know when it started but much of it certainly applies to law enforcement. When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.


However, in many organizations more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:



13. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.



We all have different strengths and different weaknesses. Sometimes an officer just does not do well in the field. They can’t make quick decisions with limited information. In the field that’s the norm. There is little time for pondering and gathering information and reaching a consensus with your peers. Things happen fast and we usually have to react pretty quickly.



In an administrative position there is often time to reflect on the various aspects of a decision. You can launch a study to fully comprehend what could happen. You can do research about what other agencies have done in similar situations. You can write a position paper and get you colleagues to critique it for you. Sometimes promoting the person who can’t hack it in the field into an administrative position can be just the thing to make the organization run better.



Too often moving the dead horse into a supervisory position only solves some problems by moving them onto other people. The sergeant who can’t make a decision is carried by a long term staff of officers who have a corporal who jumps in and runs things, as if the sergeant was not even there. The sergeant will sometimes hide in the station and never respond to anything in the field expect the most extreme emergencies and then only when they are all but over. The worst however, is the incompetent sergeant who wants to run everything, sometimes by commanding the airwaves. They get on the radio and tell officers who are on scene how to handle a problem. They respond to calls and arrive late but immediately plunge in and ruin the deployment and rhythm already established. Most dead horses don’t deserve promotion, they deserve to be buried; that’s what the SGT Says.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Riding a Dead Horse

There is an old joke going around the Internet. I don’t know when it started but much of it certainly applies to law enforcement. When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.


However, in many organizations more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:


12. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.



When you go to the academy you will be expected to qualify with the shotgun with a 90%. If you don’t qualify you can’t pass the academy. Recruit Smith failed the shotgun training and has to be let go. The brass says we can’t fire Recruit Smith. So we trained Recruit Smith some more and Recruit Smith still can’t pass the shotgun training. We can’t treat Recruit Smith any differently than any other recruit. By the present standard Recruit Smith failed shotgun training therefore Recruit Smith must be terminated.



New memo, shotgun training will now consist of shotgun familiarization rather than qualification. As long as the recruit is familiar with the firing, of the shotgun the Recruit will pass. Now under the new revised standard for all trainees, Recruit Smith will pass shotgun familiarization and will pass the academy. We revised the standard. We updated the standard. We changed the standard to reflect the new realities of law enforcement. We modified the standard. We improved the standard. That’s what the administration will tell you. We eliminated the qualification and lowered our standards to allow people who could not qualify to pass; that’s what the SGT Says.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Riding a Dead Horse

There is an old joke going around the Internet. I don’t know when it started but much of it certainly applies to law enforcement. When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.


However, in many organizations more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:


11. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.



Some things are just not worth doing. Doing them more efficiently does not make them worth doing, it just wastes less time. Years ago we had a captain who wanted us to track all the reports we wrote each shift. So we had to fill out a paper with all the report information on it. How many crime reports, how many were misdemeanor, how many were felony, how many equipment citations, how many moving violations, and so on for every shift.



The problem was we already compiled this information on the bottom of our Daily Log. The dispatchers also compiled this information and it could be sorted by the computer. So we were tracking the same information in at least three formats. The fact that the paper compilation was fast, easy, took only one sheet of paper was not the point. The point was the information was already there and it was a waste of time to report it at all.



Once the data was collected it just sat there. It was not used at all. There was no master report that told us which shifts were the busiest. We did not do reports telling us who wrote the most tickets, or what area or shift had the most crime reports in a given week. While the data was easy to collect, it served not purpose, we just did it that way because someone wanted it done for a long forgotten project. Don’t keep doing something because it is cheap, easy or not has difficult as other things that could be done. Do something that makes sense and accomplishes an important goal and forwards the mission; that’s what the SGT Says.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Riding a Dead Horse

There is an old joke going around the Internet. I don’t know when it started but much of it certainly applies to law enforcement. When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.



However, in many organizations more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:



10. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance.





Many agencies like to do studies. Large agencies in particular like to study problems. We are spending thirty million dollars to study the gang problem. We are studying the relationship between guns and crime. We are spending hundred million dollars and ten years to determine how drug abuse and broken homes leads to juvenile delinquency. Riding along with a patrol car in any large American city in a bad precinct will tell you all you need to know about any of those topics.





There are no magic bullets to solve crime. There are no special programs that will stop kids from joining gangs. There are no programs that will prevent drug abuse from leading to crime. It’s very simple, you do the crime, the cops catch the crook, the courts sentence them to a long stretch in prison, the prisons keep them locked up for a long time. Do that a couple times in a lifetime and the third time they go to prison forever; or they do a very bad crime and get the death penalty and are executed right away. That will solve most of your crime problem.





The next factor is the Ten Commandments. Don’t steal, murder or have sex outside of marriage. If people did those three things ninety percent of your crimes would never happen. Love God and love your neighbor as yourself, honor your mother and father. If you are filled with love then you don’t need to use drugs. You can’t love God and hate yourself because you are made in God’s image. We need more Bible based churches in our communities and we need to return to prayer in public schools, as we had for 150 years in this nation. Midnight basketball, free condoms for ten year olds are not working to prevent crime; that’s what the SGT Says.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Riding a Dead Horse

There is an old joke going around the Internet. I don’t know when it started but much of it certainly applies to law enforcement. When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.


However, in many organizations more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:


9. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase dead horse's performance.



Some jobs need to be done by people who have a calling to do those jobs. I want my priest to be a priest who believes that God has called him to the ministry. I want him to have a vision, a live experience, a moment in time when he knew that God himself told him to become a priest. There are certain jobs that require a level of dedication and lifestyle commitment that cannot be attained by pay or training.



My nurse, doctor, elementary school teacher, policeman and fireman all need to do the job because when they were kids they always wanted to be a fireman. They always wanted to be a nurse or always wanted to become a cop. You can’t take someone who always wanted to be a plumber and make them into a great nurse or fireman because you pay them well or give them a lot of training. Some jobs you have to do because you are dedicated to the job. Police agencies should hire the best people for the job, and part of that equation is how much do they want the job? Having a calling can make up for a lot a lack of pay or training. No on is a great cop because they are paid well or are well trained. We all have met cops that do a lousy job but get paid a lot of money, or have been very well trained and throw it all away on an ethical lapse. More money and more training seldom hurt an agency, but they don’t cure every problem; that’s what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Riding a Dead Horse

There is an old joke going around the Internet. I don’t know when it started but much of it certainly applies to law enforcement. When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.


However, in many organizations more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:


8. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.



Years ago the Army used to require two soldiers to carry a third soldier on a stretcher. The test was to simulate carrying a wounded comrade from the field under normal conditions. The concept was that each one of the two soldiers should be able to carry about 100 pounds on the stretcher. The Army found that female soldiers usually failed the test because generally female soldiers were not strong enough to carry that much weight.



Rather than face the fact that generally women are smaller and not as strong as most men, the Army changed the standard to allow four soldiers to carry the stretcher. In other words, lower the standard until everyone can pass. The reason that it was two soldiers is that you are taking soldiers from combat in order to care for a wounded comrade, using the fewest number of troops to do that leaves more men for the fight.



There are also times when the wounded must be moved over steep hills or through swamps or deep mud, and four men would be necessary to carry the stretcher. If four soldiers are required to carry the stretcher on flat level dry terrain, what will they do when there is deep mud or a steep hill? I suppose that those soldiers will have to die on the altar of political correctness. The Army structured the test to achieve the outcome they wanted, not to achieve the mission. Standards should be set to achieve the mission, not to enhance diversity, or increase self esteem. If you can’t perform the mission then lives are at risk and that’s unacceptable; that’s what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Riding a Dead Horse

There is an old joke going around the Internet. I don’t know when it started but much of it certainly applies to law enforcement. When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.


However, in many organizations more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:


7. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.



Hiring contractors can be a cost effective method of dealing with some aspects of law enforcement. Sometimes hiring contractors to perform a task can be a good idea. It is especially good for short term tasks. That way you get extra bodies to perform a function but don’t end up with more full time staff in the long term for a short term project.



Some agencies contract jail services. Other agencies use contractors for canine tracking dogs. Some agencies use private services to perform parking control duties. Other agencies us contractors as security guards for public buildings. Some agencies have discussed using private patrol services to respond to burglar alarms. What does that leave for the police to do? Be careful that you don’t contract yourself out of a job; that’s what the SGT Says.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Riding a Dead Horse

There is an old joke going around the Internet. I don’t know when it started but much of it certainly applies to law enforcement. When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.


However, in many organizations more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:


6. Reclassifying the dead horse as living-impaired.



Changing the name does not change the subject matter. Hobos, bums, vagrants, transients, homeless people are all the same problem from a hundred years of police work. There has always been an underclass of people who are mentally ill, or alcohol or drug addicted who have no job and no place to live. Still the problem is no where near resolution and law enforcement still deals with these people every day.



Homeless activists constantly complain about how police interact with transients, but they never seem to be able to solve the problem of finding these hobos a place to live. When these bums are out urinating on peoples lawns, and defecating in public it is the police who have to respond and deal with the problem of vagrants.



Police need to have the authority to lock up people who cannot or will not find a place to live. We need minimum security jails that can house people long term. If the homeless are mentally ill or on drugs or alcohol then they need to be housed in a place not unlike an open bay military barracks. They can perform all the maintenance of the facility and can be kept locked up with a minimum number of staff. Start with a sentence of one day for each arrest and just keep doubling it until they are locked up forever. No matter what we name them police still have to deal with them; that’s what the SGT Says.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Riding a Dead Horse

There is an old joke going around the Internet. I don’t know when it started but much of it certainly applies to law enforcement. When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.


However, in many organizations more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:


5. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.



How many times have we seen standards lowered in the emergency services field? Los Angeles Fire Department had a requirement that all firefighter trainees had to be able to climb over a six foot tall wall. The city has a municipal code that limits the fences at residential locations to six feet tall. Female firefighters had difficulty climbing the wall so there was a serious suggestion that all the residences in the city of over two million people would have to lower their fences to four feet so that the requirement could be eliminated. All so a handful of women could become firefighters.



There are many tasks that we as police have to be able to accomplish in order to serve the public. Our job is one of public service. We are there to help others who need help. We are there to keep our communities safe. Political correctness has no place in this arena. The dangers we face will not provide us with special dispensation because we are Black or White, young or old, male or female. Criminals only see a uniform and a badge. They will kill us if we give them the chance. We don’t need to lower standards, we need to bring people up to standard and hire the best we can for the position; that’s what the SGT Says.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Riding a Dead Horse

There is an old joke going around the Internet. I don’t know when it started but much of it certainly applies to law enforcement. When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.


However, in many organizations more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:


4. Arranging to visit other countries to see how other cultures ride dead horses.



Going on a junket to another country, another state or even the agency across the county can be fun. It can also be expensive. It can also be a huge waste of time and money. Tactics and techniques that work in other jurisdictions may not work where you are located. Few parts of the world have the concerns with civil rights and liability we have here in the United States.



Visiting other agencies can provide useful insights, but you need to examine your own agency first. How do different people or different precincts within your own agency handle this problem? Often the answer to difficult problems can be right next to you but because no one is looking for the solution at home.



When command staff members are off visiting, who is minding the store? Visits, conventions, training conferences can be a method of delaying decisions. It can be a method for avoiding responsibility. Real leadership often means staying at work and resolving the agencies problems, that’s what the SGT Says.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Riding a Dead Horse

There is an old joke going around the Internet. I don’t know when it started but much of it certainly applies to law enforcement. When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.


However, in many organizations more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:


3. Appointing a committee to study the horse.



Appointing a committee can be a good way to gather information and make recommendations on complex issues. It can also be a good technique for giving the illusion of progress without actually having to do anything about the problem. Committees also are a good technique to avoid responsibility for a problem



The committee meets and issues its recommendations as a group. That way no one person is responsible for the decisions. Since the committee has no authority to implement their recommendations, then nothing has to change as the result of their work. Leaders don’t need committees to tell them what the right thing is to do; that’s what the SGT Says.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Riding a Dead Horse

There is an old joke going around the Internet. I don’t know when it started but much of it certainly applies to law enforcement. When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.


However, in many organizations more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:


2. Changing riders.



Sometimes getting a new perspective on a problem is a good idea. Sometimes it’s just a way to avoid dealing with a problem without having to fix the problem. Some agencies go through one chief of police after another. Every couple years they have a crisis and a new chief. Not every crisis is the fault of the chief.



If the officers are not well trained then when they go into the field they will make mistakes. They will fail to prevent crimes, fail to capture criminals and fail to put cases together that result in prosecutions. Training is expensive. Training must be on going. Training can be boring. A class on active shooter is much more fun than a class on gathering evidence, report writing or search and seizure law. How many times a day does your agency face and active shooter? How many times a day do they gather evidence, write reports and perform searches and property seizures?



If a chief constantly puts training time in his budget and the city council cuts it out, can we blame the chief for not training his people? If a chief budgets a training staff and the staff is cut, can we blame the chief for the lack of training of the officers. Chiefs have to solve problems, just getting a new one does not solve any problems; it just buys you a short honeymoon while they start implementing their solutions. Changing riders is not a solution to every problem; it’s only the solution if the rider is the problem; that’s what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Riding a Dead Horse

There is an old joke going around the Internet. I don’t know when it started but much of it certainly applies to law enforcement. When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.


However, in many organizations more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:


1. Buying a stronger whip.



Some organizations think that whipping their employees will get better performance. Law enforcement officers need to be in organizations that hold their employees to high standards. Officers need to know what the standards are and if they violate the standards then they need to be subject to retraining or disciplinary action up to and including termination.



That does not mean that every infraction of the rules should result in termination. Not every interaction between management, supervision and officers needs to be confrontational. The goal of management should be to create an environment where employees can sometimes make a mistake and recover. The important thing is the employees’ intent, severity of the offense, and outcome of the incident. Not every employee error is a crisis, that’s what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Riding a Dead Horse

There is an old joke going around the Internet. I don’t know when it started but much of it certainly applies to law enforcement. When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.



However, in many organizations more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:



1. Buying a stronger whip.


2. Changing riders.


3. Appointing a committee to study the horse.


4. Arranging to visit other countries to see how other cultures ride dead horses.


5. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.


6. Reclassifying the dead horse as living-impaired.


7. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.


8. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.


9. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase dead horse's performance.


10. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance.


11.. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.


12. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.


13. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.



Many agencies have dead horses as part of their inventory. It’s time to get rid of them; that’s what the SGT Says.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Invisible Cops & Robbers


http://defense-update.com/20110905_bae-adaptiv_camouflage.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DefenseUpdate+%28Defense+Update%29


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Several companies from Japan to the UK to Sweden are working on methods of making humans, vehicles, buildings and ships invisible. Some of the most advanced are making large objects invisible to heat detection. Just as we now use FLIR to find people on the ground from police helicopters these devices would mask the person so they would appear on the FLIR as the background.



Other technologies are trying to mask visible light. Criminals could throw on a cloak and be invisible to the naked eye unless you were very close to them. While these technologies are currently experimental, temperamental and very expensive you never know when a break through could happen.



Imagine drug smugglers in a truck in the Texas desert who can’t be picked up at night by heat detection sensors. Imagine drug smugglers in fast boats that were invisible to radar. Imagine a police car that can’t be detected when you are sitting on the side of the road on a stake out. Imagine a police helicopter that is so quiet that you can’t hear it at all from 100 feet away. Stealth technology is moving fast and there are applications for police work and for criminals; that’s what the SGT Says.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Home Security

One of the best ways to fight crime is to teach people how to prevent themselves from being a victim. People are often most receptive to this information when they or a neighbor have already been victimized. Keep pamphlets on crime prevention in your clip board so you can distribute them when you take a prowler, burglary or auto burglary report.



A few tips you can pass on verbally. Every home should have good locks, including a dead bolt lock on every exterior door, the door between the house and garage if it is an attached garage, and at least the master bedroom door. Good exterior lighting is essential. It should be on a timer or on a light sensor switch. That way it comes on even if the homeowner is not home.



Keep bushes trimmed down away from doors and windows so suspects can’t hide from nosey neighbors or hide and ambush you for a home invasion robbery. Keep your car keys near your bed; you can use the car alarm as an emergency alarm. Push the button to set off the alarm and it will ring for a long time, wake up the neighbors and hopefully frighten off the crook. Have good house numbers, readily visible from the street, it can make an emergency response much faster if we can find the right house; that’s what the SGT Says.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Chemical Attack Response


http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/09/07/national/main20102925.shtml



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/15/mcdonalds-death-gas_n_963971.html



Despite a decade of warnings to American first responders we are still woefully unprepared for a chemical attack. I have been to classes on how to respond to a chemical attack as a police officer and I have some idea how to survive as a citizen at home when a chemical attack happens. Still, my agency has not issued any chemical gear to me, so in the even I have to respond to a chemical attack, I just have to be lucky. They are working to change that and I hope to have chemical protective gear soon.



In Georgia a fire department responded to a medical aid of an unknown chemical substance in a Mac Donald’s restaurant. Nine people were taken to the hospital, 20 decontaminated, including three firefighters and one lady died the next day. The investigation and autopsy confirmed that the carbon dioxide used to add fizz to the sodas leaked out and caused people to asphyxiate.



Something as mundane and simple as a carbon dioxide leak happened and we could not figure it out until the autopsy? How can we figure out an actual attack? Chemical weapons can be very small, transient and deadly. We need to be aware of what is happening and react right away, both to keep ourselves safe, but for the safety of the public at large and the rescue of the initial victims. The general public obviously also needs better training. In this case if they simply went outside they probably would have been better, maybe even recovered if they acted fast enough; that’s what the SGT Says.

Friday, November 11, 2011

OWS BOR

http://www.bayofrage.com/



Before Occupy Wall Street there was Bay of Rage. The radical left in Oakland has been waging a low intensity war against the Oakland police and Bay Area Rapid Transit System police for several years now. Ever since the tragic accidental shooting of a man resisting arrest in a BART station was shot by a BART police officer who intended to use his Taser on the man the left has been staging events in the Oakland Bay area.



Now the most recent incident a protester received a head wound from a bottle thrown by a protester or a tear gas shell fired by the police, depending on which version you chose to believe. Either version is plausible; hopefully a careful investigation will reveal the truth and the man will recover.



When protestors refuse to comply with police orders to disperse there is a potential for injury to both protestors and to police. By having the proper equipment and training officers can minimize the likelihood of injury to themselves and to the protestors. Firing a tear gas canister into a group is not necessarily a good tactic; many types can be very dangerous. The use of a thrown tear gas grenade is safer, but you run the risk the protestors will throw it back at you.



Large fire extinguisher size pepper spray canisters and foggers are very good methods of deploying aerosol weapons too. Part of the key is to spray people in the rear of the crowd so they will leave first; you always want to keep exit routes for the protesters to use to escape, unless it is your plan to arrest all of them, that’s what the SGT Says.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Prisoners

Never trust much to the honor of prisoners. Give them no liberties which might endanger your own safety or afford them an opportunity to escape. Nine out of ten of them have no honor. "By General David J. Cook in his book "Hands up, or Twenty Years of Detective Life in the Mountains and on the Plains"





Keep your relationship with prisoners professional. Prisoners don’t get special treatment for any reason. Don’t trust what prisoners say, they will lie, cheat, steal to gain advantage. Prisoners are masters of manipulation and they will manipulate their guards in order to gain favors and power. Don’t leave prisoners locked in cars for long periods of time. Cars are for transportation of prisoners not jail cells.





Don’t trust prisoners. They need to eat, drink and go to the bathroom but it needs to be done safely. Don’t let their sense of urgency replace your need for officer safety. Female prisoners should be handled by female officers. Prisoners are very good at creating circumstances where they can dispose of drugs, hid weapons, or try to escape or place you in a circumstance of liability. Don’t trust your prisoners; that’s what the SGT Says.



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Prisoners

After your prisoner is arrested and disarmed, treat him as a prisoner should be treated as kindly as his conduct will permit. You will find that if you do not protect your prisoners when they are in your possession, those whom you afterwards attempt to arrest will resist you more fiercely and if they think they will be badly deal with after the arrest, will be inclined to sell their lives as dearly as possible. By General David J. Cook in his book “Hands up, or Twenty Years of Detective Life in the Mountains and on the Plains"



Prisoners are your responsibility. It is your duty to protect them. It does not matter how guilty they are, what crimes they did or how evil they may be. It is your duty to protect them. Criminals are punished by the courts, not by the police. Once the fight is over, stop fighting. When the suspect submits to your authority, then stop fighting.



Once the suspect is in custody it is your duty to make sure they are safe. The have to be kept away from other criminals who would harm them. Prisoners that need medical treatment should get treatment right away. When I have a suspect in custody that makes almost any medical complaint, I call the paramedics and have them make an assessment. Take care of your prisoners and avoid civil liability; that’s what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Arrest

When you attempt to make an arrest, be on your guard. Give your man no opportunity to draw a pistol. If the man is supposed to be a desperado, have your pistol in your hand or be ready to draw when you make yourself known. If he makes no resistance, there will be no harm done by your precaution. My motto had always been. "It is better to kill two men than to allow one to kill you". By General David J. Cook in his book "Hands up, or Twenty Years of Detective Life in the Mountains and on the Plains"



If you believe a suspect may be armed, draw your weapon and point it at the suspect when you attempt to make the arrest. A suspect can draw and fire a weapon in only seconds and so you don’t have the reaction time to draw and fire your handgun. If a suspect is dangerous enough to draw you handgun, then point it at your suspect.



Keep your finger outside the trigger unless you are actually ready to fire your weapon. The finger can move from the trigger guard to the trigger almost instantaneously. Armed suspects are very dangerous. When possible confront them only with back up, when possible confront them when you have your patrol rifle. Armed suspects are very dangerous; take every advantage, that’s what the SGT Says.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Authority

Never attempt to make an arrest without being sure of your authority. Either have a warrant or satisfy yourself thoroughly that the man whom you seek to arrest has committed an offense. By General David J. Cook in his book “Hands up, or Twenty Years of Detective Life in the Mountains and on the Plains"



If you are unsure you have the authority to arrest someone, don’t arrest them. Over the years I have had numerous situations where officers told me they were unsure why they arrested someone. They did not know the authority for their arrest, they did not know what crime had been committed, or they did not know who the victim of the crime was when they made the arrest.



Not every suspect needs to be arrested right now. Get good identification and you can always arrest him later. If you have a good knowledge of your authority to make an arrest, you can take people into custody with greater assurance that they will be tried. If you are unsure, you can observe the suspect from a distance or detain them while you review the information you have with a supervisor to see if you have the authority to make an arrest. Know your authority to arrest, its basic police work; that’s what the SGT Says.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Weapons

Never hit a prisoner over the head with your pistol, because you may afterwards want to use your weapon and find it disabled. Criminals often conceal weapons and sometimes draw one when they are supposed to have been disarmed. By General David J. Cook in his book "Hands up, or Twenty Years of Detective Life in the Mountains and on the Plains”



We no longer pistol whip suspects. We do still have to worry that suspects may pull a gun on us at any time. Every person arrested should be handcuffed. They should be handcuffed with their hands to the rear. They should have the palms of their hands facing outwards. This is the ideal, getting the suspect handcuffed is more important than getting them handcuffed perfectly.



Handcuffs should be tight enough that they can’t be slipped off, but not so tight as to cut off circulation. Handcuffs should always be double locked so that they don’t continue to tighten and injure the suspect. Persons being arrested should be handcuffed first, and then searched. A handcuffed suspect is at a great disadvantage if they attack you. When you search, if you find a weapon, keep searching. Don’t assume the suspect only has one or two weapons; that’s what that SGT Says.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Afghan Guns

Out of Afghanistan we are getting reports of what works and what does not work. The M-16 series continues to get mixed reviews. There are complaints about the knock down power and penetration of the 5.56 rounds. The 9mm handgun generates the same complaints as the 5.56 rounds.





The tried and true M1911 with .45 ACP rounds has proved itself again in close combat. Despite the long distance engagements from hilltop to hilltop there is a lot of time spent raiding houses. That requires a close in weapon and the M1911 has been a favored firearm. It has proven itself in two World Wars and many other wars with US forces and has never been found wanting. The mountains of Afghanistan often mean engagement ranges will be from mountain top to mountain top. The short ranged M-16 series has often been replaced by the M-14 series of rifles in 7.62mm. The longer range and greater knock down power has proven essential.





The use of air power and night vision devices has also been essential to American dominance of the battlefield. The ability to call in air support for reconnaissance, and medical evacuation are critical. The ability to see the enemy in the dark and move about at night has given soldiers ability dominate the night. We in law enforcement need to learn from their experience and put their knowledge to work for us here at home; that’s what the SGT Says.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Digital Danger


http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/09/06/123290/firefighters-balk-at-new-digital.html#ixzz1XDktJYle



Firefighters and police are rushing towards the digital future. In the wake of the 9/11 attacks everyone was worried that their agency could be faced with the inability to communicate with other agencies in a major disaster. With the help of the Federal and State governments, local agencies began buying digital radios to allow them to communicate better. Some parts of the nation had so many agencies and private companies working for them that frequencies were very crowded and it was nearly impossible to get a new frequency.



The new digital upgrades have been a problem. Many complain that the digital radios will drop calls. They also say that they often can’t get a signal. The agency I work for has decided to keep their old analog radio frequency and we use that for day to day police work. The analog signal seems to do a better job of penetrating large buildings and heavy concrete structures. We discovered this during a field test of the new equipment and a comparison with the old frequency.



We need communications that work the first time and every time. The call for help from a police officer or a firefighter often means a life threatening emergency is in progress and help is needed right away. No agency should transfer from a communication system to a new system until they are absolutely certain that their new system works everywhere their first responders are expected to work; that’s what the SGT Says.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Dual Force

Watching a TV show recently and the folks were mounting a Taser on the bottom of a police shotgun. The concept was that an officer could pull out his shotgun and if deadly force was not needed but the officer needed to use force, he could employ the Taser. Some things work better in concept than they do in real life, this device is one of them.



Officers should seamlessly transition from one level of force to another. Each level of force should be distinct from potentially lethal force. The firearm should stand alone. We have learned this over time. It used to be common for officers to wear their Taser behind their handgun. So when they needed a Taser they could fast draw it just like their handgun.



After shooting a couple people that they intended to Taser, officers began wearing the Taser on the opposite side from their handgun, in a cross draw configuration. Now some officers are even wearing the Taser on the opposite side from the handgun in a left handed draw position to avoid confusion with the handgun. Mounting a Taser on the end of a shotgun is just a recipe for disaster, that’s what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ancient Wisdom

1. Never hit a prisoner over the head with your pistol, because you may afterwards want to use your weapon and find it disabled. Criminals often conceal weapons and sometimes draw one when they are supposed to have been disarmed.


2. Never attempt to make an arrest without being sure of your authority. Either have a warrant or satisfy yourself thoroughly that the man whom you seek to arrest has committed an offense.


3. When you attempt to make an arrest, be on your guard. Give your man no opportunity to draw a pistol. If the man is supposed to be a desperado, have your pistol in your hand or be ready to draw when you make yourself known. If he makes no resistance, there will be no harm done by your precaution. My motto had always been. "It is better to kill two men than to allow one to kill you".


4. After your prisoner is arrested and disarmed, treat him as a prisoner should be treated as kindly as his conduct will permit. You will find that if you do not protect your prisoners when they are in your possession, those whom you afterwards attempt to arrest will resist you more fiercely and if they think they will be badly dealt with after the arrest, will be inclined to sell their lives as dearly as possible.


5. Never trust much to the honor of prisoners. Give them no liberties which might endanger your own safety or afford them an opportunity to escape. Nine out of ten of them have no honor."



By General David J. Cook in his book "Hands up, or Twenty Years of Detective Life in the Mountains and on the Plains"



Some things don’t change too much in law enforcement; that’s what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Is Your Agency Ready for Occupation?


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/26/occupy-oakland-veteran-critical-condition?newsfeed=true



When Oakland police moved in on a group of Occupy Wall Street protesters, one protester when down with a head injury. The protesters surge forward and remove him from in front of the police barricade and send him to the hospital. The media are portraying him as a victim of police brutality and stressing that he is an Iraqi War veteran.



The police and city government have done a poor job of responding to the media reports. The mayor says she was not responsible for the tactics the police used and that she was in Washington at the time. The Oakland Police say they did not use flash bang devices, when one is apparently seen in the video of the incident. Later, Oakland Police say that they may have been employed by another mutual aid agency.



The city and police department should speak with one voice in times of crisis. They need to have an official spokesperson that makes all statements. The chief and mayor need to keep their mouths closed and not say anything to reporters. Having one official spokesman for major incidents prevents people from contradicting each other and prevents people from trying to blame each other or shift responsibility back and forth between agencies. The people have a right to swift and accurate news about police activities. Having too many people talk to the media only leads to inaccurate and misleading reports. With social media covering so many events agencies need to get their version of incidents out quickly and accurately; that’s what the SGT Says.