Friday, November 30, 2012

Record Police



 http://www.businessinsider.com/supreme-court-says-its-ok-to-record-cops-2012-11#ixzz2DR0mCccC

Courts have said that it is legal to record police officers.  I have no problem with people recording the voice or image of police in public in the performance of their duty.  We are public servants and the people have a right to know what the government in the form of police are doing.

What I do object to is people who do things that are nominally illegal to record the police.  I don't like it when people stand in the middle of the street to record police.  They block traffic and endanger themselves and the drivers.  I don't like it when I am trying to conduct and investigation or take someone into custody and people are running around in the way with their cell phones and cameras trying to be the next Internet star.

I think that people should be able to record the police but they should have to stay out of the street.  They should have to stay back a certain distance, perhaps 25 feet from the officer while recording.  They should not talk to or contact the suspect when they are recording as long as the officer is still on scene.  I think these are reasonable restrictions for officer and public safety; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Noise Complaint

http://connecticut.cbslocal.com/2012/11/21/woman-calls-cops-on-salvation-army-workers-for-ringing-bells/

A woman called the police to complain that the Salvation Army was ringing their bells and disturbing her peace.  When on patrol not every call ends in a gun battle or a car chase.  Most are pretty routine and many verge on the stupid.  As peace officers responding to this type of call is certainly something we want to address.  While on the face of it, this call is a silly waste of an officers time.

What happens if we don't resolve the problem and the complainant decides to take matters into their own hands and assaults the Salvation Army worker or worse still, gets a gun and shoots them?  Unfortunately these are considerations in today's society.  The main issue here is to resolve the problem if possible and avoid having to go out to this problem again and again.  I certainly would not want to make an arrest, or issue a citation based on a single complaint of noise on an otherwise lawful activity.  I would suggest several things that might help.  The first thing is to meet with the reporting party and find out their side of the problem and particular hours or days when it is the worst.  Then meet with the Salvation Army worker separately and ask if there is some way to mitigate the noise. 

Perhaps they can move a few feet down the street.  Sometimes even a few feet of movement may make a big difference on how sound is perceived.  If you are unable to resolve the problem, perhaps you can refer the complaining party to the Salvation Army workers supervisor or management for further follow up.  Sometimes if everyone seems otherwise reasonable you can have both parties discuss options that might resolve the problem.  Often charities have to get a permit to solicit money, the reporting party may be able to consult with the agency that issues the permit and seek relief that way.  The key here is even if you can't resolve the problem, at least give the complaining party the feeling that they have other, non-violent and lawful options and that you did something to assist them; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

When Clowns Attack

http://www.wtsp.com/video/default.aspx?bctid=1977163976001

An officer is dispatched to a report that a local "activist" dressed as a clown is squirting people with a squirt gun.  The officer responds and when he speaks the the subject a fight ensues and they both go to the ground.  The officer manages to get the upper hand and the suspect is taken into custody.  A local man sees the incident and rather than help the cop in a potentially life threatening incident video tapes the incident and sends the tape to the TV news because it's funny.

A back up officer arrived only a couple minutes later than the first officer.  When responding to incidents that involve local "activists" officers should approach the subject at least in pairs so that there is at least one witness to the incident.  People like that often will say or do things that are confrontational because they enjoy the publicity of an arrest or the possibility of a lawsuit for excessive force. The first officer arriving could wait and observe the behavior before making contact.  He could then approach with a partner and lessen the likely hood of a physical confrontation.

Sometimes when facing "activists" it can be very helpful to audio or video record the incident.  When the officer acts properly the tape can be used to impeach the suspects behavior.  The vast majority of time officers act in a manner that is reasonable and so the video will often show that behavior.  This video shows the officer on the ground with the "clown" on top of him.  The officers gun was exposed, but the officer kept fighting and eventually gained the upper hand.  Never underestimate the clowns you have to deal with on the street; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Traffic Direction

Traffic direction is a skill that is easily learned.  There are several principles, the first one is the safety of yourself and the drivers.  Use traffic cones, barriers, lights and road flares to help block off lanes and direct cars where you want them to go.  If possible park a patrol car with all the lights on where it can alert drivers to your location.

Stand in a location where you are readily visible.  Wear a hat if possible to make you look more official.  Wear white gloves to make your hands more visible.  At night use a flashlight with a cone over the end of the light to make it more visible.

When in doubt, make everyone stop in each direction.  Take your time and direct cars to go where you want them to go.  Try not to let anyone sit too long in any direction.  Watch for emergency vehicles or tow trucks so that you can clear cars out of the way as necessary.  Take extra care around pedestrians.  Traffic direction is important and with a little practice you can do it well; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Crime Scene

In November, 2009 a US Army, Major went to Fort Hood, Texas and opened fire on a group of US Army soldiers.  They were planning to deploy to fight the War on Terror.  The attacker killed 13 people and injured 32 others.  One of the injured had six gunshot wounds.  Area police officers responded and took the suspect into custody.

Thirteen murder victims.  That is a large number of victims and a huge crime scene.  Treat a massive crime scene like this as both thirteen separate crime scenes and a single crime scene.  The prosecution should be able to prosecute each individual victim as a separate crime.  A smart prosecution will prosecute a few of them at a time to be able to prosecute a second time on new victims if there is some kind of procedural error that prevents a conviction.

Have thirteen separate teams and another to coordinate the overall crime scene.  Call for whatever resources you need to make sure that you have enough evidence collected to convict the suspect for every murder.  Don't assume one conviction will be enough.  Often multiple convictions are best to insure a major suspect will stay in prison for a long time, or that the suspect will get the death penalty.  Careful crime scene investigation is well worth the result; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Smoke Marijuana at Work

Recently some states have legalized marijuana use for recreation.  I think this is a terrible idea, particularly for law enforcement.  Is your agency going to let you smoke marijuana for recreational use when you are off duty?  How will your agency treat prior arrests for marijuana now that it's legal?

Will your agency allow officers to deal marijuana as a part time job?  How about smoking marijuana for recreation all the time, even when at work?  If it's legal, what are the restrictions?  Will non-sworn police employees be able to use marijuana?  Certainly a dispatcher does not drive or carry a gun?  How about police records clerks?

When applicants come in from other states and say they smoke marijuana all the time because it's legal will you hire them if they say they will stop when they move to your state?  How about when your officers go on vacation, can they vacation out of state and use marijuana and then come home and still have a job?  How about if you are on the border and maybe they live out of state but work in your state?  A lot of questions and no good answers; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Up Close and Personal

When drawing the handgun from the holster, flip up the barrel so that it is parallel to the ground as soon as possible.  You want to be able to engage a suspect who is so close to you that you are practically touching.  Most police shootings happen within six feet of the officer and yet we often don't train for the close encounter.  They are different from shooting farther away.

Stand so close to a target that your feet are touching the target.  On command draw the handgun and fire two rounds into the target.  You will find that after years of practicing to shoot suspects who are three or five yards away it is disconcerting to shoot a target that close.  A suspect with a knife may very well be right on top of you.

As you draw your handgun, you may want to reach across your body and grasp the weapon with two hands to prevent the suspect from grabbing it.  You may want to take a step back or to the left or right to gain some distance, especially if it is a knife attack.  You even want to use your non gun hand to push the suspect back as you draw.  Just get that hand out of the way before you fire; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, November 23, 2012

DAV

 
There are many resources for police that are not specifically police related.  One of them is the Disabled American Veterans organization.  They have been around almost 100 years.  One of the documents on their website is a brochure about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
 
Police often face the same kinds of stress faced by soldiers.  They have friends killed at work.  There are terrible accidents in their work environment.  They have to face dangerous, unusual and uncomfortable situations over a long period of time.
 
The brochure indicates these four factors that could indicate PTSD:
 
"This could include:
• Not being able to get memories of the traumatic event out of your mind.
• Dreams about the event.
• Becoming anxious, angry or depressed when you are exposed to cues that remind you of the event.
• Feeling guilty about the event."
 
 

If you or a co-worker have these symptoms, then you should consider treatment for post traumatic stress, that's the view from the Hysterical Right Wing.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the day with the largest number of traffic fatalities that happen on a single day.  That is because so many people are out driving to grandmothers house and not thinking about where they are going or what they are doing.  There are also a lot of people going home from grandmothers house who had too much to drink and are driving while intoxicated.

This is a good day to field a large number of traffic officers to keep traffic moving in a safe and orderly manner.  Give tickets to everyone who commits a moving violation.  It will remind them that they need to pay attention to their driving on holidays just like they do the rest of the time.

Special attention needs to be paid to those driving under the influence.  A DUI checkpoint would probably gather up a good number of suspects.  There should also be weeks of public service announcements on local TV and radio as well as billboards to make the public aware of the dangers of driving on Thanksgiving.  Holidays can be fun, but they can also be deadly; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

We Need


 
In Kenya a gang of cattle rustlers ambushed and killed thirty-two police officers.  Think about the nature of police work in the USA and we have thirty-two officers killed in six months.  They had that many killed in a day.  The United States has very effective police and we do a very good job of breaking up gangs and putting violent criminals in jail.  I think there is still more we could do, however.
 
We need a fingerprint data base that is fully centralized.  Every person in the USA who gets fingerprinted should be in that central data base.  Every officer in the field should have instant access to that information. It should tell us if the person is presently wanted for any offense and if they have been convicted of any crime of violence, any felony, or if they are on a terrorist watch list.
 
We need better crime scene investigation.  Just as we see on television every week on several TV shows, crime scene investigation is complex and expensive.  We need to spend the money to train and equip enough crime scene investigators to respond to every murder, major violent crime and significant property crime.  That will help us to get more and better convictions; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Check it Out

http://wreg.com/2012/11/16/mile-high-mystery-ufo-sightings-in-sky-over-denver/

People have been calling 911 over strange lights in the sky.  I have been sent on UFO calls.  Barking dogs.  Possums on the roof of a home.  Skunks at the front door of a house.  Strange lights, strange sounds, strange smells.   Doing patrol you see it all eventually.

Sometimes it's nothing.  Sometimes a strange smell is just a strange smell.  Sometimes it's a car fire, or a dead body. Sometimes that skunk at the front door is a cat, and sometimes it's a skunk.  Either way, leave it alone and it will go away.

Don't pre-judge your calls.  When you get a call, start making a plan, call for whatever assistance you might reasonably need and then check it out.  You never know what it will turn out to be, and so go and investigate it with an open mind.  Don't leave the scene until you are certain that everything is okay.  Those strange lights in the sky might be stars, an airplane, or an airplane from the stars.  You never know until you investigate; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Heart Attack

The American Heart Association says some heart attack warning signs include both sudden and intense but also some that start slowly, with mild pain.

Chest discomfort.
Discomfort in other areas of the upper body
Shortness of breath
Other signs can include cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

When someone has these symptoms, they need to go to the hospital immediately, or have paramedics respond right away.  These symptoms can happen to one of your partners.  One of your command staff, or even yourself.  If it is one of your partners, put them in your police car and take them code 3 to the nearest trauma center, once you clear it with dispatch.  Heart attacks kill officers every year, don't let it happen on your watch, that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ticket or Lecture

My old FTO used to say that you should write someone a ticket or give them a lecture but not both.  In general, I agree with him.  When you perform a traffic stop for a simple moving violation either give the person a lecture about traffic safety or give them a citation.

People who seem upset that they got pulled over and honesty sorry for what they did probably don't need a citation to insure they will change their behavior.  The point of writing tickets is to get people to drive safer, or if they simply refuse to change their behavior, then to give them enough tickets over time that they will have their license to drive revoked.

Writing tickets to people who make an honest mistake and are sorry for it, does not necessarily provide any greater educational experience than the lecture alone.  When giving someone a lecture it is best to make it short, respectful but make sure the are aware of the potentially serious outcome of running a red light, or failing to signal a turn.  Of course, some violations are so dangerous they almost always require a citation; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

MTA

http://mail.aol.com/37185-111/aol-6/en-us/Suite.aspx

A police car and a Honda were involved in a traffic collision.  Then an MTA bus hit the Honda.  Then twenty people were transported to the hospital.  Sometimes when there is a traffic collision with a city bus, people try to actually get onto the bus to pretend that they were on the bus and injured.  They want to try and get money as a result of the collision.

If you respond to a collision with a bus there are several things to do to avoid this problem.  The first thing is to try and watch the doors to keep people from entering.  When interviewing people on the bus, ask them when they got on the bus, how much fare they paid and ask them if they can show you a bus pass, or transfer slip, anything that would verify they were really on the bus.  Ask the other passengers to verify the other passengers.

Interview the bus driver and try to to identify everyone on the bus too.  Check the bus schedule and bus stop locations.  Many transit systems often have their own police but if you are nearby you may be tasked with writing the report or at least lending a hand.  It's always a good idea to assist another agency when you get the chance.  You never know when you will need them to provide you with assistance or even a job; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Bullet Proof Car

http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/super-material-stop-speeding-bullet-181133971--abc-news-tech.html

Scientists are working on a new bullet proof material.  It simply absorbs the bullets when they hit.  The material is clear, like a windshield.  This is the type of product that police need to be developed to protect officers in the field and at the station.  Every police patrol car should be enclosed at least the front and front sides should be bullet proof.

Officers should be safe inside their patrol cars.  They should be able to sit in their patrol cars, on patrol or on a traffic stop, and be protected from firearms assault.  In the past, bullet proof protection has been too heavy, too opaque and too expensive to be built into every patrol car.

I hope this new material will be inexpensive enough that it can be used in all patrol cars.  Patrol cars should also remain the same shape and size year after year so that ancillary equipment can be handed down from car to car, reducing the amortized price.  New technology is needed to prevent officer deaths, a bullet proof patrol car is only one item; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Retirement

How many friends do you have who are not cops?  How do you get along with your kids?  How are you and the wife getting along?  What do you do besides police work?  What do you do outside of work without doing it without other cops?  When was the last time you went to church?

Many police over time lose all their non-police friends.  They don't understand police work and rather than explain it, most officers just dump their non-police friends.  Many cops have difficulty doing shift work and weekends as well as long hours.  As a result they have relationship difficulties with their families.

Officers often alienate themselves from society.  They drift away from all their friends.  They drift away from their kids and their wife.  They leave the church.  Eventually they only have their on duty relationships.  When they retire they have no family, no friends, and no church.  Often, retired officers will contemplate suicide, and sometimes even kill themselves.  We need to do a better job of preventing that; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Active Shooter

The second or third team in at an active shooter response should still head for the location of the active shooter.  Historically, officers have had to face one to four shooters.  One team facing four shooters is poor odds.  A ratio of at least five or six to one is recommended to outgun the opponent. 

After about the third or fourth team is deployed, additional responding units should begin to evacuate the wounded.  They can escort paramedics or can bring wounded out themselves. It's better if firemen bring out wounded while police provide cover.  Paramedics can set up in a secure area, so more police will be needed in the command post area. 

Officers should assist in triage and those wounded who are very badly injured may have to be left to die so that the others may be saved. One critical patient can take a lot of resources and take up paramedics who could otherwise save a number of others.  Treating the wounded is the second most important part of active shooter response; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Active Shooter

When responding to an active shooter call, don't go in alone.  It's usually a poor tactic.  One suspect versus one officer is poor odds.  Certainly time is essential, but there is no point in simply having one officer after another going up against the suspect.  It not only does not give the officer much of an advantage, but it can cause officers to shoot at each other. 

Wait until their are at least two officers, and three or four is better.  Once you have four officers, then go in as a team, no more than five officers together.  They should be in a diamond formation, three officers can bring fire in any direction and the fourth officer facing to the rear.  The officer in the center can direct the group.

Officers should wear ballistic helmets, hard armor over their soft armor, and carry long guns, patrol rifles if possible.  Officers should move fast, but not run.  They should go towards the sound of the guns of the active shooter.  If an officer goes down, he should be expected to treat himself and evacuate himself.  In an active shooter incident, officers have to press forward and take down the shooter; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Active Shooter


Several local agencies coordinated with a shopping mall to conduct active shooter training.  Once security had everyone out of the mall for the evening at about 11 p.m. the mall was used as the venue for this training.  A dispatcher would radio a request for mutual aid on a training channel and ask for officers to respond to a shooting at the mall.

Officers would leave their city and go to a command center where they would be disarmed and given blue guns for training.  No handcuffs, no knives, no pistols, no back up guns, no Taser, no pepper spray.  They were cleared by SWAT members.  The officers then responded to the mall command post.  There the officers were cleared again and sent into the mall in small groups.  Each group had at least one SWAT member in a yellow traffic vest as a controller.  Other visitors and people not in play wore yellow traffic vests too.

The officers were greeted inside the mall with actors playing mall patrons who were scared, or wounded and they had to deal with that problem as they searched for the shooters.  Two people were in the mall acting as the active shooter with blue guns firing blanks.  There was one controller with each shooter.  It was a great way to train officers; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mutual Aid

Los Angeles County is divided into areas for mutual aid.  Each city pledges that in the event of a major incident and mutual aid request that they will send at least 50% of the on duty patrol officers immediately to any area mutual aid request.  They won't wait to ask the chief, they won't try to evaluate if it meets their standards of a major incident, they won't wait to see if the officers are really needed or if they can spare them.  The officers report to their agency, collect their gear, get signed off by the watch commander and off they go to the mutual aid command post.

The area I work in can send at least 100 officers within a few minutes of the request.  My agency is expected to send three officers since we field six patrol cars most of the time.  I suspect that every time we have had a mutual aid request we have actually send more that three.  Typically, we will call in Reserve Officers to back fill the Regular Officers in the city.  Sometimes we have also sent Reserve Officers to the mutual aid request. 

Other officers who are on duty are also sent to a major incident.  Detectives are put in uniform and either back fill the Regular Patrol Officers or are sent as additional responders to the mutual aid request.  Command staff might go and we have sent clerks and dispatchers too so they can assist with those duties.  We have held over an shift that is about to go home and called people in on their day off.  These procedures need to be approved, planned and practiced before a major incident happens.  It makes life much safer for the officers and the general public; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Blue on Blue

http://wreg.com/2012/11/08/mpd-officer-shot-by-other-officer/

Two officers were serving a search warrant and they were attacked by a large dog.  As one officer was being attacked the second officer drew his firearm and shot at the dog.  Instead he hit his partner and seriously injured him.  Dogs are relatively small, and fast and are very difficult to hit with a handgun, even at close range.  We seldom train to fire downward at a small fast moving target.

Officers serving a search warrant should try to gain intelligence about the location.  One important thing to find out about is the presence of a dog.  Ask your dog license agency if their is a dog at the location.  Park an undercover vehicle across the street and watch the location for a period of time or drive by and take photos to detect dogs.  Have a helicopter fly overhead during the day and take photos to look for dog evidence.

Doggie doo in the yard, dog bowls, dog toys, kennel, dog house, or dirt patches from the dog running around can provide evidence of a dog.  Ask the mailman, ask the neighbors, kids in particular will know if a dog lives in the house.  Deliver a mock package to the site to see if a dog comes to the door.  Have animal control accompany your warrant team if there is a dog or have them train you on how to avoid the dog; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Harrassed

http://autos.aol.com/article/million-dollar-settlement-harassed-officer/?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl37%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D231383

A female officer got plastic surgery and lost 85 pounds.  She looked so much better that officers started asking her out, driving past her house and accessing her drivers license number.  She had 140 instances of officers getting her drivers license information. 

She worked for two different agencies and sued them because of the behavior of these officers.  The got over a million dollars in settlements from those cities.  A million dollars would pay for twenty officers for a year.  That is money wasted from police department budgets because these officers could not control themselves.

Police officers need to have high moral standards and that includes treating a woman like a lady, even if she is not much of a lady.  Just because a woman is attractive or works for the agency does not mean it is okay to keep trying to go out with her after she says no.  Rather than pay this woman a million dollars they should have disciplined 140 officers and maybe even fired a few.  This incident was a failure by the officers and a failure by supervision too; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Naked Truth

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dm_8P7ILRVI&feature=player_embedded#!

(Link displays nude suspect.)

A woman disrupted a city council meeting by taking off her clothing.  She then yells at the police who arrested her for public nudity and claimed they were violating her civil rights.  She claimed they were in violation of the Constitutional right to be nude.  The officers did not engage her in a pointless discussion, which is very good.

The officers were very professional and they got the subject out of the council chambers right away.  The placed her in a control hold and moved her to a hallway.  It would have been better if they could have had a female officer secure the suspect, cover the suspect with a blanket and move the suspect to a room or hallway without access.  Once people are arrested, I don't support their right to talk to other people, the press, passers by or their friends and family.

The officers may have been able to move the other people back and I certainly would have maintained her stance towards the wall.  Not only to cover her nudity but to keep her from talking.  What I don't want is to have to fight her and other people behind me who may support her or who may become enraged by what she says.  Know the law, this woman had committed a crime and was being lawfully arrested for that crime.  Her rights were not violated; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Extra Gear

Extra gear is important gear. I always have a complete uniform in my locker, even if it is an old crummy uniform.  At least one extra tee shirt and two pairs of socks are in my locker.  I have an extra set of footwear too.  At any time you can step in a puddle of water and it's miserable to wear wet shoes and socks all shift.

I keep an extra flashlight in my gear bag.  You never know when the primary flashlight is going to die on you.  Sometimes you get stuck on a call that requires heavy flashlight usage and it can just die you.  I always carry at least two pens on me and another one in my gear bag. 

My gear bag also has a couple towels, a pair of binoculars, and extra handcuffs.  I also carry my riot helmet with face shield.  I don't handle many riots but rowdy teenage parties can result in rocks and bottles being thrown.  I have a snap link and a short length of rope.  A bottle of hand sanitizer, rubber gloves, a pair of pliers and a couple screw drivers and wire cutters all go on patrol with me too.  Extra gear is important gear; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Get a Life

What have you done that was not related to police work this past week?  Police often become so focused on their work that they leave time for little else.  Work graveyard shift, testify in court during the day, then go home and go to sleep in time to get up for work.

On days off work an extra shift to pay for kids, school, a jet ski or other bills, or simply because it's mandatory overtime.  Go to a department Christmas party, have a bar-b-que and only invite other cops.  Spend time off at cop bars, uniform shops, gun stores and pistol ranges.

Eventually the job becomes you whole life.  Then when you retire you have nothing.  Your kids are estranged, your wife has left you and you have no other hobbies.  Go to church this Sunday.  Take the kids to a movie and the wife out to dinner.  Remember you are a cop 24/7 but you are a person for three score and ten; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Counseling

http://www.aol.com/video/police-seek-counseling-after-viewing-gruesome-child-murder-scene/517524191/?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl2%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D229983

A little girl got lost on her first day of school.  Police officers in her small town found her and had lunch with her before she was able to be returned to school. Then a few weeks later the officers returned to her home to find her and a sibling stabbed to death with dozens of stab wounds.

The officers are receiving mandatory counseling because of the incident.  Officers like to pretend that they are immune to the problems of stress related to the job.  I read a study a few years ago that said just putting on the uniform and body armor will increase blood pressure in most officers.  That is a measurable instance of the job causing stress.

Officers who retire from the job often commit suicide.  There are many reasons for this but I suspect that one of them is the officer no longer has to do the job but has time to think about all the bad things they witnessed over the years.  Every officer sees murder victims, car crash victims and other unpleasant sights.  They have to do things the average person would never have to do in our society.  It can be very damaging to the psychological health of the officer.  I support mandatory counseling after traumatic events, that way the officer does not have to be embarrassed that he has asked for counseling, because he is required to go; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Reserves

Agencies need to look to expand or create reserve officer programs.  Agencies should have at least as many reserve officers as they have regular officers.  In the event of an emergency, reserves can respond and double the size of your regular staff.  Reserve officers should have the same screening as the regulars but only need about two thirds as much training.

Reserves should be given a generous uniform maintenance and equipment allowance every year.  They should have the ability to work paid details occasionally, but should not be paid for their training, regular patrol or even every special events.  They should be issued guns, ammo, holsters and some of their other equipment.

The reserves should run their own organization with the assistance of the regular staff.  They should train monthly and qualify on the range as often as the regular police.  They can work patrol with regular officers and assist with special events security at high school football games and other occasions.  They are much cheaper than regular officers but are no replacement for regular officers; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Gun Fight

If you're in a gun fight:
1. If you're not shooting, you should be loading.
2. If you're not loading, you should be moving.

I got an email today with these words in it.  Sound wisdom.  If you are in a gunfight, you need to be shooting until the suspect is no longer a threat.  If he has given up, run out of sight, or is down and out then you can stop shooting.

If you are out of ammunition they you need to reload.  If you have fired a few rounds from a magazine, then you should reload if there is a lull in the battle.  It is very difficult to determine how many rounds you have fired in the stress of combat.  Retain the partial magazine but a fresh magazine is always better.  Give verbal commands, even if you give them while shooting.  Identify yourself and tell the suspect what to do, it verify your authority.

If you are moving, lateral movement to cover is a great idea.  It is difficult for suspects to track you left or right and so it is best to move if you can.  Don't just move, move towards cover so you can obtain an advantage.  Cover is often only one or two steps away.  If you need to advance or retreat doing so behind a wall of bullets is an excellent way to insure you can get there.  Officers often fire too slowly when they move so they don't keep the aspect's head down.  Shoot, load, move, three pieces of good advice for a gun fight; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Fast Car

Texas is testing a new Chevrolet that goes 200 miles per hour.  That's very impressive.  A police car that goes 200 miles per hour is probably useful once in a while in the wide open spaces of the Western United States.  There are few occasions where the average police car even needs to drive 100 miles per hour.

A police car driving 200 miles per hour would kill the occupants with essentially any traffic collision.  Even a dip in the road, a bit or road hazard or debris could cause an accident at those speeds.  The slightest problem with the suspension, steering, brakes, or other components can also cause an accident.

The other problem is that officers don't generally have the skills to drive a car 200 miles per hour.  Most officers can't drive a car 100 miles per hour either.  The officers who drive this vehicle will have to have extensive training so they can operate the vehicle safely.  I would be more impressed if they could instead invent a police car that would always allow an officer to survive a traffic collision at any speed below 65 miles per hour; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Death Penalty

http://bismarcktribune.com/news/national/louisiana-ex-con-executed-for-texas-killing/article_e576e375-b5ca-5e46-b43b-b53bbd2ec693.html

A man in Texas was executed for the murder of his live in girlfriend.  He said he killed her because she would not give him money for drugs.  He later confessed to a previous murder in Louisiana, some ten years before.  He continually was involved in crimes of drugs and violence and made threats, even to kill other inmates in his cell in prison.  He is exactly the type of criminal who deserves to die in the death chamber.

Too many people tell us that the death penalty is not a deterrent to crime.  In this instance the person put to death has had a lifetime of criminal activity and has even killed at least two other people.  If the first murder had been discovered and he had been executed for it the second innocent person need not have died.

The death penalty is neither cruel or unusual punishment.  It is cruel to lock someone in a tiny cell for twenty or thirty years, and it is cruel to the guards to have to guard them and the trustees to have to feed them and do their laundry.  It is cruel to the victims and their loved ones to know that everyday the person who did the murder is still permitted to live, despite overwhelming evidence that they are guilty.  We need a death penalty and we need to use it to kill murderers, that's what the SGT Says.