Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Home Crime Prevention

The average home in American suburbia is not well suited to defend the occupants from burglary or home invasion.  Part of our job as police is to provide tips on how people can harden the target, make it less likely that burglars will enter their home.
Outside, make sure the doors and windows are visible, don't let trees and other plants block the view so burglars can't be seen climbing into the window or breaking open the door.  A good dog that barks when someone shows up is helpful, even if he is small.  The US Army used to use geese because they would honk around strangers and don't bite, well not much.  Homes should be neat and tidy, but excessive displays of wealth can make burglars more interested in your home.  Don't let mail or newspapers pile up outside, it can tell crooks the home is unoccupied.  There should be lighting on all opening.  Lights that work with day / night switches and motion detectors are best.
All exterior doors should be equipped with deadbolt locks.  There should be a security screen on the front door and an doors not readily visible from the street.  There should be a safe room with a deadbolt lock on it too, the master bedroom is a good place for that.  The garage door should be kept closed whenever the garage is unoccupied.  Interior lights should be on timers when you are away.  Provide citizens with safety tips whenever possible; that's that the SGT Says.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Aurora Shooter


The Aurora Shooter was targeted by a psychiatrist who reported to police that he was homicidal a month prior to the shooting incident.  In California a psychiatrist or a police officer who thinks someone is a danger to himself or to others has the authority to detain that person for up to 72 hours for a mental evaluation.  Medical personnel can recommend a longer detention and after a hearing is granted may be able to keep the subject in custody longer.

I don't know the law in Colorado, but I would think that common sense would indicate that if a psychiatrist says his patient is homicidal and reports that to the police, the cops have at least a minimal obligation to speak the to the patient.  The doctor reported this to the campus police where the Aurora Shooter went to school.  If he was living outside their jurisdiction, a phone call from the campus police to the local police would seem to have been in order.

I have done welfare checks on people who were reported as suicidal and possibly dangerous.  Typically a couple minutes of chatting with them at the door to their residence is enough to get some idea as to the immediate nature of their problem.  Perhaps an earlier intervention by doctors or law enforcement may have stopped this tragic incident; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, April 28, 2013



Police respond to a complain on a subway train and decide to make an arrest.  While making the arrest of one suspect, the crowd starts to threaten the officers.  Part of the problem it seems to me is that the people in the crowd are interfering with the officers because they are trying to film the events as they happen.

I am all for an open society where police work can be filmed by private citizens.  We should have nothing to hide in our line of work and indeed often invite citizens to ride along with the police to see first hand what we do in the field.  The problem is that the act of filming an incident often interferes with the incident.  I think people should be required to stay fifty feet away from any active police investigation if they are not involved and are just videotaping.

There are several responses officers should have when they are videotaped in the field.  The first thing is to simply assume every contact will be videotaped with color and sound.  Next, don't go chasing people around just because they are videotaping you, it just looks bad.  Once and incident is under control if there was a significant use of force, then seize every ones camera, it contains evidence and for evidence to be helpful for the prosecution or defense, it must be collected on scene so there is a proper chain of evidence.  Be sure to give the person a receipt for their video machine; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Labor Negotiations

The police in Memphis, TN are having a labor dispute with the city.  They were given a pay cut and the negotiations have stalled.  The union has posted large billboards around the city telling people the city is not safe.  There is an old saying that comes to mind, don't bite the hand that feeds you.
These are hard times and many companies and cities are doing lay offs and cutting pay.  I have been laid off from my regular job and my wife has had her pay cut over 15%.  There are millions of unemployed and millions more who have just stopped looking for work.  In this context the officers of Memphis should be glad they even have jobs.
Police unions often take too narrow a view, they just want more money, better benefits, and don't care about budgets and economic reality.  From what I have seen recently, the Memphis Police Department has had several scandals involving officers.  It might be a good idea if officers there were to do a better job of policing their own and taking the lead in cracking down on hard crimes.  People tend to want to reward those who do a good job, rather than simply give more to those who complain; that's what the SGT

Friday, April 26, 2013



Patrol officers wear many hats.  In a hostage situation, the patrol officer might be the SWAT team and the chief negotiator.  It takes a while to gather a team and to get everyone in place.  That means someone from patrol is going to have to talk to the suspect before the trained negotiator can arrive on scene.

Don't let the hostage taker sit with the hostage and not communicate.  If they are without outside influences they have time to plot and time to hurt the hostages.  As long as they are talking to you, they are busy thinking about you.  Let them know you are there, that you know they have hostages and that they will not get away.

Establish some kind of contact.  Even yelling though a door or talking on the unit public address system is better than nothing.  You can find out a lot in a few minutes of conversation.  Is this a robbery gone bad, is it terrorism, is it a disgruntled employee or boyfriend?  Each will require a slightly different response.  Is the suspect alone, on drugs, or an EDP?  How many hostages are there and what types of weapons does the suspect have with him?  These are some of the basic pieces of information you may be able to get in the first few minutes; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Traffic Collisions


In Russia many private individuals have cameras mounted on the dashboard of their cars.  They do this because the police don't always investigate traffic collisions and because they are able to use them in court if there is a collision.

This five minute video shows a variety of traffic collisions, some of which look like they were either fatal or caused serious injury.  In the long term we need safer roadways, that prevent on coming traffic to go over the center and hit others head on.  We need safer cars that will stand up to more punishment.  In some cases in these collisions the cars are actually ripped in half.

Keep these collisions in mind when you are performing traffic enforcement.  Is the person you observe dangerous to others?  If the answer is yes, then they need a citation. If you are chasing someone are they too dangerous to chase?  If the answer is yes, then break off the pursuit; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013



This article shows some graphic and important photos from the recent terrorist attack in Boston.  Congratulations to Boston PD and allied agencies for their killing and capturing of the suspects in the terrorist attack.

In an unprecedented attack on America, Boston responded very well.  They took great risks to respond to the site and gather up the wounded.  They continued to look for additional bombs and that was a good idea, they did not simply respond to the initial incident as if there was no other potential threat.

When suspects were identified, Boston put the whole city on lock down.  It was important to kill or capture these suspects, there was an international aspect that few crimes have.  Boston PD did a great job pulling in resources.  Boston PD did a great job of protecting their community; that's what police work is all about; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Homeless & Crazy


A woman in Chicago has been arrested four hundred times since about 1978.  Her arrests include burglary, assault and a mighty host of other criminal activities.  She has been mentally ill and homeless for much of that time.  This is an excellent example of how our inability to deal with mentally ill people, career criminals and the homeless have made many of our major cities unlivable.

400 times police have responded to calls for service because of this one person and an arrest was made.  We all know that there were probably 2000 other times police responded and she was gone on arrival or the reporting party did not press charges or the police otherwise failed to take her to jail.  This single individual is a one person crime wave who has terrorized her neighborhood for decades.

We need better ways to force the mentally ill into treatment for their illness.  Most homeless people are mentally ill or on drugs or alcohol or a combination of all three.  Mentally ill people get worse treatment than stray dogs, at least animal control will pick up homeless dogs and let them stay someplace dry, safe and warm.  Imagine a city like Chicago that probably has thousands of people just like this one who provide full employment for hundreds of cops who could be out catching real criminals, murders and gangsters if only we would deal with the mentally ill; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, April 22, 2013

FBI 10 Most Wanted


Congratulations to the FBI for capturing a suspect that has been on their 10 Most Wanted list since last year.  The suspect was wanted for child pornography.  This is a devastating crime for the victims.

The FBI remains one of the finest law enforcement agencies in the world, despite various problems they have had in recent decades.  All agencies will have problems from time to time but the good agencies will recover and continue to do good work.

With the War on Islamist Terrorists and the continuing drug wars and gang problems in the United States we need agencies like the FBI that have the international reach needed to combat these crimes.  This simple case of child porn went all the way to Nicaragua.  That was not at all normal thirty or forty years ago.  Police work should be paid for and controlled by local government, but Federal agencies are important; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Motor Cop


The video shows a motor cop attempting to stop a traffic violator.  During the subsequent pursuit the officer's video shows the suspect vehicle exceeding the speed limit, running stop signs and endangering the lives of other motorists.  The suspect was eventually captured and charged with drug and firearms offenses.

Even the most mundane traffic offense can escalate into a major criminal offense.  Think about the pursuit in the video.  It was some time before the motor officer had any back up close to him.  The suspect could have had a gun and may not have been alone.  The motor officer was very skilled and brave to continue to pursue the suspect.

When in pursuit make sure to keep dispatch aware of your location at all times, no one can help you if they can't find you.  Make certain you watch your cross streets, this motor cop did a good job of that job.  The suspect slowed the car and jumped out, suspects often bail out without stopping the car, knowing the public safety risk is not their problem.  Be sure that follow up officers check out the vehicle or check it out yourself if you need too in order to keep suspects out from behind your back; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, April 20, 2013



An agency with only four officers has lost two of them in a shooting.  The suspect was eventually arrested without further incident.  In a small community, particularly one that is isolated it is difficult to respond large numbers of officers to an incident especially if it has not been a major incident.  There are several things you can do to help mitigate that problem.

Your agency should develop a mutual aid network with all overlapping agencies and all nearby agencies.  There are many police that sometimes get over looked.  Fish and game, museum police, state police, highway patrol, court bailiffs, school police, and many other specialized agencies have sworn police who could respond in an emergency.  Having a memorandum of understanding and good communications are important.  A reserve officer program with trained and uniformed part time officers, paid or unpaid can be a lifesaver in a major incident.

As an individual officer you can make informal contacts with officers from other agencies as you patrol your beat.  Stop when they are on a traffic stop, and afterwards discuss informal mutual aid practices, exchange cell phone numbers.  Get to know the security guards and private patrol operators in your area, sometimes they are armed and they are always willing to help, even if they serve as an outer perimeter traffic control.  Don't wait for the crisis to try and put something together; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Town Wacko


A man set letters to a Republican congressman and to President Obama that may contain poison, according to news reports. Further reports indicate he has a history of sending letters and making complaints about a wide range of personal and professional problems to various members of the government.

Every jurisdiction has people like this who send letters, visit city council meetings, go to representatives offices and complain about imaginary problems or blow up small problems into wild conspiracies and controversies.  Usually they are harmless, but annoying.  Sometimes they can be dangerous.

Most of the time law enforcement never has contact with them.  They send a letter, they speak at a meeting and then go away for a while.  Sometimes the letters are threatening and sometimes they make a scene at a public hearing and law enforcement has to become involved.  It is a huge mistake to fail to take these folks seriously in terms of the threat they pose.  They can be very convinced of the righteousness of their cause and may literally fight to the death to be heard.  They can be very intelligent and may carry weapons.  Even if they are elderly or don't seem physically strong they can show surprising strength.  When forced to confront them at a city hall meeting our other public venue, be sure to have plenty of back up.  Take normal precautions, keep your gun side away from them, and give clear verbal commands.  If you have to confront them at home, be aware they may have weapons and might be willing to use them.  Don't underestimate their abilities; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Boston Radio


This audio clip is edited from the terrorist attack in Boston.  Any time there is a major incident, everyone wants to get on the radio and talk.  All in all they did pretty well, I think.  First thing, if you are at the incident, take a deep breath and think about what you are going to day before you key up the microphone.  Three seconds won't delay help enough to matter but it might allow you to communicate much more effectively.  If everyone else is on the radio, then let them talk.  Unless you have something critical to add, just wait.

Remember you might also be able to use your personal cell phone or text message.  Test messages use less bandwidth and often still work in an emergency when phones are jammed.  If you are a supervisor, and your officers are doing well, don't be too quick to jump in just to supervise.  Looking for suspects, saving the injured, protecting the scene and coordinating the response are some of the first things to do at a major incident.  The Boston cops were heard doing all of these things.  They called for a clear lane for ambulance traffic.  They asked for medical teams and for bomb squad to respond.  They looked for suspicious packages and vehicles and reported them.

They set up a command post and ask for detectives and others to respond and to be called in to work.  Victims ran away after the bombings and officers called for help from blocks away for victims that could not go any farther.  The majority of the officers were calm and the dispatchers asked good questions.  A calm voice on the radio will help to calm others; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Drunk Driving


If your partner was calling for help because a group of gangsters was beating him to death, you would drop everything and race to his aid.  You would do whatever it takes to help him.  Other officers would respond too.  So many officers would respond to that call for help that even after the incident was over cops would still be showing up just to see everything was okay.

This officer called for help and no one responded and now he's dead.  He was a long term cop who was drinking heavily and then driving at a high rate of speed.  He crashed into a concrete pole and killed himself.  The stress of the job and family life was too much and he drank too much and got killed.

No one jumped in and said you are too drunk to drive.  No one took away his keys.  No one went to his supervisor and performed an intervention to get him off the alcohol.  No one saw the warning signs that he was drinking too much.  These things don't just happen, generally they go on for months, even years before time runs out and you kill yourself or someone else.  His brother officers let him down by allowing him to continue to drink and drive; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston Terror Attack


At least two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon today, Monday.  It is reported that at least two people are dead and several others have had limbs blown off.  As many as 100 people were injured in these explosions.  There are reports a Saudi Arabian man is in custody as a person of interest.  There are still reports coming in as I write this blog entry.

When planning a major event, terrorist or major accident must be part of the planning.  Ambulances must be able to respond, even with road closures.  First aid stations should be deployed at the location so that people can be treated right away, in this incident the running event had many first aid stations.  This could have been from a plane crash, bomb, earthquake or any other major incident.

Proper planning will help to minimize the effects of such an attack.  Boston sent SWAT teams to hospitals after the attacks.  Terrorists in previous attacks have attacked people and created mass casualty events and then attacked the hospitals to get the first responders and create more terror.  If not for the practice, planning and training and resources that we have invested in anti-terrorism and terrorist response appear to have paid off in a rapid and effective response to a disaster; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Black Hills Leather


Black Hills Leather
410 W. Aurora, Dept. WWW
Laredo, TX, 78041


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or outside USA: (956) 712-9434
Toll Free Fax 1-877-240-8274
e-mail: rudy@bhlstore.com
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Information: (956) 795-0224

Black Hills Leather made a special custom duty holster for me a couple year ago.  It is a great holster.  Durable, perfect fit to my gun, and reasonably priced.  They were on time and reasonable.  I endorse them as a great company to do business with, based on my one experience with them.  I mention this now because they are having a sale.  It's always nice to save a few bucks; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Criminal Officer?


An officer ran up $20,000 in debt and then filed a false police report claiming he was a victim of identity theft, according to this article.  How do you handle an officer like this?  First, you arrest him like any other suspect.  Then you suspend him, without pay, while an internal investigation is conducted.  The internal investigation should be completed in the fastest possible time.  The investigation should cover any violation of department policy.  If he is found to have not violated any departmental policy worthy of termination, then he should receive up to 30 days back pay. 

If the officer is found to have violated department policy of a serious matter, then a recommendation of termination should be made.  An employee should be terminated if the matter is so serious that he would not have been hired if he did the matter alleged.  The matter should be reviewed by the chief of police and turned over to human resources to terminate the employee.  The employee should be permitted to speak on his behalf and should be permitted to have counsel present when he speaks and to cross examine witnesses.  All this should be concluded in a week, 30 days at the most.  It should be independent of any civil or criminal trial.

If the employee is found to have not violated any department policy then he should be returned to duty, if he is not convicted of any criminal charges.  He should be placed on paid administrative leave for as long as it takes for the internal investigation to take place.  If termination is recommended then his paid leave should be stopped once he is terminated.  If he is not recommended for termination, then he can continue on paid leave until his criminal matter is settled, but no more than 30 days total, unless more is required by law.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Oath Keepers


10 Orders Oath Keepers Swear to Disobey
  1. We will not obey any order to disarm the American people.
  2. We will not obey any order to conduct warrantless searches of the American people, their homes, vehicles, papers, or effects—such as warrantless house-to-house searches for weapons or persons.
  3. We will not obey any order to detain American citizens as "unlawful enemy combatants" or to subject them to trial by military tribunals.
  4. We will not obey orders to impose martial law or a "state of emergency" on a state, or to enter with force into a state, without the express consent and invitation of that state's legislature and governor.
  5. We will not obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty and declares the national government to be in violation of the compact by which that state entered the Union.
  6. We will not obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.
  7. We will not obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.
  8. We will not obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to "keep the peace" or to "maintain control" during any emergency, or under any other pretext. We will consider such use of foreign troops against our people to be an invasion and an act of war.
  9. We will not obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies, under any emergency pretext.
  10. We will not obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.
I am not a member of Oath Keepers.  I doubt that I will ever be a member.  I have read many articles about them and often the tone of the articles is that Oath Keepers are radical, dangerous, right wing crazy people.  I think that as an officer it is important to know the facts and make up your own mind about organizations that claim to represent police.  I hope there is never an occasion to test the resolve of the members of this group; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Crazy Suspect


In this video a man with a pair of nun chucks is standing in front of a house with a mighty host of police around him.  He eventually throws his weapon down and charges the cops.  The police respond with less lethal weapons and after he runs around a bit, he is taken down.

I don't know how long ago this video was taken but I have a few observations.  The officers seem very close to the suspect and there seems to be limited supervision controlling their response.  This would have been an excellent time to deploy a Taser, but it may be before the use of the Taser was widespread.

The suspect should have been given more room, he was no immediate threat to third parties.  The officers could have deployed shields to keep him back from them, particularly with the impact weapon.  Helmets would have been a good idea with a suspect with an impact weapon.  I have seen officers use a short ladder to pin a suspect to the ground and also a fire hose to knock him off his feet.  Sending in the police attack dog would be good idea too.  If the suspect had pulled out a knife, several officers could have been hurt; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Low Light

Range training should be done in both full light and low light and darkness.  Officers should have night sights on their duty guns.  In order to practice with their duty guns night sights they need to be in very low light conditions.

Since many police work at night, or enter dark places to do police work officers should have a flashlight with them at all times.  That's one reason why I like the little flashlights that can be worn on the belt.  Flashlights attached to the handgun are also helpful.

Officers should train with flashlights at least annually and more frequently would be better.  Officers should move and shoot as well as shoot while stationary.  It is hard to keep on target in the dark and officers should practice target acquisition in low light as well as their shooting; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013



Police in Dallas responded to a report of a fight in progress.  They were sent to a known drug house and that the call was likely false.  After a foot pursuit and a fight, an officer had to shoot and kill one suspect.  A huge crowd gathered and a minor riot ensued.

False reports of major crimes in progress have been a growing problem.  Celebrities, rival gangs and many other people are getting these kinds of calls.  Sometimes people think its funny, sometimes they think it is exciting and other times they are hoping for an incident to happen.

Getting good information from the dispatcher is critical to avoid these problems.  In a major incident it's best to have the dispacter stay on the line if possible.  Ask to have reporting parties meet you outside the location, down the street even.  Always bring plenty of help and don't be afraid to set up a command post before you plunge in blindly.  Use all your potential resources, a helicopter can get overhead and give you a report on many types of incidents; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Background Check


Two groups of people were fighting in front of a bar at 2:00 a.m. across from a police station.  The police responded as a man pulled a handgun.  An officer fired and hit the man with the handgun and another man in the group.  Later, police realized the handgun was some kind of pellet gun.  It's unclear what the second person hit was doing at the time he was shot.  His shooting may have been accidental or intentional, it's unclear from the initial reports.  Both were severely injured.

When you fire a gun at someone you must be aware of the background.  If there are other people behind or near the suspect, you risk hitting the other people.  It many be better to delay firing until the background is clear.  You may have to fire anyway if you perceive the danger to be too great to delay shooting.

There are a couple things you can do to diminish the problem.  You might be able to move to another position so that the background is clear.  You can order the other subjects to move to give you a clear shot.  You may be able to gain a higher elevation and give yourself the ground as the background.  You might be able to close the distance between yourself and the suspect to make an accurate shot more likely.  Despite everything you do, it's rarely possible to have a completely clear shot; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, April 8, 2013


Always carry your baton when you leave the car.  There is no longer a reason to leave it in your vehicle.  There are many now that are fold up or otherwise can be worn on the belt all the time and take up very little space.  Back in the days of the straight baton, I learned how to wear the full length, 26 inch plastic baton on my belt in the patrol car and still get in and out without getting tangled up int the seat belt.  It's all practice.

You never know when having the baton can be helpful.  Sure the OC spray and the Taser are great tools but there is no substitute for having a stick that you can use if you need to use it.  The baton can hold a subject at a distance from you and it can make your punch that much more powerful.  I have used it to hit men, women and dogs.  I have come close to breaking a car window or two, but so far have never had to do that.

If you do have to hit someone with the baton, hit them as hard as you can.  An observer or a camera will only record the number of hits, not the power of each hit.  If someone needs to be struck, they need to be hit hard to end in the incident as rapidly as possible.  The baton can be used as deadly force if necessary, a blow to the head might be needed to stop a man with a knife or gun, if the baton was already in your hand.  Don't rule out any reasonable response in use of force.  Know the law, know your agency policy and know how to apply them in the field, that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


On duty I carry a back up gun. It's a small pistol and I carry it on my ankle.  It's a .380 and I shoot very well with it.  If I had to start over, I would carry a mini-Glock in .40 caliber so the magazines for my duty gun would work in the back up gun too.  I carry two extra .380 magazines in my gear bag in the trunk of the car.

I carry a duty handgun, with one magazine in the gun.  I have four magazines on my person.  I have two more magazines in my gear bag.  That gives me nearly 70 duty rounds on my person and another 28 in my gear bag.  All the ammo I carry is either issued by the department or the same type they issue.

I have an extra 5 shotgun rounds in my gear bag.  Our shotguns have a side saddle with six rounds in it plus the four in the magazine.  Our patrol rifle has one magazine in it and we keep two more in the car.  That gives me access to nearly 200 rounds on duty.  In times of unrest, I have carried as many as 100 more rounds in the box, but it's too much weight to carry every day.  Ammo is one of the few things you can afford to run out of; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


 There have been all kinds of crazy rumors going around about the Federal Government buying up all the ammo so that there are huge shortages.  The claim is that they are intentionally making ammo scarce and are preparing to oppress the people with all this ammo.  These rumors are false. It takes hundreds of round per year per officer per weapon to practice properly with a handgun and patrol rifle.  That means for planning purposes you really need about a thousand rounds of practice ammo for each officer for each weapon they regularly carry.  So if you have a patrol rife and a duty handgun and ten officers you need to buy 20,000 rounds of ammo per year for practice. That does not include shotgun ammo, off duty ammo, training new hires, advanced training, like SWAT, and back up guns.  At our agency we try and get the retired officers to come in and shoot too, at least annually.  It takes lots of ammo to keep proficient.  I think every officer should carry at least a couple hundred rounds in his gearbag and on his person in the field.  It takes a lot of ammo to run a police department; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Failure Drill

Fire three rounds from your handgun. The first two rounds are aimed at the center of mass and the third round is aimed at the head.  The first two rounds are to hit the chest, spine or lungs, but if the suspect has body armor or is on drugs they may not be immediately stopped by those two rounds.

That failure to stop the suspect is called a failure drill, because of the failure of those two rounds to incapacitate the suspect.  Since those two rounds fail to stop the suspect, the officer fires one more round to stop the suspect.  The shot to the face is designed to immediately stop the suspect after the failure of the other two rounds to bring that result. 

The shot to the face is the third choice because the face is small and hard to hit.  The center of mass is larger and easier to hit than the head and so center of mass is the first choice of aim.  We don't want to kill, but to stop the suspect.  Once the suspect is no longer a threat, we coordinate a first aid response for the wounded, to include the suspect.  Failure drill, stop the suspect, save the day; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

War on Drugs

Alcohol is different from drugs. Alcohol can be consumed with dinner, or you can have a beer on a hot day. You can have a glass of wine with dinner. You can consume a small amount of alcohol and have no particular intoxication or decline in abilities. With drugs, you only do drugs to become impaired. If you are not impaired, you continue to do the drugs until you reach a level of intoxication and impairment. That is a huge difference.
I don't believe anyone can show a country that has made drugs legal that had an improvement in the quality of life. All these drugs were legal once, they were made illegal because of the problems they caused. We did not have as many drug issues as we do now 50 years ago because the society was more concerned about their effects and we did not have the lax laws we have today. Even marijuana possession used to get you prison time.
Many people are claiming that we should stop the war on drugs.  They claim that we can tax the drugs and use the money.  I think that's a stupid argument, and we would just be using the money to treat the increased the numbers of drug addicts.  Drugs are a terrible scourge on society and making the legal will do nothing to help us; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Cameraman Arrested


CBS news crew were filming an event when the police arrested the news cameraman.  According to CBS the cameraman was sitting in the back of the police car for over an hour after being arrested.  They also claim the cameraman was held in a choke hold.  The police department did not comment except to say they are reviewing the case and will comment when their investigation is completed.  I commend the police department for their comment, it is seldom a good idea to make comments about arrests or incidents until all the facts are in, rather than simply respond immediately without knowing what really happened.

The news footage only starts when the arrest is being made.  So it is very difficult to determine why the officer chose to arrest the news cameraman.  It is also unclear what charge is being made against the cameraman.  I suspect if CBS chose to run the full video it would make more sense, but news media often edit video to make the point they want to make, even if it distorts the facts.

I do wonder why the officer felt it necessary to leave the suspect in the car for over an hour, assuming that part is true.  I have always found it a good idea to remove suspects from the scene as quickly as possible for several reasons.  First, they are less likely to escape is they are away from their friends who might help them get away.  They are less likely to be injured by a mob that might want to harm the suspect.  They are less likely to be a flashpoint for additional confrontations or violence.  I also was concerned that a councilwoman would become involved in police field operations, she has no place to be second guessing police operations in the field, if she wants to do that, she should become a police supervisor; that's the view from the Hysterical Right Wing.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013



Technology is moving quickly and even in the area of firearms there are interesting developments.  This link shows a new product that is a shotgun with a removable magazine.  Rather than the usual four or five round tube that we are used to, this shotgun has four tubes with four rounds each.  So sixteen rounds!

The tubes can be removed and either re-loaded or replaced with magazines that are already full.  For an officer that works alone, or in a remote area, or a SWAT team this could be a good gun to have.  You could keep different loads in the magazines.  One with bird shot, one with slugs and two with 00 buck shot.  They could be color coded so you know which magazine you are loading.

Then you could select the type of rounds you need on the specific call you are on.  Maybe bird shot to shoot a snake, or small animal.  Perhaps slugs to pierce a door, a car, or body armor.  00 buck would be best for the typical armed suspect.  It's nice to have options; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Teen Shooting


A police officer in Memphis, TN shot and killed a teenager recently.  He said it was in self defense.  The text messages between the teen and the officer indicated that they knew each other and that they were planning on meeting with one another.

Why does a 15 year old teenager meet with a 28 year old man?  Why are they meeting alone at 7:30 p.m.?  Why isn't the teenager at home?  Why are they meeting in an abandoned home and not a public place?  The circumstances of the meeting don't seem to be very good.

Were they meeting to have sex?  Were they meeting to conduct a drug deal?  Was the officer using the teenager as a snitch to provide him with information?  When dealing with under age suspects or victims or snitches, be sure that your supervisor knows what's going on.  Try not to meet them in an abandoned warehouse on the edge of town.  Cases like this look bad, even if the officer did nothing wrong; that's what the SGT Says.