Monday, September 30, 2013


A private security guard murdered in the Navy Yard attacks was buried this week.  Security guard provide valuable assistance to people every day.  They have to do a good job or, unlike the police, they can be fired and replaced by someone else the client likes better.

Security guards typically work for much less money than police get paid and yet their jobs can be just as dangerous.  There are more guards killed in the line of duty every year then their are police, and when they die they often get very little in the way of survivor benefits.

Sure, many security guards are not good enough to become police, many are out of shape, old or poorly educated.  Still, the vast majority of them do their jobs as best as they can.  They often don't get much training and often are poorly equipped.  I have known thousands of security guards in my life and nearly all of them were good, honest, hard working people; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


39. The identification of workers and volunteers will be a problem; it will be difficult to determine who is working where and on what.
40. There will be rumors; people will be listening to their radios and must be given accurate information.
41. There will not be enough handie-talkies; batteries will soon go dead.
Put workers or volunteers in distinctive tee shirts or vests.  They can be inexpensive and kept in storage for long periods of time.  They should be ordered in larger sizes, small people can wear big, but big people can't wear small.  Distinctive hats can work too, many should be wearing protective gear anyway.
Your PIO needs to have accurate information, so make sure he gets any news right away.  He should be near dispatch so he can monitor the radio.  The PIO should generally not have other duties, so he can stay informed and relay information.
Batteries die, all the time.  Generators need to be started so that they can be recharged.  Turn most of the radios off.  Two or three officers working a scene don't all need to have their radios on, they can turn them on if they need to transmit.  Agencies should maintain at least 2.5 batteries for every radio as a minimum; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


36. Law enforcement and the media will clash; all media representatives should be referred to the Public Information Officer.
37. Very few citizens will utilize evacuation/mass care centers; they will prefer to stay with friends and relatives, or to camp out in their own yards.
38. Structural engineers will be needed to evaluate standing buildings for use as evacuation centers, command posts, information centers, first aid stations.
The media should always be referred to the Public Information Officer.  It should be someone of supervisor or better still, management rank.  The PIO should issue prepared remarks hourly 24/7 for as long as the disaster is in progress.  Stick to the script as close as possible.  It's okay to say you are working on a problem or expect an update on that issue "soon," or that you will check on that and get back to them at the next briefing.  Press conferences should be in a secure area, that's quiet, and with as few distractions as possible.
Most people will want the familiar, their home, their office, or their friends and so won't stay in evacuation centers.  That's fine, but it may make it difficult to get a count of people in need of food and water and other supplies.  Just be sure that they are outside of evacuation zones, and don't evacuate areas that don't need to be evacuated.
Structural engineers need to be identified prior to an emergency, large cities will likely have some on staff that you can contact.  Major public buildings, hospitals, schools, fire stations need to be first on the list, followed by utilities and bridges.  You don't want to evacuate a thousand people to a school, only to have it fall on them; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Surveillance From Above

A guy was looking at Google Earth and found a stolen car on his forest property.  He called the police and they recovered the vehicle, the suspect was already in custody.  Satellites, drones, helicopters and other aerial surveillance platforms are good for getting a look at places where it's difficult to patrol on the ground.

Rural areas, and places like forests and deserts are hard to patrol on the ground.  Flying overhead is a great way to see what's going on below.  Special lenses and imagery are also helpful to see things the eye cannot easily see. 

Some people worry about drones doing surveillance over America, but I don't see much of a problem with it.  There is not much we do outdoors that can be called private and as long as they are subject to essentially the same limitations as police helicopters, I think they will be fine; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


33. Many injured people will have to find their own way to medical treatment facilities.
34. Volunteer and reserve personnel may be slow to respond; they will put their own families’ safety first.
35. On-duty public safety personnel will be concerned about their own families, and some may leave their posts to check on them.
In most major disasters many people find their own way to medical treatment.  It's one of the reasons why police don't always have a good count of the number of people injured in an active shooter or other disaster.  One of the most important things to do right away, is to notify all the local EMS locations that there has been a disaster and that people will be on their way to the hospital or clinic. 
Reserve officers will be happy to come in, but a wide scale disaster can make it difficult to get to the station.  I live 50 miles away from my agency, in the big 9.9 Southern California earthquake when all the freeways fall down, there is no way I can get there in less than a week.  Many officers not already on duty will have to pitch in wherever they are at when the disaster hits. 
At Katrina many officers abandoned their posts.  All officers should have a plan to deal with their family and homes in the event of a regional disaster.  Families should be prepared to be self sufficient for at least a few days so that officers can remain at work with some level of assurance that their families will be safe; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


How fast do you shoot?  How many rounds can you fire off in 30 seconds?  How many magazines do you carry?  I carry one magazine in my handgun, and four on my belt with 15 rounds each.  75 rounds is a lot, but I can fire, reload and fire them all in less than two minutes.  Then what?

I have a back up gun and I have another seven rounds with it.  I can draw and fire all them in less than ten seconds.  So if my back up is 85 seconds away, I am okay and withdraw from the fight without any ammo left.  I still have my shotgun and patrol rifle.  Usually have 60 rounds with the rifle.  Still that's two minutes worth of ammo.

So I can stay in the fight for about five minutes until I am out of ammo.  Where is the extra ammo?  In the gear bag, or at the station?  How long does it take to go to the station and get more ammo?  How long does it take to reload the empty magazines?  These issues can be a real concern in an active shooter situation.  The Navy Yard shooting involved a 30 minute gun battle with police.  That's a long time with five minutes worth of ammo on hand; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


"30. Streets will be impassable in some areas; it will be necessary to clear streets of rubble in order to conduct emergency operations.
31. The same buildings will be searched more than once unless they are clearly marked.
32. In earthquakes, there will be after shocks; they will hamper emergency operations, create new fears among the citizenry and may cause more destruction than the original shock."
City crews, construction companies and even volunteers with chain saws or shovels and wheel barrows can clear streets.  Major streets need to be cleared first and then smaller streets.  Clear routes to hospitals, fire stations and other emergency centers first.  A truck with a winch on the front can pull a very large tree out of the street.  Check with the gas company before digging and check with the electric company about energized power lines before moving them around.
After a careful search, use spray paint on the front door to indicate who searched a building and when as well as the results.  Keep a map and mark off areas that have been searched.  Your resources will be very thin and searching the same place over and over is too great a waste to let happen.
Earthquakes often bring aftershocks, no matter what they are called they are more earthquakes.  People may want to sleep outside, if they do make sure they are away from buildings and on areas where cars won't run them over.  Try to keep people near their homes and together in family groups.  Evacuate them to nearby schools or churches can keep them close to home and more comfortable; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Gun Control

A man went into a restricted government area and with a shotgun he killed twelve people and injured several others.  He was killed after a 30 minute shootout with police.  Another man when into a restricted government area and with a handgun he was shot to death in about one minute by police.

The first man entered the Washington Navy Yard and used a gun to kill unarmed civilians who could only flee from him.  He also killed an armed security guard and shot a cop.  The second man entered a police station parking lot and was immediately confronted by three armed police and was killed when he raised his gun, apparently to shoot at them, in opposition to the orders to drop his weapon.

When only one person has a gun, he is in charge if he wants to be in charge.  If he is evil, he will murder others and no one will be able to stop him.  Every shooting rampage in the last six years has taken place in California or Washington D.C. or other place where essentially no one is armed in public, or in a specific gun free zone, such as a school campus.  Gun control only controls the criminals, it makes victims out of everyone else; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


"27. Search dogs will be needed early in the operation.
28. Documentation will be very important; there will be a multitude of requests for information later.
29. Riveted steel (oil and water storage) tanks may fail"
Finding people in collapsed buildings is very difficult.  Search dogs and robots are very important and need to be on scene as soon as possible.  Injured people will bleed to death and trapped people who are without water will die in three or four days.  You need to find them before you can save them.  Get those search dogs in right away.
The command post will need a scribe to write down everything that goes on.  A dispatcher can work well as a scribe, they are used to documenting information.  Who was in the command post, who was in charge at any given time, what decisions were made and by whom are all important.  When each person or unit arrives have the scribe note that too.  You will need several scribes to insure all important areas are covered, so that the incident is fully documented.
Large storage tanks can fail and when they do, it's like a tidal wave.  They can destroy houses, and other buildings when the fluid bursts out.  Engineers are needed to tell you if the tank can withstand any damage and they can tell you how to mitigate the problem if they do fail.  Tanks may have to be emptied to prevent further damage.  Until they are proven safe, don't allow people to stay near the tanks, that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Extremists Commit Mass Murder

A headline read that "extremists" had attacked a shopping mall in Kenya.  They used automatic weapons and grenades to attack the people in the mall.  The headline used the word "extremist" without identifying the type of extremists who conducted the attack.

Were they animal rights extremists?  Were they right wing Christian extremists?  Were they rabid homosexuals intent on same sex marriage?  What type of extremists were these people?  There is only one group that consistently around the world attacks innocent people going about their business: Radical Muslims.

Radical Christians don't commit mass murder in the name of Christ.  Radical Mormons are not banding together and shooting up schools.  Extremist Hindu groups are not taking hostages at movie theaters and conducting mass murder.  Radical Muslims are doing that almost every day someplace in the world.  Until we can name the name of the killers, we can't solve the problem; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Difficult Video To Watch

Every year over 20,000 Americans get wasted and then go for a drive in the car, and they get killed or kill someone else.  Each one of them have family, friends, co-workers and others who depend on them for companionship, work, emotional support.  So that 20,000 effects at least 200,000 Americans with their death.

The city I work in has a population of only a little more than 20,000 people.  It's difficult to imagine that a number equal to all of them is killed in drunk driving and similar incidents, every year.  We are a nation at war, yet the read danger is on the road.  Soldiers are killed more often by drunk drivers than they are by the enemy.

Police are killed every year by intoxicated drivers too.  Worse yet, sometimes the intoxicated driver who kills someone is an off duty cop.  If you are a police officer don't drink and drive.  Don't let your partners drink and drive.  If your partner has a drinking or drug problem, encourage him to get help, or report him if he won't.  I believe if you drink and drive, and work as a cop, you should be suspended without pay as soon as you are arrested and fired as soon as you are convicted; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


"24. It will be dark; there will not be enough generators or lights available.
25. Portable toilets will be in demand; there will be no place to go, and if a place is found there will be six photographers there to cover the event.
26. The perimeter will be difficult to control; citizens and media alike will offer good reasons why they should be allowed to enter the restricted area."
You agency should have a back up generator with fuel to run the police station in the event of a power outage.  It should be started up every month for a few minutes to make sure it's all working.  In fact, it's so important you should have three of them.  A small selection of portable generators and lighting would be good too, for DUI checkpoints, command posts and emergencies.  What will you do if your station is underwater or burned down?
Sanitation is important to prevent disease and ground water contamination.  Set up places where people can go to the bathroom.  A backhoe with an auger can drill small but deep holes to make outhouses if necessary.  It's important to designate an area, no matter how primitive.  When training a disaster scenario, be sure to model the sanitation aspect.
The more people inside your perimeter who are not working are more potential victims and more people who need food, water, shelter, sanitation and security.  Do you best to keep people out but don't obsess over it.  At least work out some interior danger zones and keep people out of them.   Have a place designated for the press to go to get updates or good photos and they will be less likely to wander around.  Have another place for people looking for loved ones to go and leave a photo, a message or hook up with loved ones and they will be less likely to wander the danger area; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


21. There will be an epidemic of flat tires; police, fire, and emergency medical vehicles will sustain a multitude of flat tires that will require repair in the field.
22. Fires will need to be investigated; mutual aid should include arson investigators.
23. The primary police department concern will be law enforcement; there will not be sufficient time or manpower to provide miscellaneous services.
Flat tires should be changed in the field by officers.  Obtain floor jacks for officers to use, the average bumper jack is junk and dangerous.  Get your city crews to sweep major streets as soon as possible.  Civilian street sweeping companies can be hired to sweep city streets too.
Criminals will set fires for amusement and to distract the police.  Arson is an important crime to keep under control so that whole neighborhoods are not destroyed. 
The police should concentrate on keeping order and preventing serious crimes.  All minor criminal reports should be taken at the police station.  One officer can be on duty at the station for report calls and if the citizens can't get there then they can just do with out a complete report.  Most property crimes can be given a report number indicating that a report was made for tracking and for insurance purposes; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


18. Phone service will be erratic or non-existent. Pay phones will be the most reliable.
19. The media will have the best communications available; be prepared to share or impound their resources.
20. Fuel will not be available because there will be no electricity to run the pumps.
In a major disaster phone service will often not work properly.  There are many alternatives.  Sometimes the Internet will work.  Sometimes cell phones will work.  Other times you will need to rely on short wave radio or Ham operators to communicate.  Police cars can be set up to operate their patrol car radios in relays to talk over long distances.
The media have trucks with satellite and other long distance communications gear will likely be able to communicate in almost any circumstances.  If you need to use their gear, give them a trade off and let them have security, food, and perhaps a scoop or two.
Gas stations won't work because of the lack of electricity.  Your fire department may be able to provide portable power to run pumps or may be able to pump the gasoline for you.  Fuel can be siphoned from other vehicles and fuel trucks can be used to provide fuel too.  You need fuel to run your vehicles and is a high priority item; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Active Shooter

Only a couple days ago I warned that there could be a suicide attack on an American target.  Then today a man takes a gun and shoots up a US Naval base.  At least one cop and one guard are reported to be injured.  The suspect is dead, as are 11 others, so far.

Initial reports indicated there may have been two other shooters.  One has been interviewed and determined to be not involved.  In mass shooting events there are nearly always reports of more suspects than are really involved.  Still, until you do an investigation, you don't know how many there are in this incident.

So far there have been no indications that this was an Islamist Terror attack, but we shall see over the next few days.  As a practical matter for the first responders, this is of limited interest, however a terror attack will sometimes present differently than a disgruntled worker.  A terror attack is more likely to involve a suicide bomber and a disgruntled worker is more likely to be taken alive.  Either way the first responder has to track down and stop the shooter, usually by shooting them; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Sniper attacks on officers are up this year.  Where do you park your car when you respond to a call?  Park in a location that is not visible to the scene if possible.  Look behind you.  Look up.  Look across the street and down the block.

The sniper could be anywhere and he could be on any of your calls.  He could meet you for lunch.  Do you take lunch at the same place every day?  Do you check the location for a potential ambush?  Do you drive around the parking lot and make sure there are no criminals there before you go inside?

Do you carry your patrol rifle with you so you can return fire if you are attack by a sniper?  Can you make a shot from 100 yards or more?  Not all your range training should be from 25 yards or less?  Can you hit a target at 50 yards with your handgun?  I can; you should be able to also, that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Stay Safe

Wear your body armor.  Make sure all the officers on your shift wear their body armor.  Every shift.  Every day.

Wear your seat belt.  Make sure all the officers on your shift wear their seat belt.  Every shift.  Every day.

Drive carefully.  You can't help if you crash on the way to the call.  Most calls are going to be over by the time you get there no matter how fast you drive.  If you crash on the way to the call, other officers will be diverted to aid you instead of helping at the scene of the original call.  Don't let the other officers on your shift drive too fast or too distracted either; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Suicide Bomber

Someone sent me this story and I verified it on Snopes.  A Muslim woman was burned in a cooking fire and went to Israel for lifesaving treatment.  She was treated there for months.  One day at the border checkpoint on her way for a checkup she was stopped by security and found to have 20 pounds of explosives on her, as a suicide bomber.  She was going to blow up the very clinic that had saved her life.

One of the problems in our society is a lack of gratitude for what we have.  I praise God every day for my health, my wife, and my family and friends.  Radical Islam does not do that.  They work their way into organizations, like the army, the police, the medical profession and then murder the very people who trust them the most.

Al-Qaeda has called for individuals to attack the United States.  They want suicide bombers, lone shooters, and any other type of mass killer to attack us here at home.  It is your duty as a police officer to recognize this threat and take the proper action when you discover it.  What is your agency policy on how to deal with a suicide bomber?  Can you shoot them?  Do you carry your firearm off duty at the mall, at church so you can respond to an active shooter?  You need to be ready, crime and terror can happen at anytime; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

More Guns, Less Crime

Allowing civilians to carry concealed firearms is a good idea.  All 50 states now permit civilians to carry concealed in one form or another.  Every time a state permits people to carry firearms the crime rate goes down.

Criminals are immoral, but not necessarily stupid.  They know that an armed citizen is able to defend himself from a criminal attack.  When a woman goes to an ATM machine to withdraw cash at 2:00 a.m. is she safer with a gun, or without a gun?  The experience shows that she is safer with a gun.

Too many police agencies want to regulate citizens carrying guns.  They want to require citizens to jump through a bewildering array of forms, rules, fees, qualifications and other bureaucracy, despite the fact that concealed carry by civilians lowers crime.  Many police agencies fear liability if they allow people to carry guns.  Perhaps there should be more liability if they deny a license to someone who is subsequently a crime victim; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9/11 Attack

Where were you September 11, 2001?

What were you doing?

How did you find out about the terrorist attacks in New York, and Washington, D.C.?

Did you or your agency do anything special after the attack? 

Air travel was stopped everywhere in the United States.  I live near three international airports.  There are planes over my home 24/7.  I went outside and looked at the sky and did not see any planes.  I took my daughter with me and showed her the sky without airplanes.

Radical Islam is still a great danger to the people of the Western World.  American police are on the front lines in the war on terror.  We have been for 12 years now with no end in sight.  I suspect we will be for the rest of my life.  Stay ready for the next attack.  Keep alert for the next bomb, sniper, active shooter, or anthrax attack.  You may prevent the next attack, you may interrupt the next attack, that's what the SGT Says.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013


"15. Although it is an EOC function, the Field Command Post will become the temporary seat of government.
16. Electric power will be interrupted or will fail completely.
17. It will be difficult to shut off the gas; valves that are seldom, if ever, used will be difficult to find, and may not work when they are found."
In a major disaster, the field command post will be the only functioning authority in existence for a while.  The city council, the school district, and many other governmental agencies will be unable to meet due to many factors.  The officer in charge of the community.  Will schools remain open or closed?  Will businesses remain open or will areas of the town need to evacuated?  Will there be a curfew?
Everything in modern life requires electricity.  In severe weather, in an earthquake and many other types of disaster, electricity will be cut off.  It can take weeks to get it going again.  The lack of refrigeration will create a major food storage problem.  The lack of light will make night a very unsafe time, and make rescue efforts more difficult.
Natural gas can create explosions if it's not shut off.  After an earthquake, gas lines can be ruptured, and apart from the danger, it will also make it harder for gas customers to heat their homes and to cook.  Coordination with the local gas company will be essential.  The utilities we take for granted every day may be gone for sometime after a disaster.  Getting them stabilized and back in service are an important part of disaster response and recovery; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Disaster Planning

"12. Aircraft will flood the area; law enforcement, fire, media, civilian, commercial and military aircraft will be a major concern.
13. The Command Post and/or EOC will be overrun with non-essential personnel; media, geologists, architects, engineers, representatives from other jurisdictions, etc.
14. Staging will be essential; the flow of personnel, equipment and supplies will be overwhelming."
A couple years ago there was a home invasion and murder near my home.  I knew something bad had happened because there were 11 helicopters hovering over the site.  Helicopters and other aircraft will be essential for rescue and bringing in supplies.  They also need to be given a spot to land that keeps them safe.  Golf courses are a good place for helicopters.  There are lots of open areas and even in a disaster they should be relatively open and safe.
Get some kind of fencing, temporary chain link, even street barricades or caution tape or patrol cars and block off at least an inner perimeter to keep out the tourists and others who are not actually helping.  Assign officers to security to keep out those you don't need.  Have an outer perimeter and those who think they are important can stay there.
Find locations where equipment can be staged.  Sam's Club parking lots, public parks, school grounds, sports fields, any large open space with good road access will work.  They will need security to keep unauthorized people out.  They need to be close to the disaster but far enough out that they are not directly threatened.  Disasters need a lot of planning, that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


Police One is a great resource for police training and awareness.  In this video they explain that Draper, Utah had their first officer killed in the line of duty since the department was founded a few years ago.  He was stopping to check a suspicious vehicle and was shot and killed while still in his patrol car.  The suspect shot and killed a woman he was with and then shot, but did not kill himself.

The man was mentally disturbed.  There are many mentally disturbed people in the world and often they contact law enforcement.  In an ideal world the mentally ill would be handled by medical professionals, would go to the hospital and receive the treatment they need.  Too often that's not the case and officers have to deal with them.

Most mentally ill people are not dangerous, but there are some who will attack, and kill an officer without warning.  So that means that officers should take every precaution when dealing with the mentally ill.  In the field you can't always know who you are contacting, and relatives won't always know or be willing to tell you a person is dangerous.  It's best to deal the emotionally disturbed persons using a team approach of several officers, one of them should have a Taser ready in case the person attacks; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Mickey Mouse Attitude

Family theme park visit ends over dad's cop shirt

Some guy took his family to an amusement park.  Security stopped him and told him he could not wear his shirt because it said POLICE on it.  They don't permit people who are not on duty cops to wear Police attire.  Rather than simply turn the shirt inside out, or buy a new one, the guy asked to see the policy in writing.  Now some police are all upset because he could not wear his POLICE shirt and want to boycott and picket the venue.
First, the guy is not a cop, his brother is a police officer.  So some guy who is not a cop wants to wear a POLICE shirt to an event on private property and is told "No" and we are supposed to boycott someone?  It's private property, they have a right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. 
Do we want people to go to him in an emergency?  He has no training, screening or equipment but he wants to wear the shirt?  He can wear the shirt at the family 4th of July BBQ and when he goes to the amusement park he can wear a Mickey Mouse shirt.  Generally advertising yourself as a cop off duty just makes you a target for criminals, and that's a bad idea; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Police were confronted by a man who was drunk and disorderly.  When they attempted to arrest him, he ran away.  When they caught up to him he told them he was a celebrity and so he could not be arrested.  The police arrested him anyway.

There is a simple way to avoid this type of problem.  Treat everyone with dignity and respect.  If they are the mayor, in a Rolls Royce, or pushing a shopping cart and homeless, threat them all the same way.  Then if someone turns out to be a celebrity, you did nothing wrong.  If someone turns out to be a dangerous criminal, you did nothing dangerous.

Treat everyone as good as you can based on their behavior and their circumstances.  If their behavior and circumstances indicate arrest, then arrest them.  If their behavior and circumstance warrant release, then let them go.  Who they are is irrelevant; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


"9. Water will be contaminated and unsafe for drinking. Tankers will be needed for fire fighting and for carrying drinking water.
10. Citizens will volunteer but their commitment will usually be short-term.
11. There may be a multitude of hazardous materials incidents."
In a disaster water can be at a premium.  Local rivers, ponds, even the ocean, and swimming pools can be sources of water for fire fighting and washing down contaminated areas.  Water tanks are sometimes ruptured, dams break and other sources may be unavailable due to broken pumps.  Water can be brought in by tanker trucks, and even fire department air tankers.  Sometimes fire breaks can be made by bulldozing down existing structures to stop out of control fires.
Citizens will want to help, but they have their own lives to live too.  If they volunteer, use them right away.  They can direct traffic, help clear debris from roadways, carry materials, or even be sent to look for gear that you need.  Go find rope, shovels, sledge hammers, pry bars, axes, and other gear.  Ask them if they have special skills, they may be doctors, paramedics, off duty cops, security guards or others who can help. 
Hazardous materials are everywhere in normal life.  Gasoline tanks might rupture, doctors and dentists offices have radioactive materials, and so do come colleges.  Factories use many hazardous materials to process their products, and even foods are processed with ammonia.  The fire department is your best aid in telling you what is hazardous or not, or local workers can help if they are still present.  Use what you have, that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Dog Shooting

A dangerous dog was roaming a neighborhood, and a man called animal control and later the police.  The police responded and when the dog attacked, the officer shot it.  The dog did not die but laid in the open slowly bleeding to death.  It took 90 minutes for the dog to die.  If you have to shoot a dog to protect yourself, what do you do afterwards? 

Look for the owner of the dog, he may need to be charged with a crime and he needs to take charge of his animal.  Contact animal control and insist that they respond due to the police shooting.  It looks bad for the police and animal control to let the dog lay on the lawn bleeding for over an hour.  At least throw a blanket over the animal to hid it from view.  Park a patrol car next to it to obstruct the view of the crowd.

Usually, dogs don't have to be shot.  Typically the electrical test mode of a Taser is enough to scare off most dogs.  A CO2 fire extinguisher will scare off most dogs, your fire department will have those available.  A baton can be used as a lance to keep a dog away, and a broom or mop handle will work even better.  Police units should have an animal catch pole in them to help capture animals that are a problem.  Pepper spray works very well against most dogs too; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Disaster Comms

"5. Emergency equipment and field units will commit without being dispatched. There will be an air of urgency and more requests for aid than units available to send.
6. Communications will be inadequate; holes will appear in the system and air traffic will be incredibly heavy.
7. Trained personnel will become supervisors because they will be too valuable to perform hands-on tasks."

In a major incident there will be so many calls for service that there will not be officers to handle them all.  It will be up to Dispatch to sort through them and send officers to the most critical.  Officers will probably observe problems and begin to handle them on their own.  If damage is very severe, officers may not be able to drive anywhere due to debris.

There will be so many people on the radio trying to call in their situation that no one will be able to use the radio.  If possible, don't use your radio right away.  Let others call in their problems and simply get to work.  Repeaters may fail and that might make it difficult to talk on the radio.

Officers will likely become supervisors of civilian volunteers.  If you are in need of manpower to move a downed light pole or dig out survivors, officers have the moral and often legal authority to round up able bodied men and women who can help.  Officers are better off directing others and getting things organized than digging out survivors.  Give civilians a flag, a flashlight, a baseball bat and they can direct traffic or guard a building from looters; at least with supervision; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, September 1, 2013


"3. Fires in collapsed buildings will be very difficult to control.
4. The extent of the disaster will be difficult to assess, though this will be necessary to assure proper commitment of resources."
Collapsed buildings may be due to an earthquake or an explosion, or even a flood or too much snow on the roof.  Natural gas lines, propane tanks, and electrical can all cause fires.  A collapsed building is bad enough, but one that's on fire creates a much greater problem.  Not only do you have to get people out,but you have a time limit, that is, get them out before the fire gets them.  It's an opportunity to do some very harsh triage.  People too near the fire or those who will take a long time to save will just have to be left so you can save others.
It may seem unimportant to do a damage assessment, but it's critical.  Politicians and command centers need to know the extent and severity of the disaster so they know what help to send, and where to send it and even how to get it to you.  A bridge is out, they have to find alternate directions.  A school full of kids has collapsed will require dozens, even hundreds, maybe thousands of rescue workers.
A damaged chemical, oil, or nuclear plant may require evacuation, special gear to rescue survivors, technical knowledge, and decontamination.  Damaged gun shops, jewelry stores, electronics shops may need protection from looters.  Damaged hospitals, old peoples homes, retirement communities may need large numbers of buses and vans for evacuation.  Scouting the damage area is important so you can get the right help going to the right place, that's what the SGT Says.