Thursday, October 31, 2013

Taping Police

A group of rappers were on the street and police received complaint calls after they had been there for several hours.  Police arrived and at some point determined to take one person into custody.  A second suspect was arrested after he refused to leave.  The local news media decided they needed to investigate.

The TV news spent over 2 minutes talking to some of the rappers and even let them sing a little song.  They did not talk to the complaining parties and they just quoted the police, but did not interview them on camera.  They showed brief clips of the incident, but as usual, they did not show the full incident, nor what precipitated the arrest.  I am okay with police video and I am okay with people taping police actions, but they should not interfere with the incident.

I think that no one should be allowed to record police activity with in fifty feet of the incident.  The act of an incident being filmed changes the behavior of the people at the incident, seldom for the better.  Police unions should be working to get these types of laws enacted; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Swat Team

Memphis, TN is conducting an internal review of their tactical unit.  Recently they had a standoff, that ended with two officers being shot and the suspect burned up in his house.  Tactical units are difficult to run because they deal with the most difficult and dangerous suspects on a regular basis.

Too often these incidents don't end well.  The suspect gets killed, officers get killed or hurt or innocent bystanders or hostages get killed or hurt.  These things will happen because of the nature of the incidents.  There should be procedures in place to debrief and review every call out of a special team.  Not just the ones where things go bad and not just the ones that go well.

Teams should have standard operating procedures for the most common types of incidents and should train for them as often as is reasonable.  Command staff and city attorneys should buy off on these tactics so they are not caught unawares.  Team leaders and officers should not be punished just because there is a because there was a bad outcome; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Stress Shooting

Range training should be more than just stand and fire a couple rounds.  In real life, shootings often happen at the end of some other physical activity.  A suspect bails out of a car and runs.  The officer gives chase and they run a couple blocks.  The suspect turns and pulls a gun on the officer.  The officer has to shoot.

The officer will be tired.  The officer will have difficulty breathing and focusing on the sights.  The officers' chest will rise and fall and so will the pistol in his hands.  It will be much harder to hit that target than it was on the range, not just because the stress of a real shooting, but the physical activity. 

At the range, have the officer run in place, or use the baton on a dummy, or even run around the parking lot just before they draw and shoot.  It will bring them some level of stress as to their range training.  Teach them to control their breathing.  Use the front sight, even if they can't see the rear sight.  If nothing else, it will create an awareness of the difficulties of engaging in a stressful situation; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, October 28, 2013


There is a new device that is used to track suspects.  It is attached to the police car and when a pursuit begins, the police car launches the device onto the suspect vehicle.  The device then tracks the suspect vehicle and officers can back off.

This is a step in the right direction.  Police need something they can fire at a suspect vehicle, but the device should stop the suspect vehicle, it should not just track it.  Tracking is nice, but there are many problems with tracking.  If you only have one police car available and you have to get back to the suspects, then tracking might be okay.

The problem with tracking is that suspects can throw things out the window if no police are watching and it's evidence that's just gone.  Drugs, and guns, and even victims can be tossed out of a moving car and police need to be able to stop and pick them up.  Tracking is good, stopping is better; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


While the city I work in is not a hotbed of gang activity, our city borders other towns with significant gang presence.  Gangs can be very violent, and are frequently armed.  Many gang members have significant criminal history and study police methods and practice attacking police.  Many carry weapons.  Sometimes weapons are given to the children or the woman so the officer will be reluctant to search or assume they are not armed.
When you go on patrol, always take a patrol rifle, and magazines with you.  Make sure you have your ballistic helmet too.  If you encounter gang members, always call for back up so you are not confronting them alone.  If there is no obvious criminal offense, complete a Field Interview card on each gang member present.
Use good tactics.  Make sure you have enough help to enter gang buildings or even certain neighborhoods.  Write them tickets, they often lead to warrants eventually.  While gang members are dangerous, good officers using good police tactics confront them on a daily basis and take them to jail; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Two officers and a sergeant responded to a report of a man with a knife, threatening his mother.  When they arrived they heard a woman screaming and forced their way inside.  The suspect stabbed the sergeant several times in the face.  The officers withdrew with the sergeant and called for EMS.  The officers then returned to the house and when the subject attacked them, they shot him to death.

Three officers with a suspect with a knife is a good number to have on scene.  Not too many to get people in the way, and enough to deal with the suspect.  In general, space is your friend when dealing with knife armed suspects.  A riot baton, a chair, can help to hold one away from you.  Wearing your helmet can be helpful too.  The key is to hold the suspect at a distance and then hit him as soon as possible with a Taser dart.

There should not be much negotiation, "Police, drop the knife, now!"  "No."  Zap.  Never underestimate a man with a knife.  The Tazer is only viable if at least one officer with a gun drawn, can cover the Tazer armed officer.  Knife wounds can kill quickly; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, October 25, 2013

School Response

A teacher murdered at a school.  An all too frequent headline.  Do you have schools in your patrol area?  If you are called on the radio and told to go to the office, do you know where the office is located?  How about the library, the gym, or the cafeteria?

When people call from a campus and ask for help, they typically will tell you where they are in relationship to places most people familiar with the campus know about.  You should consider visiting every school campus and taking a tour so you know where things are located, that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


"54. Representatives from public agencies throughout the United States and many foreign countries will want to come and observe the operations or offer assistance. They will be a significant problem.
55. Department heads (EOC) staff may not have a working knowledge of their assigned areas of responsibility, and will play it by ear.
Some citizens and media representatives will question your decisions because they will not recognize that the safety of field responders is paramount."
Compile a list of what you need as you go along.  When people from other agencies arrive, give them the list.  Select someone who is glib and have them do tours to get the VIPs out of your hair and your command post.  A group tour is fine too.  Don't let the waste your helicopters and your essential services. Set up a place away from the command post where they can have coffee and chit chat in safety, even if it is as a hotel miles away.
Department heads may understand their day to day responsibilities but may be over their heads in an emergency.  Allow them to designate a subordinate to help them if they are not up to the responsibility.  Pre-planning and documentation of necessary activities can be helpful to bring department heads up to speed on their roles in an emergency.
Don't worry about citizen complaints or press critics.  No matter what you do, you will be told it was wrong.  Your job is to save lives and property.  Rescue workers will be placed in a certain amount of danger, but if they get hurt they can't help, it's a constant balancing act.  Document everything you do and why so that you can later justify decisions in hearings or in court.  Try to get elected officials to buy off on risky, dangerous or expensive ideas so that they will support you later.  Emergencies require risk taking, but sometimes you can share that risk; that's what the SGT Says.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Good Witness

An off duty deputy arrested a woman at a bar.  She was creating a disturbance so the deputy went outside and got his handcuffs, badge and gun and came back inside.  The then handcuffed her and the local police came.  When they arrived they released the woman and arrested the deputy.

There is some speculation that this deputy had no legal authority to make arrests off duty.  The report is that the deputy used excessive force on the person arrested.  My concern is, why did the deputy arrest this person at all?  The deputy did not appear to have been the victim of a violent or major crime, the suspect did not seem to be making any reasonable effort to escape.  The local police were able to arrive in a timely manner.

They were in a bar, had the deputy been drinking?  Why make an arrest for a minor crime when the locals could easily have handled it?  Off duty you don't have body armor, direct communication to back up or a uniform.  In general, it's best to let the on duty officers deal with the problem unless there is a physical threat involved.  Otherwise, just be a good witness, that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, October 21, 2013


I used to work for a security company doing firearms training, and we only carried Colt, S&W and Ruger revolvers, 4" barrel, in .38 or .357. I got so I could stand with my hands to my side, gun snapped in my holster, and draw on command, fire six rounds and then reload with a speedloader and fire six more, in under 5 seconds.  As a reserve police officer I carried that S&W 686 for a long time until we went to the Glock .40.   As a training example I used to "race" guys with their Glock loaded with 12 rounds and ask them to fire 12 faster and more accurately than me with my S&W 686.  I never lost.
I am not that fast anymore, because I don't practice that much, but a quick web search will show guys who are very fast with their revolvers.  The revolver is an excellent tool, not only reliable and inexpensive, but I liked being able to use .38 or .357 in the same gun.  You  can also get carbines in .357 too which is nice.
Training and practice are much more important than the specific caliber or type of gun.  Even a .22 is deadly, no one wants to get shot, even with the smallest gun; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


As I continue to read The Onion Field, I realize that every officer should read it.  One of the aspects of the book is the psychological pain suffered by the officer who survived the incident.  Two Hollywood Division LAPD officers were kidnapped and one was murdered in an onion field.  The second officer managed to run away and escape.  He was returned to duty almost immediately.  He had no psychological counseling until much later and then it was minimal.  It was also to see if he could get a pension after being caught shoplifting.  It was not because he was involved in the kidnapping and murder.

Officers get post traumatic stress, just like soldiers do, and they need to have it addressed.  I think officers should have at least three counseling sessions after a major incident.  One session within a couple days of the event, one a month later and one a year later.  These sessions should be mandatory and should never be made public or released to anyone.  They should not be used for disciplinary actions, prosecution of the officer, or the suspect, or in civil trials, they should be treated like the confession to a priest. 

If the officer refuses to go, he should be suspended until he does go.  The psychologist should issue a report that says the officer is okay to return to full duty, partial duty, or should be retired.  Officers won't go and won't talk freely if they don't have a iron clad guarantee of privacy forever.  There should be no other discussion and no other records kept of the counseling; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


"51. If phones are working, the number of requests for service will be overwhelming. People will have to fend for themselves; it will be difficult for dispatchers to ignore these pleas for help.
52. Some field units will disappear; you will not be able to reach them and will not know where they are or what they are doing.
53. Security will have to be posted at hospitals, clinics, and first-aid stations to control hysterical citizens demanding immediate attention."
Dispatchers will be critical in an emergency.  They will need to know who is still on duty and available for a call.  Only the most critical calls should be dispatched.  Unless there is a life threatening emergency that can be handled by police or available fire resources, buildings will have to burn, burglars and rioters will have to be ignored.  Police aircraft will be helpful to monitor fires and large crowds.
Some officers will go home, others will just be overwhelmed, some may be killed or injured in the initial disaster, and still others will work on minor problems and be unable to triage out the small problems and work on the large ones.  Radio traffic will often be so bad officers will find it easy to just vanish.  Accounting for your people is important.  You want them to be safe, work effectively on problems and also you don't want to pay people who went home.  You want to provide them with food, water, and shelter and you need the car back!
Critical infrastructure needs to be protected.  Hospitals need protection from thugs looking for drugs, and from being swamped with injured who are not hurt with life threatening injuries.  You may have to set up a triage area outside the hospital.  Some clinics or hospitals may be damaged and some may be better off evacuated and consolidated to permit better security.  People will come to hospitals looking for food, water, and supplies as well as medical treatment.  Having a command post near a hospital can be helpful so their infrastructure can help support you with lighting and electricity if their generators work.  They often have classrooms, conference centers and training rooms that can provide shelter and support for law enforcement; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, October 18, 2013

2,000th Post

This is my 2,000th post on SGT Says.

The purpose of this blog on public and private law enforcement was to try and increase officer safety.

To me officer safety means:
Don't get killed,
Don't get hurt,
Don't get prosecuted,
Don't get arrested,
Don't get sued,
Don't get fired,
Don't get disciplined.

If any of these bad things happen then it's a failure.  The officer made a mistake, his partner failed, the supervision made an error, the agency made a mistake, or the law does not follow reality on the streets.  We as experienced officers have an obligation to the new guys to show them how to do the job safely.  We as supervisors have an obligation to make sure our officers don't do things that might get themselves hurt. 

We as training staff have an obligation to make sure our trainees have the skills they need to do the job.  Administrators have an obligation to get the equipment that officers need for the job.  Lawyers and legislators should make sure our laws protect not only the public, but keep up with the needs to law enforcement to deal effectively with criminals.  If all this happens, then we as officers have an obligation to the public to serve and protect them; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Police Dogs
This article says that Los Angeles County Sheriff Department police dogs are racist because they only bite Hispanics and Blacks.  The article is so full of holes, it looks like someone's dog must have bitten the document.  The article complains that in affluent areas few people are bitten, well that's to be expected because there is little crime in affluent areas.

The article discusses LA County Sheriff, but the photo shows an LA City Police dog handler.  Near the end of the article they reference two previous incidents.  One of them took place 25 years ago and the other nine years ago; and neither of them had anything to do with LA Sheriff.

Police dogs fill an important niche in law enforcement.  They often are able to find suspects that humans would be unlikely to locate.  They often prevent injury to human officers by biting a dangerous or resistant suspect.  I have been present when police dogs from many agencies were used and their handlers were always professional and their dogs did not bite anyone who did not need biting.  Simply looking at numbers and percentages and saying too many Blacks or Hispanics are being bitten tells you nothing.  What matters is judging each case and each bite; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


An officer heard a loud noise come from a car and thought it was a gunshot.  He started a pursuit.  Over 75 officers responded to the pursuit and over 100 rounds were fired at the two occupants of the vehicle.  The suspects were convicted felons but no guns or empty casings were found in their car.  Of course, the whole incident could have been avoided if the suspects simply stopped the car as soon as the first unit tried to pull them over.

One supervisor was fired, and dozens of supervisors and officers were disciplined.  This points out to me this agency has a much larger problem than one pursuit.  That large a number of officers being disciplined over one event tells me several things.  First, the agency does not properly train their officers or their supervisors.  A pursuit of this type does not need more that twenty patrol officers, even that is too many.

Certainly they also fail to supervise their officers well.  With that many units chasing two suspects, who was watching the city?  It's not like these were cop killers or presidential assassins.  The agency needs a new chief, and new training and leadership; not just a few memos in someone's file; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


"48. Traditional non-emergency personnel will want to go home at 5 o’clock; all public employees must be made to realize that they are a part of the emergency response team.
49. People will die and there is nothing that can be done about it. Non-public safety personnel will not understand why everyone cannot be saved. Priorities must be set to save the most lives possible.
50. Dead bodies should not be an initial concern. Rescuing the living should be the first priority."
All government employees should be required to sign a document every year that says in time of emergency they will work until they are relieved.  Every secretary, bus driver and crossing guard can be used in time of emergency to do something.  They can act as the scribe at take notes at a scene, they can transport people into or out of a disaster area, they can help perform traffic control.  We all remember the scenes of Hurricane Katrina with hundreds of school buses underwater because someone failed to require the bus drivers move them to higher ground.  Millions of dollars of damage for no reason.  Those same buses could also have been used to move children or the general population inland to save lives.
Triage is important at the first aid centers, emergency rooms and even at disaster sites where people have to be dug out, rescued from fast water or pulled from an icy lake.  You may not save everyone, and you can't devote too many scarce resources to save one, when they could save several.  Disasters bring a unique and terrible math.
Don't worry about the dead, mark their location and look for the living.  The living need a blanket more than the dead do.  The dead need to be treated with dignity, but they can be collected by people with limited skills under the supervision of one skilled person.  Even a dump truck can be used to collect large numbers of dead.  Making sure each dead body is marked as to time and location of pick up is important to later identification.  Local mortuary personnel can assist emergency services with some of these duties, teamed up with public works or even construction crews to provide transportation and lifting of bodies.  It's not pleasant, but that's the nature of disasters; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, October 14, 2013


A game poacher murdered a paramedic and three police officers before killing himself in Austria.  We often underestimate criminals and so we can pay with our lives.  Game poaching is a serious crime, but more important from an officer safety point of view, it typically involves the use of guns, frequently at long ranges.

Game poachers, in this case the guy was hunting deer, are familiar with weapons, and are highly skilled with them.  If the treat poachers are normal criminals we are overlooking some obvious officer safety concerns.  When people have a home where they live and keep large numbers of weapons, I am in favor of trying to arrest them off site.

Wait until they go to get a haircut, go to work, visit the supermarket.  Then select a spot where there are few people and make a high risk traffic stop.  That way you get the suspect away from his arsenal and from his home turf.  It's more difficult for him to make a last stand and to ambush officers.  Safer for the officers, safer for the suspect; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Blood Pressure

In Carthage, Mississippi, and officer collapsed from a heart attack and died.  He was at the station and in-processing a shoplifter.  Part of police work is taking care of yourself.  Do you get a check up every year?  If not, why not?

Police often have high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  We don't eat right and we eat at weird hours and often skip meals.  None of that is good for us.  We have to deal with stressful situations and so we sometimes develop medical conditions as a result of the job.

Part of your officer safety program should include an annual check up.  Some conditions like heart disease and high cholesterol are difficult to notice and take a doctor to tell you that you have them.  The are usually manageable and finding the early is the key to avoid the heart attack; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


In 2007 an officer in Texas was injured in a traffic collision.  He died last month.  He had been on a ventilator all this time.  He had been struck from behind, during a pursuit, by a suspect who was driving over 100 miles per hour. 

Pursuits are very dangerous.  People get killed, often when the suspect crashes.  Make sure you wear your seatbelt and when you are in a pursuit make sure it is good and tight.  Make certain to inform other officers your direction  of travel and speed.  A suspect going 100 miles per hour will travel about three miles in two minutes.  That is a speed that is difficult for people to realize.

A pursuit that is miles away can be up on you before you realize what's happening.  Don't stay in a slow lane and expect the suspect to pass you.  Many suspects don't drive well and certainly may be more interested in crashing into you than getting away.  If you are ahead of the pursuit trying to clear cross traffic, then stay out of the intersection so police and the suspect can get past you; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Officer Ambushed

In Draper, Utah an officer stopped to check out a vehicle parked on the side of the road.  A transient shot the officer, his girlfriend and himself to death.  The officer put out an officer needs help call, but died soon afterwards.  The officer was shot before he could exit his car.

When making a traffic stop, or checking out a vehicle parked on the side of the road in any low light condition, use your lights, your spotlights, take down lights, and high beams.  Use your flashlight.  Don't be in a hurry to approach the other vehicle, but get out of the car quickly.

Consider observing the vehicle from a distance before you approach to make the stop.  Always call in the stop, so dispatch knows where you are at.  Until you know everything is okay, have you hand on or near your handgun.  It's okay to approach from the passenger side of the car, in fact, it's often a good idea.  If you pull up behind a vehicle and the suspect gets out, it's okay to put it in reverse and back out of there; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Report Writing

When you are involved in a use of force incident, include as many details as possible to justify why you needed to use force.  If you thought the suspect was going to attack you, write down what he did to cause you to think that.  Did he threaten you, verbally? 

Did his body language indicate that he was going to attack?  Did the suspect actually grab or hit you?  Did he attempt to grab or hit you, but you managed to avoid his attack?  Did he ball up his fists or achieve a martial arts stance?

Did the suspect close the distance between the two of you?  Did you warn him to stop, or not to come any closer?  Was the suspect armed with a weapon or were his hands not visible to you?  All these behaviors can help you to articulate why you needed to use force; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Can you transition from your patrol rifle to your handgun?  One of the reasons to have a sling on your rifle is that if it jams or runs out of ammo you can transition to your handgun without having to toss the rifle aside or try to hold it and shoot your pistol.

A sling is important on the shotgun for the same reason.  It's also difficult to take notes, or handcuff a prisoner while holding a rifle or shotgun.  The sling allows you to do those things.  Still, you need to practice those skills before you need them.

When you go to the range, your training should include other skills besides just shooting.  Other gun handling and tactical skills are important and should be practiced there too.  Transition to and from the handgun, rifle and shotgun should be practiced at the range too; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

War on Terror & Active Shooter

A group of armed men and women took over a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya.  It is a modern, multi-story mall, just like those found all over the United States.  The armed terrorists murdered people because they were not Muslim.  The terrorists were all Muslims who were striking Kenya because Kenyan troops had conducted anti-terrorist raids inside nearby Somalia.

The US Navy has conducted raids in Somalia too.  When will Somalian Muslim terrorist attack a mall here in the United States?  These Muslim terrorists are here in the United States.  Honor killings of women who have married Americans happen in the Muslim community, but the main stream media ignores it.

200 people were killed recently in Muslim attacks in the Philippines, and again the main stream media ignores it.  Once again, we in law enforcement are on the front lines in the War on Terror, yet the media gives us news about streakers and hair styles rather than the dangers faced every day from Islamic Terrorists.  After the Mumbai attacks a few years ago, we got serious and trained for active shooters, yet now much of that training is languishing.  We need to be ready, we need to be ready now; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Drug Use

Whatever you legalize, you get more of.  Many states are now legalizing the use of marijuana.  What you legalize, you get more of, and this will be true of marijuana.  What do you do in those states that permit legal marijuana use for recreational purposes?

Will police be allowed to smoke marijuana on their lunch break?  Will heavy marijuana use no longer be a problem for police applicants?  Will police be allowed to use marijuana on their days off as long as they are not high on the job?

Will police use deadly force on the job and have marijuana in their system still be judged to be using proper judgment?  Will police who are heavy marijuana users still be considered to be good cops?  Marijuana is a gateway drug and people who use hard drugs nearly always start with marijuana.  Marijuana should be illegal and should never be used by police; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


The Onion Field is a book by Joseph Wambaugh.  It tells the story of two cops who are kidnapped and one is murdered.  The suspects are arrested, but despite being convicted and sentenced to death, are not only never executed, one of them is even released, eventually.

It is an affront to every police officer in California that Governor Brown was elected as our governor.  He is opposed to the death penalty and there are many criminal on death row who murdered police.  The death penalty is a proper penalty for those who kill police in the line of duty.

It is an even greater disgrace that police unions supported Brown for governor.  They cared more for their big pensions like other big government unions and less for the lives of their officers.  Police and their families deserve justice if an officer is murdered in the line of duty.  That means death to cop killers; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

No Guns?

A police officer goes to his daughters school to pick her up or drop her off, he is in uniform and of course, wearing a gun.  Several little children tell their parents who then complain to the school.  The school officials then ask the officer to not wear his uniform or gun to school anymore.  I suppose there is the active shooter response exemption to that request, but I would want to be sure.  What a stupid thing for parents to complain about and what a foolish school administrator.

My first question, however, is why is the officer conducting personal business in uniform?  Does he have a take home police car, some agencies do that.  Is he simply going to or from his own work and therefore is on his own time?  Is he on an authorized break, with the knowledge of his supervisor and therefore not on work time?  Remember anytime you are in uniform you may generate a complaint or be involved in an incident.  Also, work time is for working, not personal errands.

Police officers in the United States carry guns because they need them.  It is foolish and unwise to complain that police are carrying guns, while on duty, or in uniform, if at a school, sporting event, or other reason.  I go to the school all the time in my jurisdiction and I wear a gun.  No one has ever been stupid enough to complain because they know the value of having an armed officer on site in event of an emergency; that's that the SGT Says.

Friday, October 4, 2013


45. Emergency responders will require rest and must be relieved. Local personnel may be of value as guides for mutual aid responders, or as supervisors for volunteer crews.
46. Equipment will be lost, damaged or stolen, and may never be accounted for.
47. Someone will get the bill; record-keeping and accounting procedures will be important.
People can run okay for about 24 hours but after that you have to force them to rest.  They need at least six hours sleep.  Sleepy people make mistakes, and get themselves or others hurt.  Local officers should supervise out of town units so they have someone to direct them to locations and resources.
In chaos equipment will be stolen, broken, lost, damaged, lost in the disaster.  Don't try and account for every bullet, bean, and bolt.  Disaster relief is a wasteful business.  With all the confusion and unusual prioritization items will be lost that otherwise won't.  With officers working at full speed, they won't account for equipment or will break it in use.
As best as possible, keep a record of everything.  The hours people work are the most important thing to track.  Keep track of how many mutual aid officers you send, for how long and when they come back, they may get billed back to those they helped.  Private individuals will want to get paid for the fuel you use, food you eat, and water you drink, give people receipts and keep track of what you spend; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Onion Field

Two LAPD Hollywood Division officers made a traffic stop and one of the two people in the car pulled a gun and disarmed both officers.  One of the officers was force to drive them over the Grapevine and into Bakersfield, and into an onion field; in the middle of nowhere. 

The suspects got the officers out of the car and one of them started shooting one of the officers.  The second officer ran away into the night.  There is much you can do in a similar situation.  First off, never give up your gun.  Try a quick draw and shoot.  No warning, no verbal commands, if a suspect has a gun drawn on you, try and shoot him first.

If you are forced to drive a vehicle to take a kidnapper someplace, crash the car.  Try and crash when you are near a police officer or fire station, but crash the car.  Hit a light pole or a gore point.  Make sure you hit their side of the car.  Hit it hard, then exit the car to get away as best as you are able.  If suspects are holding a gun on you and you can, take it away from them.  Barring that, run away, most suspect are not good shots and if you get very far they won't be able to hit you.  Even a million to one chance is better than no chance, that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


"42. Many fire hydrants will be inaccessible (covered or destroyed by rubble) or inoperable.
43. Generators will run out of fuel; jerry cans of fuel must be obtained early to maintain generator powered lighting and communications.
44. Critical facilities will have to be self-sufficient; gas, lights, water and sewage may be out for days."
Often water pressure will go to zero because the pumping stations will be destroyed, or underground pipes will be broken.  Swimming pools, rivers, lakes and ponds can be good sources of fire fighting water, but are probably not safe for drinking or bathing.  A helicopter can tell you were the nearest backyard swimming pools are located.
Generators are essential to run radios, refrigeration and lights.  Radios for communication, refrigeration for some medicines and for food storage and lighting to work by.  Fuel is essential to run those generators and may have to be brought in by truck.  Set up fueling points away from other activities.  Gerry cans can be filled and then delivered to your emergency sites.  Don't forget to have security for the fueling site.
Hospitals, fire stations, power plants, police stations and other infrastructure needs to be able to function with porta-potties, bottled water, and self generated electricity.  Count on at least three days, and perhaps as much as three to six months for a major emergency.  Think about a 9/11 terror attack, Katrina Hurricane and the California Earthquake all at the same time.  In an incident like that, each region is on their own as there is little help that can come from outside.  Too many agencies plan on the incident being over in a couple days, and that's not long enough; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Onion Field

Recently I have been re-reading The Onion Field by Joseph Wambaugh.  He was a Los Angles Police Officer who turned author and wrote a number of fictional and factual books about law enforcement.  The Onion Field tells the true story of a couple of LAPD Officers from Hollywood Division.

They were on patrol in an unmarked car, not in uniform, when they spotted a suspicious vehicle in Hollywood.  They made a traffic stop.  One officer on each side of the car.  The driver of the vehicle pulled a gun on the driver side officer and forced him to give up his gun.

The second officer gave up his gun to avoid having his partner killed.  The suspects kidnapped both officers, the forced them into their car.  The suspects had trouble with the officers vehicle so they left it in the street.  In less than an hour, LAPD had found the officers car and were looking for them.  As a supervisor it's important to know where your people are and what they are doing.  If you lose one, look for them right away; that's what the SGT Says.