Thursday, January 31, 2013

Just Is

http://www.policeone.com/legal/articles/6103330-Ohio-police-captain-exonerated-of-ex-wifes-murder/

Fifteen years ago a woman was shot to death and suffered a bite from a human.  At the time she was divorcing her husband.  The prosecution convicted the husband of the crime.  The gun was never found.  The divorce was very bitter, there don't seem to be any other suspects or any other motive, based on the article.

I don't know enough about the merits of this case.  Maybe he did it, maybe he did not.  I am always suspicious of people who re-examine a case ten or fifteen years later and come up with a new verdict.  At the time of the event, memories are fresh, investigators are available to speak to their collection techniques and prosecutions and provide more witnesses who were not called because their testimony would be redundant.

There is a group going around the nation trying to free criminals who were wrongly convicted.  I think their efforts would be better spent trying to prevent crime or solving crimes that have been unsolved.  I suspect their motives and think they are more interested in creating distrust of the criminal justice system rather than achieving justice, that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

MRAP

Recently I have been reading a lot on the Internet about people who are worried that the Federal government law enforcement agencies have been buying large amounts of ammo, guns and armored cars.  One report was the DHS had 2,700 MRAP armored cars.  I support local law enforcment but I don't think the Federal government is planning to install President Obama as the dictator.  I do think President Obama is a terrible president and I did not vote for him either time.

As the military downsizes or gets new vehicles they are often given to local law enforcement. I work as a reserve police sergeant at a small agency in Southern California.  In the 22 years I have been there we have gotten several CCUV trucks (all gone now) and one Cadillic armored car. The armored car was a hand me down from another police department, but they got it from DOD and were upgrading to a new armored car. The other agency was ten times our size. Most people don't know this but there are over 10,000 local law enforcement agencies in the United States, most cities have their own police and every county has a county sheriff, in addition to state police, game wardens
and many other agencies.

I suspect that's where most of theose MRAPS are going since the Iraq was has been winding down. Remember too the USA is a big place, if you need an armored car to respond to a terrorist incident you have to have hundreds, if not thousands, pre-positioned all over the nation to have one or two close enough to get to the incident in a reasonable time.  US police have used armored cars for almost a century now, and it's a good idea; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Zip Gun

http://www.gunssavelife.com/?p=5235

Now I never tried it.  And I would not recommend it.  I don't think it's safe.  In California, it's illegal.  Your state laws may vary.  And criminals may be more desperate than you or me.  Still a single shot zip gun from $2 worth of commonly found materials is rather impressive.

Firearms are a 600 year old technology.  There really have not been any substantial improvements in guns in the last 100 years.  The few improvement have been pretty small and incremental. Still, the overall status of guns is pretty low technology. 

This video is an excellent example of the failure of a lot of gun control laws.  Guns are such simple items that they can be made from household materials for a couple bucks.  Any reasonable machine shop can make a gun.  The lesson for us as police is that even a tiny bit of nothing can be a gun.  Something like this could be made in prison.  The ammo is the only really distinctive part.  Anything that seems to have ammo in it should be considered as a deadly weapon; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Gun Rights

Every police officer should own personal guns as well has have his duty gun.  Owning guns means you have access to a gun even if you leave your agency or are off duty.  Every gun owner in the nation should join the NRA. Then join a second 2nd Amendment organization too. The NRA has power because they are the largest and best funded firearms group and have been around for almost 150 years. The more members they have, the more clout they have. The NRA will always strive to get us the best deal possible, sometimes that means compromise. When we don't elect enough pro-Second Amendment politicians to Congress we can count on losing some of our gun rights.

We should make a maximum effort to stop any new laws that restrict our gun rights, and by joining the NRA that will make them better able to fight off the anti-gun politicians. By being a member they will better reflect your views on the subject. By joining another pro-gun group you help to keep the pressure on the NRA to stay the course of gun freedoms and only compromise on issues that we can't win.

My personal opinion is that the Second Amendment protects all our rights by being able to fight invasion or tyranny. I don't believe any registration of military style small arms is constitutional and certainly don't think there is a right to confiscate so called "assault rifles." They are exactly the weapons needed to protect against invasion or tyranny.  As police we swore a duty to protect our citizens and defend the constitution.  Owning a gun and protecting that right for all law abiding citizens is an important part of that duty; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Martial Law

 
Police are training in Miami with military style helicopters.  The helicopters are flying around and making noises that sound like gunfire.  The police are driving around the city with red lights and sirens.  People are upset and the news media are putting out rather vague reports about the events.
 
Recently military police were training in St. Louis.  They were driving armored cars around the city.  People were scared about all these military vehicles.  The media were reporting tanks were occupying the city.  It was simply military police training how to drive their large armored cars in an urban environment and St. Louis was the closest one.
 
There are reasons for the military to train in civilian areas given our concerns for terrorism and even urban unrest both at home and abroad.  The National Guard have been called out about once every 12 years in my lifetime in my neighborhood.  It is critical that the military and the police spend weeks publicizing these training exercises and letting people know what is happening.  Police and the military should not be scaring our citizens or creating rumors of coups and troops training to fire on American citizens; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

I Don't Think We are in Kansas Anymore

 
The T-Bird out of Tennessee sent me this dashcam video of a patrol car in a tornado.  Tornadoes are very bad and can lift your patrol car right up off the ground.  Every area has it's own special set of natural disasters that can happen and every agency should have a plan to deal with them.  One of the most important questions is where do the cops go to save themselves and their equipment?
 
The first thing everyone wants to do is go out and see the disaster and help people.  That is not always practical advise.  Sometimes you have to wait a bit and help people as soon as it is over.  The next thing is everyone wants to return to the police station.  What happens if the tornado, hurricane, flood, destroys the police station, if everyone is there you lose everything?
 
Deploy units around the city in places of safety where police are likely to be needed.  Put them at hospitals, fire stations, schools and other locations where there are a lot of people and where they can safety weather the storm.  It disperses your officers so one hit won't take them all out.  It also will insure a few will be where they are needed very soon after the disaster.  Plan this in advance and keep everyone updated on the plan, that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, January 25, 2013

.45

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/jan/23/kpd-switching-to-higher-caliber-service-weapons/?partner=RSS

Knoxville, TN has announced that they are buying 225 Sig Sauer handguns in .45 caliber.  They are replacing their Glock .40 caliber handguns.  The Glock is an excellent police handgun, and so is the Sig Sauer.  The Glock is the most commonly used police handgun in the USA, in part because they are very good and in part because Glock has a low price and a very attractive buy back program that makes it very difficult to broker a change to another brand.

The 9mm, 10mm, .40 caliber and .45 calibers are all excellent police calibers.  In my opinion, the .45 is the best caliber for immediately stopping a suspect quickly.  Each of those calibers has certain advantages and disadvantages.  The 9mm has less perceived recoil.  That makes it easier to recover after each shot and because it is small magazines can hold a lot of rounds.  The 10mm has very good penetration but can have a bit of recoil for some people.  The .40 has good penetration, and reasonable recoil, it's small enough for a decent number of rounds.

The .45 has very good penetration, it can have a heavy recoil and the magazines can be small.  If you have a large heavy round it can do enough damage that the suspect won't require multiple hits in order to stop.  My agency carries the .40 Glock and the .45 Glock, I carry the .40 and I am in the queue for a .45 Glock.  Some agencies shy away from the .45, I think it is an excellent choice; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

No Suicide

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/23/hans-walters-murder-suicide_n_2535153.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmaing6%7Cdl2%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D260881

A police supervisor was recently promoted to lieutenant.  Soon afterwards he went home, shot his five year old child and his wife to death and set his house on fire.  He called 911 and when police arrived the LT confronted them in his yard.  He went back inside his burning house and shot himself to death.  His wife was a former police officer.

Suicide is a serious problem for law enforcement officers.  If you have partners that you think are likely candidates for suicide you must say something to a person in authority who can intervene.  You don't want to blame yourself for the death of another officer who goes on to kill himself.

The stress of police work can build up over time.  Officers often see and do things that are horrible, dead people, terrible crimes, traffic collisions that are all difficult to view and to understand.  Even a promotion can be stressful.  More pay, more authority, but also different schedule, greater responsibility, it can be too much to handle.  Don't let work stress become too much, get help before it's too late; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

DeSoto County

http://wreg.com/2013/01/18/armed-guards-in-every-desoto-co-school/

The Sheriffs Department for DeSoto County, Mississippi is putting an armed police officer at every school.  They have taken the lead in insuring the children are safe at school by placing an officer at every school, no matter the grade.  Parents, teachers and even children are fearful and this is a good way to calm their fears.  Part of what we do as police is to make people feel safer.

Sheriff Bill Rasco’s should be commended for his rapid response to a national concern for the safety of children in school.  We spend billions of dollars every year to protect the president, congress and other elected officials and yet spend very little to protect our children. 

I do believe that a more cost effective solution is to train school employees to carry concealed firearms and have them provide immediate response to an armed intruder on school campus.  In most cases school resource officers can't be close enough to intervene until after several children have been murdered.  They also have very little to do in most schools and would be better employed elsewhere.  Until that time the deployment of officers at schools is an excellent idea; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Teachers and Guns

http://www.gopusa.com/news/2013/01/09/palm-beach-county-teachers-seeking-gun-training-permits/?subscriber=1

Give a man a fish and he eats today.  Teach a man to fish and he never goes hungry again.  I believe in teaching people how to take care of themselves.  People derive more self-esteem if they can do a job themselves.  People are in an excellent position to know what they need.  Part of democracy is helping the people to make their own decisions, rather than have the government do everything for them.

I think teachers and others who work at schools should be allowed to carry guns if they are legally permitted to own guns.  Those who want to carry at their local school where they work could be trained by their local police department.  That way they will be instantly ready whenever the children in their care are in danger.  People who don't want to carry guns should not have to carry them.

In a democracy we should trust the people to do the right thing most of the time.  We don't need to have police in the schools unless there is a specific threat or the school itself is in a particularly dangerous neighborhood or has a high crime rate.  Sometimes schools are simply so large that they deserve their own police force, but the average elementary school with a couple hundred kids does not need a cop on site.  Arming a few teachers would be plenty of protection; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Back Up, Off Duty

Select your back up gun carefully.  Ideally, it should use the same ammunition as your duty gun, function the same general way and be the same gun you carry off duty.  The same ammunition is important so that you don't have to carry multiple calibers of ammunition.  You can have spare ammo in your gear bag that will fit both handguns.

Similar function is good so that you have the same muscle memory for the duty weapon and the back up gun.  That way you don't fail to switch off a safety at a time of stress because it functions the same way as the regular duty gun.  It should also use the same magazines so that you can have just that many more magazines and rounds available to you.

Carrying the back up gun off duty allows you to train with the duty weapon, back up gun and off duty gun essentially any time you train with any of them, since they are all the same.  I think the Glock series is an excellent choice for the duty gun and back up/ off duty gun.  There are others that are good too and your agency may require certain features or brands.  Just make sure you carry all the time; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Off Duty

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Dennys

http://fox2now.com/2013/01/02/belleville-police-banned-from-dennys/

On duty police officers were in a Dennys restaurant in civilian attire.  One of the managers saw their firearms and complained to them.  He told them they had to leave the restaurant and put their guns in their cars.  When they showed him their badges and said they were police he still insisted.  Another manager came by and told them they could stay.

The officers were annoyed by the whole incident and left.  The chief of police banned his officers from going there, unless they were called to the location for a criminal offense.  The officers had their badges in plain view and their radios were out where they could be seen too.

Companies that don't want armed police in their stops should be avoided by police who have options as to where to go on their time.  Some people don't like the police and in a free society that's their option.  There is no need to provide them with extra service if they don't want it; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Local Police

Every city in America should have it's own police department.  The essence of American society is freedom.  The police are the arm of the government that interacts more with the people than probably any other on a day to day basis.

By having their own police force cities can control the actions of the police at a local level.  If the citizens desire strict enforcement can get that from their police.  If a community is worried about drunk drivers they can spend more time looking for people who are DUI.

Local control means local expenses, and local agencies should be reluctant to take much money from the Federal or State government.  Getting money often means giving up control.  Local agencies should not be controlled from Washington; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Be Ready

http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2012/12/media-quiet-about-san-antonio-theater-shooting-2524596.html

An evil man went to a restaurant to murder his girlfriend.  He shot her and the people there ran next door to a theater.  He followed them, apparently to kill them too.  An off duty sheriff deputy was there and she had her concealed weapon with her.  She shot the suspect four times and stopped his rampage.

Do you carry your gun off duty at the theater?  Do you carry it to the restaurant?  Do you carry your gun off duty at all?  I always carry my gun and a knife when I am off duty.  At the park, at the store, at church.  Since you cannot predict when danger will strike, you must be ready at all times.

My wife has been trained to call 911 in the event of an emergency while I deal with the suspect.  I carry a raid jacket in my vehicle as well as handcuffs and pepper spray.  I can't always carry everything on my person but it's good to have extra ammo in the car along with other gear; including a first aid kit.  Be ready, you don't know when evil will strike; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Guns on Range

When I work as a rangemaster, I carry my back up gun in my pocket.  It is in a pocket holster.  I don't carry my duty weapon.  Instead, I carry a red gun, non functioning solid resin model of our department duty handgun. 

A red gun allows me to demonstrate range skills in complete safety.  It allows me to aim the red model weapon at any direction without concern for actual firearms safety.  Just to continue to instill good habits in myself and those training on the range, I still practice the four rules of safety with the training model gun, but since it can't actually load or shoot, muzzle discipline does not have to be my first concern.

I don't carry my duty gun, so I don't inadvertently use it to demonstrate techniques with on the range.  Since the range is full of guns and ammo, I do believe it necessary to have a gun on hand to protect the range, weapons, and ammunition.  Criminals, terrorists, disgruntled employees or others might attack the range, or the officers or even try to steal the range materials.  Having a gun could be helpful; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bite Me

http://www.examiner.com/article/florida-man-shoots-naked-man-found-choking-family-dog-1

A man heard his rottweiler barking in his backyard.  He grabbed his gun and went to investigate.  He found a naked man choking his dog.  The naked man then attacked the homeowner and bit him.  The homeowner shot the man in the leg.  The naked man was still combative when the police arrived.

If a suspect tried to bite you, it could be considered as deadly force.  If the suspect has a disease, such as HIV or many others, he could transmit it to you.  A human bite is very dirty and can cause infection even if the suspect has no disease.  A good bite on the throat can even kill you.

A suspect that is a biter needs to be kept away from you and subdued as rapidly as possible.  An immediate Taser hit is a good tactic, or use the baton as a lance to keep the suspect way with strikes to the legs.  A suspect that is naked, has bit someone already, may even be worth shooting, depending on your local laws and policies; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=q0VobeDOZ7c

During this arrest, several suspects come forward and attempt to help the suspect.  In one instance, an officer pushes a suspect who falls to the ground on his back.  While the video cuts off rather abruptly, we cannot know what else happened after the video.  I think what should have happened is the officers should have arrested the other people who came to the aid of their friend.

People should not become involved in the arrest of a suspect other than to advise the suspect to stop resisting and submit to the authority of the police.  Those who interfere need to be arrested to, or at least be detained and unidentified.  Once identified their actions can be noted in the original arrest report as contributing to the danger facing the officers making the arrest.  I don't think this video shows the officers doing anything illegal, immoral or unethical.  They arrested a resisting suspect, who was probably intoxicated, and they faced a hostile and agitated crowd.  The officers could have done a better job, but perfection is seldom achieved in any tactical situation.

I also would consider contacting those making video tapes of the arrest and consider taking their recording device as evidence in a crime.  At the very least, get their names and information that they too can be named in the arrest report as having been there and contributing to the atmosphere of danger surrounding the arrest.  It's one thing to post a video on line, without background, or context; it's another to have to go to court and have to testify about what they recorded, and then face cross examination; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Kicking

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=q0VobeDOZ7c

In this video and officer is seen, apparently kicking at the suspect who is on the ground.  He might have kicked the suspect in the head, or shoulder, it's hard to see if he made contact and hard to tell where because people move just as the officer starts to kick.  The officer may have even been trying to kick the suspects arm, as the suspect is using one arm to try and prop himself up off the ground.

It is okay to kick a suspect if it is reasonable force based on the circumstances.  It never looks good to kick a suspect who is on the ground, even if it is reasonable.  My preference is to never kick people who are on the ground, if there is another way to subdue the suspect.  Kicking people in the head is even less desirable, it can cause serious injury, but again, may be justifiable in the circumstances.  A given technique may be legal, justifiable and within department guidelines, but that may not make it the best tactic given the circumstances.

The suspect is clearly resisting during this entire incident, even though he seems to be yelling that he is not resisting.  He is not laying on the ground, his arm underneath him seems to be pushing him up off the ground.  His handcuffed arms as stiff and rigid like someone resisting the handcuffing.  The officer who is on top of the suspect would have had more power if he was farther up the back of the suspect.  A heavy cop with a knee just below the head and to one side of the spine is difficult for must suspects to overcome; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Taser Impact Weapon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=q0VobeDOZ7c

Officers confront a suspect in front of a bar.  The suspect is taken to the ground and officers attempt to handcuff the suspect.  A number of people from the crowd interfere with the arrest and other officers have to push them away.  At least one person videotapes the incident and that's what we see here on YouTube.

One officer uses a Taser to punch the suspect.  The Taser is not an impact weapon and should not be used as one.  It is not very effective as one and you can break an expensive piece of equipment.  You also run the risk of an unintended discharge of the Taser.  The offcier should have either removed the cartridge from the Taser and delivered a contact Tase or he could have holstered his Taser and used both hands to subdue the suspect. 

He might also have asked his partner to let go of the suspect.  If the suspect did not comply with their demands to lay on the ground with his hands behind his back the officer could have used the Taser to subdue him.  The Taser is an excellent tool, when used correctly, that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Stolen Police Car

 
Police officers in Memphis, TN had a police car stolen.  A suspect grabbed the car and took off and then set the car on fire.  When responding to a call, take the car keys unless you are going to be standing next to the car, with the motor running, like at a traffic stop. 
 
I think all police cars should be fleet keyed so the keys fit all the cars in the fleet.  I also think that there should be a technology that allows police to wear a bracelet, ring or necklace that permits the car to be started.  Without the jewelery the car should not work.  This should be a easy technology to make with a type of RFI chip for each officer to wear or even carry in a pocket.
 
Besides the fact that police cars are expensive there are several other reasons we need to be concerned about police car theft.  Many agencies carry patrol rifles and shotguns in the car, sometimes tear gas or even automatic weapons.  Most agencies have some kind of computer system, and you don't want criminals to have access to the information on those terminals.  Terrorists could use the car as a disguise vehicle for a terrorist attack.  Protect the police cars; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Gun Buy Back Program

 http://politicaloutcast.com/2012/12/california-crime-drops-as-gun-sales-surge/#ixzz2GfuzxFyC

Police administrators and public officials like gun buy back programs.  It gives them a chance to do something high profile that gives them the appearance of doing something about gun crime.  Typically they pay a couple hundred dollars or gift cards to turn in any gun without questions.

Criminals often steal guns, then used them in crimes.  If you murder someone, what better way to dispose of it than give it to the cops.  Then the cops will melt it down.  The victim of the gun theft loses his gun forever and the murderer loses the best evidence of his guilt, all at taxpayer expense.

The other problem with these gun buy back programs is there is no evidence that they reduce crime.  Not one city that has had gun buy back programs has had an immediate, dramatic reduction in gun crime.  Many of the weapons turned in are non-functional, many are from little old ladies who turned in their husbands guns after they died.  These programs only serve to make law enforcement look foolish and waste their time on useless projects; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Gadgets

Police officers like gadgets.  After the LAPD North Hollywood Shooting there was a concern that the police were under gunned.  The brass purchased patrol rifles and solved the problem of the police being under gunned.  They did very little training.  They also placed the rifles with the supervisors who don't spend as much time in the field as the regular officers.  That also meant that fewer officers had rifles to respond to calls for service; but they did something, and that was all that mattered.

Technological progress is very important in police work.  Over they decades we have gotten better radios, better handguns, better rifles, body armor, and computers.  All these things have greatly improved police work and made it better to capture criminals and safer for officers.

All those things are good, but the important thing is the officers.  They need to be trained to use all the pieces of equipment.  They need to have proper guidance, policies and procedures and be trained in all of them.  On going training is important as well.  Too often command staff think buying a tool is enough, it's not; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Clean Up

Check your gear.  About once a year go through your uniforms and other gear and check them out.  Make sure all the buttons are on, the shoe laces are good, everything fits and it all works.  Strip down your Sam Browne and your shoes and boots and get a good shine on everything.  Make certain all your leather gear is in good repair and your holster fits snug and all the bits work.  Anything that is worn out or broken should be replaced.

Check all your gear bags and uniform pockets.  Make sure you have paper, working pens, FI cards, note pads and all the other gear you use on a daily basis.  Check out your pepper spray, it should be test fired, outdoors, at least every couple years, if not replaced.  Make sure your handcuffs still work and are not double locked.  Check your duty knife to see it opens smoothly, oil it lightly and clean it.  Sharpen it if required.

Make sure your hand sanitizer is in date, and all your rain gear is in good condition.  Clean out your locker and your gear bag, and repack everything.  If you have old gear that no longer works, get rid of it.  If you have old gear that still works, pass it along to a new guy who may need it.  You might be surprised to find something interesting in the back of your locker or mail box; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Handgun

I carry the department issue Glock model 22, .40 caliber handgun at work.  They allow us to carry most anything but I think as the range master I should set a good example and carry what the department issues.  I think it helps to instill confidence in the new guys that the handgun we carry is adequate for patrol purposes.

There are many excellent choices for law enforcement handguns.  They should be durable, parts should be readily available and they should fit different size people.  The Glock Gen 4 does that with an adjustable back strap that allows it to be modified to larger or smaller hands.  I still prefer larger slide release and magazine release but they are adequate for me.

We use radioactive night sights and most of us have a small flashlight mounted under the barrel on a rail.  The durability and longevity of the flashlight still cause me problems after nearly ten years of carrying them.  It seems when people come to the range they often don't work.  I think that is a technology that is not yet mature.  Still it is easier than holding a handgun and a light at the same time, so when it works it's a good combination; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Domestic Violence

http://wreg.com/2013/01/05/mpd-officer-arrested-after-domestic-assault/

An officer on the Memphis, TN police department has been arrested for domestic assault.  An all too frequent occurrence.  Just because you are in charge in the field, does not mean you are in charge at home.  Just because use of force can solve problems in the field, does not mean you should employ it at home.

Officers should be selected for their moral character.  Officers should not be living in sin with their girlfriends.  That sounds old fashioned but enforcement of the law is an old fashion profession.  Officer candidates who live with a girlfriend have a less stable home life than one who is single or married.  Married officers have a greater commitment to their home life.

Officers in Memphis have counseling available yet apparently in this instance the officer failed to take advantage of it.  Problems with the girlfriend or spouse can be very traumatic, but officers need to resolve the without violence.  The responding officers did exactly what they should have done, take the suspect in custody as any other domestic violence call; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Home Security

Home security for an officer or a citizen is important.  Here are a few ideas, there are many others that you can use or pass along to others.  Good lighting is important. Exterior lighting with darkness sensors so they come on at night and go out when it's light. Lights with motion detectors so you don't have to light up the exterior of your home like the East German border zone, just have some lights that come on with movement.
Keep bushes trimmed away from doors and windows so criminals have no where to hide.  Have a dead bolt lock on every exterior door and use it all the time. Keep curtains or shutters drawn, have double pane windows for both energy efficiency but also because they are harder to break.  Have a dog that will bark when someone is around, even a little dog is okay.
Have deadbolt locks on interior doors so that you can create a safe room.  You should never shoot anyone unless you can identify them as a threat, and it is a last resort to save yourself or your loved ones from death or great bodily injury.  You may have left your front door open and the neighbor or cops are checking to see if the house is okay, or the son away at college might return unexpectedly.  Always call 911 as soon as you can, and have a good attorney you can speak to who knows about use of force issues.  Don't talk about the incident except as necessary, don't brag or use slurs against the suspect.  You don't want distractions from the nature of the event; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, January 4, 2013

FI

Field Interview Cards are excellent sources of information for detectives to use to solve crimes.  If there is a rash of burglaries in a neighborhood, chances are patrol has contacted the burglar.  Parking tickets, moving violations and field interview cards are the first three places to look for clues to suspects in burglaries.  All field interview cards turned in by patrol should be placed in a data base for easy access.  They subject of the field interview cards can be run for wants, warrants and criminal history to see if they have a history of burglary.  That makes them an even better suspect.

FI cards are useful only if officers are filling them out.  If you get a report of a suspicious person or suspicious car, it's the perfect time to use the FI card.  It provides a record of who you contacted and why you contacted them.  If there is a complaint later, it shows why you stopped the person and recorded their information.  You can also note if they were in violation of any ordinance that you perhaps choose not to enforce. 

They may be door to door solicitors or street vendors.  That requires a permit in may places and doing an FI card can show a pattern of violations and make them more worthy of arrest next time.  It would also make it easier to prosecute since they had been warned prior to the arrest and yet continued with the violation.  FI cards can be very helpful, that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

FI Cards

Field Interview Cards are excellent tools for use by detectives to solve crimes.  Detectives can use the information gathered to connect people to each other, people to cars, people to gangs.  If a red car used in a robbery and a suspect has been identified, detectives can check Field Interview Cards on that suspect and may be able to connect him to a red car or other suspects.

When completing Field Interview Cards include as much information as possible.  It's all about connections.  Include the car he is driving or riding inside.  Include all the names of the people he is with.  Include descriptions of tattoos, scars, marks and unusual features.  Include distinctive clothing he may be wearing.

Ask the subject what gang is he in, and what his gang name is, and include it on the card.  Many crimes include enhancements when people claim gang affiliation, and gather this information before a subject is a suspect in a particular crime is important.  Ask the relationship to people found together.  Girlfriends of gang members are good information sources, they like to brag about their man and they like revenge when he does her wrong; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Firearms Training

When training, train to win the encounter.  That means treating firearms training like real life training.  Wear your uniform pants, vest and duty belt.  Draw the handgun from the holster, with the gun snapped in and the hand off the holster and the weapon.  It makes the officer ready for the worst case scenario.

When changing magazines, drop the old, empty magazine.  Don't follow it down, just drop it, it's empty and useless.  Draw the new magazine and reload without looking at your hands, the magazine, or the weapon.  Look at the suspect or scan the area.  You need to be able to do these routine procedures without looking, even in the dark.

Practice verbal commands.  Police!  Draw.  Stop!  Aim.  Drop the Weapon!  Fire.  Trainer should stand close to the shooter so you can observe his actions.  Make corrections and have the officer practice again to master the skill.  Keep training sessions short to take the training bit by bit so the officer is not overloaded with new skills to learn.  Constant improvement, constantly better skills, that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Years Resolutions

It's a new year.  Time for some resolutions.

Wear your seat belt every day, every shift, on and off duty, every time.

Wear your body armor, every day, every shift, whenever you are on duty.

Carry your gun, every day, on and off duty, every time you leave the house.

Carry a back up gun whenever you are at work, every day, no matter what your assigned duty.

Watch your partners' back, even if you don't like him, he's still your partner.

Call for back-up whenever you think you might need it, and wait for them before you proceed.

Attend at least one training class outside your own agency.

Don't get killed, hurt, fired, sued, demoted, disciplined because you did something you know better than to do on duty.

Survive to retirement, but recognize the job is inherently dangerous and sometimes we have to put ourselves at risk.

Go to church at least once a week and tell your wife you love her at least every day.

That's what the SGT Says.