Sunday, March 31, 2013

Ammo & Targets

http://www.activeresponsetraining.net/the-pregnant-woman-target-controversy

There has been a lot of buzz on the Internet recently about police buying large amounts of ammunition and using woman and children targets to train police to kill innocent citizens.  This is standard police practice and it is simply becoming more and more common.  That is, police are using targets that reflect a variety of different suspect types. 

Police have been killed by men, women and children.  School shooters have been as young as eleven years old.  Police liability has increased over the years. 

When I first started in law enforcement officers often trained once a year at the range.  Some officers would work for years a cops and not go to the range after they completed the academy.  Range training was considered to be a waste of money.  After a few big lawsuits, police administrates realized that a couple million dollars would buy a lot of training to avoid lawsuits.  I have no real concern over either these target or the large ammo purchases, in fact I advocate them for my own agency; that's the view from the Hysterical Right Wing.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Traffic

http://www.policemag.com/blog/gangs/story/2013/03/evil-evan-ebel-and-the-211-crew.aspx

An officer in Texas conducted a traffic stop.  The driver exited his car and shot the officer three times, twice in the torso and once in the head, without any warning.  Notice the suspect used the classic double tap to the chest and one shot to the head failure drill used by police.  The officer was able to call for back up and survived his injuries.

Criminals are often very sophisticated in their operations.  This particular criminal had conducted numerous armed robberies and was suspected in at least two previous murders.  He had served many years in prisons and was affiliated with prison gangs.  He had continued to learn his trade of being a career criminal while in prison.

The criminal fled the scene and the pursuit only ended when he crashed into a truck.  The criminal exited his vehicle and fired at the pursuing police.  They were able to shoot him to death.  At the end of a pursuit it is tempting to run forward and check on the suspect.  Particularly after a crash, since officers are often concerned the suspect may be injured or they may be counting on him being stunned from the collision.  Resist this temptation; rather maintain a perimeter and conduct a high risk traffic stop protocol.  Remain behind cover and order the suspect out of the vehicle.  Only after you can reasonably be sure that the suspect is too injured or may be trapped in the car should you cautiously approach the vehicle to render aid and take him into custody.  Don't be in a hurry to run up to the car; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Scan

http://www.msf-usa.org/motion.html

Sometimes people who have been in traffic collisions say they never saw the other vehicle.  This is especially true when a driver hits a motorcycle, bike, or pedestrian.  The human eye can actually ignore information that is sees.

Take the small test on the link above.  There are three dots that seem to disappear even though you are looking straight at the center of the picture.  It seems logical to think that if these dots were pedestrians or bicycles or motorcycles they might disappear too.

The key here is to scan constantly.  Look right, left, center and check all three mirrors constantly so that your eyes are always moving.  Blink and focus on different things so that you don't simply stare ahead when driving.  This is a good officer safety technique, but it apparently is also a safe driving technique too; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Use of Force Report

If you have a use of force incident be sure to write the report in the first person just as you would do if you were telling your story to a judge, your lawyer, or a jury; because you will be doing that.  Don't jump ahead in the story, tell it like you experienced it.  Tell it in chronological order. 

I was dispatched to a report of a domestic dispute between a man and a woman at about 1023 hours..  I arrived at the location about three minutes later.  I parked my marked patrol car about two houses south of the location.  As I exited my car, I could see several people pointing to the north and saying, "That's them officer."  I looked up and saw a male, white, adult standing on the sidewalk about 60 feet north of me, yelling, and waving his arms over his head.  His face was about two inches from the face of a female, white, adult who was also waving her arms and yelling.  I could not understand the conversation, but it was obvious they were both very angry from their tone of voice and their body language.  They were both in a stiff posture, breathing heavily, and sweating and staring directly at each other as they were yelling at one another.

You can see that this paragraph indicates a very volatile incident is happening and that the subjects will be very intense.  It is important to set the scene so that the district attorney or the jury or your supervisor will be better able to comprehend what you were facing when you responded to this call.  The more detail you can remember and include the more real the incident will be to those who have to judge if your use of force was valid.  Be sure to include your thoughts, feelings, and suspicions as you were involved in the use of force incident; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Replica Gun

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/orange_county&id=9036698

A man and woman were arguing and people called the police.  A police helicopter arrived and then ground officers.  One of the officers on the ground shot and killed the man.  It was later determined the man had a replica firearm.  Domestic disputes are often emotional for the suspects and dangerous for the officer.

Deadly force situations are very difficult because they require very fast decisions that can have life or death consequences for the officer or the suspect.  There are several things officers can do to help make these decisions properly.  Get as much information as possible from the dispatcher about the suspect, the nature of the crime and any weapons; sometimes that will be very little.  Approach suspects from a position of advantage and use cover when possible.  It's better to have your gun out and be standing behind a brick wall and challenge the suspect from behind than it is to be seated in your car or out in the open.

Always give verbal commands, it's hard for suspects to do what you want them to do if you don't tell them what to do.  Make commands simple.  Police officer, stop.  Don't move.  Put your hands up over your head.  Drop the weapon.  Open your hands, show me your palms.  Turn and face away from me.  Keep your hands up and kneel on the ground.  If you think the suspect has a gun, deploy your patrol rifle or shotgun.  Suspects don't like to face long guns and you are more accurate with them then with your handgun.  Always wear your body armor and call for backup; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

3 Strikes

http://www.lawofficer.com/article/news/former-colorado-inmate-seen-li

A man convicted of at least three armed robberies and assaulting a prison guard was placed on parole.  He is now suspected of murdering a Colorado state prison official and a pizza deliver man.  The then went to Texas where he was involved in a high speed car chase and shootout with Texas police.  At least one officer was wounded, the suspect was killed.

In California we have a three strikes law.  If you commit two violent felonies then the third felony conviction of any kind puts you in prison for 25 years to life.  While many soft on crime judges and media try and complain that this puts too many good people in prison, I  think it is a great idea.  How many friends do you have who have committed three felonies in their lives?

This is exactly the sort of law that police unions should be working to pass.  Rather than quibble over a few percentage points of retirement money, police unions should be acting more like police and help this kind of law get passed in every state.  Had they done this in Colorado there might me a prison official alive today and a Texas law enforcement officer who would not have had to go to the hospital; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Warrant Service

http://www.policeone.com/police-trainers/articles/6158590-A-toll-paid-in-blood-Warrant-service-gone-bad

In this article they discuss a warrant service that became an officer involved shooting with one officer killed and several injured.  Some points to remember with a warrant service.  First gather all the information you can about the location.  These guys had weeks to prepare and gathered almost no information.  Check the location from the air, talk to the neighbors and see how many people live in the building.  These officers thought the building was used for growing marijuana but not actually lived in, they were wrong.

Observe the location for a day or two or more from a hidden location.  I have done this from a building across the street and from two way glass in a van.  See who comes and goes.  Your staging area should be out of public view and a couple blocks away. Everyone involved should have body armor on, a police radio, at least three magazines of ammo, and preferably five magazines, and several of the officers should have patrol rifles and shotguns.  Radios should be tested and guns should be checked to insure they are loaded.

No one on light duty should be present at the location.  Paramedics should be standing by within a couple blocks, animal control should be on hand in case their are dogs.  Patrol should be notified so that they can be nearby to respond if needed.  Neighboring agencies should be told in case mutual aid is required.  Officers should rehearse the entry a few times until they have it down.  Officers should be assigned to cover every point of entry so suspects can't run out the back.  Warrant service happens on our timetable, there is no reason for us to bungle it; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

American Desperado


I got this book as a free review sample.  It is the story of Jon Roberts who according to this book has led a lifetime of criminal behavior.


The book discusses the techniques of organized crime and cocaine smugglers.  They corrupt police agencies, and use their money to bribe other officials as well.


The book provides insights to the methods and mindsets of criminals that we could encounter every day.  I recommend that you obtain and read this book to learn about this type of crime.  Knowledge is power, that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Car Fires

 
Ever wonder why they tell you not to remove the nozzle from your car gas tank if it catches on fire?  If there was a fire while I was refueling, I would want to pull out the gas nozzle.  It seems the logical thing to do.
 
After watching this video on explosions, I learned it is the worst thing to do in event of a car fire while refueling.  On a dry day a spark of static electricity can jump from the hand to the nozzle.  The spark can then set the vapor on fire.  By withdrawing the nozzle, the gasoline is spread around and expands the area of the fire.
 
A burning car will burn all the way down to the rusty frame.  It will do that very fast.  The first thing to do is to get everyone out of the car and away from the car.  There is no reason to get very far away, but at least 100 feet or so is a good minimum.  You can fight a car fire with your unit fire extinguisher, but if you don't get it very soon, you won't be able to stop it with a simple fire extinguisher.  Car fires are common, be ready for them; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Glock, by Barrett

I reviewed this book in hardcover a while back.  Now it's in paperback.  I got this review copy for free.  It's a good book and if your agency uses the Glock handgun, you probably should read it.  I have posted my previous review below.
 

This book tells the story of Gaston Glock and the development and history of the Glock pistol. The Glock pistol was invented by Gaston Glock who had no prior history with firearms. He simply was looking for more business for his company. He purchased a lot of handguns and based on that research, he designed the Glock. The book tells how Glock went on to market guns in the United States. They reasoned that if they could get police departments to buy their guns, then civilians would buy them too.

 
 In the US the civilian gun market is huge. Because the Glock has few parts and many are made of plastic, manufacture is inexpensive and the profit margin is high. That allows Glock to sell to police departments at a substantial discount and still make money. I have long wondered why Glock never came out with many variations on their guns or ever moved into rifles, submachine guns or shotguns. There seem to be two reasons for that. Gaston Glock seems to think his gun is perfect and was unwilling to make many changes. The second reason is that several of the top executives were embezzling from the company. That took a lot of time away from the core business of designing and making guns.

The book is a quick read. I learned a lot about Glock as a company I did not previously did not know. I would describe the author as moderately pro-gun, but not as pro-gun as I am. This is not a technical book. It it the story of Gaston Glock and his company. I got the book for free to do a review. I am a Glock armorer, I don't own a Glock but I carry one on duty that is a department issue weapon. I have never been to a Glock class in Georgia. I recommend the book to anyone who is interested in the gun industry or who does agency firearms recommendations or purchases. It may change how you fell about the process, that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cameras

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/russia-meteor--drivers-dashboard-webcams-film-meteor-false-insurance-claims-113523708.html#HoBsNR6

In Russia the people don't trust the police.  They are worried that the cops will find the person with the largest bribe or the best political connections as innocent of any crimes.  As a result they often put dash cameras on their personal cars.  The cameras are allowed in court as evidence, so any wrong doing by the officer could be caught on tape and used against them.

I always advise officers to behave as is they are on camera anytime they are in uniform or on duty.  There are cameras everywhere, in the middle of no where and in every business and even nanny cams in peoples homes.  If you don't want what you do to be recorded, then don't do it.

Camera evidence does have great limitations.  The camera shows what the camera sees.  The camera does not get frightened or mis-judge what it is seeing.  They camera does not have experience and cannot interpret what it is seeing.  Sometimes even just the slightest difference in angle or lighting can mean the camera sees what others do not see.  Cameras tell the truth, but they don't tell the whole truth, that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Batarang

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57574859-1/armorer-makes-batman-batarangs-sharp-as-an-ax/?part=rss&subj=news&tag=title

Most cops don't know too much about martial art and their specialized weapons.  In this video a movie prop maker has constructed six Batarangs as actual weapons.  They are similar in concept to a throwing star but are based on Batman movies in design.  They are made of steel and are as sharp as an ax.

This short video at 4:13 shows the Batarang has penetrated a steel car door.  This seeming toy has been stuck six inches into the side of a car door.  That's pretty impressive.  Imagine what it would do to you if it hit you in the neck.  I doubt it would penetrate your body armor, but on the other hand, it might.  Most body armor does not defend well against edged weapons.

My theory is that if some threatens you with a weapon, it is a good idea to consider that they have the proper skills to effectively use that weapon.  Cops always do this with guns. A guy pulls a gun, we just assume they know how to work it, how to shoot and we shoot at them.  A guy pulls a knife, or a stick or a Batarang and suddenly people start asking all kinds of questions about the skill of the person making the threat.  I think if someone threatens you with a weapon, any deadly weapon, you should take them at their word that they are skilled in it's use, barring any obvious signs to the contrary; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cover

http://www.suntimes.com/news/18893726-418/police-shoot-kill-man-in-albany-park-neighborhood.html

A man speeding down the street crashed into several parked cars.  When police arrived they approached the man, who opened fire on them.  The officers took cover and returned fire.  The suspect was killed.

Anything you do can get you killed.  Even responding to a minor traffic collision.  Always watch the suspects hands.  Always keep in mind potential cover as you approach a crime scene.  Always be sure you let dispatch know where you are and what you are doing.  It might not keep you from getting shot, but it might get you some help quickly.

The officers took cover.  Many officers who get killed stand in the open and try to return fire or try to figure out what to do.  When you move to cover, don't be afraid to get your uniform dirty.  Just get there as quickly as you can.  Any cover is better than no cover; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Chicago Shooting

http://www.suntimes.com/news/18893726-418/police-shoot-kill-man-in-albany-park-neighborhood.html

Police in Chicago responded to a domestic dispute / man with a gun call.  When they arrived they were met with a man pointing a gun at him.  The officers shot the suspect to death.  We all recognize domestic violence calls as some of the most dangerous for officers.

The people involved are typically upset and emotional.  They often resent the fact that someone has called the police.  They don't want us to be involved in their personal business.  Since this type of call often happens at peoples homes, they have access to a range of weapons, guns and knives they might not be able to get in public.

First, get weapons information from dispatch.  When you arrive wait a moment before rushing in to listen to the dispute.  Are they threatening, is a physical attack in progress?  Have dispatch phone the location and ask the reporting party to meet you outside, if possible.  If you have to enter the residence, try to keep your partner in view.  Try to separate those involved in the dispute.  Stay out of the kitchen, too many big knives; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cover Up

http://www.wmctv.com/story/21655191/mpd-officer-arrested-after-fight-over-radio-volume

A Memphis police officer was off duty and was involved in a dispute over a loud radio.  He is alleged to have argued with a woman and assaulted her.  When police arrived he was arrested.  He later refused to take a drug test.

If you were not under the influence of alcohol, would you refuse to take the one test that would clear you of public intoxication charges?  Officers should generally be held to a high legal standard in all matters.  They should also be held to a strong personal standard.

Too often officers become arrogant.  Too often they believe that they are immune to obeying the petty laws of their jurisdiction.  Too often they think they are above the people they serve and can do whatever they want to do and their brother officers will cover it up.  Good officers don't put their brother officers in a position to have to cover things up for them; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Master Trooper Walker

http://www.odmp.org/officer/21752-master-trooper-junius-a-walker

Virginia State Master Trooper J.A. Walker was murdered in the line of duty.  He was on patrol and saw a car parked along the side of the roadway.  He thought it was a disabled motorist.  Master Trooper Walker had been on patrol for 40 years.  I am sure he had helped thousands of motorists in his years of service.

The other driver simply opened fire on Master Trooper Walker.  Yet, the trooper was able to return fire and call for help.  A strong and brave officer doing what we do all the time and he paid the ultimate price for it.  The suspect was captured soon afterwards after a second officer arrived and engaged him in a gunfight.

Anything you do can get you killed, even doing nothing.  It never hurts to back up your fellow officers even on routine calls for service.  It is always a good idea to call in every traffic stop, every disabled motorist; if nothing else to show you are doing your job.  It also makes it easier for back up to find you.  When your partners call in a traffic stop, make sure you know where that is or look it up in your map; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Teen Drivers

http://autos.aol.com/article/fatal-distraction-teens-drivers-and-passengers-are-a-deadly-mix/?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl4%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D283385

The most common form of death for teenagers is death in a motor vehicle accident.  One quarter of all teenagers who die are killed in car crashes.  That's more than murder, suicide or drug overdoses.  The sad thing is that most of those deaths are preventable.

Work on harsh enforcement of traffic laws for teenagers.  In California teens can't consume any alcohol and drive, since they have to be 21 to drink.  Many of those kids who are killed are not wearing their seat belts.  Enforce the seat belt law on teens so that they get the message.  In California we can cite both the driver and his passengers for a passenger not wearing their seat belt.

In some states kids can get a restricted license that prevents them from driving at night or from driving with passengers in the car with them.  Make certain to check on any restrictions and cite them for violations.  Kids with passengers in the car are more likely to crash.  Distractions are very dangerous for young drivers. Citations can get licenses revoked and then young drivers can have some time to grow up; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Release the Killers

http://articles.latimes.com/2013/feb/15/local/la-me-ff-brown-parole-20130215

California Governor Brown has granted parole for 377 murderers who are serving life in prison.  That's not auto theft, or burglary, or even rape or kidnapping, that's murder.  People who should be locked up for the rest of their lives are instead going to be walking the streets on parole soon, thanks to Democrat Governor Jerry Brown.

I wonder how many of these killers murdered police?  Maybe none.  Maybe several.  I do know that the major police union in the state, PORAC endorsed Brown when he ran for governor.  Is releasing 377 killers onto parole the duty of a police union endorsed governor?

It seems to me that if a police union is going to endorse someone it should be a person who has a strong tough on crime record and a promise to continue to be strong on crime.  How many police officers risked their lives to round up these killers?  More importantly, how many more people will die as a result of these killers being released?  PORAC should be ashamed of this recommendation; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My Brother Died

http://blogs.ocweekly.com/navelgazing/2013/03/costa_mesa_police_fatal_crash.php

A local police officer with over 30 years of service was killed recently in a single vehicle traffic collision.  The officer was off duty, alone and crashed his car into a concrete pillar, no other vehicles are known to have been involved.

There is speculation that the officer may have been driving while intoxicated and that the city is covering it up.  There is other speculation that the officer may have committed suicide and may have suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  There is speculation that he may have been too tired to drive safely or that he was distracted by a telephone or text message.  The official cause of the collision has not yet been released.  Police work can be all consuming and even if it was the result of one of these, his police career certainly contributed to his death.

Any single vehicle traffic collision resulting in the death of the driver will bring up similar speculation, but it is just guesswork.  The investigation will take time, toxicology screens will be done, interviews taken, perhaps local security cameras will so a second car.  All we really know at this time is a man who dedicated himself to protecting others has died and the community is worse off as a result.  We owe his memory a complete investigation and complete disclosure.  Until that time speculation is pointless and only takes away from the grief process we should all be going through when a brother officer is taken away prematurely;  that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Traffic Direction

http://www.lawofficer.com/article/news/odmp-arkansas-officer-killed-i

There was a traffic collision in a town in Arkansas.  It required an officer to direct traffic to keep motorists moving.  The officer directing traffic was killed by a driver intoxicated by drugs according to police.  This brings up several problems.

Traffic direction is very dangerous.  In California we have to wear traffic safety vests whenever directing traffic, and my agency is very strict about wearing them.  I use white gloves when I direct traffic so that my hands are more visible.  I also use a flashlight at night with a yellow cone over the end so that the light is easily visible at night.

I often place my police car in such a position that it can help to direct traffic and block off lanes.  I also use traffic cones, in large numbers to keep traffic moving in a safe direction.  Placing traffic lights on flashing all red is also another technique to use.  Take every advantage when directing traffic, it's very dangerous; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Good Stuff

http://www.policeone.com/police-heroes/articles/6143672-10-amazing-photos-that-ll-make-you-proud-to-be-a-cop/?source=newsletter&nlid=6144468

Police One is an excellent source for law enforcement information.  This particular photo essay shows cops doing what most of us do all the time, help people.  I have done many of the things shown in these photos and many more in my over 20 years as a cop, but that does not make me in the least bit unique.

My city has a lot of old people and sometimes they wander away.  I have found a few of them and got them back home safely.  I also got a few runaway kids back home too.  Needless to say they were all welcomed back with great relief.  It's just a part of what we do, day in and day out.

No other public agency will respond to your home, anywhere in the country and help you out with just about any problem.  I have handed barking dogs, a UFO, and abandoned elderly people who have outlived all their friends and relatives who just want to talk for a few minutes.  One of our officers used to visit two or three different old people every workday, just to be sure they were okay, because that's what we do; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Traffic Collision

http://autos.aol.com/article/suv-in-fatal-ohio-crash-was-reported-stolen/?ncid=wsc-dl-cards-headline

A stolen SUV full of teenagers takes a curve too fast, goes off the road and into a pond.  The teens were not wearing seat belts.  One of the kids is thrown clear of the wreck and ends up underneath the vehicle and died.  Four others died inside the SUV and two were able to swim to the surface and survive.

Seat belt traffic enforcement saves lives.  How many in this SUV alone could have been saved had they been wearing seat belts?  The kid thrown clear certainly had a chance to live if he was not crushed under the vehicle.

Teenage speeding is very dangerous.  Driving at night at a high speed in an unfamiliar vehicle are all factors that contribute to this type of accident.  An SUV has a higher center of gravity and is more difficult to steer around curves than a car.  Not wearing a seat belt means the driver might have been sliding on the seat too.  Traffic enforcement saves lives.  Perhaps if an officer had stopped this vehicle the kids would be alive; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Teachers With Guns

http://conservativebyte.com/2013/03/smart-sd-gov-signs-into-law-that-teachers-can-be-armed/#ixzz2NA4li3pW

South Dakota has signed a bill into law that says teachers may be armed.  Just because you go to work does not mean you should lose your right to self defense.  Just because you are in a school does not mean you lose your right to self defense. 

If a school has a no guns policy then the school should be protected like an airport.  Everyone who enters the school should be searched and go through metal detectors.  Armed guards should be there to insure compliance.

Allowing teachers to carry guns if they want to is an excellent idea.  I would suggest that teachers should take a course specifically to learn how to respond in an active shooter at a school.  By obtaining training they would be more effective at defending the children.  I would not prevent teachers who don't go to training from carrying guns.  I would provide a small increase in pay to those who get the extra training as an incentive, perhaps .50 cents per hour.  Just as schools pay teachers who have other special skills; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Guards

http://wreg.com/2013/02/06/security-guards-arrested-for-pulling-guns-ramming-cars/

Two security guards were pulling guns on people and ramming someones car.  It turns out that the accused guards had a suspended license and a stolen gun.  Private security is a very important part of law enforcement.  Guards allow people who need more protection to pay for it and get the protection they need.

Private security, just like police work, often draws the wrong type of person to them.  Most police agencies doe a reasonably good job of screening out unqualified and inappropriate candidates.  Private security officers may or may not be screened well.  There are no national standards and many states have little or no standards for people to work as a guard.  Many companies have few internal standards.

At the very least, private security guards should have no significant criminal convictions.  They should have a valid driver license and any weapons they carry should be lawfully owned by them.  In states where guards are licensed, officers should inspect those licenses when they have contact with guards; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

To Serve Man

Most officers when they are first interviewed for the job get asked why they want to be police officers.  They give a variety of reasons but one of the most common is that they want to help people.  After working in the job for five or ten years, I suspect not as many would answer with that reason.

Job burn out and job stress are very common in law enforcement.  We often have to deal with death in traffic collisions, murders, accidents, child abuse cases and it really wears on you after a while.  The general public does not see a fraction of what we see, but they think they know enough about it to tell use how to do our jobs.

In some ways I am glad that there are people who can feel safe and secure in their beds at night.  Without realizing they are that way because there are officers out there holding back that evil that lurks in the darkness.  Remember why you became a cop and help someone this week.  Give directions, push a disabled car out of the street, drop a quarter in the meter without writing a ticket.  It's okay to be nice to people once in a while; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Avoiding Dog Bites

By some estimates over 500 people a day go to the emergency room due to dog bites.  About one person a month is killed by domestic dogs in the United States.  I suspect just about every day an officer attempts to shoot or actually shoots a dog in the USA.
 
It is a rare occasion when an officer really needs to shoot a dog.  Most of the time a few simple ideas are enough to keep you and the dog safe.  Don’t run from dogs, they are faster than people.  Don't turn your back on them, or stare at them. Staring is a challenge to a dog.
 
Avoid the dog or call animal control and let them deal with it.  Remove the cartridge from your Taser and just test it.  Dogs hate that electrical snapping noise.  Many dogs will just run away.  OC spray in the face, eyes, mouth and nose of the dog is very effective.  A baton can be used to fend off a dog, as can any barrier; trashcan lid, lawn chair, or a spray from a water hose can be used to fend off the dog.  In general you should not shoot a dog unless it's to avoid to avoid bodily injury or death from the dog.

 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Read Your Mind

On this video a mind reader takes random people off the street and with just their name tells them astonishing things about themselves.  There are many ways for LEO to discover the truth about someone.  This is an easy way.  You don't have to be a mind reader, you just have to use the Internet.
 
People post things on line that they think are personal but are actually not very private.  I have seen photos of people who are on probation for DUI who were drinking and telling about parties they attended. They assumed that the information they posted on their Facebook account might not make it back to their probation officer or back to the judge in their case.  They were wrong.
 
When you have a background check to perform, do a web search for the person you are investigating.  When you are posting things on line, make sure you are willing to explain it to a background investigator, your chief of police or your sergeant.  There is very little privacy on line; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Raid

So you are doing a raid or otherwise find yourself in someones home.  You need to search it for guns or drugs.  A handgun can be very small and can be hidden almost anywhere.  Drugs don't take up much space either and might be contained in any number of small spaces.
 
We have all seen hollow soda cans that contain a hidden compartment and we have all seen books that were hollowed out to hold drugs or a small gun.  Hiding places can be very clever.  Most crooks simply stuff the guns and drugs under the couch cushions or toss them under the chair and hope you don't look too hard.
 
This video shows a commercial product designed to permit people to hide their important or valuable goods to keep them away from criminals.  Naturally, criminals can also purchase such products to keep them away from cops.  Don't assume that thick shelf is not hollow.  Always look for hidden compartments, secret locks, unknown drawers.  Criminals can be very clever; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Pensions

 
Police pensions have grown to the point that retired officers often make as much or more than working officers.  Given the life expectancy of people in the US today and the young age that most police retire, agencies can end up paying for one retired officer for every active officer on the force.
 
Decades ago private industry realized that they needed pension reform.  Nearly every business stopped defined benefit plans and went to defined contribution plans.  The business made a contribution and so did the employee and the money belonged to the employee.  Many companies ended pensions altogether.
 
I am not in favor of any special pension plans for government workers.  They should have Social Security and a 401k type plan like the rest of us.  The people who pay for police services should not have to pay for retirements that are far beyond what they are likely to receive; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Professional Conduct

http://wreg.com/2013/02/28/officer-accused-of-flashing-gun-at-motorist-fired/

An officer from Memphis PD was fired for improperly displaying his firearm.  The duty gun should remain in your holster unless you have a reasonable tactical reason for having the gun out of the holster.  The duty firearm is a defensive weapon and should be used for defensive purposes.

Having the gun out when you don't need it out creates many problems.  If you trip and fall you only have one hand to break your fall.  You may have a sympathetic contraction and fire the handgun by accident.  You might even hit yourself or another person with the discharged round.

Carrying a firearm is an important responsibility and we should take it seriously.  Officers who have to rely on the gun are often not very good officers.  It is a tool, but it is not the only tool at our disposal.  The ability to talk to people and convince them to do what we want is more important than the ability to threaten with a gun; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Criminals

http://enews.earthlink.net/article/pho?guid=20130228/ffe9aa0a-a29b-48ba-8339-5e4acdbf0ec6&article_path=/article/us&article_guid=20130228/ffe9aa0a-a29b-48ba-8339-5e4acdbf0ec6

The dismembered body of a woman was found in a trash bag in New York City.  The woman had been cut up into pieces; she was stabbed to death.  This is an excellent example of the futility of gun control.  Guns make some crimes easier, but the reality is that criminals are doing crimes because they are criminals, not because they have guns.

It is the morality of a population that determines their crime rate.  During the Great Depression, unemployment was very high, government services were few and many people went hungry.  Crime rates of all type were very low.  That's because the morality of the people was very high.  People believed that it was wrong to steal, rob or murder other people.

Today a neighborhood filled with liquor stores, bars, prostitutes, gangsters is an environment that thrives because the people in the neighborhood have low morality.  They are behaving in an immoral manner.  That's the type of neighborhood that needs intensive police presence.  Police can set an example and also remove those criminal elements and leave the remaining good people to live lawful lives; that's what the SGT Says.