Sunday, August 31, 2014

Knife Attack

http://www.lawofficer.com/video/news/atlanta-man-shot-while-attacki#

An officer was being attacked by man with a knife.  A second officer shot the man with the knife.  The man was seriously injured but not killed.  Neither officer was injured.  No civilians were hurt.  The man was homeless.

A man with a knife is a deadly threat.  Using less lethal weapons is not a good idea against a man with a knife.  A knife attack can happen very quickly and one knife slash can kill.  One major knife slash can create a non-survivable wound if it's made in the right place.

When possible, create distance and barriers between yourself and the man with a knife.  One of the few advantages you have is the short range of a knife weapon.  Few people can throw a knife well and having a car, table, or other obstacle between you and the knife armed assailant can be very helpful to buy you time; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Cops & Guns



Recently I read a remark that said police in the US should not carry guns.  I live for the day that unarmed police would be a reasonable alternative in American law enforcement.  The levels of violence in that nation are so great that disarming the police would be a terrible idea.

Police use of force is reactive.  Police respond to the stimulus generated by others.  An officer encounters a man.  The officer tells the man to put his hands up.  Rather than comply, the man reaches into his pocket or into his waistband.  The officer can pull his gun or not pull his gun.  If the man IS reaching for a gun and IF the man intends to shooter the officer, then the officer is already at a distinct disadvantage.

The vast majority of people will put their hands up.  The man did not put his hands up.  Maybe he misunderstood the command.  Maybe he does not speak English.  Maybe he is going for a cell phone, wallet, garage door opener, or maybe he is going for a gun.  If the officer makes a mistake an innocent person could end up dead; that man or the officer; that what the SGT Says.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Firearms Safety


Jeff Coopers rules of firearms safety:

RULE 1: All guns are always loaded.

RULE 2: Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.


RULE 3: Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.

RULE 4: Be sure of your target.

We need to remember these rules and practice them all the time; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Firearms Safety



 http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/28/us/arizona-firing-range-instructor-killed-by-girl-9-in-accident.html?_r=0

I have been a firearms instructor for over 40 years. I have taught people how to shoot automatic weapons and I have taught children younger than 9 years old how to shoot. The Uzi is a difficult weapon to shoot well on full auto and is an advanced weapon, not something to teach to a nine year old girl. 

You could teach a nine year old how to drive a Ford Fusion or a Toyota Camry, but teaching them to drive a Lotus or Ferrari is a poor idea. A single shot bolt action 22 rifle or a six shot revolver with one round in the cylinder would be perfectly appropriate for a young or inexperienced person. 

Only a much older person who has extensive experience or much more training should be shooting an automatic weapon.  As police we need to practice safe firearms handling practices.  We need to make sure our weapons are properly secured around our families.  Firearms safety is an important part of police work; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Physical Agility Testing

http://www.lawofficer.com/article/news/justice-department-sues-pennsy

Should there be different standards for women to pass the physical agility test compared to men?  The Constitution says that there should be equal protection under the law.  I think if you are going to give a physical agility test, then everyone, young, old, male, female should be held to the same standard.  The public we serve expects us to be able to do the job.  You can't discriminate against men by having them take a test that is scored to a higher standard. 

If you are going to do the same job under the same circumstances, then you need to be physically fit to the same standard.  Criminals will not hold back because an officer is small, or female, or old.  Tests should reasonably reflect what the job requires. 

I never do sit ups or push ups on the job.  Sometimes I do run a short distance.  Sometimes I have to climb a fence, or pull the trigger on a handgun.  I might have to use a baton on a suspect, and that's very physically demanding.  Make the test reflect real life police work and make everyone pass to the same standard, that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Gun Retention

What options do you have if someone tries to take your gun away?  Let them take it and hope they don't kill you.  Probably not a good idea.  The best cure for the problem is prevention.  Keep your gun side away from suspects.  Keep them a distance from you that will prevent them getting close enough to your gun so they can't reach it.

Wear a back up gun, if the suspect does take your duty weapon, you can go for your back up gun and shoot the suspect if necessary.  Clamp down your hand over the suspects hand.  Try to prevent the suspect from withdrawing your gun from the holster.  Use your other hand to attack the suspect.

Try to gouge out his eyes, deploy your Taser with the non-gun hand, use your knife to cut the suspects grip from your gun.  Pull a ballpoint from your pocket with your non-gun hand and stab the suspect in the neck or face.  A suspect who tries to take your gun is trying to kill you, in my opinion and you need to do all you can to protect yourself; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Gun Take Away

http://www.lawofficer.com/article/news/lapd-faces-criticism-and-threa

Los Angeles Police contacted a mentally disturbed man.  The officers say that the man attempted to grab their gun.  The family says that the man was peaceful and would never do that.  The police shot and killed the man.  Now the people are claiming that the man was killed due to racist police.

If someone attempts to take my gun while I am on duty as a police officer, I consider that to be an attempt on my life.  The only reason I can imagine that someone would take my gun is to use it against me.  I don't want to put my life at risk.

I don't consider if the person trying to take my gun is of the same race as I am or another race.  I don't care if they are mentally challenged or not.  I don't consider any outside or irrelevant factors apart from the suspect taking my gun and the danger that poses to me; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Blauer Boots


I got some new boots.

 http://www.blauer.com/law-enforcement/footwear/boots/clash-8-boot-fw018.html




Blauer contacted me and asked me to do a review on their new line of boots.  They provided me one pair for free in exchange for the review.


The boots have the BOA Dialed in System.  I never saw it before and as I was unpacking the boots, I almost cut the "shoestrings" !!.  This system uses a small bit of plastic instead of a shoestring.  It is like a heavy mono-filament fishing line.  Pull the big knob and release the shoestring.  Then to tighten, simply turn the knob.  I like it.  If you pull on the "shoestring" you can tighten up the area at the bottom or in the middle if that parts not tight enough for you.  I find it an interesting system and it eliminates the untied shoe problem.


 http://www.blauer.com/

This is their website.  They offer a wide range of boots.



I wore them on a painted concrete floor for four hours and they were not only comfortable, but they were not slippery on the concrete surface.  I wore them without any break-in period.  The boots were not hot and the padding around the tops was comfortable.  I anticipate updating the review after I have worn them for a while.  I recommend them; that's what the SGT Says.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Suicidal Response

A few officers at my agency were dispatched to a report of a suicidal man at a supermarket.  They coordinated their response so everyone knew who was on the way to the location.  The on duty sergeant even notified dispatch he was on the way, since it was a potentially life threatening situation.

They asked for a police helicopter to respond because the suspect was not were the initial reports placed him.  Officers spread out and looked for the suspect.  They called for the paramedics to stand by in case they were needed for an injured party.

They eventually found the suspect a couple blocks away and he was physically fine.  They spoke to him for a while and determined he was in fact a danger to himself and the man was taken into custody and transported to the hospital.  A good job all the way around; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cars

Simple things can make a big difference in a police department.  Patrol vehicles for example.  They should be kept clean.  Each officer must toss out his trash at the end of his shift and keep the junk out of the trunk.

Cars should go to the car wash or be washed at the station by car wash people every few days.  UPS washes their trucks every day, that's not unreasonable for police cars either.  Police cars should not smell bad.  If there is some bad smell, it needs to be taken care of right away. 

Everything should work in the car, the window controls, the door handles.  The patrol car is an office, no one who works in an office wants to be in a dirty, smelly office with a desk with broken knobs.  Cars that are in a traffic collision need to be fixed, right away.  Cars that are dented or scraped up don't look good and reflect badly on the agency; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

High School Shooting

http://ktla.com/2014/08/20/2-boys-charged-in-alleged-south-pasadena-massacre-plot-threatened-kill-teen-who-knew-da/

Two teenagers planned to blow up people and shoot people at a local high school.  The police were able to uncover the plot and arrest the two teenagers.  What happens now?  What can the police do to reassure the public schools that these issues are being taken care of properly?

The first thing is to talk to the school, and the media to let them know the status of the investigation.  Assure them the plotters are all in custody and that the plot was discovered in plenty of time to insure public safety.

In addition to the normal police presence on campus, have additional officers assigned to foot patrol the school for a few days.  Have the regular patrol officers drive past the school more frequently.  Drive by in the morning when kids are dropped off and in the afternoon when kids go home.  Make sure the officers know what to say, and what not to say, about the incident and investigation.  The idea is to make people feel safer; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

High School Shooting

http://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-school-shooting-plot-20140820-story.html

Two high school students were arrested.  They were planning on a shooting at the high school.  They were willing to kill teachers, police, and as many other students as they could.  They also wanted to set off bombs at the school.  While they had no weapons they did identify at least one relative with a gun and were doing on line research into weapons.

These kids made threats and were conducting research to carry out those threats.  Who can say when the time came if they would really have murdered other people?  We can only judge by their words and actions.

The important thing is that the police acted on the information they received and the two students are in custody.  The police get many tips each day about crimes and it can be frustrating to run those tips down time after time and find they had little or no basis in fact.  It is important to approach each new tip with a fresh mind and evaluate each one on it's own merit.  Just as complacency in patrol gets patrol officers killed, complacency as a detective can allow crimes to happen that could be prevented; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Law

There is an old saying.  If you subsidize something you will get more of it.  Recently, a police officer shot an killed a young man.  The man was said to have been unarmed.  The family and friends of the man, and others came to protest the police action, as is their right in a free society.  Police stood by to monitor the protest, as is only prudent.

Some of the protesters left the peaceful protest, and began to loot stores.  Some of them fired guns at police.  As days went past, stores were destroyed, and rioting continued to get worse.  Some people counseled that police should not arrest the riots.  They said do not arrest the looters.  They said the anger would subside and the rioting would stop on it's own.

This approach was seen right away to be wrong.  Police should never be told to stand by and permit lawlessness.  Police should be encouraged to arrest violators and keep the peace.  If you don't want police to make an arrest, then repeal the law that they are sworn to uphold; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, August 18, 2014

No Denny's For Me

http://www.lawofficer.com/video/news/illinois-officers-kicked-out-r

A group of off duty police detectives in plain clothes were at a Denny's restaurant.  They were wearing concealed firearms.  A patron of the restaurant saw one of the officers was armed and complained to the manager.  The manager decided to ask the officers to leave the restaurant.  The officers left without incident.

Denny's corporate policy does not permit firearms in their restaurants.  Once the corporate office found out that these were police officers, they apologized for the incident, as that policy does not apply to police.  I disagree with that policy and have no intention of going to Dennys again.

I believe that businesses have a right to determine if citizens are allowed to bring guns into their place of business or not.  I also believe that if a business does not permit a lawfully armed citizen to bring a gun into the business than that business has a duty to insure the safety of those unarmed citizens.  Certainly Denny's does not do that, so they don't deserve my business; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Militarization of Police

Many people complain about the militarization of police.  I think that can be a concern, but I think that it is not the problem many people think it has become.  I believe it is a problem of perception, rather than reality.  Some complain that police are using automatic weapons.  Police have used automatic weapons since at least the 1920's.  Some complain that police are using armored cars, police have used armored cars since at least the early 1930's.  I think part of the problem is that in the last 12 years soldiers have been conducting operations that often resemble SWAT raids rather than traditional military operations.

The perception problem comes with the way we present ourselves.  Police armored vehicles should not be marked like camouflaged or black military vehicles.  They should be marked in black and white or whatever livery is the norm for regular police cars in that jurisdiction.  In California that means armored cars should be black and white and have a light bar on top.  The name of the agency that operates the vehicle and the other police markings should be prominent, as they are on their agency cars.

Special unit officers, like SWAT, should be attired in clothing that looks like regular police uniforms.  If the officers wear blue police uniforms then the SWAT team should have blue uniforms too, even if they are wearing BDUs or other special clothing, they should wear non-subdued patches, metal badges and name tags.  They should have the word POLICE in large letters front and rear.  Police are not soldiers and should not try to look like soldiers; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Protest

In a free society, people have a right to assemble and to seek a redress of grievances.  The rights of one group, do not trump the rights of others in the society, however.  When people want to hold a rally, they need to account for traffic control.  If they want to march on the police station, or city hall, they don't have the right to interfere with government business, or with people being able to do their business.

Certainly, temporary disruptions to traffic or normal business are fine, if they are temporary, and if they are controlled.  It is in appropriate for protests to create extensive disruptions to normal operations of government or business or private persons.

Civil protests do not have the right to degenerate to rioting and to looting.  Protest must be non-violent.  Protest that becomes rioting and looting is no longer protest, it is lawlessness and should be treated as such; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Thousand Rounds a Month

"A good Cop shoots about 1,000 rounds a month to keep sharp."

A friend of mine sent me this quote from someone who was writing about police training.  I have to disagree with that statement.  There are about 800,000 police in the United States.  The vast majority of them will never shoot at anyone.  To spend that much time and money training for a rare event is a foolish waste of resources.  

They would have to spend about 24 hours to productively shoot 1,000 rounds in police training.  That's an average of six hours a week.  Half the officers killed in the line of duty are typically killed in car crashes.  Does he recommend spending 24 hours a month on drivers training?  How many officers do you know who can't fill out a Field Interview card much less write a decent narrative?  How many criminals go free because we don't testify well or don't do a good investigation?

There is so much more to training than just use of force.  Tactics, less lethal and so on so you don't have to shoot.  There are many aspects to shooting that don't even involve firing the gun.  Presentation of the handgun, re-holstering, scanning for suspects, verbal commands and so on.  All things in moderation, that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pursuit

http://www.lawofficer.com/article/news/six-dead-collision-during-texa

During a recent pursuit the suspect ran a stop sign and killed a family of four in another vehicle.  There are many times every year when innocent people are killed during police pursuits.  Sometimes they are due to suspects intentionally crashing.  Sometimes they are due to the poor driving skills of suspects, civilians or even police.  Sometimes they are because civilians don't seem to know there is a pursuit happening near them.

Police need a method to disable cars that are running away.  I don't think in a free society the police, the government, should have the ability to disable cars due to some software or other method that applies to all cars.  I think the police need a type of weapon that will disable any vehicle that it is employed against.  An electric ray to burn out the electrical system.  A weapon to destroy the tires or knock off a wheel.

We also need a system to notify people there is a pursuit in progress.  Perhaps some method to turn all the traffic signals to red or flashing red, sound the siren over the car radio, even if turned off.  We also need more public awareness so people will be reminded to pull over to the right and stop; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Rioting

An officer in Fergusen, MO shot and killed an unarmed 18 year old man.  Rioting ensued for days afterwards in the small town with of about 25,000.  They have about 55 officers.  Neighboring agencies have been called in every day to provide assistance.

In an instance like this it is best to call in as many outside agency officers as possible, especially after the first day of rioting.  The last thing you want is to have your own officers involved in a second major incident during the rioting. 

Have the home town officers remain in the background.  They can perform vital but secondary duties.  They should be partnered with officers from other agencies.  All calls for police service for at least a week after the shooting should result in at least two officers from the home agency and at least two more from a neighboring agency.  This will provide a show of force, protect against ambush, and provide the home officers with independent witnesses of their behavior.  Incidents like this are good reasons for interoperable radio systems and good mutual aid agreements; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Workplace Violence

http://www.lawofficer.com/article/news/three-dead-indiana-workplace-s

A man killed two co-workers and then killed himself.  Workplace violence continues to be a problem in the United States.  Many people identify with their work as part of their personality.  If they lose their job or get demoted they consider it part of who they are, not just how they make a living.

People who get fired from their work sometimes strike right away.  Other times people will think about what happened for years before they return to their former employer and kill people.  It is not unusual for killers to return as much as three years later.

Too many companies think that if nothing happens in a day or two that they are safe.  Too many businesses take almost no security precautions.  As police, we need to be able to provide information and resources to businesses who ask for data about workplace violence.  If we are called to an incident of workplace violence, we need to remember that these things sometimes escalate.  Workplace violence is complicated and we need to be alert to it; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Bank Robbery

http://www.lawofficer.com/article/news/violence-chase-highlights-stoc

There is no requirement that you give up your life on the job.  Certainly police work comes with a certain element of risk, and it cannot be eliminated.  Still, you don't have to knowingly allow yourself to be killed without taking some action to prevent your death.

In this incident, armed suspects were shooting a rifle and handguns at police and civilians.  They had a hostage.  Officers were in harms way, police cars were hit with bullets.  Officers had shot out the tires on the getaway car and still the suspects ran.  Obviously these were dangerous men.

The suspects continued to shoot at officers and eventually officers came to the decision that they needed to return fire.  Knowing full well that the hostage would be endangered and could be harmed, even killed if the officers missed, or that the suspects might kill her.  In this instance the officers killed two suspects and captured the third, unharmed.  The hostage was killed, possibly by police.  No officer wanted her harmed, and they placed their lives at risk to save her, but the suspects were very bad men who cared nothing for her safety and so she was killed in the exchange of gunfire.  Don't blame the officers, they were just doing the best they could do under impossible circumstances; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Bank Robbery

http://www.lawofficer.com/article/news/violence-chase-highlights-stoc

Three armed men robbed a bank, tied up a guard, and kidnapped three women.  They were leaving the bank as police arrived.  The suspects shot at police and as the police gave chase, the suspects continued to use their hostages as human shields and fire back at police.  The suspects hit police cars, civilian cars, buildings.  Two hostages were tossed from the moving suspect vehicle.

Despite police shooting out the suspects tires, the suspects continued to run and shot at the police.  Eventually dozens, maybe hundreds of police were involved in the chase.  When the suspect vehicle finally stopped 14 officers fired at the suspects. Two suspects were killed and so was the hostage.  One suspect was unhurt.

When suspects have hostages and are shooting at officers and civilians, it's hard to know what the right course of action is to take.  At some point you have to weight the danger to civilians, the hostages, the police and even the suspects caused by the suspects actions and the danger to the same people caused by your actions.  There is unlikely to be a perfect answer, even if the outcome is perfect; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Local Control

http://www.ksdk.com/story/news/local/2014/08/09/police-shooting-ferguson/13832083/

A police officer shot and killed an 18 year old man.  A crowd of hundreds rallied to protest the shooting.  There are too many occasions where people rush out and begin to protest without any idea about what happened or why.

Community leaders are doing people a dis-service by allowing people to riot, threaten and even shoot at police after a major incident.  Rather they should be working with the police to learn what happened and why.  They should be working with police before an incident happens to insure greater trust between local officials, police and the community.

Local police and local control are two of the most important aspects of American law enforcement.  The Federal government should not become involved in these local matters.  If a local agency is corrupt, then the county or state can step in.  People have a right to vote and should vote out elected officials that don't provide law enforcement they way they want it to be; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Pandemic

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1918_flu_pandemic

For three years, from 1918 to 1920 the Spanish Flu killed 5% of the worlds population, include those in Western Europe and the United States.  It is estimated perhaps 100 million people died.  If 5% of the people in the United States died today, that would be 15 million people, five million per year.

Putting that in context, the Vietnam War lost 50,000 dead in 12 years, and WWII the USA lost 500,000 dead in four years.  About 2.5 million people die every year in the United States.  Imagine if the number were three times as many, and 50% of everyone were sick.

With strange diseases like AIDS, Ebola, and who knows what out there, such a massive pandemic could happen again.  Can your agency survive having half their officers out sick for weeks at a time?  Can your agency provide services with 5% of your employees dying each year?  In a major agency, like Los Angles Police they could lose 450 officers.  Planning is the best way to deal with such an emergency; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Routine Stop

http://www.lawofficer.com/article/news/traffic-stop-leads-arrest-hous

There is no such thing as a routine traffic stop.  It is part of our routine to perform traffic stops.  We do them for routine reasons.  People routinely run red lights, fail to register their cars, and drink and drive.  Routinely we find people in cars we stop who have warrants or are otherwise arrested.

What should never be routine is our response to a traffic stop.  The stop itself can never be considered routine until it proves itself to be routine.  That is, when the stop is over, we may reflect on it and then pronounce that it was of a routine nature.

Recently an officer participated in a routine traffic stop and the suspect was other than routine.  The suspect was wanted for murder.  He is believed to have murdered a man just recently.  Every time you make a stop, man, woman, child, treat the stop carefully, and safely; that's what the SGT Says.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ramming Speed

http://www.koat.com/news/bcso-deadly-deputy-shooting/27327258?absolute=true#!bxHT61

A deputies patrol car was hit broadside in the drivers' door by a guy in a red pickup truck.  The red truck then drives a short distance and hits another vehicle.  The red truck then turned around and struck the drivers' door of the deputies car a second time.  The driver exited the truck and was shot to death by the deputy.

Certainly the first collision may have been an accident.  The second and third collisions were definitely on purpose.  The second collision with the patrol car was apparently an attempted murder of a police officer.  In my opinion, the officer was right to shoot the suspect to defend himself.

We tend to think of deadly weapons as guns, and knives, but certainly a car can also be a deadly weapon.  The deputy had just been involved in two serious traffic collisions.  He was struck by a truck that was pounding into his car door.  He would have been dazed and confused, and was doing a great job by being aware of the threat and taking action to defend himself; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Unknown Trouble

http://www.lawofficer.com/video/news/seattle-police-rescue

A man standing on an overpass called 911.  Police arrived and spoke to him for a few minutes and then he jumped over the railing.  One of the officers caught him and two more helped pull him back onto the overpass, saving his life.  It took all three of the large officers to wrestle the small suspect into handcuffs.

Police often respond to calls with little or no information.  They often have to deal with people on one of the worst days of their life.  It can be very difficult to figure out what's going on sometimes.  People lie, officers get partial information from dispatch.  The things they observe don't quite match up to what they are being told or what they expect to see. 

It's best to arrive at a call and keep an open mind, but observe and analyze what you see, are told and what you find.  Sometimes the victim turns out to be the criminal.  Sometimes there is no crime.  Sometimes they are all criminals.  Sometimes they are all victims.  Just don't end up being a victim yourself; that's what the SGT Says.


Monday, August 4, 2014

Active Shooter

http://www.lawofficer.com/article/news/three-north-carolina-deputies#

Police were dispatched to a report of a family dispute with the husband holding a gun.  In the meantime the man with the gun started shooting and driving around.  He killed two people and fired at officers, injuring three of them.  They went in pursuit and it ended in the woods, with the suspect dead, either shot by police or by a self inflicted gunshot wound, it was unclear which.

When responding to an active shooter, it is best to deploy as many officers as quickly as possible.  They need to have as much body armor as possible, helmets, and patrol rifles.  This started as a family dispute so is a bit different from a terrorist or active shooter at a mall or school.

Officers can delay a moment to get enough officers to overpower the suspect.  Since it was a family dispute, I would have gone straight to the house with as many officers as I could get in a few minutes.  I would have them meet up a few houses away before making entry.  Once the found out the suspect was mobile, it made for an even more complex incident.  The officers did a good job; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Suspect Welfare

Sometimes when you arrest a suspect they claim to have a medical condition.  Not every medical problem is obvious to the casual observer.  Where there is doubt about it, always get the suspect checked and treated if necessary.

When in the field, I call for the paramedics at the least opportunity.  The last thing I want is to have a suspect die in custody because I did not call for paramedics soon enough.  While sometimes suspects fake an injury or illness because they want sympathy or are trying to avoid jail, it's better to be sure.

Some suspects think that the jail ward might be more comfortable for them, compared to regular jail.  That's okay, I would rather let a couple scammers fake out the doctor than have a suspect get sick or have a serious medical issue because I did not get them help.  When someone is in your custody, it's your duty to take care of them, including food, water, restroom, and medical attention; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

People or Technology

Many agencies are having officers wear cameras on duty.  I have mixed feelings about cameras.  I don't believe they are a fix for all police problems.  I think they will generally document officers doing a great job and will generally get officers off the hook when there is a citizen complaint.

Still, a camera sees only what the camera sees, not what the officer sees.  The camera won't have the exact point of view of the officer, no matter how close.  The camera won't blink, get sweat, debris or blood in it's eye.  It won't suffer from tunnel vision or get scared. 

When cameras see something that is questionable the benefit of the doubt seldom seems to go to the cop.  When camera footage is released to the public, it always seems to be edited to show the cops doing something violent, but not what the suspect did.  With 800,000 police, one of them will do something stupid once in a while, that dumb cop video is the only one that goes viral.  Anytime the video malfunctions, it's always because the cop was hiding something.  I would rather we spent more money on screening, training, and supervising our officer rather than spend tens of millions on a technological fix that probably won't fix much; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Reserves

Reserve Officers are an excellent way to "test drive" people before you go to the time and expense of hiring them as a Regular, full time officer.  While the Reserves are screened the same way, they are often not counted in the budget the same way as a Regular.  So many agencies are allowed to hire as many Reserves as they want.

Some Reserves will want to remain Reserves, but some will want to be hired as full time police.  By having them work part time, they will gain experience and knowledge of your agency.  You can see if they are a good fit in the informal organization, if they are hard working and ethical.

Reserves who do well, can be offered full time positions and often given an express new hire process, not unlike a lateral transfer.  Often you can waive some of the testing since you have already done much of it as part of their Reserve hiring process.  Sometimes they can be hired without competition from outside candidates since they are internal to the agency.  Reserves can be a good addition to your agency; that's what the SGT Says.