Friday, October 31, 2014

Motorcycle Video

http://abc7.com/news/suspect-arrested-in-taunting-of-chp-officer/374281/

Recently a video was posted of a group of motorcyclists riding on the freeway in California.  They are doing wheelies and other dangerous stunts.  They are also taunting a California Highway Patrol officer who is also on a motorcycle.  With odds of six or more to one he did try and get them to stop, but later raced away.

The police investigated the incident and have begun making arrests.  The actions of these bike riders are very dangerous, not only for themselves but for other motorists as well.  When doing these stunts they often slow traffic down.  If one of them lays their bike down, they create a road hazard for other motorists.

I applaud the police for investigating this incident and for making arrests.  Too many foolish outlaws think they can do whatever they want, no matter who they harm or inconvenience and get away with it; so much so that they post videos of their wanton and criminal acts.  They need to go to jail; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Prisoner Abuse

http://www.lawofficer.com/article/news/los-angeles-county-deputy-conv#

Several Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputies have been convicted of various crimes relating to abuse of prisoners.  The FBI was investigating the department based on complaints.  I think that generally, the states should investigate law enforcement agencies inside their borders.  Certainly that does not excuse the behavior of these deputies, but I don't think the Federal Government should be involved.

Jail is a dangerous and unhappy place for both inmates and deputies.  In one instance a deputy was bribed to take a cell phone inside to give to a prisoner.  Cell phones are often used by criminals to set up ongoing criminal activity outside the jail.

Abuse of prisoners is unacceptable behavior and should be reported when it happens.  Officers can make mistakes, have poor judgement, or get angry.  Anyone can have a bad day, but the abuse of prisoners is never permitted.  Sometimes additional training or role models can be helpful, but criminal behavior needs a loss of career; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Dog Avoidance

If you have to deal with a bad dog, but have a little time to prepare there are several options.  Naturally, the best option is to avoid the problem.  Call Animal Control and let them deal with the dog.  Sometimes you can contact a friend, relative, or neighbor of the owner who can control the dog.

Call your fire department.  A CO2 fire extinguisher will cool down a dog's nose and mouth, and most of them don't like that at all.  Also the cloud of "smoke" from the extinguisher will confuse and scare them, often they will run away.

A stream of water from a hose will scare off most dogs.  A garden hose is usually enough, but a small fire hose is even better.  Maintaining good relations with your fire department is a good idea.  A dry fire extinguisher will work, but you get dry powder everywhere, and that's really a mess.  Try to avoid shooting a dog, it looks bad in the paper; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pursuit

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

In the city of Stockton, CA bank robbers took hostages and fled.  The police gave chase and the suspects shot at them.  Eventually, 14 police cars were hit by gunfire, along with several civilian buildings and cars.

The police eventually returned fire on the moving suspect vehicle.  Usually police don't shoot at fleeing vehicles.  The usual procedure is to simply follow the suspect vehicle until it runs out of gas, the suspect stops and gives up or runs, or he crashes. 

Sometimes the threat to public safety is so great that a suspect vehicle needs to be stopped right away.  Their driving is dangerous, they are shooting at people, or other dangerous behavior may require a quick end to a pursuit.  Officers can set up spike strips, set up a roadblock, use a Pitt Maneuver, or sometimes shoot at the suspects and their vehicle.  It's an extreme action, but sometimes necessary; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, October 27, 2014

American Dollars

Even a small police department can have a budget of millions of dollars.  All those dollars are paid by American taxpayers.  I think we have an obligation to insure that all of those dollars are spent on products made here in America.

American jobs are on the line every day.  International competition is fierce and many millions of jobs have gone overseas to Communist China, and even Communist Vietnam.  I was distressed a couple years ago to see that my agency had purchased uniforms made in Vietnam.  This agency even had a few Vietnam era vets!

When we buy cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and other vehicles, buy ones made in America.  I know the selection may not be as large as you would like if you only buy American, but part of the reason the selection is so small is that others before you did not buy American motorcycles, American cars, or American guns.  Keep our taxpayer dollars here in America, that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Shooting

How will you feel if you have to shoot someone to death?  Have you thought about it?  I have and I think I will be okay, but it is not something I want to do.  The nice thing about law enforcement is that I only have to shoot someone if my life is in danger or the life of another person is in danger.

If there is a choice between my life, or my partners life or the life of another innocent person, then I don't believe that I will hesitate.  I love life and I won't let some criminal take it.  I feel a responsibility to my partners and to the citizens who employ me to keep them safe.

The criminal will make the decision to be shot by me.  They will willfully act in such as manner that I will have no other reasonable choice to but to shoot them.  After I have had to shoot someone, I will recognize that it was my duty, my training and the acts of an evil or deranged person that caused me to shoot them.  Police use of force is predictable, it happens when someone needs to be shot; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Traffic Collisions

Over 30,000 Americans die in traffic collisions every year.  That's more then get murdered.  It is not unusual for 30 or more on duty police officers to be killed in traffic accidents in the line of duty.  Often half of the officers killed in the line of duty are killed in traffic collisions.

We need to do a better job of avoiding and surviving traffic collisions.  The best technique is to avoid collisions.  Slow down, we drive too fast.  Even when responding to dangerous call, even driving to officer need help calls, we need to slow down.  New officers frequently have traffic collisions when responding to emergencies.  They get excited and go 80 mph when they should be going 60 mph.

If you are in a traffic collision, you are now the victim, not the responding officer.  Self rescue and self care are now your number on concerns.  Get your vehicle to a safe spot off the road, or exit your vehicle safely and get to the side of the road.  Check yourself for injuries.  Often after a stressful incident officers run around bleeding, not realizing they have been hurt.  Wear your seat belt and slow down; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Dog Attacks

http://www.dogsbite.org/dog-bite-statistics-study-emergency-visits-involving-dog-bites-ahrq-2008.php

20 or more people are killed by dogs in the USA every year.  A quarter million people, per year, are bitten by dogs in the USA bad enough that they have to go to the emergency room.  Most fatal dog bites are from pit bulls. 

Most police receive little or no training on how to deal with dogs.  Pepper spray and the Taser work well on most dogs, but not all.  Many police vs dog encounters are the result of phone calls to police about dogs that have gotten loose and are threatening people, frequently in areas where animal control is slow to respond.

I have performed many training classes in the past 20 years, on how security guards and police can deal with dogs and not one officer who has attended any of these classes has subsequently shot a dog, to my knowledge.  It is one of several common gaps in police training nationwide; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

PTSD

 http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml

Officers experience all kinds of unhappy events.  We see dead people.  We have to inform families a loved one has died.  We respond to accidents and crimes where innocent people are victimized, injured, even killed.

The stress of these incidents can build up over time.  Officers can have post-traumatic stress from one major incident, or built up over years of small incidents.  Post-traumatic stress is a serious problem and one that officers often overlook or intentionally ignore.

There are many ways to deal with stress.  One way is to talk to someone about it.  A medical or religious professional can often be helpful.  Especially a police chaplain or psychologist who knows about the special needs of police.  Proper diet and exercise are also helpful.  Keep alcohol use down and don't be afraid to get help; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Body Armor

Armor needs to be designed to cover more of our body.  We need armor that covers under the armpit or perhaps over the outside of the shoulder.  A hit in one of those areas can be fatal and officers have died from shots taken in those areas.  Soft body armor is an excellent tool but it can be better.

Body armor should be inserted inside the police shirt.  The police shirt should have pockets to hold the armor rather than having a separate carrier specifically for armor.  The carrier just adds two heavy layers of cloth that add to the weight and the heat of wearing body armor.  The carrier also does not get washed as often as it should.

Armor should protect against edged weapons.  An ice pick or dagger will penetrate most soft body armor.  We need protection against that threat.  Armor has gotten better in the 20+ years I have been in law enforcement and nearly everyone now can afford it and wear it.  Now that we can all wear it, armor makers need to work on improvements; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Body Armor

Armor needs to be waterproof.  Even here in Southern California it does rain once in a while.  Even the sweat of wearing armor on a hot day can penetrate the armor carrier.  I have known officers who have jumped into or fallen into swimming pools and rivers to save people.  Armor should actually function as a flotation device.  Wearing wet armor  has got to make swimming much harder and could contribute to an officer drowning.

Armor should be more modular.  We should have the ability to toss a new set on over the existing armor to provide protection for rifle bullets.  It should be specifically designed to work over existing soft body armor so that we can don it in the event of a SWAT call out or other known threat.

Regular soft body armor should be designed to prevent the penetration of bullets fired from an AK-47.  This round and this rifle are very popular and I think it should be the goal that soft body armor makers should try to reach.  We are now protected against nearly all handguns, but AK-47 rounds are a threat and officers are being killed by them; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Armor

There is still improvement needed in body armor.  Armor is still too hot, it needs to be cooler.  A few years ago the Army was testing a portable fan system or portable air conditioner to blow cold air under a vest.  Something like this might work if it were very cheap, very reliable and very small.

Armor needs to be more flexible.  It can be difficult to bend over or to bring your arms to the front as when firing a pistol from the isosceles position when wearing armor.  These are important movements to be able to make and I also wonder about the stopping effects of armor that is bent and being hit from the edge.

Armor is still uncomfortable, the heat and stiffness really contribute to armor being uncomfortable.  Working an 8 to 12 hour shift or longer with armor on is no fun.  Even if it is a slow shift and you don't move around much, it is still chafing.  Wearing armor over a rash or sunburn can really be very painful and maddening.  We still need better armor; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dog Bites

Dog shootings should be rare.  There is little reason to shoot a dog, we have several other weapons that will help us avoid being bitten by dogs.  OC spray will stop almost any dog, only a police dog or similar very high drive dog will be about to fight through the pepper spray.

A baton is a good tool to use against a dog.  I have fought off two Rottweilers at once with my baton.  A good sharp hit to the mouth turned away one of the dogs and the second decided to leave with his buddy.  Dogs will usually bite the nearest thing presented to them, stick out and wave your baton and they will frequently bite that, rather than bite your leg.  The Taser is also a good weapon to use against a dog.  Not the darts, but remove the cartridge and activate the test feature.  The crackle of the electricity will scare away most dogs and a contact tase will also hurt and scare away most dogs. 

Other items like a lawn chair, a thrash can, a trash can lid or other obstacle can prevent a dog getting close enough to bite you.  Most dogs are afraid of the garden hose and if you can turn on the water and spray water at the dog, most will run away.  Anything to create distance will keep you safe from dog bites; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Militarized Cops

One reason that people are concerned that police are being militarized is that the military in the last decade has in many ways become more like police.  In World War Two the rules of engagement were pretty much flatten everything and use as much firepower as necessary to destroy anything that might hide enemy soldiers.  Whole cities were destroyed to get to the enemy with limited regard to civilian casualties.

In the War on Terror, there has been a great move away from the use of that kind of military force.  Cities often contain both friendly civilians and enemy combatants side by side living next door to one another.  Often a specific city will contain mostly friendly people with only a tiny number of enemies.  So rather than kill mostly friendiles, the military have developed police style tactics to minimize the casualites among the civilians.

As a result, people see soldiers conducting road blocks, and participating in raids that are very similar to police tactics used here in the United States to stop drunk driving or to arrest a dangerous felon.  People then conclude that the police are becoming more like the military, when it is actually the military who are becoming more like the police; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Cameras

Once video is issued to all patrol officers, what happens when the video does not work?  Machines break, things wear out, patrol is a tough job and things get wet and jostled around.  If your video camera does not work do you sit inside the station for the shift?

What happens when we find out that a camera mounted on the front shirt of the officer is not enough to document everything that happens?  Do we add a second camera on top of their head?  How about one with low light abilities?

Maybe every officer should be surrounded by three or four or more cameras showing everything around him.  How about if we have drones fly over the police all the time, looking down on them, broadcasting everything they do in real time back headquarters?  Then the supervisor could sit in his office and see everything that goes on and direct his officers from the comfort of the dispatch center.  Certainly greater situational awareness is a good thing, but how far do we go?  At one time just mounting a car in the front of the  police car was considered enough; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Suicide Prevention

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Officers and retired officers are often a risk for suicide.  Officers have jobs that are dangerous and stressful.  Stress can come from just the potential for a problem, even if nothing actually happens.  Sometimes stress just comes from the job, supervisors who are jerks, administration that fails to back their officers and elected officials who won't give decent raises can all contribute to stress.

Officers can usually be prevented from suicide if we simply try to watch our partners and know the signs.  People seldom talk about killing themselves unless they mean it.  Officers have guns, so it's easy to shoot themselves. 

Officers sometimes have mood swings or talk about taking revenge or making people "pay."  Officers who feel helpless or use excessive alcohol.  If we have officers in these situations, we need to try and
prevent their suicide.  Normally we would do anything to protect each other from criminals, we need to learn to protect our partners from themselves; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Video

Once officers start wearing cameras, what is to be done with all this video?  Is the supervisor supposed to watch all the video every day to insure every minor offense is document and discipline meted out? 

How long should the video be stored?  Forever?  For a couple months?  Who is to decide how long to keep it, and where, and who will have access to it?  Since it could be used as evidence, how much will it cost to keep all this video for years, even decades in a secure environment?

Can attorneys spend their days just watching police camera videos hoping to find an infraction that can be used in a lawsuit?  Who make the video available to them?  How about the privacy of victims, witnesses, innocent bystanders?  Video is much more complex than what most people seem to think about; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Cameras

I read a lot about how police should be wearing cameras. I am only lukewarm to the idea.  They can be good in many circumstances in showing a use of force incident or if an officer was rude to someone.  They can also help to keep a few bad officers from doing bad things.

There are several problems with them, however.  Everyone we contact will be filmed.  Do you want every contact you have with the police to be on video?  Who owns the video and has a right to it?  Do you want the videos to be open source where everyone of them is posted to YouTube overnight?  How many people can say they do their job so perfectly that they could be videotaped, have the tapes shown to the public and withstand that level of critique? 

Certainly we want our police to be excellent, but I am not sure police officers should be subject to that level of Big Brother.  How about doctors, they accidentally kill about 100,000 Americans every year, should they all wear cameras around their necks?  Drivers kill about 40,000 American per year, should every car have a camera mounted on the dashboard?  Then all these videos could be made public for everyone to watch and critique.  I think the public is getting an unreasonable expectation for law enforcement to require everyone to wear a camera all the time; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Crook

 http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/10/12/detroit-police-sergeant-steals-murder-victims-watch/

A homicide cop stole a watch from a murder victim.  Other officers noticed the officer wearing the victims watch and had him arrested.  Some people complain this is evidence of police corruption.  Certainly in the case of the thief, that's true, but not for the department.

Actually the system worked quite well.  The officer stole a watch.  His partners discovered the crime and got him arrested.  Every organization will have a few crooks, it's how organizations respond to those crooks that's important.  The right thing to do is to make sure that the crooked cop gets arrested and goes to jail.

These officers did the right thing.  Police officers who commit felonies in the line of duty should be fired, and they should not get a pension either.  No good cop likes a crooked cop; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Drinking

 http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alcoholism/basics/symptoms/con-20020866

Do you drink alcohol?  Do you drink alcohol at places other than at home?  Do you drink alcohol and drive afterwards?  Do you drink alone?  Do you feel the need to drink?  Do you hide alcohol at home or on the job?

Have you given up hobbies or friends because of your alcohol usage?  Do you have periods of time you can't remember because of your drinking?  Do you feel guilty about your drinking?  Do you drink a whole six pack in a day?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have a drinking problem.  Police officers seldom turn to illegal drugs, but they do sometimes have a problem with alcohol.  It's not unusual to have a drink to relax or with dinner or while puttering around in the yard.  When you start having problems, it's time for counseling before you lose your job or hurt yourself or someone else; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Military or Police

While I believe that police are not being militarized, I also think that many departments give the impression of militarization.  I think this is a bad idea.  I think that it is easy to get carried away with all the cool gear and forget what it looks like to the public.  While intimidation of violent criminals is a viable and legitimate tactic to reduce attacks against police, I think this can be accomplished without unnecessarily alarming the decent citizens.

Police armored and SWAT vehicles should be painted like police cars.  Armored cars should not look like military vehicles, even if they are surplus military vehicles.  They should be gloss painted in the same livery as the regular patrol cars.  Military vehicles are painted flat to reflect radar signals, and for visual camouflage, this is unnecessary for police vehicles. 

Police armored vehicles should have the same POLICE reflective decals as the regular patrol cars.  You are not going to sneak up on anyone in a police context in an armored car.  Police armored cars should have flashing emergency lights all around, similar to what you see on big fire trucks.  Police vehicles that look like military vehicles are disturbing to average citizens who are concerned about government oppression.  This is not an unreasonable concern and we only create unneeded opposition by feeding that concern; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Militarization of Police

Police are not being militarized.  There are a few items to bring up when people say this to you.  Just as private security guards sometimes look like police; police sometimes look like soldiers.

Police don't call in air support to conduct bombing or strafing runs.
Police don't use artillery to blow up houses.
Police use tear gas and an flash bangs, but they don't use fragmentation grenades.
Police generally don't use suppressive fire and never do reconnaissance by fire; we only shoot when we have a specific target.
Police don't use belt fed automatic weapons, and rarely even use fully automatic weapons at all.

Police are not an occupying army, we are still here to protect and serve the people, we still operate under a system of laws, and we still strive to take prisoners of everyone we have to fight.  Police are not looking for a high body count; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Militarization of Police

Police are not being militarized as some people claim.  Police are using armored cars and automatic weapons just as we have done since at least the 1930's in America.  The only difference is that they are being used by more agencies because the costs are low and the benefits are perceived as high.

Many officers have difficulty responding to the charge that police are being militarized.  Tell people that as we face active shooters, we have learned that ballistic helmets are an important part of police protective gear.  As we face hostage takers, armored cars allow police to rescue wounded people in the line of fire without as great a danger as without armored cars.

As we face prolonged standoffs, a camelback type hydration system can be helpful.  Police snipers have been around since at least the 1960s, nearly 50 years, to stop those doing immediate harm to others and are too far away to the shot at with a handgun.  Police use some military style equipment, but the nature of what we do with it is vastly different; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Raids

There has been a lot in the news recently about officers conducting raids on homes or apartments and finding out they are in the wrong place.  They get the wrong address on the search warrant.  They get confused about which street they are on, or what the actual house address is that they are at when they conduct the raid.

By their nature, raids are rather secretive and clandestine affairs.  They often are done at night or early morning on the assumption the suspect is asleep or not fully alert.  That means the raiding team may not be at their best either. 

It is easy to make mistakes and find yourself in the wrong location, but when doing a raid it is critical that you hit the right location.  Someone on the team should visit the location in the daylight and take photos.  Use Google maps and the street level photos to familiarize yourself with the site.  It is the ultimate in bad planning to get all geared up, and then go to the wrong place.  It can cost your agency millions, it can cost reputations, careers and even the lives of officers and innocent people.  Know where you are going, that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Wear Your Vest

Wear your vest.  You cannot predict when you will be shot, so wear your vest and be ready if it happens.  Wear your vest, even if it is uncomfortable.  It will be uncomfortable, it's just the nature of armor that it is uncomfortable.  Wear it anyway.

Bunkermeisters rule of body armor:  "If you are wearing a uniform and a gun, then you must wear your vest."  If you are at an awards banquet and are receiving an award, and you are in uniform, and carrying a gun, wear your vest.

The nature of police work is that it is dangerous, and unpredictable on a day to day basis.  We know officers will get shot.  We just don't know who and when it will happen.  So, we have to wear our body armor all the time in the unlikely event that we happen to be the unlucky officer who gets shot; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Awards

Many agencies give their officers awards.  I think it is a good idea to reward positive behavior and awards are certainly a good way to do that.  Officers should be given awards for doing something extraordinary.

There should be a Medal of Valor award.  It should be given to officers who do something good at the risk of their own life, especially if they initiate the behavior.  Running into a burning building, or returning gunfire when attacked are good examples of the type of behavior that could be considered but many not be enough on their own to merit the award.

The other type of award is a Lifesaving Award.  This can be given for officers who perform CPR on a drowning victim or who pull someone from a burning car at the side of the road.  Recognizing positive behavior is a good way to get more of it; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Major Incident

In a mass casualty event, your first job is to get and coordinate help.  Your next job is to stop the casualty causing event if it is susceptible to a police response.  A bomb explosion might be a terrorist bomb or a simple gas leak.  A terrorist bomb might bring additional bombs, and so a police response to that possibility is needed.  An active shooter needs a police response to stop the shooter.  You need to get help to deal with either these effectively.

Note the nature of the scene and tell dispatch what you need so they can get it for you.  If a tour bus turns over you may have fifty injured people that need transportation to a hospital. You will rescue teams who can extract the injured from the bus, you may need a coroner, and you will need detectives to investigate the incident.

As the first one on the scene one of your most important tasks is to coordinate the activities of those who respond afterwards.  You don't want them to drive into a kill zone from a sniper or into a chemical leak.  Coordinate the response so that you can save more lives than you could by yourself, that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Local Control

I have read a few articles and Internet posting recently about people who don't like the police.  They think the police use excessive force and are not public servants.  This is one of many reasons why police should always be under local control. 

If you don't like the police, then vote out your city council or county supervisors and get new ones that agree with your theory of law enforcement.  Then the police will behave as you want them to behave. 

This is why we should not take Federal money and if we take Federal surplus equipment there should be no strings attached.  Since local tax dollars pay for police, the local people should get the type of policing they want; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Integreted Use of Force

Who does your training?  What qualifies them to do training?  Can they testify that they have been certified to do training?  Does your own agency certify them or someone else?  Can your trainers demonstrate in court their quailifications?

I think that use of force instructors should know all disciplines that officers may have to employ.  I remember going to arrest control techniques class and the instructor telling us that we should be able to use ACT to subdue anyone with a knife.  Then at Mace class we were told Mace would handle anyone with a knife.  Then were were told the baton was the proper response for a man with a gun.  Finally, the firearms instructors told us to shoot anyone threatening us with a knife.

This is what happens when the various disciplines don't talk to one another and when instructors don't have more than one discipline of their own.  I think all use of force should be trained together.  The real answer is that a man with a knife might be talked down, he might have to be shot, or maybe something in between might work.  A fully integrated use of force training program will solve these problems; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

OIS

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/01/dillon-taylor-shooting-justified_n_5912976.html?icid=maing-grid7|htmlws-main-bb|dl5|sec3_lnk4%26pLid%3D539046

The officer responded to a report of an armed man and ended up shooting an unarmed subject.  What else could the officer have done to control the situation?  As the suspect was walking away the officer could have taken cover behind one of the cars in the parking lot and directed back up officers to intercept and block in the suspect.  

He could have deployed his Taser and shot the suspect in the back with it.  Still, if the suspect did have a gun and he did turn around quickly the officer could have been in a great disadvantage with just his Taser out. 

The officer could have run forward and tackled the suspect, but then he may have been fighting on the ground with an armed man.  The officer provided other verbal commands, such as stop, put you hands up, don't turn around.  When I have a suspect with his hands in his pockets I like him to remove his hands while he is facing away from me, rather than while he is facing towards me.  Situations where you reasonably suspect the subject has a gun, but are not sure are some of the hardest to deal with; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

OIS

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/01/dillon-taylor-shooting-justified_n_5912976.html?icid=maing-grid7|htmlws-main-bb|dl5|sec3_lnk4%26pLid%3D539046

An officer responded to a report of an armed suspect and finds a man matching the description in a parking lot, in the daytime.  The officer approaches the suspect with his gun drawn.  The suspect has his back to the officer and his hand at his waistband.  The suspect refuses the officers orders to stop and then suddenly, does stop, turns around and pulls his hands out of his waistband.  The officer shoots twice and kills the suspect.  The shooting was ruled justifiable and I agree with that assessment.

Still, I think it is important to consider every officer involved shooting to discover best practices that could have been employed to make the officer, the public, and even the suspect safer, or to end the deadly force incident faster.

The officer seemed to have driven up rather close to the suspects location.  He may have been better off to have stopped a short distance away, observed and waited for back up.  He may have been better off to stop farther back and use the extra time to deploy his shotgun or patrol rifle since he was responding to a report of an armed man; that's what the SGT Says.