plan for imperfection

A thought.

I have been considering all of the changes I have seen in training and philosophy regarding law enforcement response to active shooter situations and Boston Bomber/Mumbai style terror attacks over the course of my career. I recall that the Post Analysis of the Boston Bombing response was critical about Command and Control and the fire discipline of the officers involved in some of the shootouts. In a nutshell, there was an implication that LE responded in more of a disorganized “swarm” than they did a nice…orderly… “OP”.

Well, from an LEO response end of things, I’m tending to see a successful American LE response to “shitters” like Boston or Mumbai being more of a “swarming” than an organized “operation”.

I once sat through a debrief of the Navy Yard Shooting (the real one) and the critique was that tons of cops from everywhere swarmed the area (like in Boston) with little coordination or communication. Nobody responded to staging areas, nobody awaited orders, most responders “self-deployed”.

I say…that’s why a days long Mumbai event won’t likely happen here. Sure cops may wind up shooting in all directions, but to some extent that’s going to be the reality of an effective response. Cops are going to respond from everywhere, with guns, and things are going to resolve in relatively short order. Certainly, it’s not going to look like a cut-scene from Call of Duty, and there will most likely be some stray rounds and friendly fire incidents. Smooth and organized rapid deployments are things of TV…not reality.

I make an analogy to the para-drops on D-day. Cops will likely self-organize into small units and go hunting. That’s what ultimately happened at the Navy Yard. It took some time and wasn’t pretty, but a small mixed unit finally hunted the shooter down and killed him.

Sitting around waiting for it all “to go as planned” ain’t gonna happen.

And that isn’t a “failure” IMO.

What I think law enforcement planners and trainers should start doing is “planning for imperfection”. Instead of insisting on more and more exercises and tabletops expecting cops to respond to staging areas to await deployment in “real world”, they need to start considering what is most likely going to happen in reality and develop tactics and strategies accordingly.

am I that man? Practicing leadership, or exercising power?

Originally posted on am I that man?:

As James MacGregor Burns taught in his classic 1978 text, Leadership, the practice of leadership is not the same as the exercise of power. If I put a loaded gun to your head, I can get you to do things you might not otherwise do, but I’ve not practiced leadership; I’ve exercised power.

 True leadership only exists if people follow when they have the freedom not to. 

Jim Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors

As Collins points out leadership is not about power.

Leadership is about influence, inspiration and motivation.

Leadership is about service.

Leadership is about developing people.

Leadership is about doing what is right even when it is not what is popular or expedient.

Leadership is about modelling desired behaviours.

Leadership is about respect.

Leadership is about action.

Leadership is about humility.

If you have the power, you are likely in a leadership position. Position, rank…

View original 92 more words

tactical preschool 67

If you are ever confronted with a situation where you have to escape from a kidnapping attempt or vehicular ambush, and backing out of the killzone is impossible, a simple rule to keep in mind is….

caresc1

….consider the size/weight of your vehicle and the size/weight of the vehicles blocking you in.

Regardless of that comparison, you do not want to impact the engine end of a vehicle with yours. Most of the mass of a vehicle is in the engine and you don’t want to strike the heaviest part of their car with yours.

carescno

If you absolutely have to push your way out of a roadblock, pick the car that is as close to or smaller than the size of yours and aim for the back end of it.

caresc3

caresc4

You do NOT want to hit the other vehicle at a high rate of speed, 20-25 MPH is the sweet spot. Do not hit the brake as you push through, remember to keep your foot on the gas and accelerate through. Be prepared for airbag activation, but do NOT stop. Recover from the impact and drive away ASAP.

Police and Glocks

Originally posted on tacticalprofessor:

The Los Angeles Times recently published an Op-ed piece entitled Why the police shouldn’t use Glocks.  I find it shortsighted and the author’s reasoning incomplete and faulty.

Although I prefer a Double Action Only or Double Action/Single Action gun for my personal use, I perceive several issues with the article.

The half-inch difference of trigger travel may not sound like much, but it can be the difference between life and death.

The statement is a core issue. There’s no control statement about how many successful uses can be attributed to the GLOCK’s shorter trigger. The first shot is both the most important and, with DA guns, the most often missed. Aside from the possibility of ending the fight sooner, the issue of errant rounds flying around the community is also disturbing.

G19 2

A number of major and minor agencies use guns with much longer double-action triggers that are just as…

View original 403 more words

TacStrike 1/4 Scale Steel Target System

I have been a fan of TacStrike Targets since my purchase of one of Rob’s stake in targets three years ago.

I decided to expand my collection with one of TacStrikes  1/4 Scale Steel Target Systems this year.

The system comes with a base that can accept 1″X2″ or 2″X2″ wood stakes if you want to shoot paper, and a center pocket that accepts the target rack post.

The 1/4 scale silhouette is made of AR500 steel and “floats” inside the rack so that it can absorb impacting rounds without having to swing or rock. It also lets it ring like a bell.

The AR500 plate destroys incoming rounds:

11151035_10206924027566303_7100025908769850010_n

 

The .40 S&W and .223 I put on it were reduced to powder and flat disks of jacket metal:

11110301_10206925141194143_7703526407129378841_n

 

If you are in the market for some steel check out TacStrike.

Good stuff at good prices and the owner, Rob Tackett, is good people.

A Cop Explains Why We Become Jaded, Cynical and Angry

Originally posted on chrishernandezauthor:

After I published my opinion piece about the shooting in Ferguson Missouri, I received many emails from police officers and private citizens thanking me for writing it. I also received one message from a police officer who tried to explain how the job has changed him, and why he is the way he is. I thought his piece was well-written and extremely powerful, and received his permission to post it here. I think it might help some people to understand how difficult the job can be, and what can happen to even the best of us after we’ve worked the street long enough.

Again, I AM NOT THE AUTHOR OF THIS ESSAY. Furthermore, I have no way of verifying that the author is who he says he is, or that these incidents truly occurred. But his feelings and experiences certainly ring true.

I’ve written several posts about my experiences as…

View original 2,831 more words

tactical preschool 66

This lesson is going to cover a basic counter-surveillance technique called a Surveillance Detection Route, otherwise known as an SDR.

Counter-Surveillance is, simply put, the art of preventing people from seeing what you are doing. This can cover techniques as simple as alternating your daily movement patterns to as complex as sweeping your bedroom for electronic listening devices.

This lesson covers a simple technique for detecting if you have a “tail”.

Law Enforcement Officers should always have their “head on a swivel” when they get into their personally owned vehicle (POV) at the end of shift and head home. You never know who you may have pissed off and it’s wise to take measures that prevent someone from following you to your residence. Even if you are not LE, you may have irate exes, stalkers or your spouses PI (LOL!) trying to follow you.

Most often, picking up a tail will be while you are operating a vehicle. The basic concept of an SDR applies while on foot as well, but for this example lets say you have a nice suburban home:

home

Your normal trip home from the Supermarket is something like this:

home 2

Say one day you notice a car follow you out of the parking lot and something starts to “tingle” in your head. Nothing serious enough to call 911 or start driving to the nearest police station, but a “better safe than sorry” sort of thing…

home 3

Take a turn. This is when you start your SDR. Which, simply put, is just taking a little trip and seeing who follows you and for how far.

home 4

In Narcotics parlance this is sometimes called “squaring the block”. If you see the same vehicle following you turn-for-turn, or if it turns off then re-appears behind you later, assume you are being followed.

Of course, if you think you are being followed by “professionals” they are going to have multiple vehicles following you with communications between them, and maybe even air assets and stationary posts along your known route. One car may turn off while another that was on a parallel street picks you up. But that’s Jason Bourne style $@!# and unlikely to be something the average reader should be concerned about.

However, If for some reason you think this incident requires a bit more caution, you can park in the vicinity of your home, but not right in front of it:

home 5

Sit in your car for a bit and look around for anything out of the ordinary. Are there any occupied cars parked on the street? Any people you’ve never noticed before walking the dog, or jogging around the block?

A pair of binoculars in your car can be a handy tool.

You could then get out and walk the sidewalk to the corner and back..or all the way around the block if you are up for some exercise.

What I would warn the reader to avoid is simply using SDR’s as part of their daily habit. I’ve seen a number of people pull SDR’s simply as habit while not really paying attention to if anyone was actually following them. Alternating your daily route as “habit” is fine. An SDR is a highly conscious thing that requires your full alertness and concentration.

Do you think you are special or something?

COPS (TV series)
COPS (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is going to be sort of “free thought” and probably a bit disjointed so please bear with me as I try to put this together…

In the local news here a story was recently posted about an off duty LEO getting arrested by another agency for DWI. The social media comments then soon followed:

“Bet he gets off of it.”

“Good. They should be treated like everybody else.”

“They should be held to a higher standard.”

And so on….

Let me start out by saying that I think anybody who breaks the law should be prepared to face the consequences, regardless of your job or position in society. That’s the only way this system works. And I DO believe that we LEO’s have to hold ourselves to a higher standard simply because we are representatives of that system. Agreed. 110%.

However, there seems to be a Catch 22 in play here. Cops should be “treated just like anybody else” but they should also be treated differently (held to a higher standard) because they are cops. How does that work?

If you think every doctor, lawyer, nurse, etc who was ever arrested for DWI gets their names and profession paraded through the news you are sorely mistaken. Should we do so?

Never mind the issue of HOW this story made the news in the first place. Either the arresting agency contacted the media, the arrested officers department released it, the press heard something on a scanner or some disgruntled ex called the press. The stuff you see in the media is but a small fraction of the total number of arrests. Unless the PD or some other party has a particular interest in calling the media in, 99% of people locked up never have their story hit a major local outlet.

Of course there is the possibility that the off-duty was an ass and the arresting agency thought “screw him”. Or the arrested guys PD has been looking for a reason to can him and though the press could help “move him along”…who knows?

Treated like everybody else? That may kind of depend on the local PD or the individual cops involved. I have let many “non-cops” go with warnings. I’ve let people get rides home (all totally legal folks…if there was an accident or someone hurt they faced the music 100%). I’ve allowed that joint to get ground up and tossed in the gutter vs arrest (again…100% by the law). Should we treat cops with the same discretion? That’s a sticky question. Where do you draw the line? A cop with a joint is different from your college student daughter. But how do you balance “treat him/her like anyone else” with “hit him all the harder because he’s a cop”?

Do you just blindly let people off based on their LEO status? Do you let every auto-worker go simply because he works at the local factory? If you don’t, how is that fair? On the flip side, should I NEVER let your wife off with a warning for a brake light out or a one day expired registration? Should I never let a cop off with a warning for the same thing?

“Bet he gets off”…What? Like the 99% of other first time arrests who get sentenced to probation, or get a DWI reduced to an impaired and a fine? That would be getting treated “like everybody else”.

My thought’s (in general…there will always be exceptions)?  If we are going to treat cops “like anybody else” lets be consistent. If I’m not calling in the press on a surgeon locked up for DWI then I shouldn’t do it to a cop either. Certainly, someone from his/her PD should be notified so that they can deal with the repercussions of “being held to a higher standard”, but beyond that I don’t think airing non-felony arrests simply because it looks “transparent” is fair. For routine vehicle and traffic stops? If I can give a pass to your kid I shouldn’t be given grief for giving a pass to a cop. For routine stuff of course. If you find yourself giving passes for stuff you would NEVER give a pass to a non-LEO for that’s a sign of a problem.

In the end I guess I’m looking for a little clarification on expectations beyond the personal grudges people have against cops. Lets set aside all the baggage, name calling and “I remember when I was stopped” stories and discuss the facts and figures involved here.

Thoughts????

 

“The infinite is in the finite of every instant”

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 378 other followers

%d bloggers like this: