Train with us now for the day shall come!
3 lessons learned from a surprise knife attack
Three important lessons about suspect control were
driven home for a Nashville officer — with knife slashes to his face,
neck, and back. The attack occurred as P.O. II John Timm and his zone
partner Ofcr. Mike Hunnicutt of the Metropolitan Nashville PD were
attempting to resolve a domestic conflict.
An Hispanic male had tried to pick up his young daughter after school
but school authorities would not release her to him because the child’s
mother (the man’s ex-girlfriend) was the custodial parent. He took her
anyway. Police were alerted and Timm and Hunnicutt detained the subject
on a traffic stop a short time later. The child was in the car,
“We got the parties out of the car,” Timm told PoliceOne. The mother
showed up and “the situation escalated due to the suspect not wanting to
give up the child. There was a lot of...read more
Fighting Grassroots Terrorism: How Local Vigilance Can Help
In the wake of the July 22 Oslo attacks, as I have
talked with people in the United States and Europe, I have noticed two
themes in the conversations. The first is the claim that the attacks
came from an unexpected source and were therefore impossible to stop.
The second theme is that detecting such attacks is the sole province of
dedicated counterterrorism authorities.
As discussed in last week’s Security Weekly, even in so-called
“unexpected” attacks there are specific operational tasks that must be
executed in order to conduct an operation. Such tasks can be detected,
and unexpected attacks emanating from lone wolf actors can indeed be
thwarted if such indicators are being looked for. Alleged Oslo attack
perpetrator Anders Breivik reportedly conducted several actions that
would have made him vulnerable to detection had the authorities been
vigilant and focused on those possible actions.
This is why it is critical to look at the mechanics of attacks in
order to identify the steps that must be undertaken to complete them and
then focus on identifying people taking such steps. Focusing on the...read more
Controlling Your State as a Tactical Athlete
For the tactical athlete there is always a great deal of
stress present. It starts in the preparation or training phase and
Tactical Athlete continues into ‘live’ situations.
Unlike sport athletes that have an off-season, the tactical athlete
doesn’t have this luxury, so state management is even more critical. If
state is not controlled, in a positive manner, it can cause the tactical
athlete to react both physically and mentally in a manner that will
negatively affect their performance abilities.
They may become...read more
Recognizing the Signs and Signals of Crime and Danger
Your duties require, you make observations to detect
potential threats or criminal activity. As you stand your post or patrol
your sector, just what is it you are looking for? What are the things
that alert you to wrong doing? Alert you to danger? This post will be
the first of two parts and will focus on the signs and signals to look
for in the performance of our duties to help us prevent crime and
threats from taking place and keep us safe while doing so.
Your on patrol, the day is sunny about 55 degrees. All has been quiet
thus far during your shift. As you pass by a service station at 30 mph
you note a tow truck, a flat bed with two vehicles loaded. You think to
yourself, "nothing unusual here, a gas/service station and tow truck,
with two vehicles on board; all seems OK? Then you note there are...read more
After 9/11, more threats against US malls
A janitor spots an abandoned diaper bag lying on a table
in the sprawling food court at the Mall of America. A bomb-sniffing dog
and a security officer are there within minutes, examining the package
while nearby shoppers are held a safe distance away.
No bomb. Case closed. But that scene is repeated at the nation's largest shopping center 150 times a month.
Years ago, lost purses or shopping bags would just go to the lost and
found. But after the Sept. 11 attacks and a series of terror threats
against malls, "we realized that bad guys don't write `explosives' on
the side of packages," said Maj. Douglas Reynolds.
He heads a 150-officer security force trained in...read more
Terrain is seldom in your favor; darkness may mask the
ground, shadows confuse your vision, your legs are stiff from sitting
for hours. All of these factors will ultimately affect your balance. In
BLET you were taught stances and foot positions to enhance balance and
allow you better and more effective defensive tactics. If you have
enhanced your skills with martial arts, boxing, MMA or ju jitsu you have
undoubtedly mastered the ability to maintain your balance in a combat
situation. Many an officer has found themselves loosing their balance
just when you need to keep it the most. There is a way to improve your
balance while making yourself stronger, more fit and while improving
your offensive and defensive tactics.
As a fitness, rehabilitation and injury...read more
10 years after 9/11: Terrorism lessons we (should have) learned
As we approach the 10th anniversary of our nation’s most
costly terrorist attack, we must ask ourselves if we have learned all
we should have — all we could have from the terrible lessons these
monsters have taught. Whether the killers are domestic or international
in origin, we must endeavor to never repeat any errors we made in our
anticipation, preparation, or response to horrific events.
One excellent example of proper learning is the emergency response
and evacuation after terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New
York. Look at the combined image below and to the left. In the topmost
image, you will see perhaps the world’s best example of emergency
vehicle gridlock, in the NYPD and FDNY response to the 1993 attack,
which involved a 1,300 pound chemical VBIED detonated in the underground
parking deck (killing six people and injuring thousands). The transport
of injured persons was greatly hampered that day by the “crush” of
emergency responders and their vehicles. Beneath that you see the same
street in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attack. New York
responders had learned their lesson and kept half of the street free of
emergency vehicles to facilitate the flow of resources. Other lessons
they learned from the 1993 attack included:...read more
A Trained Response
The whole idea is that you have a trained response to
non-deadly and deadly threats. For instance, if confronted with a
suspect that you're attempting to handcuff who starts to resist you have
trained responses for what to do. Absent a trained response, we resort
to brute force, wrestling type maneuvers that frequently result in
officer and suspect injuries. (A brief side-note here, officers are
frequently injured from attempting to control suspects in hazardous
environments, e.g. knee injuries from broken glass on the asphalt or
collisions with walls as well as trips and falls on furniture or other
objects. All of these possibilities are magnified while wrestling with
Take that same resisting suspect and start blasting him with...read more
Ambushing / Counter Ambushing, Pt 2
Whether on foot patrol, bike patrol, or in a vehicle,
attack recognition and response is critical. Try to use heightened
awareness to recognize pre-attack indicators and minimize the physical
effects of surprise.
Ask yourself five questions:
1. When do I move? 2. Where do I move? (to and from) 3. How do I
move? 4. Where am I the most predictable? 5. Where am I the most
A few tactics that we have been told about (but may have forgotten):
When caught out in the open, prone is still a good position and can be used with gutters and curbs.
Light, power and phone poles are excellent; mail boxes, vehicle
engine blocks, trees. Anything that stops or re-directs incoming fire is
your temporary friend.
Drawing and being able to shoot and hit on the move is a must.
Consider practicing (red or blue gun, not the real one) drawing while
belted in your vehicle, shooting through the windshield and side
windows, bailing out rapidly, getting to other cover. Also practice the
same while seated in a chair such as that used at a restaurant.
Do not drive up directly in front of an address you are responding
to. Do not place yourself in the fatal funnel by standing in the
Consider this; a near ambush is considered contact distance to...read more
The Mental Edge: Hunger for Knowledge
If your 2010 model vehicle was having problems, would
you take it to a mechanic whose knowledge base was 10 years old? How
about if you were having health problems, would you want to go to a
surgeon who hadn’t been to any continuing education programs, read any
professional journals, gone to any training seminars or taken the time
to educate themselves to the current trends and technologies in
medicine? No, of course you wouldn’t. Who would want to hear the doctor
in the operating room say, “I’ve never seen this machine before, what
does it do?”—just before the anesthesia takes effect.
We understand that with the day-to-day changes in mechanics and
advancements in medicine, a professional mechanic or physician must
constantly maintain the skills they now have, as well as seek to acquire
new abilities. But what about law enforcement professionals? Do you
constantly strive to maintain or improve the knowledge (including
physical skills and abilities) you already have? Do you study trends