Sykes Group LLC
Law Enforcement/Security Training & Consulting
Failure is not an option

Sykes Group Protective Services Bulletin
"Failure is not an Option"
July 2011
In The News

Train with us now for the day shall come!


Reality Based Training: Build a Program, Not a Project

Too many trainers tasked with the job of creating tactical simulations lack the underlying educational architecture needed to develop effective training scenarios. This is akin to trying to grow grass on concrete: You can spend a lot of money on expensive sod, but if you lay it on a surface that either lacks or will never support the development of a root structure, it's destined for failure.

I've been working in the field of simulation training since the late 1980s, and I'm still trying to figure things out. Simulation training is an extremely complex field that bridges all other fields. As Lieutenant James Como from the Ocoee (Fla.) Police Department says, "It's the hub from which all the more

Back to Basics

The fundamentals of combative pistolcraft

I have great sympathy for those officers who either volunteer or are assigned to instruct in their agency's firearms training program, because there's a great misconception regarding the tasks an agency firearms instructor undertakes. Some will see the time away from routine duties as a nice perk, while others will be jealous of the special schools the instructor attends. While both are certainly nice, they do not really compensate for the amount of time and work the in-service firearms instructor must put in to create a worthwhile training program.

Note that I said worthwhile program police officers need very little skill or talent to qualify. Hell, a monkey could do that. Qualification means the officers fire a set course more

Low-Light Training

Not just a shot in the dark

During a recent meeting of Team One Network instructors, more than 20 of us spent time discussing low-light training, which we agreed is a critical but sometimes short-changed component of officer-survival courses. What follows summarizes what we discussed, our conclusions about how to enhance low-light training and current doctrine dealing with weapon-mounted lights.

Training Truths

We discovered many of us have been teaching low-light techniques for years. Most started with the FBI more

Hard Cover

Cover vs. concealment: Know where you stand

Recently, I attended a firearms class where the issues of finding “hard cover” on a vehicle were discussed. We were given the generic answer “vehicle cover consists of engine blocks and steel wheels.” I found this to be a bit vague so I set out to find more definitive answers for myself. It saddens me to report that there are precious few areas that’ll totally stop rounds.

Hard Cover
To find out what really constitutes “hard cover” on a vehicle you have to shoot one up. I used two weapons for this test, a Spike’s Tactical 18” barreled SPR in 5.56mm with a Yankee Hill Phantom Suppressor. The other weapon of choice was my .45 cal XD duty pistol. The first shots were made from 25 yards using Hornady .223 cal 55 gr TAP Red Tip. I aimed dead center of the engine compartment.

As expected, any rounds that more

Chemical Suicides – A Safe Response

Police officers respond to thousands of cases a day of a person unconscious in a vehicle. In most cases, the officer will find the driver has a medical issue, is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or is just plain sleep deprived. Unfortunately, there is another scenario lurking out there that can be very dangerous.

Chemical suicides have been on the rise. According to a New York State fire official, of the 72 chemical suicides in the U.S. since 2008, 80% have resulted in injuries to first responders. These incidents are on the increase, with more than 25 chemical suicides having been reported thus far in 2011.

A thorough officer safety assessment at more

Nap Now: Sleep Forever

Not too very long ago, I was contacted by an old acquaintance of mine who had taken a new job as the head of security for a local Gentlemen’s Club. If you are unfamiliar with the term; it is a nicer way to say Strip Club, and no matter what you call it, you can be certain that at some point there will be trouble.

Trouble, and its prevention, is exactly why Corey called me. The club, at his request, had installed a shiny new Metal Detector at the front door and had also purchased two metal-detecting wands for the door staff as well. The idea was simple: Walk through the standing detector, get wanded and submit to a cursory pat down (under the arms and down to the hip pockets, around the waistline and down to the ankles). They figured more

Taliban Hotel Attack: Low Death Toll, High Psychological Value

At about 10 p.m. on June 28, a group of heavily armed militants attacked the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan. According to government and media reports, the attack team consisted of eight or nine militants who were reportedly wearing suicide vests in addition to carrying other weapons. At least three of the attackers detonated their vests during the drawn-out fight. Afghan security forces, assisted by International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), needed some eight hours to clear the hotel of attackers. One group of militants even worked their way up to the roof of the hotel, where they fired several rocket-propelled grenades.

The attack resulted in the deaths of 12 people, as well as all the militants. The Taliban had a different take on the attack, posting a series of statements on their website claiming responsibility and saying the assault was conducted by eight operatives who killed 90 people and that the real news of their success was being suppressed. (Initially, the Taliban claimed to have killed 200 in the attack but reduced the toll to 90 in later statements.)

NATO and ISAF spokesmen have noted their belief that, due to the location and use more

10 years after 9/11: Terrorism in rural communities and remote areas

We are closing in on the 10-year anniversary of the largest terrorist attack in United States history — an event that affected all of us. Obviously our major cities have done far more training and discussion for the “what if / when if” situations that can be created by our foreign and domestic terrorists. This article is for the small town cops out there — what have you been doing differently? What steps have you or your agency taken to increase our vigilance when it comes to taking down the foreign and domestic terrorists that are working right now to create another terrorist attack? Hopefully you have a long list of things that are being done differently or more diligently.

Interestingly enough, many of the largest terrorist events are planned and organized in remote or rural areas. Consider domestic terrorists Ted Kaczynski (Unabomber), Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols (Oklahoma City), Eric Robert Rudolph (Olympic Park and others), as well as numerous “factions” likely to be out there someplace today. Consider also the fact that there is more and more information indicating rural domestic links to foreign-born terrorists infiltrating our communities. What this means is that it is entirely likely more

Book Excerpt: Advanced Concepts in Defensive Tactics

During your career, you will be attacked. If you complete a career in law enforcement, you will probably be physically assaulted multiple times. As reported in the FBI Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted 2005 report, 11.9 percent of the officers from reporting agencies were assaulted in 2005. Of those, 27.4 percent were injured. If you work in law enforcement long enough, you will be required to use force and you’ll be required to use that force because the subject is trying to hurt you or get away.

Knowing you will be attacked, what is the best response to someone invading your personal space, trying to creep up on you and sucker-punch you, or just launching an all-out, violent attack? You have three general options if you are attacked. One possibility is you more

A Force to Reckon With

It's a common scenario: A security officer makes an arrest and the suspect resists. The suspect is injured and files a lawsuit claiming that the officer used excessive force.

When the incident is later examined during preparation for trial, attorneys discover that the security training manual was modeled after what is called the force continuum, traditionally used by law enforcement, where officers are taught a series of progressive reactive steps designed to limit the use of force to only what the situation requires. However, force-continuum policies were originally designed for police and not for private security operations. Moreover, even police departments today are reexamining whether it more

The Psychology of Kidnapping and Abduction

I was startled to read that in 2010 the United States was ranked sixth in the world for “kidnapping-for-ransom” crimes according to the available statistics (after Columbia, Italy, Lebanon, Peru, and the Philippines). In June 2010, Senator John McCain stated that Phoenix, Arizona was the “Kidnapping Capital of America.” With 370 cases in 2010, Phoenix is ranked second in the world only to Mexico City. The increasing frequency of these types of headlines caused me to investigate kidnapping further to better understand the overall risks of abduction, how to avoid being kidnapped and what to do if being held captive for any period of time.

What I have come to learn is that kidnapping more

Sykes Group Training

"You are not paid for what you do, you are paid for what you may have to do, and when that time comes, you will be highly underpaid." - Unknown

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We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would harm us. - George Orwell

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Failure is not an option!

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M3 Report

The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO) extracts and condenses the material that follows from Mexican and Central and South American on-line media sources on a daily basis. You are free to disseminate this information, but we request that you credit NAFBPO as being the provider....learn more

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Sykes Group LLC
Sykes Group LLC
Law Enforcement/Security Training & Consulting
P.O. BOX 50309
S.I., NY 10305 – USA

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