Train with us now for the day shall come!**********
On FearFear is nothing to be scared of
What was that noise?
The muffled banging/thumping/scraping noise jumped out of the 0500 darkness from a cluster of cars parked in my neighbors driveways about 90 feet away from where I stood, still blurred and bleary-eyed and waiting for my morning coffee to kick in (and for my dog to quit sniffing the grass and get down to his morning business).
And here I stood in shorts and a T-shirt, unarmed but for an...read more
Still a Threat
Edged weapons are out there, and officers must be prepared to handle themIt’s been over two decades since Calibre Press, Inc. released their award-winning video “Surviving Edged Weapons.” That training video and the concepts and tactics of edged weapon defense, perhaps more than anything else, revolutionized the officer safety skills required to keep cops safe when dealing with likely knife threats. The “21-foot drill” developed by retired Salt Lake City, Utah Police Lieutenant Dennis Tueller has...read more
Surviving Vehicle Ambushes
Being prepared and knowing what to do before you take fire in your car can save your life.
Oct. 31, 2009: Two Seattle police officers, one recently out of the academy, the other a field training officer, are parked on a quiet street discussing a traffic stop they have just made. Then a car pulls alongside their unit and opens fire, killing the FTO.
Jan. 10, 2010: An officer with the Anchorage Police Department is sitting in his patrol vehicle reportedly obtaining additional information on a call. A vehicle pulls up beside his unit and shots are fired by an unknown assailant wounding the officer.
Sept. 16, 2010: An officer with the Woodlawn (Ohio) Police Department is ambushed by four men armed with semi-automatic rifles. The officer, an Iraq War veteran, spots the ambush and accelerates through it. His vehicle is hit several times but he is not injured.
Vehicle ambushes of law enforcement officers are nothing new. We experienced a rash of such attacks starting in the late 1960s and running through the 1970s.
I was an instructor at the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy in the late 1970s, and I was responsible for developing and teaching a program that gave our officers the tactics and techniques they needed to manage this threat. The problem of police ambushes was so serious during those years that in 1974 the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) published a manual titled "Ambush Attacks: A Risk Reduction Manual for Police."
Much of that IACP manual's advice is...read more
Firearms training: Supplementing live-fire drillsPatrol officers may not be the most “tactical” members of a department, but they should absolutely be the most formidable pistol fighters
On average, at least one law enforcement officer is murdered every week in this nation. Most of these officers are assigned to patrol and are attacked without warning while handling “routine” calls or self-initiated enforcement contacts. No clearer example of this can be found than the first two of the four officers murdered in Oakland, California in March, 2009. These officers were conducting a traffic enforcement stop and had no prior warning of the assault that would end their lives and change their family’s lives forever. As in so many cases, neither officer was able to return the fight to the suspect before being murdered.
Patrol officers are more likely than others — including SWAT officers — to be involved in a sudden and unexpected close-quarters attack. Because of this fact, patrol officers should be...read more
Engaging at Bad-Breath Distance
We've all been made aware of this statement: The vast majority of police shootings take place inside 10 feet. Statistical analysis of police gunfights have confirmed that this is true, and although some appear to be shocked by this, I can’t help but think, How could it be any other way?
Most readers of Law Officer have several years of law enforcement experience, so we know what the real job entails. Although DARE, PAL and community policing are worthwhile functions, the primary goal of the street cop is to seek out predators of the citizens we’re sworn to protect, and place ourselves between the predators and the prey. Dave Grossman has it right when he discusses sheep, wolves and the sheep dog: Cops are the protector—the sheepdog. It’s what we do, and it’s one of the most noble of professions.
At the same time, cops aren’t...read more
The Red Zone
You are off-duty/plain clothes and armed, you pick the scenario: restaurant, shopping mall, church, etc. Johnny Jihad walks in and starts indiscriminately shooting up the place. This isn’t the square range with twenty foot dirt berms on three sides where there are nothing but you and a cardboard target. Our in the world there are more folks running around that should not be shot than those who should. If you are a cop you can’t just hide and call 9-1-1. Failure to act on your part would be a death sentence to innocent citizens or your family. Are you ready for the test?
The basic premise for The Red Zone, a one day class I recently attended in Camden, Tennessee was that during an actual life or death encounter there are far more things that should not be shot than those than should be. Johnny Jihad is evil and can shoot up the landscape. You are the good guy and cannot do so. David Biggers former U.S. Army Officer and dedicated student of the gun led a dozen men and women through several drills designed to force the shooter to fire their defensive pistols in a deliberate and discriminating manner.
Up Close and Personal
The FBI compiles the most thorough statistics of actual gunfights in the United States. According to the 2009 stats, 19 of the...read more
Getting the Gun Into the Fight
A fellow instructor and I were recently discussing techniques surrounding the draw process. The epicenter of the discussion was what position the support hand should be in during the draw process. The other instructor argued for the support hand to be in a higher, more “combative” position, which allows the hand to be used to protect or strike if the situation is close enough to allow empty-hand techniques.
I often encounter students who position their hand high like this, and it is something I discuss with them due to the fact that it slows their draw down because they have to bring the hand down and under the handgun to get it on the grip when forming their grip. This also affects how well they build their final firing grip and ultimately how well they shoot. Their argument is always that the high (often up near the face) hand allows them to defend their head or throw a strike. While I consider this a valid argument, I ask if they are close enough to...read more