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Failure is not an option

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

Train with us now for the day shall come!


Are We Teaching Cops To Run?

More than a decade ago I started studying officer-involved gunfights. Having accepted the huge responsibility of training officers to use their weapons in deadly encounters, I believed it was critical to learn from others.

Firearms training is a serious business. Unfortunately that's not a sentiment always shared by all police firearms instructors. All too often they make the training about them and their favored tactics and not the needs of their students in actual gunfights.

Leaving all the political correctness and legal soft shoe aside, gunfighting is just that: fighting with a gun. But some police firearms trainers don't acknowledge the "fight" as part of the equation.

Once the guns come out and the bullets start to fly, gunfighting is no longer more

Why Al Qaeda is Unlikely to Execute Another 9/11

It is Sept. 1, and that means we are once again approaching the anniversary of al Qaeda’s Sept. 11, 2001, attacks against the United States. In the 10 years that have passed since the attacks, a lot has happened and much has changed in the world, but many people can still vividly recall the sense of fear, uncertainty and helplessness they felt on that September morning. Millions of people watched United Airlines flight 175 smash into the south tower of the World Trade Center on live television. A short while later they heard that another plane had struck the Pentagon. Then they watched in horror as the World Trade Center’s twin towers buckled and collapsed to the ground.

It was, by any measure, a stunning, cataclysmic scene, a kind of terrorist theater that transformed millions of television viewers into vicarious victims. Excerpts of the just-released memoir of then-Vice President Dick Cheney demonstrate that it was not just ordinary people who were affected by the attacks; America’s leaders where shocked and shaken, too. And judging from the statements of foreign citizens and leaders in the wake of 9/11, those who proclaimed, “We are all Americans,” it was also apparent that the toll on vicarious victims did not stop at the U.S. border.

One result of this vicarious victimization and the fear and helplessness it produced was that many people became fixated on the next attack and began anxiously “waiting more

9/11: WMD Preparedness Now

On the night of June 27, 1994, a refrigerator truck cruised silently through the narrow streets of the historic castle town of Matsumoto, Japan. No one took notice of it. No one had any idea of the sinister plans of its occupants nor the presence of the deadly cargo that it contained.

Shortly before 11:30 p.m., the driver parked the truck at the edge of a pond in one of Matsumoto's more affluent neighborhoods. Then he and other members of a powerful cult called Aum Shinrikyo ("Religion of Truth") unleashed death in the form of sarin nerve gas into the warm night air.

Their target was a group of judges presiding over a lawsuit against the cult. But in the next 12 hours their attack would kill seven people and injure 500.

Faced with an unprecedented crime, the Japanese police focused their investigation on a single Matsumoto resident who had stockpiled pesticides for his garden and whose wife was one of the victims. Nine months later that gentleman would be cleared of any wrongdoing, in the worst possible way. On March 20, 1995, Aum members perpetrated another sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subway system, killing 13 and injuring more than 6,000.

Most sources will tell you more

The Evolution of Terrorism Since 9/11

Approximately 10 years after the 9/11 attacks, the United States faces a more diverse, yet no less formidable, terrorist threat than that of 2001. In this increasingly complex and dynamic threat environment, not only does Pakistan-based al Qaeda possess the ability to project itself across the globe to stage attacks against the West but so do groups based in Yemen, Somalia, and Iraq. In many ways, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) poses as serious a threat to the nation as core al Qaeda, with two attempted attacks against the U.S. homeland in the past 2 years.

In this ever-changing threat environment, America constantly must evolve to keep pace with this adaptive enemy. The United States has had significant successes in combating the terrorism threat, most visibly with the May 2, 2011, death of al Qaeda leader Usama Bin Ladin. Further, the lives saved by U.S. counterterrorism efforts—the arrest of a homegrown violent extremist (HVE) who attempted to attack a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Portland or the disruption of three al Qaeda-trained operatives in the United States before they could attack the New York City transit system—stand as equally meaningful victories.

Discussing the current threat environment requires an understanding of more

Sovereign Citizens A Growing Domestic Threat to Law Enforcement

They could be dismissed as a nuisance, a loose network of individuals living in the United States who call themselves “sovereign citizens” and believe that federal, state, and local governments operate illegally. Some of their actions, although quirky, are not crimes. The offenses they do commit seem minor: They do not pay their taxes and regularly create false license plates, driver’s licenses, and even currency.

However, a closer look at sovereign citizens’ more severe crimes, from financial scams to impersonating or threatening law enforcement officials, gives reason for concern. If someone challenges (e.g., a standard traffic stop for false license plates) their ideology, the behavior of these sovereign-citizen extremists quickly can escalate to violence. Since 2000, lone-offender sovereign-citizen extremists have killed six law enforcement officers. In 2010, two Arkansas police officers stopped sovereign-citizen extremists Jerry Kane and his 16-year-old son Joseph during a routine traffic stop on Interstate 40. Joseph Kane jumped out of the vehicle and opened fire with an AK-47 assault rifle, killing both officers.

The sovereign-citizen threat likely will grow as the nationwide movement is fueled by the Internet, the economic downturn, and seminars held across the country that spread their ideology and show people how they can tap into funds and eliminate debt more

When Less Is More

There’s not a single U.S. law enforcement agency that doesn’t provide its officers with at least one less-lethal force option. Most agencies issue or allow a variety of less-lethal tools. However, equipment is only half of the equation. Training is the other essential part. This article will address equipment and training issues related to the use of common less-lethal law enforcement tools. I’ll also explore the importance of conducting safe and meaningful training.

Less-Lethal Training Contemporary law enforcement agencies realize the need to maintain a training program that includes the entire use-of-force spectrum, from command presence to deadly force. Most, if not all states, require certain basic and ongoing training for law enforcement. This training is prescribed through mandates made by state commissions, such as Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST).

Initial training for most officers with duty-specific equipment occurs more

Speed, power, and repetition: Successful physical skills training

Last month, I wrote an article on the importance of mental preparation and visualization techniques to prepare for sudden life and death attacks. While I believe mental training is of utmost importance, officers must also have the proper physical skills to follow through. Here I’ll discuss tried and true tactics for honing those skills.

At first glance, it seems every agency has its own set of physical techniques for every type of situation. The funny thing, however, is that the more time I spend in this business, the more I find that everyone teaches the more

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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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