Fear, Anger & Animals Wearing People Costumes

Fear is an understandable human emotion when faced with danger. Of course there are different forms of danger out there.  Unfortunately our bodies tend to be wired for the imminent danger of being gobbled up by a Sabertooth Tiger and biologically we are predisposed to the “Fight, Flight or Freeze” response.  This flooding of chemicals and hormones into our system is great when we need to run away from a predator or fight off a fellow caveman for scarce resources.  It isn’t great when this biological response causes us to literally become dumber.  There is lots of research out there regarding the effects of stress hormones and adrenaline on cognitive functions.  What does this mean for law enforcement? Continue reading “Fear, Anger & Animals Wearing People Costumes”

Responding to Police Use of Force Misinformation

A few months ago, I read the article: What Ever Happened to the Police Baton? The author contends it is unreasonable for police officer’s to use lethal force against suspects armed with knives. Instead he feels when faced with a knife wielding suspect, law enforcement should instead attempt to subdue the suspect using nothing more than a baton. This is something I have a serious problem with and wrote a detailed reply to the post and copied it here: Continue reading “Responding to Police Use of Force Misinformation”

The civil problem: What to do when it isn’t criminal

New graduates from the police academy are very well equipped to handle a masked criminal climbing out a bedroom window with a pillowcase full of loot over his shoulder or a felony stop of a stolen vehicle. Graduates can usually recite the elements of a crime and are up to date on all the latest case law and patrol tactics. What the academy does NOT prepare a new officer for is also one of the most frequently dealt with incidents…the infamous civil problem.

Continue reading “The civil problem: What to do when it isn’t criminal”

The commute game: A powerful tool for passing FTO

FTO can be an extremely stressful time in a young officer’s career. Most law enforcement academies could easily be twice as long as they are and still only begin to scratch the surface of what an officer should know. After the Academy the FNG is supposed to be able to seamlessly recite off the elements of a crime, know the best tactical way to handle a situation, have excellent radio traffic, know where you are at all times and be able to provide a detailed description of a suspect or vehicle. Continue reading “The commute game: A powerful tool for passing FTO”

Reserve Officers: The best kept secret in law enforcement

Are you looking for a career in law enforcement, but aren’t sure whether it’s a good fit for you? Maybe you have always wanted to be a cop, but were one of those people who were smart enough to get a good paying job and now can’t afford the pay cut? Or maybe you are looking to find a way to get hired at your dream department and want to get an inside edge? Luckily for you, there is a little known solution for all of these. The Police Reserve Officer.  Continue reading “Reserve Officers: The best kept secret in law enforcement”

Three Tactics to Avoid Excessive Force Complaints

Allegations of excessive force and “police brutality” are at an all time high in America right now. This leads many officers to fall into a trap that makes it MORE likely they will receive an excessive force complaint. As a Defensive Tactics and Use of Force instructor for my department, I see a lot of use of force reports. I feel there are three factors that will greatly affect the outcome of an officer’s use of force complaints. Continue reading “Three Tactics to Avoid Excessive Force Complaints”

Ground Fighting Training and Law Enforcement

I previously wrote two posts about the importance of defensive tactics training for law enforcement and providing my opinion regarding the best martial art for police to offset their defensive tactics training. There are many factors to consider when seeking training outside of department approved defensive tactics. Some of these factors include reducing training scars from sport related or traditional martial arts that may not be well suited to law enforcement duties. Regardless of what style you choose (and something is better than nothing), the one thing you absolutely cannot neglect is ground fighting. I personally feel any personal martial arts training or law enforcement defensive tactics training that fails to include ground work is negligent. It is just THAT important for police. Continue reading “Ground Fighting Training and Law Enforcement”

Law Enforcement and the Criminal Justice Degree

One of the most commonly asked questions is, “What should I go to school for? Do I need a degree in criminal justice?” On the surface the answer is, “No.” But…it can also be yes. Let me explain what education really means when pursuing that career in corrections or law enforcement!  Many criminal justice programs make it sound like not only do you need a degree in CJ to be hired, but that getting said degree somehow mystically bestows upon you the knowledge and experience to instantly fight crime and leap buildings in a single bound. Continue reading “Law Enforcement and the Criminal Justice Degree”

Q&A: What is the best Martial Art for Law Enforcement?

I received a message from a reader stating, What form of martial art would you recommend for Police? I go to the academy in about 6 months. Being a total DT Dork who has practiced martial arts off and on my entire life, this is a topic I LOVE to talk about! Over the years I have picked up FOUR very important facts as they relate to martial arts and Law Enforcement. Continue reading “Q&A: What is the best Martial Art for Law Enforcement?”

Defensive Tactics: The MOST important skill for police.

This is an absolutely must watch video! As a Defensive Tactics Instructor, I may be biased, but in my opinion, Defensive Tactics is probably the single most important skill to be trained for law enforcement. Sure it can be argued that firearms is also incredibly important (And it is!) and is obviously much more likely to end badly if you screw it up. We often train for that one moment that MAY happen to the exclusion of the thing that we know WILL happen. By all means be proficient with all your firearms, but absolutely do NOT neglect your physical skills.

This is a topic that I have been putting off writing about for awhile. It is something I feel so strongly about, that I wanted to create the “perfect” article about it. I have decided it is important enough that instead of writing one perfect article, Continue reading “Defensive Tactics: The MOST important skill for police.”