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”

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”

Naked guy and the Transderivational, say what??

Have you ever seen a cop performing a pat search of a suspect and heard them asking crazy or stupid questions about whether the person being searched has any rocket propelled grenades, nuclear submarines or kilos of crack cocaine? The term for it is a mouthful…the Transderivational search. The point is to basically dazzle the subject with your babbling bullshit, so they are too busy thinking about what you are saying and are NOT thinking about punching you in your favorite face. This is the story of one such time… Continue reading “Naked guy and the Transderivational, say what??”

Your secret weapon: The Two most effective tools in Policing!

So you have applied to be an officer. Are you feeling overwhelmed yet? There is so much information out there…and worse, misinformation. With all this talk about martial arts, defensive tactics, guns, batons, what to say, what not to say…it can be overwhelming! Fear not, I am about to reveal never before heard secrets of the most powerful tools in policing! Okay maybe not never before heard, but at least underappreciated. Continue reading “Your secret weapon: The Two most effective tools in Policing!”