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Also by Robert O'Brien

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Ghosts of SWAT Past, Present, and Future

December 15, 2011
As 2011 comes to a close, this would be a good time to reflect on SWAT's past, present and future (apologies to Charles Dickens). While we can't accurately predict the future, we can trace the evolution of tactical units from yesteryear, understand today's challenged, and perhaps glimpse tomorrow's trend.

Mob Rules: Was 2011 the Year of Lawlessness?

December 2, 2011
Two popular social movements in 2011—flash mobs and occupiers—placed a great strain on cities and their LE agencies. It wasn't long before both movements were infiltrated and hijacked by troublemakers bent on violence.

Decorated SWAT Cop's Watch Ends Too Soon

November 28, 2011
In the days following Officer Capoot's death, we learned more about the man. Jim was a dedicated, respected, and outstanding police officer, as well as a warmly generous human being.

Black-Bloc Anarchists: Revolution for the Hell of It

November 22, 2011
Even though anarchists who use black-bloc tactics are relatively few in number, their strategy and tactics of wreaking havoc, chaos and mayhem provides them with the sensational news coverage they crave.

Urban Shield 2011: Enhancing Mutual Aid

November 21, 2011
When a law enforcement agency calls for mutual aid help in northern California, arriving responders are usually on the same page, due to their participation in tactical training at Urban Shield.

Zanesville Animal Farm: Wrecking Noah's Ark

November 9, 2011
When thinking about the Muskingum County tragedy, the natural question that needs to be asked is "could this happen again?" Most zoos have enclosures, fences, contingencies, and trained armed personnel to deal with this possibility. What about private animal farm that operate without oversight, regulations, or precautions?

Urban Shield 2011: Bound by Duty

October 31, 2011
Leadership starts at the top, and spreads throughout the entire Alameda County Sheriff's Office. This is the reason Urban Shield continues to offer the "best of the best" training for first responders.

Two California Manhunts End In Gunfire

October 21, 2011
Two of Northern California's most intense manhunts in decades ended in deadly gunfire, when sheriff's deputies shot and killed murder suspects in Mendocino County and Cupertino only five days apart.

Fighting for Survival In Harsh Economic Times

October 17, 2011
The lingering bad economy continued to cause havoc on American law enforcement. Many law enforcement agencies have been forced to downsize dramatically, including laying off officers in unprecedented numbers. So-called "non-essential" services are being eliminated.

Grueling Searches: The Mendocino Manhunt

October 7, 2011
Every tactical team should realistically assess whether they're capable and ready to handle a challenging and sustained manhunt in difficult terrain. Even the most built-up urban cities have outdoor areas with large, rugged places for dangerous suspects to hide. If your team isn't ready, now is the time to get up to speed.

Sports Riots: The Other IED

September 22, 2011
Sports violence has even been identified by some as a medical disorder called Intermittent Explosive Disorder—"the other IED." It may be fueled by unusually high amounts of testosterone and caused by "idiots acting like fools."

How Will U.K. Police Respond To the London Riots?

September 16, 2011
To quell riots, London Met Police called in 16,000 officers. Police authorized plastic baton rounds, armored vehicles, and considered imposing a curfew. These are common U.S. police riot responses, but are practically unheard of in the U.K.

Armored Rescue Vehicles: 3 Effective Deployments

September 8, 2011
ARVs are one of the many specialized "tools" in the SWAT toolbox. As such, they're usually employed only for high-risk situations and community relations initiatives. The end result is that ARVs are employed very selectively and infrequently.

One Team's Innovative Barricade Tactic

August 26, 2011
Just when we might think all the innovative SWAT tactics have already been tried, a SWAT team comes up with an imaginative, simple and exceptionally effective tactic. It comes under the heading of "why didn't someone else think of this before?"

Violent Flash Mobs: Passing Fad or Here to Stay?

August 19, 2011
Some would say violent flash mobs are unique to big cities. They would be wrong. Ask police from East Side suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. In recent years, Cleveland's once quiet, inner-ring suburbs have seen increased crime.

Video: How LAPD SWAT Prevented a Hollywood Riot

August 10, 2011
The LAPD was able to successfully disperse the 2,000-person mob without it turning into an all-out riot. In its wake, the "block party" left the street littered with debris; the movie premiere was canceled; and the Los Angeles DJ apologized.

Video: Will Video Evidence Satisfy the BART Doubters?

August 5, 2011
The controversy involving the July 3 BART shooting picked up steam, as critics questioned, doubted, and eventually condemned the police "version." For the second time in 2-½ years, BART Police found themselves embroiled in yet another controversial shooting. This was yet another blow to BART Police—a department working very hard to rebuild its image.

Police Shooting Response Tasks San Francisco SWAT with Riot Control

July 28, 2011
The anarchists' next target was a bank where they smashed a window with a hammer. Followed by a SFPD substation where they threw paint and a hammer at police. Emboldened by their own actions, the "anarchists" continued to the Market and Powell intersection in the heart of the Financial District.

When Crowds Turn Into Violent Mobs

July 8, 2011
Flash mobs first gained popularity with their synchronized dancing, mega-pillow fights, and the like. It now appears that the thugs have interjected their own version of flash mobs: large roving bands of predators hunting their next prey.

When Facts Won't Satisfy the LE Critics

June 30, 2011
After weeks of public and media scrutiny, the actions of the Pima County (Ariz.) Sheriff's SWAT unit were officially ruled "justifiable and reasonable." However, the fallout over the raid is far from over, because many people's minds were made up before the facts were known.
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