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If your union or employee rights organization asked you to participate in a sick-out/blue flu to support an employee rights issue, would you do it, even if it put your job in jeopardy?



Also by Robert O'Brien

Displaying 161  -  180  of  192

SWAT Operations: Who’s in Charge—Part 2

December 18, 2007

Micromanaging SWAT is a challenge for many teams, and sometimes the solution is to outlast the micromanagers. I recall the frustration of one SWAT commander over his chief’s micromanaging. The solution arrived when the chief finally retired, and the SWAT commander became the new chief.
 

Who's In Charge?

December 13, 2007

At many agencies SWAT isn't allowed to do anything "aggressive" without direct authorization from the chief, sheriff, or field commander. Additionally, any and all SWAT tactics must be pre-approved before being implemented. To me, this sounds like a big step backward.

The Hammer and the Anvil

December 6, 2007
The recent shooting of a Dallas SWAT lieutenant on cover/containment during a drug raid serves as a reminder of the many dangers of cover/containment. Often overshadowed by its more "glamorous" entry counterpart, cover/containment is essential to successful SWAT operations, especially raids and searches.

Make Yours a Winning Team

November 28, 2007

Have you noticed how certain teams—military, police, or sports—are consistent winners, year after year? What is the secret to their longterm success? Have they discovered a secret fountain of success or some magic formula? Whatever their secrets, there are lessons the rest of us can learn from their success.

Officer Down! Medic Up!

November 14, 2007
Officer Down: dreaded words we never hope to hear, but hear them we do—with alarming regularity in 2007 (on track to be the deadliest year for police since 1978). Recent shootings indicate SWAT is not immune from this escalating violence against police.

Cover and Containment—Watch Your Back

November 14, 2007

Despite its importance, cover and containment can be easily overlooked in raid/search planning. Many law enforcement officers can readily cite their own perimeter "horror stories" where perimeters turned to disaster. Here are a few examples of lessons learned from such situations.

Critique Your Debriefings

October 31, 2007

SWAT places debriefings high on the list of learning essentials. The reason is debriefings are where we learn what went right or wrong, why, and how to correct things next time. Policing (SWAT included) is a constant learning experience, and what better way to learn than from our own experiences?

Hidden Dangers: Confined Space Searches

October 24, 2007

What makes confined space searches so dangerous is that they are essentially “ambushes” waiting to happen. Suspects in confined spaces are in “fight or flight” mode, which makes them as unpredictable and dangerous as any cornered animal. 

Strength in Numbers

October 17, 2007

Last month, there were two separate deadly police shootings in the same week, resulting in multiple police casualties.

My Favorite Products at TREXPO East

October 8, 2007
Police tactical conferences and expos present golden opportunities for you to see and learn firsthand about the newest tactical products available. TREXPO East 2007, the biggest TREXPO to date, treated attendees to a dazzling array of the newest SWAT/Tactical products on the market.

Revolving Door Syndrome

October 1, 2007
Most chiefs serve at the whim of politicians, who also tend to come and go through the same "revolving door." Consistency in these agencies is unknown, as policy and personnel changes happen faster than the department can digest them.

A New Season Begins – Are You Ready to Win?

September 19, 2007

How can SWAT teams get ready to win every "game" they play throughout the entire year? For the answer, I suggest we look at how successful NFL teams stay that way. It's no surprise that many NFL teams openly pattern their offenses and defenses after Super Bowl winners.

Management's Revolving Door and Its Ripple Effects

September 19, 2007

In my 31-year active career, I worked for no fewer than 14 chiefs of police and so many acting chiefs that I lost count. Do the math, and that works out to less than two years per chief. The shortest chief “tenure” was just nine days (he was found to have organized crime ties). My department even resorted to “fill in the blank” when it came to the chief’s name on reports. 

SWAT and Mobile Field Forces—A Perfect Pairing

September 5, 2007

Perhaps because there haven't been any recent major riots, Mobile Field Forces have "lost their training flavor," in favor of flavors with more "taste." This is a big mistake—because police near-riots occur somewhere in the U.S. on a regular basis.

A Tactical Team Divided from Its Patrol Counterparts Cannot Stand

August 29, 2007

Hidden within the larger story of the Mogadishu raid, there is a lesson for all tactical officers. “Blackhawk Down” involved Task Force Ranger, which was made of different branches of the U.S. military and every man in that team joined together regardless of unit or service branch to fight in a desperate life and death battle. If they hadn’t, none of them would have survived.

SWAT: A Square Peg in a Round Hole?

August 24, 2007

The debate over SWAT is also evident within individual agencies, where shifts in administrators often change how, when, and where SWAT is used. Some agencies use full-time SWAT teams for a wide variety of risk-involved assignments, as primary or backup responders. On the opposite end of the spectrum, other agencies are reluctant to use SWAT for anything except the highest risk assignments. Predictably, these SWAT teams are rarely called out and such agencies often target SWAT for budge

The Team is the Thing

August 15, 2007

Unlike today’s established teams, early SWAT teams had to develop their own basic training camps. I was privileged to help form the current Cleveland Police SWAT Unit—after a decade of struggling through four failed units/concepts that were deleted from the organizational structure. New teams have challenges and growing pains that established teams don’t.

Our Tools are Not Just Toys

August 7, 2007

To many outside the tactical world, the need for SWAT teams to have access to new technology and new products is often dismissed as SWAT merely wanting more “toys to play with.” This sentiment is especially prevalent at times when budget-strapped agencies are hard pressed to obtain and maintain the bare essentials for their patrol officers.

To Rappel or Not to Rappel: That is the Question

July 31, 2007
From SWAT's earliest days, Hollywood has shown SWAT teams rappelling from great heights, crashing through windows, doing dive rolls worthy of Olympic gymnasts, coming up with long gun in hand, to save the day—lone and unhurt. At least that's how they did it in the 1970s hit TV show "SWAT."

Police Shootouts: How Soon We Forget

July 25, 2007

Every day, police throughout America respond to dangerous situations that often turn into armed, deadly confrontations. When circumstances and time allow, police hold things down until SWAT arrives and takes over. At least that's the plan, but we all know about plans.

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