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In Praise of Condition Yellow

In Praise of Condition Yellow

Being in Condition Yellow has allowed me to identify a thief before he acted on his intentions, a would-be assailant before he launched his attack. It has given me pause to re-evaluate the decision to pet a dog, or patronize certain establishments.

August 9, 2013

We Need Smart Cops

We Need Smart Cops

I'd sleep better knowing that those tasked with the power of making life or death decisions were those most capable of doing so.

May 16, 2013

Why You Should Talk to the Bad Guys

Why You Should Talk to the Bad Guys

There is something discomforting in hearing a convicted cop killer say, "He got careless, so I wasted him." But how often can a mere six words leave such an indelible imprint on our mind and help get us through our shifts?

April 19, 2013

Off-Duty Interventions, On-Duty Aggravations, and Officer Safety

Off-Duty Interventions, On-Duty Aggravations, and Officer Safety

I would hope that the next officer who finds himself dealing with three street punks will be armed, and I mean truly "armed" with more than just a gun or a TASER. By that I mean that I hope he or she is armed with a special kind of survival mindset.

October 9, 2012

You Are Not a Psychologist

You Are Not a Psychologist

Hard-earned insight into the vagaries of the human mind can only take the average officer so far. As the psychological impairments of those he or she comes into contact with become more acute, it's less likely that an officer will be successful dealing with them.

March 19, 2012

I Feel the Need...the Need for...an ER

A person has to know their limitations. No less than Dirty Harry has expressed his opinion on the matter, and I like to think most cops adhere to the philosophy.

February 23, 2012

Duty Dangers: Vehicle Pursuits

Duty Dangers: Vehicle Pursuits

Officers who underestimate a suspect's resolve to evade capture or overestimate their own limitations or those of the patrol car only enhance the dangers of vehicle pursuits. It's not just the lead unit in a pursuit that is imperiled. Upon hearing of a pursuit in progress, other officers may attempt to catch up and join the chase.

January 12, 2012

Making Technology Work for You

Making Technology Work for You

While we're a far cry from replacing man with machine, technological innovations have vastly improved the safety, speed, and accuracy with which today's patrol officers do their jobs.

December 30, 2011

Let's Stay Alive in 2012

A 23% rise in firearms-related fatalities factors into that total, with many of these officers having been killed in ambushes. Over the course of the past few days when I first scribbled down an idea prompt for this blog, four more officers have died.

December 22, 2011

We Need Ballistic Helmets on Patrol

We Need Ballistic Helmets on Patrol

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has recently acquired ballistic helmets for its patrol personnel. While there are still a lot of stupid practices within my alma mater, LASD has a deserved reputation for emphasizing officer safety and equipping its personnel accordingly.

August 22, 2011

An Unsung Lifesaver

An Unsung Lifesaver

Upon hearing of the circumstances surrounding his friend's death, Houze decided to do everything he could to ensure that his friend's death would not be in vain.

June 24, 2011

Officer Seat-Belt Safety

Officer Seat-Belt Safety

Cops are cursed by a tragic mix of impatience, skewed priorities, and self-preservation instincts that sometimes fail to rise to those of a drunken frat boy. As a result, traffic collisions have for decades been one of the top two causes of officer fatalities.

June 14, 2011

Chemical Suicides

Chemical Suicides

When called to suicide scenes, emergency personnel don't always know what they're up against. With some 90 percent of chemical suicides posting warnings on the windows of the cars and rooms in which they kill themselves, one would hope that officers and firefighters would think twice before opening doors and breaching windows.

April 18, 2011

Lone-Officer Patrols: Going Solo

Lone-Officer Patrols: Going Solo

Caught between diminishing tax revenues and citizen demand for greater police protection, law enforcement leveraged the challenge onto the backs of its patrol personnel. By splitting two-officer units into separate cars, police agencies were able to effectively double the area of patrol coverage.

March 28, 2011

The Hazards of Patrolling In Snow

The Hazards of Patrolling In Snow

Winter poses unique dangers for the patrol officer. Dealing with these threats is a matter of weather-proofing yourself both mentally and physically.

January 27, 2011