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Is Dynamic Entry Worth the Risk?

Is Dynamic Entry Worth the Risk?

We have the signed no-knock. Do we serve it by initiating a dynamic entry? Or do we explore other options to take the suspect into custody and secure the evidence?

August 24, 2011

Perception: The Difference Between Heroes and Villains

Perception: The Difference Between Heroes and Villains

The Pima County (Ariz.) Sheriff's Department's May 5 SWAT raid resulted in the death of a Marine at home in front of his family. This tragedy has exploded into one of the most criticized, controversial SWAT incidents in memory.

June 17, 2011

A Plan Is a Plan, Until...

The Osama bin Laden raid ranks among the most significant raids in modern military history. History is replete with similar military raids — some have been successful, others less so — that reinforce the reality that the vast majority of such operations are rarely ever known outside a circle of the select few on a need-to-know basis.

May 27, 2011

Friendly Fire: Operational Considerations

Operational friendly fire erupts suddenly without warning, and once bullets start flying, it's too late. In the old days, before we were trained with "finger OFF the trigger" unless you're shooting, virtually all LEOs had their finger ON the trigger when they had their guns out.

May 20, 2011

Friendly Fire: A Devastating LODD

He responded "as is" in his gym shorts. Yet there was absolutely no question in anyone's mind that he was "SWAT." That's because he had the presence of mind to don his tactical vest and helmet, which made him instantly recognizable as SWAT.

April 26, 2011

No-Knock Searches: Reasonable or Deadly?

No-Knock Searches: Reasonable or Deadly?

Incidents like the Todd Blair shooting put pressure on judges to deny requests for no-knock warrants. Don't ask for a no-knock warrant unless it really is necessary.

March 7, 2011

Why High-Risk Encounters Require SWAT

The murders of Florida officers with the Miami-Dade Police Department and St. Petersburg Police Department rocked their communities, as well as all of law enforcement. In both instances, officers entered buildings to search for suspects without calling for backup from tactical units.

February 25, 2011

The Hidden Dangers of Suspect Searches

POLICE SWAT expert and retired LEO Bob O'Brien tells you seven tales from his experiences to teach about the danger of missing a hidden suspect during a search.

February 2, 2011

Are Tunnel Rats Born or Made?

Tunnel rats during the Vietnam War invented and perfected the most effective tunnel tactics and techniques. In law enforcement, you need the right person with the right mindset, training, equipment, weaponry, and lots of experience to be effective.

January 7, 2011

Confined Spaces and Tunnel Rats

Confined Spaces and Tunnel Rats

It takes a special officer to willingly, capably, and effectively search confined spaces for suspects. During the Vietnam War, "tunnel rats" were employed to search the often elaborate, always extremely hazardous NVA/VC tunnel systems.

December 22, 2010

Searching for Hidden Suspects

Searching for Hidden Suspects

I'd say every SWAT team trains extensively on suspect searches with special emphasis on the terrain they're dealing with. Regardless of terrain type, every SWAT team must be adept at searching buildings and outdoor terrain.

December 13, 2010

How SWAT Handled the Sacramento Standoff

Sacramento County Sheriff's SWAT was called out to what turned into a 56-hour standoff—the longest in Sacramento history—at an 82-unit apartment complex. The suspect shot at SWAT officers, a robot, and the Armored Rescue Vehicle (ARV) on at least eight occasions.

June 14, 2010

Oakland SWAT Ambush: After-Action Report

Oakland SWAT Ambush: After-Action Report

The report details a cascade of mistakes that led to the tragic deaths of Sgt. Mark Dunakin, Officer John Hege, Sgt. Ervin Romans, and Sgt. Daniel Sakai. It faults the Oakland PD for poor communication, weak command and control, and poor planning.

January 7, 2010

Urban Shield: Super SWAT Shape Required

Each scenario designed to test officers' tactical skills and teamwork to the limit was scored and timed, with points deducted for mistakes. Exercise #1,SWAT Fitness Assessment, tested the mettle of even those in "Super SWAT Shape."

November 23, 2009

Urban Shield: Training for the Unthinkable

Training for the "unthinkable" is what Urban Shield is all about because the "unthinkable" can, and does, happen. And like lightning in a thunderstorm, you never know where or when the next strike will occur.

November 19, 2009