Category Archives: Law Enforcement

Articles that focus on Law Enforcement.

Evolutions In Outfitting The Modern Police Officer

I have worked within law enforcement (LE) since the last century. I  have worked with leadership that recognized the importance of officer safety and enacted proactive polices which maximized police effectiveness through modern equipment and training.  Currently, police officers do everything from teaching classes in elementary schools to direct combat with terrorist forces.  As a school resource officer, I taught several D.A.R.E. (Drug Awareness Resistance Education) classes a day at the local elementary schools and still responded to all types of incidents.  Our officers have ever changing job duties as well as high expectations from the public.  In order to more safely and effectively conduct their duties, upgrading equipment and uniforms to a more versatile and functional condition will help with officer and public safety. Police departments are funded by the cities the serve.  Outfitting and updating police a department is expensive.  There are federal programs that allow the use of used military equipment for police work.  Equipment offered with these federal programs included at one time: weapons, armored vehicles, non-armored vehicles, night vision, generators, vehicle parts, combat uniforms- nearly everything. Some items require fees to be paid, some items are free.  All of these items are on loan from

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Knock & Announce

I was recently in a class where a discussion about “No knock” and “Knock & Announce” (K&A) warrant service was discussed. The context of the discussion was in relation to police use of night vision for warrant service. I have previously written an article with some thoughts and guidelines for NVG use by police, the discussion above transitioned to law in general. I have previously heard from other cops about what a “reasonable amount of time” is during the K&A procedure. The reality is that there is no defined time, officers must make that determination for themselves. The US Supreme court ruled as much in the case US V Banks. In that case officers testified that they waited 15-20 seconds for Banks to open the door. Banks was wanted for distribution of cocaine and the warrant was served at 1400 hours. Banks moved to suppress evidence citing that 15-20 seconds was insufficient since he was in the shower and did not hear officers knocking. Even if he had, the time was insufficient for him to exit the shower and robe himself to open the door. The court noted that the case turned on “the significance of exigency revealed by circumstances

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SWAT Team Leader Course & Vetting Entities…

I am teaching another Team Leader course in a few weeks. During the course of a year and with different topics being taught, I invariably get asked whether my course is “certified” by a specific entity. One of the reasons I started a training company was because I felt like a lot of courses that I attended were liability driven, or lacked depth or left me wanting more from an instructor who could not relate what he was teaching to a specific example or callout. Whether or not a course is “certified”, does not mean it is good or bad. But the question is odd, since Tap-Rack Tactical, LLC is the only entity responsible for its course content. How can another entity certify it? Even POST certification doesn’t mean much since the person reviewing the course material may or may not know anything about the topic. Did they certify spelling and grammar on the PowerPoint, or the actual material? In the case of my team leader course, did a team leader with equal or greater experience than me review it? And even if they did, they haven’t sat through the class. The PowerPoint is designed to keep me on track

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Milwaukee PD & S&W M&P Issue & Response

A P&S staff member received this memo which was directed to All District, Division and Bureaus of the Milwaukee Police Department from Assistant Chief Carianne Yerkes. "During the armorer cleaning of department duty pistols this in-service session, the Range Staff has identified an issue with the frames of some of the Smith & Wesson pistols. A small, approximately 1/8", crack in the polymer over molding on the right side of the pistol, to the rear of serial number plate, was noticed. The crack was only visible during a complete armorer breakdown. The crack is in a thin part of the polymer behind the serial plate. The internal stainless steel chassis runs through this area of the pistol and bears the stresses from the firing of a cartridge. The chassis is on both sides of the pistol and runs from the front locking block to the rear sear block of the pistol. Smith & Wesson was contacted regarding the issue and company engineers determined it will not affect the reliability and functioning of the pistol; the crack is in an aesthetic area on the frame. additionally, fully assembling the pistol supports the area. The range staff stress tested a pistol with

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Mission Planning For SWAT Teams

It is no surprise that a lot of SWAT teams use the Military five point operations order for mission planning. There are many similarities and SMEAC (Situation, Mission, Execution, Admin & Logistics, Command & Signal) is a great tool for planning to ensure nothing is overlooked or missed. However, I see that base model being used even when there is more than enough time to detail plan. In the following paragraphs I will detail each of those portions, and suggest some break out section that can be added to the format. Those things are usually contingencies, but we have to remember that the Ops plan serves the primary purpose of briefing a bunch of people what their individual and element functions are within the overall plan. In addition, it is a discoverable item and should stand on its own to show professionalism within the group. That document should make a jury say to themselves, “These dudes have their shit together.” SITUATION General overview of the call, but it should do so succinctly. Who – bad guys known to be present and associates information. Kids and No-PC adults should also be listed. Cops that will assist, SWAT, detectives that will come

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Weapon System Visual Signature Reduction aka “spray painting your rifle”

“(Camouflage) is the use of materials and techniques to hide, blend, disguise, decoy, or disrupt the appearance of military targets and/or their backgrounds” - Army ATTP 3-34.39, Camouflage, Concealment, and Decoys “Target indicators: anything a Soldier does or fails to do that could result in detection.” - Army FM 3-22.10, Sniper Training and Operations I’ll preface this article by stating that this is written with a duty/work gun in mind, for the servicemember or LEO that relies on the weapon they carry to bring them back home not only alive, but victorious over their enemy. As such, aesthetics are not only a non factor but something that must be purged from our collective brains. Function is the key here - there are plenty of places to get your rifle cerakoted with flaming skulls and other bullshit if that fits your fancy. Equally important is understanding that a sweet paint job does not mean your weapon is invisible - it is merely a base for a true system of camouflage that involves other techniques that are the topic for another day. Not fooling anybody Target indicators/improper camouflage: the down and dirty. Of the five types of target indicators, our focus here

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METT-TC – what does it actually entail?

By Tore Haugli This article describes how METT-TC is used in a military context when conducting mission planning. I will also provide some context as to how the entire order process works. I will limit the discussion to the platoon and the Troop Leading Procedures (TLP) used at the platoon level. METT-TC is also applied at the company level, during the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP). Before METT-TC is applied, some other steps have been taken. The first is that the Company Commander has issued his Operations Order (OPORD) to his platoon commanders. The OPORD is a standardized format that covers 5 points, each with it's own sub-points (not going to cover those here) : 1. Situation 2. Mission 3. Execution 4. Sustainment 5. Command and Control Upon receipt of the OPORD, the PL will issue a Warning Order (WARNO) to his squad leaders, so that they can start preparations while he conducts his mission analysis and prepares his OPORD. The WARNO covers the following points: 1. Situation 2. Mission 3. Time and place for orders meeting 4. Earliest time for departure 5. Special considerations 6. Reconnaissance *A WARNO can also be issued at the company level As the squad

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NINE PRINCIPALS OF WAR AND HOW THEY RELATE TO LE SWAT OPERATIONS

Credit is typically given to Clausewitz for the modern principals of war. I will attempt to break these down as they relate to LE SWAT missions. I did not invent them obviously, but I was exposed as a Sergeant in the Army and during my SWAT career by such prevalent experts as Sid Heal, and many others less known. Some of this will be regurgitating their thoughts since there is no need to re-write cogent and concise thinking. I honestly don't remember where the line blurs between others thoughts and where my own take over, but please suffice to say that I am a product of good training, leadership and good mentors. All credit here to good men that cared enough to pass on information. I apologize for length in advance. The military acronym used to help you pass a promotion exam is MOOSEMUSS. I often see one of two things when I say it, most often is a blank stare. LE leaders don't have a damn clue about the 9 principals. And in other cases, they spit forth with a "Sir sandwich" naming each letter, but there is very little understanding or thinking about application. Hopefully this will spark

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LE use of NVG for Warrant Service – One Cop’s opinion.

I have been a SWAT dude for over 20 years, during that time I have seen huge advances in tactics, techniques and procedures as well as gear and supporting equipment. Indeed, I tell new guys that I wish I was starting my SWAT career today versus being at the end of it. We have come a long way since Balaclavas, Command Jac vests with K30 plates and MP5’s. A big reason for this growth and increase in skill is directly related to the GWOT. America’s heroes in foreign lands have discovered that technology, when used correctly, is a force safety multiplier unlike anything else. This is particularly true of night vision capabilities and supporting gear. It is far past the time that domestic LE catch up. As I said earlier, I’ve been kicking in doors since 1995. Since NVG technology was nowhere near where it is today, and the cost was also extremely prohibitive, SWAT teams in America were simply conducting warrant service with flashlights when conditions were such that you had to see in the dark. Many different white light techniques and team tactics with white light have been developed and used over the years. During all that time,

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A Quick Guide To Fighting

As a cop there really are very few trained and disciplined crooks that can actually fight. All of them understand the street, talk shit while you move inside and then throw a haymaker followed up with monkey rage wild swings or kicks to the head if the haymaker connects. This has been my experience anyway, not just from personal fights but responding to people who have been beat up at the bus stop. So first order of business is don't let a dude get inside the range of his weapons. Maintain more range than normal cultural conversation distances. Two things are gonna happen, he's gonna throw that ugly ass overhand right or try to tackle you. So learn to see telegraphs and slip punches. Learn to stuff or sidestep the tackle. Both of these are best learned through a boxing program that includes sparring. I can fight orthodox or south paw, and I think feeling good from either is a force multiplier just like shooting support side. But get real good dominant side first, then incorporate the support side. Low line kicks are also something you want in the arsenal. Stop kicks and meat tenderizers to the knee and thigh

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