Tag Archives: Tap Rack Tactical

Leading Fighting Men

This is one man's musings, and over the course of my career they are things that I wanted from my leaders. As such, I have tried hard to be that guy as a current leader. This is meant for discussion, not as a how to guide. One of my greatest strengths as a leader is that I recognize how big of a failure I have been as one. Waxing poetic about leadership traits does not make you a leader. Indeed, the one true test, and really the only one that matters to me, is whether the men think I'm doing a good job as a leader. My team "votes" for team leaders, this doesn't mean that Chiefs couldn't over ride the vote, they can, but that has never happened since we started handing out 3X5 cards and asking dudes to write down the four names they want running an operation on the worst day, in the worst possible circumstances. I take great pride that the men have written my name down, not just once, but on every vote. Unanimously on the last one. And I assure you that this is not a popularity contest, these dudes get it and want

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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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Low Ready / High Ready Again

I recently read an article that was espousing the benefits of high ready over low ready. Within the article the author stated that one explanation for high ready is that you’re automatically in a position to muzzle strike or be able to run faster. Both of which he stated were true. On the muzzle strike issue I would say he is right. As a cop my department policies dictate some of what I can and cannot do. Muzzle strikes to the head and neck region would be considered deadly force by my policy. It falls in the same category as a wood shampoo, I can do it but deadly force criteria must be met. Conversely, throwing elbows to the dome are not, and I would argue that I can throw a nastier elbow with my rifle at low ready versus high ready. I don’t have one of those sweet ass pressure plates that Drago was punching in Rocky IV to test it, but I can subjectively tell you that there is a huge difference in heavy bag response trying it from both positions. On to the point at hand of this; does high ready really let me run faster? I

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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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