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Fall 2011/Winter 2012

GEAR 25 TACTICAL MEDICAL KITS Convenient packs full of supplies to treat injuries are worth their weight in gold when you or a buddy is wounded in the field. MELANIE BASICH



Today’s jackets for law enforcement are more streamlined, comfortable, and effective at keeping the weather at bay. MELANIE BASICH

28 DUTY LIGHTS Every cop needs at least one reliable flashlight for duty, and most own a few for various situations. MELANIE BASICH

Trouble will find you off duty, whether you are ready or not. ED LOVETTE

8 LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS Keep quiet in the field or you could unintentionally jeopardize a case.



10 MAKING TECHNOLOGY WORK FOR YOU Don’t let the bells and whistles of modern policing get in the way of good old-fashioned tactics. DEAN SCOVILLE

14 SHOTS FIRED: ONTARIO, CALIFORNIA 02/03/2002 On Super Bowl Sunday, officers of the Ontario PD found themnselves in a true “sudden death” engagement. DEAN SCOVILLE

18 THE WINNING EDGE: COUNTERING IN-CAR ATTACKS Staying aware of your surroundings and being prepared to respond to assaults will make you safer inside your rolling office. TOM WETZEL


COLUMNS 2 NEVER SETTLE FOR JUST GOOD ENOUGH Everything you do as an officer is a reflection on you, including your written work. WILLIAM L. “BILL” HARVEY

32 RESPONDING TO A CODE Z Are you prepared for the zombie apocalypse? DAVE SMITH

These familiar terms are often confused and misused. DEVALLIS RUTLEDGE

22 15 QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK BEFORE ENROLLING IN AN ONLINE UNIVERSITY Doing your homework before you enroll can make your educational experience more valuable, saving you disappointment and dollars.




V ER Training Training—both physical and mental—must men be a lifelong pursuit for every law enforcement officer. PHOTO: Mark W. Clark


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NEVER SETTLE FOR JUST GOOD ENOUGH Everything you do as an officer is a reflection on you, including your written work. we interviewed them, and if an officer claimed to be an excellent report writer and premier preliminary investigator, his or her example reports would be used to verify this. Some weren’t so stellar. Now, the applicants didn’t know which reports would be selected for review. Oftentimes lackluster products caused chagrin among the aspiring detectives. You never know who might read a mediocre report, and you never know what a well-written report will net you. If you pay attention to the details it will pay off in more ways than one. You take pride in your job, uniform, and appearance. Why stop there? When you start in this profession—yes, I said profession—you’re young, motivated, and full of desire to be a top-notch warrior. As the shifts drag on, you might lose some of that drive and be tempted to slack off, especially when it comes to something as mundane as report writing. Don’t do it; it’s a contagious disease. The malady of mediocrity will creep in and before you know it you’ll be a slacker in other aspects of your job such as officer safety and training as well. Don’t let your reputation slide. No matter what path you choose to take in law enforcement, apply this lesson to everything you undertake: Do it correctly the fi rst time and continue to give it all you’ve got. You don’t know when the smallest things will pay off . I’d bet a few aspiring detectives who didn’t make it wish they’d had this tip. Be the good example they never were; you now have an inside track to become and stay a fi ne police officer. PR PHOTO: ©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

HOW MANY TIMES have you heard someone say, “That’s good enough for government work?” Does that mean shoddy or marginal work is acceptable? I’d say no. But you’ll have to ask yourself if that’s what you want to be known for producing. One thing I tell all young officers is that your work products—reports, evidence tickets, traffic citations, and the like—are your trademark. Every such item you produce could be seen by any number of people over the course of time. And what they see will determine what they think of you. Detectives will build their case on your preliminary report. Prosecutors will decide whether to move forward with the case based on your report. Insurance companies, probation officers, and others will use your work product to help them with their roles. Sooner or later a case will come up to the detectives and prosecutors, and they’ll look to the initial officer to bring charges. How do you want to be viewed by your criminal justice colleagues? You should desire to be known as the articulate officer with a keen attention to procedure and detail. You don’t want the reputation of the sloppy dullard who just tries to get by with minimum effort. And you don’t want to be known as the reason a case was lost. Make your mark as a conscientious officer. Years ago, when I was a detective sergeant, I was tasked with assisting in interviews for those applying to become detectives. I would go to records management archives and make copies of reports the applicants had written for burglaries, assaults, traffic citations, and traffic accidents. I would make a copy of a daily activity report (DAR) for good measure. Of course, today these could be generated at a workstation with spell check and grammar check. But at the time I was needed to help, and along the way I got good insight into the interview process. The panel would review the applicants’ reports before



William "Bill" Harvey is the chief of the Ephrata (Pa.) Police Department and has more than 25 years of experience working with recruits, rookies, and FTOs. He writes the Recruit Channel blog on and is a member of the POLICE Magazine Advisory Board.

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STAFF PUBLISHER/NATIONAL SALES MANAGER Leslie Pfeiffer (480) 367-1101 · EDITOR David Griffith (704) 527-5182 · MANAGING EDITOR Melanie Basich (310) 533-2498 · ASSOCIATE EDITOR Dean Scoville (951) 264-0338 · WEB EDITOR Paul Clinton (310) 533-2565 · CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Devallis Rutledge Scott Smith ART DIRECTOR LaMar Norman

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Ottawa University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association 312-263-0456 Police Recruit

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Off-Duty Incidents Trouble will find you off ff duty, whether you are ready or not. ED LOVETTE

On Feb. 27, 2007, off-duty Ogden, Utah, police officer Ken Hammond was having a late Valentine’s Day dinner with his wife in Salt Lake City’s Trolley Square Mall. While Hammond and his wife ate, an 18-year-old man entered the mall armed with a handgun and a shotgun and began killing people. Hammond took action and engaged the shooter while his wife, a police dispatcher, called 911. Both Officer Hammond and his wife distinguished themselves and the police profession that evening. But the point I really don’t want lost here is that violence came to them, they did not seek it out. Trouble finding an officer is typical of off-duty incidents. That’s the first thing we must understand in order to prepare ourselves for the unexpected off-duty encounter: They can happen at any time anywhere. I will talk about handgun choices for the off-duty officer at the end of this article but as we look at all of the other issues involved it should be abundantly clear that the days of stuffing a “J” frame revolver in your pocket and heading to the mall with your family are long over. You have to think about what can happen and be ready to react to it.

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ON YOUR OWN Your first consideration is to make sure you clearly understand your department’s rules and regulations regarding off-duty carry and off-duty response. You should also have received training on how to conduct yourself during off-duty incidents. Understand the differences between your non-duty status and your off-duty status. Here’s what I mean. You are not likely to have access to instant communications, body armor, collapsible batons, TASERs, handcuffs, or a long gun.

And remember, in an off-duty capacity you are not readily identifiable to other people and responding officers as a police officer. Also always remember that you have the option of electing not to engage and being the best witness you can be. CLEAR BOUNDARIES A lot of officers assisted me with the information discussed here. I also found two other sources of information that were especially valuable in helping me understand clearly what you need to

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know about off-duty carry of a handgun and off-duty response: a PowerPoint titled “Off-duty Survival” prepared by Dep. John Williams of the Los Angeles County Sheriff ’s Department and “Blood Lessons,” an article written by Scott Buhrmaster based on e-mails from a Barstow, Calif., police sergeant who was involved in a harrowing 1997 off-duty shootout in a local McDonald’s restaurant. The sergeant states in his e-mail to Buhrmaster, “On-duty mindset and offduty mindset need to be strongly separated and the boundaries clear.” In the PowerPoint Williams tells LASD deputies, “What many do not realize is the subtle institutionalization of deputies that occurs over time. When an incident occurs in their presence, failure to respond creates a role conflict. This institutionalization is an occupational hazard…and sometimes leads to deputies becoming involved in an off-duty incident that may have been better handled by them being a good witness.” Officers need to understand this, and it will be especially useful if they can make these judgments about when to engage or when to be a good witness during appropriate training. Williams is especially clear on this point and says, “Most survival-conscious deputies have trained themselves not to intervene off duty unless their life or the life of another innocent party is imminently in danger. In other words you intercede only when deadly force is justified, not ‘just’ to make an arrest.” NON-COMBATANTS With these points in mind let’s consider some of the tactical issues involved with responding to a lethal use-of-force incident off duty. The first thing you need to consider is what you are going to have to do if you have your family with you. The California sergeant said in his e-mail, “When you are off duty your first responsibility is to your family…The smartest, most responsible thing I could have done would have been to take care of my family first. I should have personally seen to their safety.” Consider that “family” can be represented several different ways such as: ★ Just you and your spouse ★ Just you and your children ★ You, your spouse, and your children

An ankle holster can be excellent for concealment. However, it can be difficult to access a gun from one.

Each of these combinations poses a different problem for you, which needs to be discussed with your family members before, not during, the event. In a really worst-case scenario you may be injured. Larry Nichols, the senior rangemaster and armorer for the Burbank (Calif.) Police Department and a POLICETREXPO advisory board member tells his officers to advise their spouses, “Do not try to help me if I am shot. Stay away; you will only draw fire and get in my line of return fire.” TACTICAL RESPONSE Off duty you can control when to announce you are a police officer and use the element of surprise to maximum advantage. Get your family safely out of the way and get the best possible position for yourself. Since you are probably not wearing your protective vest this includes taking advantage of the best cover available to you. Draw your handgun discreetly. A fast

Savvy cops don't limit their off-duty gear to just a pistol. You need spare ammo, illumination, and a secondary weapon.

draw may be too flashy, alerting not only good guys in the area but also other possible bad guys that you have a gun. Stealth is more important than speed. A discreet draw prevents anyone from having advanced notice that you are armed. When the right time arrives, identify yourself as a police officer. This is important not just for responding officers, but you need to consider that there may be other off-duty or plainclothes officers in the area or an armed security guard. You also need to consider the possibility that there may be a lawfully armed citizen nearby. Having your badge on a neck chain makes a lot of sense to me as it doesn’t tie up one hand you may have a better use for, like calling 911 on your cell phone. You can hold it up over your head if you have to, show it to someone behind you, etc., and turn it loose when you need to without having to return it to a belt or stick it in a pocket. Another option that you may want to consider is the DSM Safety Banner. Designed by Reno, Nev., police sergeant Mike Lessman, the DSM (Don’t Shoot Me) is a vividly lettered sash that says “POLICE” on the front and back. The sash deploys from a small pouch on the wearer’s belt. The DSM sells for $30 and is available at Lessman says he only takes order for the POLICE model from law enforcement agencies to ensure that the product is only available to officers. In addition to the POLICE, the company also sells DSM banners for CCW holders and security officers. GUNS AND AMMO Now let’s discuss your choice of firearm. Handguns selected for different law enforcement requirements such as on-duty (uniformed), on-duty (plainclothes), backup, deep cover or hideout and off-duty, come in a variety of models and calibers. The power floor for a handgun used to defend yourself or others is generally considered to be a .38 special revolver or a 9mm pistol. These calibers, with appropriate ammunition, provide an adequate level of fight-stopping power. When you go below this level to calibers such as .380 ACP and .32 ACP you need to have a really good reason because what you might gain in concealability you lose in stopping power as well as magazine capacity. Police Recruit

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OFF-DUTY INCIDENTS Trouble finds you when you are off duty so you need to be prepared for the worst case scenario and I will suggest to you that this is the bottom line criteria for your offduty handgun selection. You need to keep in mind that while your duty status has changed gunfight dynamics have not. There is no way to predict what you might be up against and your handgun choice will be especially important because it is the only firearm you are likely to have available. You want to have the largest caliber you are authorized to carry and as much ammo as possible. I happened to be at John Benner’s Tac-

tical Defense Institute helping him with a new class he has just introduced titled “Active Shooter/Killer for Civilians,” when the editors of POLICE Magazine contacted me and asked me to write this article. I was able to take advantage of the wealth of knowledge represented by Benner’s instructors, many of whom are serving or retired police officers. They gave me three pieces of advice to pass on to you. The first thing they told me was to always have a handgun with you. There are still far too many officers who don’t carry off duty. Next, stick with your service handgun. Given the variety of concealment holsters

available today, you should be able to find one that works for you and dress around the gun. Don’t downsize your firearm in order to make a fashion statement. This approach ensures that you have the handgun with which you are the most familiar available when you need it and you don’t reduce your stopping power capability. The next best option is to get the smaller version of your 9mm or .40 caliber service pistol, as with the Glock 17/22 (Standard), Glock 19/23 (Compact), and the Glock 26/27 (Subcompact). There is almost no learning curve here, nothing to forget, since everything works the same. And



f you want to start an argument among cops, there are two subjects that are sure to get heated: What caliber has the best “stopping power?” and What’s the best way to carry a concealed pistol? The truth is that the answers to both of these questions depend on the shooter. And there are a lot of options. I addressed “stopping power” a little in the main article of this feature. Now I want to talk about holsters. The first thing you need to think about when considering your off-duty carry options is that you need to have at least one spare magazine available when you carry off-duty. So remember you have to be able to conceal not just a handgun but also a spare mag. Another thing to consider is that every concealed handgun holster has its pluses and minuses when it comes to concealability, speed of access, retention, and comfort. Your choice of holster will be a balancing act of all of these considerations. Let’s take a look at the different types of holsters commonly used for off-duty carry.

INSIDE THE WAISTBAND (IWB) Strongside: This is probably one of the most popular options and it has the advantage of letting you carry your off-duty handgun in the same place you probably carry one on duty. To accommodate both an IWB holster and an IWB mag pouch you may need to buy your pants a size or two larger Appendix: Females especially like this option because their natural curves can make strongside carry uncomfortable and sometimes awkward to draw from. This is also the favored carry location for the bad guy on the street and the reason is that this position allows for a very fast draw. Crossdraw: This is my favorite but it may not be for everyone. I like the fact that you can access the handgun while seated without making any alerting moves. Also it doesn’t “print” when you do something as simple as look at magazines on a rack which may cause you to bend over or reach above your head. Best of all, this carry choice makes the handgun accessible to either hand. Mag Pouch Carried on the Belt: You have several possibilities for a mag pouch to be worn on the belt. One is to put your magazine on the belt so that it rides between your pants and the inside of the belt but not


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inside the waistband. Consider a mag pouch design that allows the pouch to be worn horizontally on your belt. Several holster makers offer an IWB holster with a mag pouch sewn onto the leading edge (not the side) of the holster.

SHOULDER HOLSTER Shoulder holsters can be a handy concealed option for shortbarreled subcompact handguns. But longer barrels have a tendency to poke out the back of your shirt or jacket when you’re wearing a shoulder holster. The real plus for this carry option is that it gets the gun and the mag pouch off your belt.

BELLY BAND A belly band is a handy inexpensive option and very concealable. The downside is that it is next to the body and the gun and magazine may get covered by perspiration. Another drawback is that you can’t reholster quickly if you need to.

FANNY PACK Fanny packs are not a bad concealed carry option and are recommended by many experts. Some say that a fanny pack advertises to others that you are carrying a handgun. However, if you select a fanny pack that is sturdy enough to support the weight of your handgun and spare mag without sagging and you get it in any color other than black, this will help in alleviating the problem. Fanny packs are one of the most comfortable holster options available for driving. But drawing fast can be an issue. Forget about trying to open the bag using the zipper pulls; simply grab a fistful of material with your weak hand and pull forward and down to access your pistol

TACTICAL VEST As with a fanny pack there are concerns that a vest makes you an easy mark. “Shoot the guy with the vest first” is the standard line that civilian concealed carry instructors use to convince people not to use this option. But there are lots of vest options out there, and I will suggest that once you have access to all the handy pockets for your flashlight, cell phone, etc., you might decide a vest is for you. The vest can be used as a concealment garment or it may actually have a holster pocket made into the vest itself. The big advantage here is that the wind can blow the vest open and you aren’t worried about exposing the handgun.

Read firearms reviews on the Weapons Channel at

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A belt holster is the most popular method for concealed carry, but it can be easily detected by the bad guys.

always have at least one spare magazine with you. In 1997 an off-duty Barstow, Calif., officer intervened to stop a robbery in a local McDonald’s. He killed the robber and ended the threat. That Barstow officer

entered the fast-food restaurant with his family unaware that it was being robbed by a lone individual armed with a handgun. Trouble sought this officer out while he was simply spending time with his family. He was quickly involved in a gunfight with the robber. He has this advice for fellow officers: “If you are going to carry a firearm off duty, you should carry extra ammo. Security camera video of this incident revealed that I fired all 11 rounds from my Glock 26 in about two seconds,” he says. “My extra mag held 17 rounds. Words cannot describe the emotion I felt when I slammed that mag into my weapon and was still able to be in the fight.” I also spoke with Dave Spaulding who had just finished teaching an off-duty instructor class for officers in New Jersey along with Mike Boyle. Spaulding is a retired police lieutenant and a well-known authority on police firearms and tactics. He was recently selected as the law enforcement trainer of the year by the International Law Enforcement Educators and

BEFORE YOU CARRY OFF DUTY Ask yourself the following questions and be truthful with the answers.

1. Why am I carrying a gun off duty? 2. Am I willing to judiciously dress to conceal it? 3. Am I willing to bet my life and the lives of my loved ones on my selection?

Trainers Association (ILEETA). He currently serves as a deputy U.S. Marshal and is a rep for Ruger firearms. Spaulding is in full agreement with the duty pistol option and spare mag. He adds however that off-duty officers should consider carrying, at a minimum, their badge, a cell phone, a flashlight, a knife, and if not handcuffs, some type of restraining device. PR Retired CIA officer Ed Lovette is the author of “The Snubby Revolver,” published by Paladin Press, and co-author of “Defensive Living,” published by Looseleaf Law Publications. He is a member of the POLICETREXPO advisory board. Police Recruit

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“It’s a ‘he said, she said’ case. They don’t have any DNA. I don’t think the woman even had a medical exam.” So started a conversation between a real rapist and a helpful patrol officer, who apparently had just contracted a medical disease occasionally found in police work known as the dreaded “cranial-rectal inversion.” For some reason the cop told the crook that the homeless woman he had actually punched into unconsciousness and raped a few days ago had not undergone a sexual assault exam by a forensic nurse. So the bad guy, when he was questioned later by two sex crimes detectives, knew he was in the clear. At that moment in time, he was not just a “suspect,” as in, he might have done it, but he was a true sexual preda-

KEEP QUIET IN THE FIELD O tor with previous convictions for violence and prison time. When those same detectives questioned the rapist later and said they had evidence to nail him on the assault, he looked at them directly and said, “You won’t find my DNA, unless tennis shoes leave DNA. All I did was walk up and talk to her.” Puzzled as to how the suspect already knew the victim had not been examined, the detectives met with their patrol pal in blue, only to learn he was the one who had told the suspect all he needed to know. Prosecutors want to keep their high conviction rates for sexual assault cases. So without sexual assault exams of the victim and the suspect to provide DNA as proof that the act took place, no charges were fi led against the man who most likely raped the homeless woman. You don’t want this to happen to you. Here are some reminders of other wrong-



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headed ideas that could lead you to say or do something you shouldn’t and royally muck up a case. ★★★ WRONG: Go ahead and explain to suspects some legal stuff that might have evidentiary value later. Be a good sport and tell the homicide suspect that the guy in the back of the ambulance got shot three times in the back and once in the head with a .45. Help the nice rapist out by telling him that we can’t find the victim’s bloody clothes or that she is mentally ill, so the district attorney probably won’t issue on her case anyway. Better yet, don’t bother to impound anything from inside that fi lthy duffel bag carried by the suspect or the victim. Who

make as many unsolicited statements as they want, in the field, en route to the station, or on the way to jail. Let them hang themselves with their words, which is all the more reason to buy a small digital recorder and leave it running in your patrol car during their monologues. ★★★ WRONG: Radio silence, police code words, and investigative jargon are for TV cops. Let suspects, victims, and witnesses hear your radio boom across the street, as it blasts out such interesting tidbits as, “Our victim couldn’t ID the guy,” “the evidence techs say they didn’t find the knife at the scene,” “the second suspect is not, repeat, not in custody,” or “the hospital says she’s not gonna make it.”

for an investigator, so just sit tight.” ★★★ WRONG: Not only does it not matter what a cop says to suspects or victims, it doesn’t matter what victims say. Don’t bother to take high-risk victims seriously. This includes prostitutes, mentally ill people, the chronically homeless, informants, and lifelong substance abusers. Whatever crimes they said happened to them probably didn’t occur because they’re all known liars. Besides, it’s their high-risk lifestyles, where and who they hang with, and what they do to survive, that’s the real reason they got punched, raped, stabbed, or shot in the first place. SOLUTION: Any victim can provide helpful information. For example, whether or not you agree with their lifestyle, prostitutes can be invaluable resources. One phone call from a prostitute you know about a customer who asked for a highly unusual sex act could lead you (and a state or federal serial murder task force) right to the guy. The homeless and other street people have a lot of free time on their hands and they see things you don’t see from inside your rolling office. Maybe they want to tell you about someone or something they saw out of civic duty, to get a few bucks or some food from you to help them get by, or because they want a predator to stay away from them. You should take their calls, tips, and comments, no matter how sketchy they sound. One small piece of new data, coupled with something other cops or investigators already know, could break a multiple-victim case. ★★★ And here’s some bonus advice in the same vein. Don’t give any case-related information to people who might seem like witnesses, bystanders, or strangers who have wandered over. These could be friends or family members of the suspect and have a strong desire to ask you anything that could help their loved one or friend go free. It’s always best to say as little as possible in these situations. Any sensitive information you provide could come back to bite you— and everyone else involved in the case. PR

D OR YOU COULD UNINTENTIONALLY JEOPARDIZE A CASE. wants to go digging around a place where bloody or semen-covered clothes, knives, money, drugs, or other fruits or instrumentalities of the crime may be hidden? In a rare case of double cranial-rectal inversion, a patrol officer who had responded to a rape scene was told by his patrol sergeant (a man who had presumably passed a promotional exam and sat through an interview panel), “Don’t collect that used condom. Just take a photograph of it.” So he took the photo as ordered and left it there, presumably for the victim (or someone) to dispose of that seemingly trivial piece of sexual assault evidence later. SOLUTION: When in doubt about evidence, shut up and impound everything. If it looks like evidence, if it’s on or carried by the victim or suspect, or if it belongs to someone who may be a victim or a suspect and it’s nearby, collect it. ★★★ WRONG: Go ahead and give the suspect some free legal advice: “If I were you, pal, I’d get myself a good lawyer; you’re gonna need it.” SOLUTION: Be like Zeus in the field; observe from on high. Once the scene is stable, watch, listen, and wait. Don’t make any comments about the situation, to anyone other than other cops, and in low tones at that. Reading the Miranda warning to an angry, frightened, or vocal suspect right after he is arrested is what TV cops do. Good cops say nothing and let suspects

SOLUTION: Maintain good radio discipline by using an earpiece. Your radio is your officer safety lifeline, your access to information via your dispatcher, and therefore it needs to be protected. Go back to the good old days and start using your 10 and 11 codes, and the related police jargon that was designed to keep the bad guys, and their friends and family, in the dark as to what you and your partners are doing or will do. ★★★ WRONG: To make future on- and offduty officer safety even more challenging, please tell anyone (suspects, witnesses, victims, civilians) where your on-call detectives are coming from. Say, “It may take awhile for her to get here. I think she’s driving in from [insert the name of the neighborhood where the detective actually lives].” This is so very helpful for our stalker friends. Knowing where the investigator lives makes it easy for the Internet savvy or just-out-of-jail suspect to go to that community and scout around until he finds the detective eating with her family at a popular restaurant or coaching his kids at the only soccer field in town. SOLUTION: If you must explain any delay, say, “He or she is coming from our headquarters.” Your best approach is to be intentionally boring, vague, and noncommittal. When a gangster asks, “Am I gonna be talking to Det. Smith from the Gang Unit? I hate that guy!” your answer should always be, “That’s not something I know or can say right now. We are waiting

Steve Albrecht worked for the San Diego Police Department from 1984 to 1999. His latest book, “Tactical Perfection for Street Cops,” is available from Paladin Press. Police Recruit

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IT’S OFTEN SAID that in writing there are no original ideas, only


Finding the balance between adopting new technologies and new spins on existing themes. Hollywood appears to be hellbent employing well-trained officers who are not overly reliant on on driving this point home, with plans to remake a sizable por- them remains a challenge for today’s police departments. Action of its fi lm library, including “Robocop.” Nearly a quarter of a cording to a recent study by the RAND Corporation, “While the century ago, the movie was released with the tagline, “The future role of technology will grow, the true value of technology is as of law enforcement.” While we’re a far cry from replacing man a complement to human capacity for police work and problem with machine, technological innovations have vastly improved solving—not a substitute.” the safety, speed, and accuracy with which today’s patrol officers Whether you are one to embrace technology or shy away from do their jobs. it, your ability to navigate the techEven if we're not covered from nological landscape will be an imhead to toe in steel alloys like the portant factor in your future succinematic centurion Robocop, our cess in law enforcement. ballistic vests are more comfortable, durable, and dependable. PaSMILE, YOU’RE trol vehicles are safer, and stocked ON CANDID CAMERA with computers and cameras. InChief among cops’ technological formation and communications concerns today is video. The day of are sent and retrieved by the ofthe anonymous, faceless Robocop ficer in the field with ever greater patrol officer is not here yet, and speed. whether you like it or not, every “Technology has been a wonaspect of your job—calls, detenderful thing for law enforcement tions, accident and crime scene in a number of respects,” says Dr. Video can be your best friend or your worst enemy investigations—will increasingly Ron Martinelli, CEO of Martinelli depending on how you conduct yourself on camera. be subject to some form of video & Associates and noted forensic documentation. As some of this and police practices expert. “It has provided us with a faster way will come in the form of grainy security footage to be left to all of doing things: reports, crime analyses, forensics; it enhances manner of interpretation, or citizen cell phones that have been our investigative ability and our ability to respond more rapidly activated well after what actually started an incident, it behooves to calls for service.” you to record your own perspective of the situation. At the same time, Martinelli warns that overuse of technology There is no shortage of products designed to record your every in the field can detract from officer safety practices. “When you contact. From lapel cameras to dashboard cams, it's "COPS" live are in the field, especially in a patrol car, situational awareness and on tour. Law enforcement utilizes cameras that can be peris critical for your survival, the survival of your partner, and the manently mounted in cars or hand carried by officers. We have safety and survival of the citizens that you deal with.” cameras that switch on automatically when the car door opens


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MAKING TECHNOLOGY WORK FOR YOU or the siren activates. Video is digitally recorded, sent wirelessly to the station for monitoring, and cataloged and stored for later use in court. The mere presence of a camera can change the dynamics of a situation, and you will find that some people will play to a camera—even yours. Others tend to get caught up in the immediacy of the moment, oblivious to the possibility of being recorded; some probably don't give a damn if they are. This means that you'll get all manner of spontaneous statements from suspects and witnesses that can expedite and close out investigations. Camera usage encourages greater professionalism on your part, and locks people into a version of events that they would have a difficult time backing away from later. In the long run, you will come to realize that documenting your actions and investigations works to your advantage and can prevent frivolous litigation.

To avoid potential disasters, it is imperative that you acquire proficiency and comfort with your weapons and tools. It is far better to anticipate and address knowledge gaps in controlled environments than hope for some sudden epiphany when the bad stuff hits the fan. Maintaining an awareness of just where your tools are, training in how to transition between them, and developing the fine motor skills with which to retrieve them are all key.


Most patrol officers develop a love-hate relationship with their patrol cars. Today’s factory models are defi nitely faster and safer when they reach your fleet than your father’s Oldsmobile. But by the time the gun rack, radio equipment, cameras, computers, MDTs, and other equipment are added, you can end up feeling like a sardine wedged into a tin can for much of your shift. The aforementioned surveillance cameras, mounted fore WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY For the police officer, power comes in myriad forms, includ- and aft of the patrol car, not only make capturing and storing ing the powers of arrest and the powers by which to effect that video easier for you, they can also broadcast images wirelessly. Supervisory personnel at the station, using real-time video inarrest. Having advanced from the truncheons and straight sticks of formation, can provide direction during pursuits or other techyesteryear, today's cops have a wide range of mechanical and nical callouts. Many patrol cars are equipped with automated electronic weaponry available to them. Among the tools you may vehicle license plate readers that can scan thousands of license carry on your Sam Browne include handguns, TASERs, batons, plates per minute and inform you if the car is reported stolen or magazines, pepper spray, handcuffs, portable radio, knives, re- is linked to a suspect. Some departments have cording devices, cell phones, taken to installing GPS trackand flashlights. ing devices in every patrol car. But with more and more This means your watch comitems accruing on your arsemander will know where your naled waist, keeping track of patrol car is and how long it them can also become a conhas been there: Goofing off cern. A Bay Area Rapid Transit just got a whole lot harder. The officer's disastrous confusion good news is that you, too, will between his sidearm and his know where your fellow offiTASER is a prime example. cers are. This can not only faThe extent to which Johannes cilitate coordination of radio Mehserle's agitated state and calls, but hopefully mitigate distracting influences played the potential for radio car vs. a part in that incident may radio car collisions. be long debated, but the botWhen combined with centom line is that he should have Gadgets demand a lot of space and attention. For all of their many benefits, a glut of devices in your patrol car can cause dangerous tralized mapping technology, been keenly aware of the tools distractions if you're not careful. departments can pinpoint the he carried. locations of criminal activity And therein lies a valid and officer responses to deconcern for today’s rookie velop strategies for improving cops. Members of this generapatrol coverage. State-of-thetion—particularly those from art maps displayed in patrol metropolitan areas—have cars can also inform officers largely been raised in enviwhen they pass by locations rons that prohibited imagiwhere suspects reside or renary gunplay. As a result, cent crimes have occurred. many of today's younger cops Having access to all of this are no more familiar with fireelectronic wizardry inside a arms than with any other tool patrol car is fast becoming a of the profession. Oftentimes, necessity in today’s technotheir first exposure to these logical world. It allows officers tools occurs in the academy. 12

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veillance tools to acquire intel and retrieve schematics for residential and commercial layouts. When it comes to entering data, the adage “garbage in, garbage out” is most applicable. One officer transposed two digits in running a firearms check. The weapon came back clear when it actually had a hit entered on it. The suspect and the firearm were released and less than a week later the weapon was used in the shooting deaths of multiple victims. Overcome with remorse, the officer became yet another victim when he committed suicide. With such import being placed on the proper use of technology in the field, it stands to reason that the more computer savvy you are, the greater the edge you will have on your competition.


Remember that technology is meant to be a help, not a hindrance. Sound tactics and people skills come first.

to concentrate more on policing than mundane clerical work, but can also come with a cost. Besides reminding you to lose a few extra pounds, these components may become airborne projectiles in a collision.

STATE-OF-THE-ART DATABASES From Riverside, Calif., to Sellersberg, Ind.; from Boston, Mass., to Farmington, New Mexico, law enforcement agencies prominently promote themselves as technological innovators. Some, such as the Kenner (La.) Police Department, use such innovation as recruitment inducements. Others like the Tigard (Ore.) Police Department recognize the need for technical competency and openly recruit police technology specialists. But while fi lling computer-centric positions makes sense for the routine supervision and maintenance of fingerprinting databases, computerized crime mapping, and records management systems, there will be continual and growing emphasis on officers being computer literate enough to handle much of the day-to-day load. This reality extends over the law enforcement landscape and is manifest in virtually all aspects of the profession. Special weapons and tactics teams are increasingly computer-dependent, as modern technology allows them to use all manner of remote sur-

Determining the optimal amount of technology that should be required of officers is a hot topic among law enforcement administrators, risk managers, and policy analysts. As retired LAPD lieutenant and author of "Police Technology" Raymond E. Foster notes, “There are many aspects of technology that have improved police work. Perhaps more importantly, there are some aspects of technology that tempt us to violate basic officer safety field tactics.” Martinelli agrees that tactics trump technology. “We need to be very careful about what technological wizardry we force upon our officers,” he says. “Officers have to process what they are experiencing. They have to analyze what they are seeing. They have to develop tactical plans and engage those tactical plans. When milliseconds count, it is more important that officers have a good sense of situational awareness and are not distracted in their basic law enforcement functions.”

TOMORROW’S TECHNOLOGY TODAY It is the nature of technology that new innovations are constantly being researched and implemented. Among the products on the horizon for law enforcement are portable printers to expedite field citations and arrests; facial recognition systems, DNA and print scans to rapidly verify peoples’ identities and aid in the identification of wanted felons; weapons recognition systems that can identify an armed person from a safe distance; and safer deployment of less lethal weapon systems. Despite our increasing dependency on technology, the future of law enforcement will not likely come in the form of Robocop or The Terminator. Martinelli places equal emphasis on an officer’s non-technological skills. “Even in these technologically advanced ages, law enforcement is ultimately and will always be about people and relationships: the ability to talk to people, the ability to engage people, the ability to focus on officer and citizen safety, the ability to conduct pre-contact threat assessments, and to have an officer function at a level that is least distracting.” Each generation of law enforcement recognizes the unique advantages and challenges the next will face as the torch is passed, and with this comes an understanding that rookie officers will hit the streets with certain perks that their predecessors lacked. As long as you view them as supplemental to tactics, by keeping up to date with technological changes you'll stay dialed in. Make that wired in. PR

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A I N R O F I L A C , ONTARIO 02✯0 3✯2002 On Super Bowl Sunday, officers of the Ontario PD found themselves in a true “sudden death” engagement. DEAN SCOVILLE uper Bowl Sunday has become one of America’s most popular holidays. It is an all-day event filled with parties, food, betting, imbibing, and general festivities. It is the ultimate American spectacle. And more than one sports writer has called NFL players “gladiators,” referencing the life-or-death competitions of ancient Rome. For Officer Kris Lavoie of the Ontario (Calif.) Police Department, Super Bowl Sunday 2002 would prove to be a busy one. But not in the way that most Americans enjoy. For Lavoie had no idea just how busy. Or just how much he would feel like a real “gladiator” before the day was over. The vicinity of Holt Boulevard and Mountain Avenue in Ontario often proves to be ground zero for problems. This low-income area is a perennial destination for firstgeneration immigrants trying to start a new life. The neighborhood also plays host to the usual suspects running the same old scams: dope dealing, prostitution, and predatory vagrancy. Standing out among such confines can be something of a challenge, but the driver of an older brown Oldsmobile was up to it. His jailhouse tats, wife-beater Tshirt, and beefy musculature screamed out “parolee,” and Officer Lavoie on patrol in the area decided to check him out. He plugged the information into his patrol car’s mobile data terminal. The Olds’ license plate came back expired. Lavoie decided to make a stop. But


before he could catch up to the Olds, its driver, Tony Reyes Martinez, negotiated a series of sharp turns on nearby residential streets before suddenly pulling into a driveway, parking, exiting on foot, and heading into an adjacent apartment complex. Martinez’s haphazard maneuvers

nearby Pomona. Lavoie didn’t have that information. He just relied on his good cop instincts when he pulled in behind the Olds and followed the two men as they pulled into another apartment complex on the south side of the street and lit them up. Seeing Lavoie’s lights in the rearview mirror, the men in the Olds continued to cruise slowly down the driveway, looking right and left for God knew what before making a left turn at the rear of the apartment complex—then finding themselves boxed in. The car’s sudden stop obligated Lavoie to park at a 45-degree angle to the Olds, instead of directly behind it as he would have preferred. A mere half car length separated the driver from Lavoie, but it was the passenger, Meza, who turned and stared at the officer. Despite the broad daylight, Lavoie turned the spotlights on the men. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up, telling him there was something wrong. Seeing the passenger start to get out of the car, Lavoie hastened his own exit from his patrol unit. He stood behind the driver’s side door and ordered Meza back into the car. PHOTO: ©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM


suggested less an attempt to evade Lavoie than a determination to get on with a particular mission. Lavoie’s curiosity as to what that mission might be led him to pull around a nearby corner where he parked and kept vigil as Martinez entered the complex on foot.

LIGHTING THEM UP When Martinez re-emerged five minutes later, he was in the company of another


male Hispanic. The man was Carlos Omar Meza, a 23-year-old Happy Town gang member who’d earlier that day committed a shooting at the Indian Hill Swap Meet in

Lavoie could see that the man was in the driver’s door opening, bent over. He looked at Lavoie over his shoulder and then turned his attention back to the car.

Martinez didn’t get out of the car, but

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Calculated or not, Martinez’s actions made Lavoie consider the possibility that the man didn’t speak English. Lavoie tried using his limited Spanish but got nowhere—the man continued to fi xate on something beneath the Olds driver’s seat. Lavoie removed his SIG 220 from its holster and broadcast over the radio that he had one at gunpoint to get the troops coming. Martinez’s lack of compliance and neither-here-nor-there posture in the car’s doorway suggested to Lavoie that the man was fidgeting with some unseen weapon. Meanwhile, through the rear window of the car Lavoie saw a quick flash of what appeared to be a handgun. A split second of cognitive dissonance kicked in: There was no way I just saw a gun. Then Meza rose up and out of the passenger side door with a shotgun.


and the rear glass. The Olds’ driver was backing the car to give the shooter cover. Officer and suspect momentarily backpedaled from one another. Meza went for the cover of the Olds as Lavoie went for a truck parked in the carport behind his car. Lavoie fired four rounds of suppressive fire to cover his move. The shotgun-wielding passenger might have been the more obvious threat, but Lavoie hadn’t forgotten about the driver and the possibility that the two men might try to triangulate on him. The thought of each suspect coming up on him from different angles weighed on his mind. TAKING FIRE Moving behind the pickup, Lavoie Lavoie immediately fired a volley of conducted a quick peek over the bed two rounds through the back winthen retracted his head tortoise-like dow of the car, through the passenjust as another shotgun blast pepger-side headrest. Meza started to pered the truck. Lavoie moved befall backward, causing the barrel of hind the tailgate and fired another the shotgun to elevate. Squeezing off round in Meza’s direction, forcing The damage to Officer's Lavoie's patrol car offers a third round, Lavoie moved to the the man to duck down. vivid evidence of the ferocious firefight. back of his car for cover, dropping Lavoie started to reload, but was to one knee behind its trunk. Meza interrupted when Meza suddenly rose up, firing four rounds from the shot- thought that maybe his rounds had found emerged around the back corner of the gun and shattering Lavoie’s lightbar and their mark and the suspect was down. truck, pointed his gun at Lavoie, and windshield. But when Lavoie peered back over the squeezed the trigger. Meza’s barrage of gunfire continued; roof of his patrol car, the sight shocked Lavoie couldn’t hear the click, but Lavoie’s mind kicked into hyperdrive. him. Meza was not down but on the move, saw the man jerk the gun back as it dry His SIG had seven-plus-one capacity, bearing down on Lavoie with the shotgun fired. Meza reflexively jumped backand he carried two extra magazines. On as he made his way around the Olds to the ward as Lavoie finished reloading his last bent knee, Lavoie opted for a tactical re- rear passenger door of the officer’s unit. magazine. load near the trunk of the car. When the Lavoie started pumping shots through the second magazine locked into the gun’s back window of his car, but the .45 rounds LOOKING FOR BACKUP well, quiet fell upon the scene and Lavoie didn’t penetrate through the interior cage Lavoie knew he needed to get out of the carport. He ran around to the front of the truck, worried that he would run into the second suspect at any moment. What he didn’t know at the time was the man was hit and down in his car. Without a driver, the Olds had drifted into a fence. Lavoie looked for another place to go. Behind him was a chest-high block wall with barbed wire on top of it. He didn’t



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(Left) the suspects' car was battered by numerous shots from Officer Lavoie. (Right) the shotgun that suspect Meza used to attack Ontario officers.

want to get penned in with no ammunition, so lacking any other available cover and not wanting to go up against these guys with only a knife, he ran into the alley as much in a bid to get some distance between himself and the suspect as to look for his backup. Lavoie was so focused on getting back to the driveway access to the street that it was only later that he would learn the suspect actually chased after him. Fortu-

DO? WHAT WOULD YOU Imagine you see a suspicious older model vehicle while out solo on patrol, like Officer Kris Lavoie of the Ontario (Calif.) Police Department. Now ask yourself the following questions.

✯ How

do you decide whether to make contact on a vehicle stop while working alone? Do you ever initiate a stop and simply wait for backup to arrive before contacting the occupants?

✯ Some agencies have found themselves with only one working radio frequency. How would you handle such a situation when there is an emergency?

✯ Would

you ever leave cover to take the fight to a suspect? How do you feel about this as a tactical option?

✯ At

what point do you opt for a tactical reload? Have you trained to keep the magazine you’re dropping in case it still contains ammo?



nately, the first person he saw was fellow he exited the car, shotgun in tow. Officers chased Meza down the street. officer Cpl. Doug Reed pulling up to the Officer Jason Langford set up containscene. Meza jumped into Lavoie’s unit. So ment one block south of the crash site. tight were things in the parking area that Hearing other officers report that the sushe had to smash forward and backward pect had taken refuge in an apartment complex, Langford retrieved into cars and walls in a deshis 12-gauge shotgun from perate bid to flee the scene. his trunk and started to unzip After four or five such maneuhis helmet bag. Then he heard vers, he succeeded in boundan update that the suspect ing past Reed’s patrol car and was running through the alonto the street, but not before ley of the apartment complex. Reed was able to get off a few Langford sprinted to the rounds. sidewalk to cover the south Reed remained with Lavoie and east sides of the containand accompanied him back ment area. The vantage point to the original crime scene to Officer Kris Lavoie gave him excellent views of check out the suspect car and the status of its driver. That was when they the suspect’s possible escape routes, but found Martinez lying down in the front of little in the way of cover or concealment. Radio reports told Langford the suspect the car where he’d taken a head shot. was pinned down in the alley. Langford peeked around the corner as an aero unit DROP THE WEAPON! reported that the suspect was hunkered As numerous officers converged on the vicinity, Meza sped northbound against down behind a dumpster. The aero unit southbound traffic on Mountain Avenue. advised that the suspect had reloaded his The windows were shot out of the patrol shotgun and was waiting for officers to car and the spotlights and steady red light run around the corner. The officers hung back prudently. were on, so responding units initially didn’t know what was going on. Some At which point Meza held the shotgun thought Lavoie was in pursuit; others overhead as though to signal surrender. surmised that Lavoie was driving himself But when officers issued commands for to the hospital because he’d been shot. A Meza’s compliance, he instead pointed number of Ontario PD units fell in behind the weapon in their direction before Lavoie’s unit, not knowing the bad guy running off through the apartment courtyard. was driving the car. Meza’s mad dash put him on a collision By the time Reed got on the radio to clarify the situation, Meza had turned onto 4th course with Langford, who saw the man Street, a couple of miles away, where he lost darting along in a military-style crouch with control and hit a parked semi-truck before the shotgun at low ready. Twice, Langford

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yelled at the suspect to drop the weapon. Instead, Meza started to raise the shotgun toward Langford. Langford opened fire. Meza jumped onto an apartment porch, taking cover behind a low wall where he raised his shotgun through the opening to the porch. To compensate, Langford moved to his right and took cover behind a porch wall on the opposite side of the courtyard. Bordered on both sides by hedges, the only way Langford could see the suspect would be to raise his head over the wall. Rather than wait for the suspect to get a jump on him, Langford decided to take the fight to the suspect. It was a timely decision. For as Langford jumped out from behind the wall he found that Meza had already closed half the distance between them, committing himself to “no man’s land.” Only 15 feet separated the two; Langford fired his remaining two shotgun

rounds. The first blast spun the suspect to his left, the second to his right—and still Meza advanced on Langford. Transitioning to his SIG duty weapon, Langford focused on his front sights to ensure that he was on target, then squeezed off six rounds. Meza’s momentum carried his body forward until he finally collapsed at Langford’s feet. Handcuffed, Meza was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

AFTERMATH AND HONORS Ontario Police Department has changed several procedures as a result of this shooting. Lavoie had trouble receiving calls from dispatch during the incident due to the way he holstered his handheld radio on his belt. The department has since adopted microphones attached to the uniform. Officers have also started to carry slugs in their shot-


guns—four rounds in the tube and one in the chamber, and carry eight additional rounds. Shotguns are also equipped with additional tactical equipment. Looking back, Lavoie feels pretty comfortable with his performance that day, and he believes that his conscientious attitude when it came to training paid off. “But then,” he notes. “I’ve always felt that if you practiced like crap, you perform like crap.” Still, he wishes that he had considered looking beneath the vehicles for the suspect during the point that he momentarily believed the suspect to be down. He might’ve been able to take the suspect out at the ankles. For their heroic actions that Super Bowl Sunday, Lavoie and Langford each received numerous awards and citations, including the Ontario PD Medal of Valor. Both continue to serve the citizens of Ontario. PR

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The Winning Edge TOM WETZEL



tion or the arrival of more help. HE Mobile Data Terminal An assault could involve (MDT), laptop computer, someone shooting into your and other gadgets in your patrol car or an assailant at the car can be a hazard to your driver’s window physically atsafety. This is especially true if tacking you. Increased awareyou are one of the thousands of ness and in-car self-defense cops who have grown up paying training and tactical driving constant attention to computer practice can help prepare you displays. If you are one of those for this type of attack. It can officers, it’s probably hard for also give you insight into how to you to take your eyes off of these best position your cruiser when screens. parked to allow for tactical adBut keeping your eyes fi xed vantages and quick action. to gadget displays while on duty means your eyes aren’t where Protect your head from punches or strikes with a they should be: on the road or SAFE PARKING quick block. on the people around you. When looking for a location to When reading department e-mails or writing reports on park your cruiser to complete work, fi nd a spot that proyour computers, your eyes are often fi xed on those screens. vides you with a good overview of your surroundings and Also, you are in a position of disadvantage. Your posture also leaves more than one opening for you to drive away. within your cruiser when you are typing or reading mes- Your cruiser ideally should be open on all sides to allow sages on your computer may involve canting yourself to the for a full range of driving options, although this is not alright with your back facing slightly to the driver’s window. ways practical or available. That means you have to rely on What should be avoided as your peripheral vision to pick much as possible is placing your up on any movement toward cruiser in locations that could your vehicle. This peripheral allow you to be pinned in by anview may be obstructed some other vehicle or vehicles. Also, by transport cages or the posiwhen parked next to other vetioning of assault rifles or other hicles or objects, it can be easier equipment within the vehicle for someone to approach using such as cruiser cameras and rathat cover. dar units. It’s also important to have Within this tight environthe front of the cruiser open ment, you may suddenly find and clear when parked instead yourself under assault and may of pulling into a parking spot. have to defend yourself within Making a quick escape is much or just outside of your car. Or easier when you can drive forPractice self-defense in the small confines of the you may have to make a quick ward instead of having to put space between your open car door and the cruiser. tactical retreat for a better posithe car in reverse. 18

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One way you can have a serious problem would be to pull into a parking spot of a building with the building in front of you and cars parked on both sides. If a bad guy blocks you from behind, you are trapped with your back to the suspect. Good positioning gives you opportunities to use your cruiser as cover, to ram more effectively, and to make a tactical retreat. To train officers for this type of quick driving action, trainers can set up cones to simulate parked vehicles or obstructions. Once the cones are set up, have the officers practice driving in different directions from a parked position.

MAXIMIZE YOUR AWARENESS Once your cruiser is positioned as safely as possible, take steps to maximize your

awareness of your surroundings. Adjust the display screen of your in-car computer to eye level to enhance your peripheral vision. And make an effort to periodically stop reading or typing and scan your environment. This may seem irritating at first but with time it will simply become a habit. If it is dark outside, your cruiser lights should be on to light up what is in front of you and possibly blind someone approaching from in front. If you want your lights off, park in a well-lit area. Just remember that sitting with your lights out and looking into a backlit computer screen will make it difficult for your eyes to adjust for night vision conditions. So even if the weather is cold, it is important to have your windows slightly cracked open so you can hear what’s happening outside your cruiser.

the strikes. You can use this block and combine it with counter strikes against the assailant. Try to trap and pin the suspect’s arm and then throw strikes into your assailant’s face. Then while blocking with your left hand, put the car in drive and pull away. Depending on the type of assault and if a suspect is armed, you may have to respond with a TASER or handgun. Practice drawing your weapons from a seated position in your car. This helps you understand what works best from within the confines of your car. If the assailant is at the driver’s side window and attacking you with a knife or small impact weapon, try to pin or hold his hand and/or wrist to disarm him. Once you block the attack, draw your handgun. Sometimes your best bet is to get out of your car and take the fight to the bad guy. This may require you to fight your attacker while he or she is just outside the door and you have very limited room to maneuver. Practice defensive techniques such as kicks, blocks, and weapon draws while exiting your car. When you are seated and the cruiser is parked, you may still have your seat belt buckled. So practice unbuckling the seat belt and getting it out of the way. You may also opt to unbuckle when parked to prevent hindrances with the seat belt.

HANDGUN DEFENSES An attack in your patrol car may require

you to shoot your attacker while you are still seated. This is something you need to practice. Drawing your pistol while seated in your car may feel awkward at first. You will have to bend or twist your body and your elbow may bump into the seat or other objects inside the cruiser. Practice to learn what works best for you. Once you have drawn your pistol, practice dry firing into the windshield as well as both side windows. Live fire exercises are not practical for this type of training. But that doesn’t matter. What is important is to practice drawing and firing from inside the cruiser. PR Tom Wetzel is a northeast Ohio suburban police lieutenant, SWAT officer, trainer, and certified law enforcement executive.

It's important to practice drawing your handgun and shooting from your cruiser as well as from behind the car door.

ASSAULTED IN YOUR CAR When sitting in the driver’s seat, you are limited in your defenses against a physical assault. Your hand and leg strikes may not have a good reach, and the power may be reduced. But you do have some counters and defenses. Let’s say a subject reaches into your patrol car and begins punching you or trying to grab your neck. Your initial reaction may be to place your left arm and hand up and against your head to protect it from

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D N A E S U A C PROBABLE USPICION S E L B A N O S A RE These familiar terms are often confused and misused. GE DEVALLIS RUTLED


ome actions you take have been classified by Supreme Court decisions as requiring that you articulate a “reasonable suspicion” in order to make them constitutionally reasonable, while others can be undertaken only if there is “probable cause” (“PC”). But what do these terms mean? And how do you match the right level of justification with the kind of conduct you’re seeking to justify?

ticulate precisely what “probable cause” means, the court has offered this guidance: “Probable cause does not require the same type of specific evidence of each element of the offense as would be needed to

support a conviction.” (Adams v. Williams) “Finely-tuned standards, such as proof beyond a reasonable doubt or by a preponderance of the evidence, useful in formal trials, have no place in the probable cause

PROBABLE CAUSE warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause.” The Constitution doesn’t furnish any definition of “probable cause,” leaving that task to the Supreme Court, which has also applied the probable cause standard to certain warrantless activities. The term “reasonable suspicion” is not of constitutional derivation but was fashioned by the court to describe a level of suspicion lower than probable cause. The court has struggled to provide meaningful definitions of both terms, and law enforcement officers have likewise struggled to understand and apply the court’s vague, general pronouncements. In Ornelas v. U.S., the court acknowledged the problem: “Articulating precisely what ‘reasonable suspicion’ and ‘probable cause’ mean is not possible. They are commonsense, non-technical conceptions that deal with the factual and practical considerations of everyday life on which reasonable and prudent men, not legal technicians, act. As such, the standards are not readily, or even usefully, reduced to a neat set of legal rules.” (Ornelas v. U.S.) Though it may not be possible to ar-


Probable cause is required to make an arrest, but the lesser justification of reasonable suspicion is sufficient for a temporary detention.


The Fourth Amendment provides that “no

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found, plus a compelling need for the evidence that outweighs the suspect’s right to be free of invasive procedures that could threaten his life or health. REASONABLE SUSPICION It was not until 1968 that the need for a standard lower than PC was recognized by the Supreme Court. In Terry v. Ohio, the court confronted defense challenges

to both the detention of a robbery suspect and the weapons frisk that disclosed the gun he sought to suppress. The court noted that a temporary investigative detention is less of an infringement of a person’s liberty than arresting him and taking him into custody. Therefore, said the court, police need not have as much justification for this lower level of restraint as the probable cause that would have been required to make an arrest. The court called this lower justification standard for detentions “reasonable suspicion.” This discussion shows why it is a mistake to use the expression “PC for the stop,” which mismatches a higher level of justification with a lower level of infringement of individual liberty. “In Terry v. Ohio, we held that the police can stop and briefly detain a person for investigative purposes if the officer has a reasonable suspicion supported by articulable facts that criminal activity is afoot, even if the officer lacks probable cause.” (U.S. v. Sokolow) As for the weapons pat-down search of Terry, the court recognized that an officersafety search limited to a frisk of a suspect’s outer clothing is less of an intrusion on the suspect’s privacy than a full-scale search of everything he was wearing and

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carrying; this partial search could be justified, said the court, based on a reasonable suspicion that the person might be armed and dangerous, which would be less than the PC necessary for a thorough search. As with the concept of “probable cause,” the lower standard of “reasonable suspicion” was not easily defined. “The concept of reasonable suspicion, like probable cause, is not readily or even usefully reduced to a neat set of legal rules,” but “the level of suspicion required for a Terry stop is obviously less demanding than that for probable cause.” (U.S. v. Sokolow) The court has said that both the quantity and the quality of information constituting reasonable suspicion may be below the level needed for PC. “Reasonable suspicion is a less demanding standard than probable cause not only in the sense that reasonable suspicion can be established with information that is different in quantity or content than that required to establish probable cause, but also in the sense that reasonable suspicion can arise from information that is less reliable than that required to show probable cause.” (Alabama v. White) Again, defining reasonable suspicion in terms of familiar activities, it is the level of information and suspicion you need when you make a vehicle stop or a pedestrian stop, or pat down someone who might be armed, or search a vehicle based on reasons to believe it may harbor concealed weapons. (Michigan v. Long) PHOTO: ©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

decision.” (Maryland v. Pringle) “The rule of probable cause is a practical, non-technical conception affording the best compromise that has been found for accommodating often opposing interests.” (Beck v. Ohio) “The process does not deal with hard certainties, but with probabilities. Long before the law of probabilities was articulated as such, practical people formulated certain commonsense conclusions about human behavior; jurors as fact-finders are permitted to do the same—and so are law enforcement officers.” (U.S. v. Cortez) “We have held that probable cause means a ‘fair probability’.” (U.S. v. Sokolow) Give up? Sometimes, it’s easier to define something by pointing to a category of examples that make the meaning clear. For instance, coming up with an abstract definition of “red” might be difficult, but the meaning could be made clear by saying, “It’s the color of delicious apples, blood, ripe strawberries and tomatoes, ketchup, and stop signs.” Similarly, it may be easier to get a handle on the concept of “probable cause” by identifying familiar law enforcement activities associated with a requirement of PC. As the Fourth Amendment mandates, you need PC to get a search warrant. The same goes for arrests. “Whether an arrest is valid depends upon whether, at the moment the arrest was made, the officers had probable cause to make it— whether at that moment the facts and circumstances within their knowledge and of which they had reasonably trustworthy information were sufficient to warrant a prudent man in believing that the person to be arrested had committed or was committing an offense.” (Beck v. Ohio) And PC is the level of information and suspicion that justifies the warrantless search of “fleeting targets,” such as cars, trucks, buses, trains, airplanes, and boats. (U.S. v. Ross) There is also a concept that is sometimes referred to as “probable cause plus.” In Winston v. Lee, the Supreme Court said that when a search involves highly invasive probes into the body—such as surgery to recover a bullet—there must be probable cause to believe evidence will be

IN A NUTSHELL “Probable cause” means reasonably reliable information to suspect there is a “fair probability” that a person has committed a crime, or that a search will reveal contraband or evidence. “Reasonable suspicion” is a strong suspicion, even if based on less information of a less-reliable nature, that a person is involved in criminal activity or may be armed and dangerous. PR

Devallis Rutledge is a former police officer and veteran prosecutor who currently serves as Special Counsel to the Los Angeles County District Attorney. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including “Criminal Evidence.”

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ENROLLING IN AN ONLINE UNIVERSITY Doing your homework before you enroll can make your educational experience more valuable, saving you disappointment and dollars. DAVID GRIFFITH

IT’S NEVER BEEN EASIER TO GET A COLLEGE DEGREE. Unfortunately, it’s never been more expensive to get a college degree. That means the prospective student is making a major investment in time and money to earn a diplo-

ma. And as with any investment, return on that money is in no way guaranteed. A law enforcement officer who is considering the pursuit of a degree through an online university needs to know the answers to the following

1 WHY DO I WANT THIS DEGREE? There are several issues to consider under this question. If your goal is promotion within your department, you need to make sure that the program you are considering is accepted by your agency. If your goal is t o establish a second career, talk to people in that field and ask them if they think this degree will help you achieve that goal. Unless you are going to school just for your own edification, focus on what you want to do with the degree and make sure it will give you a leg up before spending your money.


questions before enrolling. Knowing these things in advance will help you determine if online education is right for you, help you successfully complete the program, and give you a better chance of achieving your career goals through education.

strong sense of when someone is BSing you. Make sure that sense is honed and engaged when talking to colleges. Also, speak with fellow officers who have experience with your prospective school and ask them what they think before signing up. You can easily accomplish this on Facebook. “The majority of our students come to us because of word-of-mouth referrals from other people in their fields,” says Kuhn.

4 IS THIS SCHOOL ACCREDITED? You want your prospective alma mater to be regionally accredited, not nationally accredited. Regional accreditation means the classes and faculty have been vetted by a regional office of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and found to meet standards. This is very important if you want to take your 4.0 bachelor’s degree from Online University and apply for a graduate program at another school. Even if you think a bachelor’s degree is the end of your higher education, choose a regionally accredited university. You will get a quality education that will serve you better than some diploma mill.

It’s not going to be cheap; you can bet the farm on that. Make sure that you know how much it’s going to cost before you enroll. Also, know the refund policies and ask if you can pay as you go. These can be very important for police officers who may be injured on the job or assigned to a special detail that will force them to delay their educational aspirations.



Jeff Kuhn, director of public safety outreach for American Military University, calls this “transparency.” You’re a cop, you have a

At most schools, there will be additional fees above tuition. Books are covered by tuition at some schools. At others you have



Don’t think for a minute that online classes are easier. Most students find them to be as challenging as, if not more challenging than, traditional classes. “Online is not for everybody,” says Gregory Allen, director of the security management department at Bellevue University. “It’s a good alternative to in-class for police officers, but it’s not easy.” You need to be really disciplined to succeed in these programs. You also need to make sure that you have the time for them. You are going to have to put in the hours. Some students think they will breeze right through these programs with very little time commitment. Don’t tell yourself that lie. You are about to sacrifice most of your free time to this program. There’s a reason why the graduate criminology program offered by California University of Pennsylvania limits students to two courses per term. “We don’t want them to be overwhelmed,” says Professor Aref Al Khattar.


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to buy them separately. Either way, you will pay for them. Whatever you think books will cost, double it and you’ll be in the ballpark. Some schools also charge lab fees, application fees, transfer credit fees, and even diploma fees. Ask about these fees before you sign up.

7 HOW WILL I PAY FOR THIS? Some of you have tuition reimbursement programs at your agency. Consider yourselves blessed. Others will have to float loans from the government. Either way, make sure that your school is eligible for Federal Student Aid under Title IV. If it isn’t, then beware. That means the feds don’t trust it enough to grant loans to its students.

8 WHO WILL BE TEACHING ME? One of the great things about the criminal justice and security faculty at online schools is they tend to be former law enforcement professionals, including prosecutors, cops, and judges. The bad thing is that sometimes these folks aren’t great teachers. You want to know who will be teaching you, but you also want to know what kind of teacher training they have received. You also want to know if the faculty is full-time or part-time, according to Jim Lee, associate professor of criminal justice at Troy University. “I believe you see more dedication to student achievement from full-time faculty,” Lee explains.

9 ARE THE CLASS HOURS FLEXIBLE? Your schedule is complicated. If you work a special unit like homicide or SWAT, you could be called to work at any time of

day. That’s why so many officers like the idea of online education. They can complete their course work at any time during the week. But that’s not true at all online schools. Make sure that your classes won’t meet at a specific time each week. Most have a requirement that you participate in discussion sections say four times a week. You want one that doesn’t care if you login at 1 a.m. Sunday or 6 p.m. Tuesday, just as long as you login.

10 CAN I GET CREDIT FOR MY PROFESSIONAL TRAINING? The short answer is—probably. Most online universities grant limited elective credit for your academy training or special training such as SWAT school. But check before you enroll. Note: They will charge you a fee to process these credits. So ask about that, too.

11 WHAT IS THE QUALITY OF THE CURRICULUM? You want to see a strong variety of courses in your given field. Can you specialize in different aspects of your field of study? Do some research and find out.


DO I HAVE TO PARTNER WITH OTHER STUDENTS ON CLASS PROJECTS? Hell is other people. Th is is especially true when your grade depends on people who don’t care as much about your grade as you do. Just about every college graduate has had the experience of getting partnered with a slacker. In an online education program, you may get partnered with someone five time zones away, who may or may not be a slacker. Avoid partners, if at all possible.

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13 WHO CAN PROCTOR YOUR EXAMS? Some online education programs require exams to be proctored. This prevents cheating, and it gives the student someone to ask questions about the test. Find out who is eligible to proctor your exams. Will you have to pay for proctoring? If so, how much? How often?


Bellevue University

Bethel University College of Criminal Justice

California Coast University

California University of Pennsylvania

Columbia Southern University

Just about everyone who has ever earned a college degree can tell you horror stories of professors who didn’t speak English. The online equivalent of this is educational software that’s difficult to use. Ask if you can try it out. You’re going to be living with it for the next four years or more so make sure you can live with it.

DeSales University

Drexel University Online

Henley-Putnam University


Jones International University

You are taking your courses online. That means that sometimes your computer will figuratively stick its tongue out at you and say, “Not today, chump.” Like computers are prone to do. When that happens and you’ve got a paper due in the next hour, you’re going to need help. Look for a school that has 24-hour tech support. “We have the best technical support people,” says Franzi Walsh, associate dean of criminal justice for the University of Phoenix. “They are very supportive, and it’s nice to call them.” PR

Keiser University

PACE University

Nova Southeastern University

University of Maryland University College

Kahr Arms is pleased to kick off their newest series of Kahr pistols - the CM series. The new line begins with the Kahr CM9093 which is based on Kahr’s most popular 3” barrel 9mm model the PM9093.

Waldorf College

Now Shipping CM40!!

The CM9 slide is only .90 inch wide and machined from solid 416 stainless slide with a matte finish, each gun is shipped with one 6 rd stainless steel magazine with a flush baseplate. Magazines are USA made, plasma welded, tumbled to remove burrs and feature Wolff Gunsprings. The magazine catch in the polymer frame is all metal and will not wear out on the stainless steel magazine after extended use. Kahr offers the CM series at a great value price but did not compromise on the features, accuracy or reliability found in all Kahr pistols.

Factory: 130 Goddard Memorial Drive, Worcester, MA 01603 Sales & Service: 508-795-3919 / Fax: 508-795-7046 Web Address:

Model: CM9093 MSRP: $517.00

7 rd. Extended magazine optional

Made in the U.S.A.


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BLACKHAWK BlackHawk’s Special Operations Medical Backpack is a mid-sized, frameless medical pack that opens fully to display all items for efficient emergency care. It now includes S.T.R.I.K.E. webbing on three sides for modular gear attachment and features comfortable contour-padded shoulder straps and waist belt. This 1,000-denier nylon pack can carry an additional 72-ounce or 100-ounce BlackHawk hydration system and is available in black, dark earth, OD green, and Army uniform.

NORTH AMERICAN RESCUE The Tactical Operator Response Kit BLS (TORK) from North American Rescue holds items essential in a compact individual first-aid kit designed for self-aid/buddy-aid. It addresses leading causes of preventable combat death and injuries caused by penetrating or blast trauma. Features include simple attachment using MOLLE/ PALS-style connectors and a quick pull tab for simple opening.

S.O. TECH S.O. Tech’s Sliver medical kit is only three inches deep when closed. It’s comprised of a stiffened panel with multiple removable pouches, Davis Emergency Airway Roll (DEAR), and two Medical Aid Pouch Inserts. The Sliver medical pack opens into a wall panel, or drops into the S.O. Tech Mission Pack as a medical organizer panel inside the pack. Interchangeable, high-visibility labels identify pouch contents. It’s available in coyote brown in a slick version or MOLLE web version, and is also available in a fi lled version.

TACTICAL MEDICAL SOLUTIONS Tactical Medical Solutions’ compact Downed Operator Kit (DOK) contains the items essential for treatment of serious injuries encountered by law enforcement and is compact enough to fit in a cargo pocket or glove box. It can also mount to a roll bar or protective shield in a patrol car or tactical vehicle. The kit contents can be modified to meet your individual requirements or several pre-packed kits are available without hemostatic agents. The standard kit includes an SOF tactical tourniquet, an Olaes modular bandage, a face shield, Nitrile gloves, tape, and trauma shears.

VOODOO TACTICAL Voodoo Tactical’s “Rapid Response Bag” has everything an officer would need to treat anything from minor wounds to severe trauma. Stored in the company’s three-way deployment bag, it has five MOLLE straps on the back for vest wear. The bag can also be worn on the shoulder. It measures 11.5 x 5.5 x 6 inches. It contains stainless steel tweezers, EMT shears, stainless steel hemostat, sponge, Blood Stopper kit, 16 bandage strips, abdominal pad, multi trauma dressing, airway tube, suture, two pairs of non-Latex gloves, and 10 pain reliever pills.

Z-MEDICA The Belt Trauma Kit (btk) from QuikClot manufacturer Z-Medica is a compact, lightweight, and cost-effective way to add another layer of safety to your daily routine. It fits up to a two-inch belt and can be worn rotated 90 degrees to make room for other gear. Each kit contains gloves, a CPR shield, a SWAT-T tourniquet, and QuikClot 1st Response or QuikClot Combat Gauze. For cop-tested reviews of current products go to

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5.11 TACTICAL ★ SABRE 2.0 5.11 Tactical’s Sabre 2.0 jacket features the QUIXIP side access system for fast sidearm access. Radio mic pass-through openings from the hand warmer pockets to the inside of the jacket and three pullout ID panels allow you to remain covert. The softshell outer shell is waterproof yet breathable and features waterproof zippers on the front and arms. A removable hood can be detached and stowed in an easily-accessible vertical back zipper pocket. Large 4”x4” upper arm hook and loop allow you to add your department or favorite patches. Available in black, coyote, dark navy, and moss.

BLACKHAWK ★ GRID FLEECE SERIES Part of BlackHawk’s Warrior Wear layering system, the Grid Fleece Series consists of a jacket, pullover, 3/4 zip hoody, and vest. The series is designed with a contoured, athletic fit to minimize bulk when layering. It features Raglan sleeves for a full range of motion and sleeve thumb-holes. Made with a flat seam construction for a smooth fit with a zippered chest pocket for valuables, the Grid Fleece Series is available in black and coyote brown and in men’s sizes Small to 3X.

BLAUER ★ COLORBLOCK SOFTSHELL FLEECE JACKET The lightweight fleece-lined design of Blauer’s Colorblock Softshell Fleece Jacket provides warmth and wind resistance, while its 3M Scotchlite crosswalk pattern provides nighttime reflectivity and enhances daytime visibility. Features include drop shoulder design for unrestricted movement, zippered fleece-lined hand warmer pockets, and microphone tab and badge tab. It also zips in as a liner for Blauer’s TacShell Jacket. Available in hi-vis yellow with black or dark navy with red, in nine sizes and three lengths.

ELBECO ★ SHIELD MERIDIAN MODULAR OUTERWEAR JACKET Elbeco’s Shield Meridian Modular Outerwear Jacket has a water-repellent nylon shell that offers wind and rain protection while retaining a high level of breathability. Telescopic sleeves allow for full range of arm movement and side zipper vents with snaps provide quick access to belt equipment. An included fully insulated zip-out Thinsulate liner features zip-off sleeves and openings that allow access to inner jacket pockets. A snap-off hood is now available free of charge.

HORACE SMALL ★ NEW GENERATION 3 JACKET Horace Small’s New Generation 3 Jacket features a windproof, waterproof, breathable outer shell and zip-out Primaloft liner. Features include a front zipper closure with snap storm flap, concealed chest pocket, inner pockets, inner cinch cords, and side zippers for easy access to duty gear. It will keep you warm and comfortable without unnecessary bulk. Available in brown, spruce green, dark navy, forest green, and black, and in sizes XS to 6XL.


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To request information on products in this issue go to

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WOOLRICH ★ ELITE DISCREET CARRY TWILL JACKET MAGNUM ★ SPARTA JACKET Magnum’s Sparta waterproof, insulated jacket is now available in navy. The Sparta Jacket features Tec-Proof, which allows the outer layer to protect you from wind, rain, and snow while the inner layer allows moisture to quickly evaporate. In addition, this jacket offers convenience features designed specifically for law enforcement officers, including enlarged Velcro patches on the sleeves, an ID panel on the back with zippered tuck away pocket, and sidearm zippers on both sides for quick access.

TRU-SPEC BY ATLANCO ★ 24-7 SERIES WEATHERSHIELD OUTERWEAR Tru-Spec WeatherShield outerwear offers a choice of three levels of weatherproof, waterproof, breathable protection against the elements including jackets, parkas, windbreakers, and rain pants. Trilayer construction guarantees warmth and dryness in all conditions. Features include smooth operating zippers; mic loops; roomy, well designed pockets; detachable ID tags; back yoke with detachable ID panel; and ample room for carrying a holstered firearm.

The insulated Woolrich Elite Series Tactical Elite Discreet Carry Twill Jacket is the latest addition to the company’s line of concealed carry outerwear. It features large, reinforced inner pockets with integrated holster loops. The rear locker loop conceals the entrance to a hidden accessory tunnel, which allows for convenient yet discreet carry of plastic restraints as well as routing for electronic wires. Front hand warmer pockets contain internal accessory loops positioned for rapid deployment of spare magazines or other items. Available in S to 3XL. PR

PROPPER ★ DEFENDER ECHO SOFTSHELL The Propper Defender Echo softshell jacket is made of 95-percent polyester and five-percent spandex fabric with 100-percent polyester fleece backing. It can also be zipped into a larger jacket as a liner for extra warmth. Features include a waterresistant, windproof, and breathable barrier; articulated sleeves; integrated pen pocket; side access zippers for access to your duty belt and weapon; and zippered exterior and interior chest pockets. Available in sizes XS to 5XL in regular and long.

Dept #PRD1 Police Recruit

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DUTY LIGHTS 5.11 TACTICAL LIGHT FOR LIFE PC 3.300 FLASHLIGHT 5.11 Tactical’s Light for Life PC 3.300 flashlight charges in 90 seconds thanks to state-of-the-art patented technology. This lightweight, water-resistant, midsize duty/utility flashlight produces 200 lumens and features a crack- and bendresistant polymer body.


dual-light modes; 16 hours in flashlight strobe mode Recharge time: 3 hours Beam Distance: 260 meters Peak Beam Intensity: 17,500 cd Modes: Flashlight for distance lighting, floodlight for close-up lighting, dual-light, and strobe (approximately 2 flashes of flashlight per second) Special Features: Dual-Light Innovation, rechargeable battery, includes backup power supply/carrier for 3 CR-123 batteries (not included), waterproof to 3 feet for 30 minutes (IP-67), limited lifetime warranty

Brite-Strike • BDRC-HLS Light Type: Cree 5 bin selected LED Batteries: 3.7-volt lithium ion rechargeable or 2 CR-123A Length: 5.2 inches Weight with Batteries: 1.6 ounces Light Output: 220 lumens Runtime: 2.5 hours on high, 8+ hours on low, 3 hours on strobe Beam Distance: 100 yards Peak Beam Intensity: 220 lumens Modes: High, low, strobe with Tactical Touch switch Special Features: Uses either lithium ion rechargeable or CR123A batteries, water- and dust proof, lifetime warranty

BLACKHAWK • LEGACY L6-P 5.11 Tactical • PC3.300 Light Type: LED Batteries: Ultra-capacitor Length: 8.75 inches Weight with Batteries: 10 ounces Light Output: 200 lumens on high, 70 lumens on low Runtime: 13 minutes on high, 45 minutes on low Beam Distance: Unknown (Not Tested to ANSI FL1 Standard) Peak Beam Intensity: Unknown (Not Tested to ANSI FL1 Standard) Modes: High/low/strobe Special Features: Flashlight can be fully recharged in 90 seconds.

BAYCO • NIGHTSTICK Bayco’s NSR-9914 rechargeable Nightstick has a powerful tightly focused flashlight (almost 900 feet of usable light) as well as an integrated floodlight built into the side. Because the floodlight has no reflector, all of the light spreads out in a wide even pattern for soft, even lighting perfect for searching areas or reading documents. You can use both lights at the same time (Dual-Light Innovation) to light up both the area ahead and the ground at your feet. All lighting modes can be selected from either the body or tail switch that operate in tandem. Bayco • Nightstick NSR-9914 Light Type: LED Batteries: Rechargeable nickel metal hydride (NiMH) and CR-123 battery carrier (backup battery system) Length: 9.2 inches Weight with battery: 14 ounces Light Output: Flashlight 220 lumens (deep parabolic reflector), floodlight 80 lumens (no reflector) Runtime: 5 hours in flashlight, floodlight, or


With impressive light output and runtime for its size, the Legacy L6-P utilizes the latest generation 3-watt CREE LED for equivalent light output of a 7 or 8 D-cell flashlight. This compact, high-intensity LED flashlight produces a smooth, intense, pre-focused beam and comes standard with glass lens. BlackHawk • Legacy L6-P Light Type: LED Batteries: 2 3-Volt CR123A Length: 5 inches Weight with Batteries: 4.3 ounces Light Output: 90 Lumens Runtime: 2-3 Hours Beam Distance: Unavailable Peak Beam Intensity: Unavailable Modes: Momentary switch and constant on Special Features: Durable, polymer, LED version of the Legacy L6; CREE XRE bulb for smoothest beam of light possible; comes in colors Foliage Green or Coyote Tan

BRITE-STRIKE • BDRC-HLS Brite-Strike’s BDRC-HLS flashlight has all the features of the BD-HLS flashlight plus a rechargeable lithium-ion battery in a compact, ergonomic, rugged design. Front and rear crenellated strike crowns can be used to apply pressure point techniques. The Tactical Touch switch design allows the light to be activated and operated using only one finger on one hand. The BDRCHLS is completely water and shockproof and is covered by a lifetime warranty.

DIGITAL ALLY • DVF-500 Digital Ally’s DVF-500 is an audio/video system inside a tough, water-resistant, machined aluminum flashlight. It features one-button activation, a wide-angle lens for easy aiming, pre-event recording to capture even before you press record, vibration/impact-proof solid state memory, and more. Digital Ally • DVF-500 Light Type: LED (2 Luxeon solid state emitters) Batteries: LiIon rechargeable battery pack Length: 11 inches Weight with Batteries: >2 pounds Light Output: 130 lumens Runtime: 3.5–16 hours (depending on whether using only lights, camera, or both) Beam Distance: approx. 100–150 meters Peak Beam Intensity: approx. 10,000 candela Modes: Double beam, single beam or off with video and/or audio recording available for all 3 Special Features: Covert video and/or audio recording with optional pre-event recording, wide-angle lens to alleviate aiming concerns, external monitor viewing during or after recording, vibration- and impact-proof memory, 3 recording levels to optimize file size with quality requirements

ENERGIZER BRAVO HARD CASE TACTICAL The Energizer Bravo Hard Case Tactical light is a multi-functional, multipositioning illumination tool providing options and flexibility. Its swivel head rotates 130 degrees and allows the light to be used in both hands-free and handheld modes, while the light’s red,

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blue, green, and IR LEDs enhance visibility in a variety of applications.

STREAMLIGHT • SUPER TAC X Energizer • Bravo Hard Case Tactical Light Type: LED, infrared Batteries: 2 AA batteries; fully functional with 1 AA when needed Length: 5.6 inches Weight with Batteries: 6.73 ounces Light Output: 77 lumens on high Runtime: 8 hours on high mode white when powered by Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA batteries Beam Distance: 48 meters on high Peak Beam Intensity: 77 lumens Modes: Bright white high-intensity LED (70 lumens on high), red LED, blue LED green LED, infrared, infrared strobe Special Features: Survives 15-foot drop, Total Internal Reflection lens, rotating 130-degree head, Smart Switch technology controls intensity of all visible light sources, IR and lockout modes prevent other light sources from operating

FIRST-LIGHT USA TOMAHAWK LE TACTICAL LIGHT WITH BELT TRS Designed for law enforcement, the Tomahawk LE tactical light with belt TRS clip has an ultra-bright white light plus red and blue LEDs that can be used individually or together in a safety strobe mode—alternating white, red, and blue strobing. First-Light USA • Tomahawk LE Tactical Light Light Type: LED Batteries: 2 CR123 lithium batteries Length: 3.35 inches Weight with Batteries: 0.5 pounds Light Output: 120 Lumens Runtime: 2 hours on high, 10 hours on medium, 60 hours on low Beam Distance: 200 meters Peak Beam Intensity: 120 lumens Modes: Constant on, tactical strobe (white), safety strobe (alternating white, red, blue) Special Features: 90-degree angle head, belt TRS clip, multiple colors of LED

PELICAN • 7060 LED FLASHLIGHT The Pelican 7060 LED light, developed jointly with the LAPD, employs new dual switch technology that allows the light to be activated by either a body-mounted

patrol switch or a tail-mounted tactical switch. The dual switches, which include a momentary mode, allow the user to grip the light in several positions and still control activation. The light incorporates rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries for maximum brightness. Pelican • 7060 LED Light Type: LED Batteries: 1 3.7 V, 2200 mAh Lithium-Ion Length: 8.64 inches Weight with Batteries: 10.4 ounces Light Output: 160 lumens Runtime: 2 hours Beam Distance: 254 meters Peak Beam Intensity: 16101 cd. Modes: Tactical (tailcap switch), patrol (side switch)

RIVER ROCK • PERFECT CIRCLE This palm-sized, highly-focused handy flashlight from River Rock won’t blind yourself or others with too much power. The Perfect Circle flashlight’s precision formed lens projects a precise focused hard edge yet soft full moon-shaped light beam, making it ideal for close up inside and outside activities. At 20 feet it projected a 41-inch perfect circle of light. The Perfect Circle flashlight can also emit a constant hands-free flash (about 80 flashes per minute) for signaling. River Rock • Perfect Circle Light Type: Ultra-quality 5mm Nichia white LED Batteries: 1 AA battery Length: 4.4 inches Weight with Batteries: 4.5 ounces Light Output: 3.5 lumens (tightly focused by design to prevent night blindness) Runtime: 30 hours constant on, 60+ hours flashing mode Beam Distance: 200 feet Peak Beam Intensity: 3.5 lumens Modes: Constant on, flashing mode Special Features: Comes with nylon wrist lanyard and one AA Duracell battery; constant hands-free flash for signaling To request information on products in this issue go to

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The Super Tac X features Streamlight’s C4 LED technology with a 50,000-hour lifetime, delivering up to 200 lumens and 40,000 candela. The light uses a deep-dish parabolic reflector to produce a long-range targeting beam with optimum peripheral illumination to aid in navigation. The new model includes high- and low-intensity modes plus a strobe light. Streamlight • Super Tac X Light Type: LED Batteries: 2 3-volt CR123A lithium Length: 6.62 inches Weight with Batteries: 7.1 ounces Light Output: 200 lumens on high, 10 lumens on low Runtime: 2.5 hours on high, 50 hours on low Beam Distance: 400 m on high, 89 m on low Peak Beam Intensity: 40,000 cd on high, 2,000 cd on low Modes: high, low, and strobe

SUREFIRE • G2ZX-A-BK SureFire’s single-output G2ZX, designed for tactical use, produces 200 lumens of brilliant white light from a high-performance LED. It uses a micro-textured polycarbonate reflector to create a smooth beam with optimal light distribution. The CombatGrip design—reduced-diameter mid-section and rubber grip ring—is perfect for flashlight/handgun techniques and provides a secure hold. It also features ergonomic tactical switching: press the tailcap switch for momentary-on, twist the tailcap for constant-on. PR SureFire • G2ZX CombatLight Light Type: LED Batteries: 2 CR123A Length: 5.2 inches Weight with Batteries: 4.3 ounces Light Output: 200 lumens Runtime: 2 hours Beam Distance: 100 yards Peak Beam Intensity: N/A Modes: Momentary on, constant on Special Features: CombatGrip for secure hold in all conditions, tactical tailcap switch, weatherproof O-ring and gasket sealing Police Recruit


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Bates Footwear



Bellevue University



BLI, Inc.



Danner Footwear



DeSantis Holsters






Kahr Arms



Kentucky Wesleyan College Online



King College Online



Mace Personal Defense, Inc.



Ottawa University



Police Magazine/






The Gun Shop



Voodoo Tactical



The Advertisers’ Index is provided as a courtesy to POLICE RECRUIT advertisers. The publisher assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions.

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Product Showcase Guide


Priority Start ÂŽ


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RESPONDING TO A CODE Z Are you prepared for the zombie apocalypse? THE OTHER DAY I was sitting at a cigar bar in South Carolina talking to some crimefighters about modern problems facing law enforcement. I’ve heard it said that every generation sees signs of the apocalypse and thinks, “Today is the worst time ever!” And so it was we were lamenting the fall of the Republic and the bad times to come. In the middle of the conversation one of my fellow cigar aficionados simply lowered his smoke and asked, “But what I want to know is, what do you plan to use when the zombies come?” What followed was a lively discussion of the proper use of force and weapons for serious zombie stopping, as only emotionally undeveloped males can do, involving stabbing, chopping, and shooting. When it was over we all sat back and finished our cigars with a much better outlook on life. It is said a Spartan captain was told the Persians had so many archers that their arrows would block out the sun, to which

to acknowledge that the times are tough, and permits us a chance to use our imagination and humor to escape, if for a moment, the real issues facing us today. So, dear reader, let us begin. You go to briefing and your sergeant reads a notice about a strange flu going around that seems to be having some odd effects on its victims so any calls involving brain eating will be dispatched as a two-officer call. An hour later you are facing your first zombie. It’s a solo living dead guy who seems preoccupied with getting some of your brain. You would: A) Call your sergeant. B) Use your iPhone to post a Facebook photo of the perp. C) Double tap the poor creature with your carbine. D) All of the above. answer: D) All of the above. This is too good WHETHER THE THREAT TO A CIVIL SOCIETY to Correct keep to yourself and your sergeant is going to get a IS A CRIMINAL, A PROTESTER, A TORNADO, kick out of this too. What’s that you say? You’re a shotgun OR A ZOMBIE, THE LAW ENFORCEMENT type of zombie hunter? Sure you are, but you need the OFFICER WILL ALWAYS BE THE TIP OF THE practice with a carbine! I know some of you are thinking about taking some of the more exotic movie options SPEAR TO SAVE THE DAY. on duty, but I think your average domestic will be a lot harder to handle when you are walking around with that he replied, “Then we will fight in the shade!” Which was the samurai sword. Now some of you are thinking all this is pretty silly, and Spartan way of saying, “And when the zombies come we’ll you’re right. But in the moment the Spartan captain said kick their butts, too!” Whether the threat to a civil society is a criminal, a pro- his men would fight in the shade, his men laughed and all tester, a tornado, or a zombie, the law enforcement officer thoughts of the dark times to come were banished for a time will always be the tip of the spear to save the day, solve the with that one image. Warriors have always used humor to crime, rescue the victims, maintain the peace, and restore cope, to heal, to prepare, and I think that it is in these jokes civilization. The problem is that modern society and its and silly exercises that we escape for a moment the horror of chattering classes often seem to root for the zombies and fatal accidents, shootings, storms, and social unrest. The zombie has become a symbol of the mindless tragedy spend a great deal of time criticizing the heroes of our story. Zombies have become one of today’s hottest subjects. A and crises that haunt the modern world, and it is the job of plethora of TV shows, movies, and novels explore all types of law enforcement to race to the rescue in these moments of the undead or living dead. Future generations will no doubt chaos and create order. So I think it is a good exercise to, just attribute this fi xation to one or another of our social ills, and for a few minutes, escape to the world of the zombie hunter one certainly has to admit that there must be some strange and choose your weapons. Good hunting. PR social collective fear that has made these critters the subject of so much attention. Dave Smith is the creator of “Buck Savage” and a retired law For crimefighters, speculative zombie slaying permits us enforcement officer from Arizona. 32

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Police Recruit Fall 2011 / Winter 2012

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Police Recruit 2011  

Magazine for police rookies and new recruits