PROLOGUE Recently Lt. Chuck Smith and I were sitting on my front deck watching Oregon’s Umpqua River flow by, shooting suppressed weapons, killing some brain cells and generally swapping lies when one of us said, in best ‘Harry Callahan’ fashion: “So...tell us about your best felony arrest.” Since neither of us could remember ever having made a felony arrest (I said we were lying!), the subject changed to “Tell us about the most interesting [...]
Here at American COP we’re all too aware of how tight budgets are for the average law enforcement agency — that’s you in small town USA. While it would be nice to have gear right out of some cop TV show, those guys live in the world of make-believe. So what do you do if your agency can’t afford new or improved gear? Some of you will sit around and whine about how bad you’ve got it, while others will simply make do with whatever they can get, but a few will be proactive. Huh? What?
As a former SWAT member and team commander I’ve watched with great interest the growth in sophistication of SWAT tactics over the years. I’ve also observed with interest the necessary and appropriate use of technology designed to enhance the safety of all, including citizens, during high-risk incidents. As my recent [...]
We’ve talked before about retiring and being prepared for what’s next, but the topic keeps cropping up. When I recently asked you to let us know what you’d like to see covered, the gamut ran from “More guns and gear!” to “Keep the bar raised high on leadership” and “Don’t [...]
There are lots of tools of the trade associated with law enforcement. Most of us automatically think of our guns, impact weapons, radios, handcuffs, etc. And we often take their expense for granted — until we’re buying them with our own hard-earned money. Flashlights can certainly cause a lot of grumbling, and I’ve often heard officers complain about how expensive they are and the batteries needed to keep ’em running. And I love the “If they don’t issue it, then I ain’t buying it” crowd. Great, go ahead and shoot yourself in the foot by short-changing your chance to save your butt when the chips are down. Idiots.
Is there anyone besides me who thinks we may have reached the point where “tactical” as a description of what we wear, carry and how we work is perhaps becoming just a bit overused? Or, in some cases, misused? Make no mistake of where I’m coming from. In addition to [...]
One of the big problems with the LE industry — and it is an industry, with manufacturers, trainers, trends, goals, employees, etc. — is there are rarely standards in place to judge products. While some professional organizations like the NTOA offer “approval” ratings, and the NIJ offers standards for vests, [...]
First of all, a hearty thank you to all of you who were kind enough to respond to Roy’s “Staying The Course” editorial (From The Publisher, Feb. 2014). We received a tremendous number of letters chock-full of what you like and don’t like, as well as a lot of requests for topics you’d like to see us tackle. We’ve printed a few of the letters we received in Return Fire in this issue, but I want to address a few things you tossed at us.
In his article “Rise of the Warrior Cop” (Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2013) Radley Balko offers the opinion that, for a variety of reasons, some law enforcement agencies have become too militarized and are using SWAT resources in incidents not justified in their usage. Several American COP readers, who [...]
Let Us Know What You Did, How You Did It, What Worked — And what didn’t. You’ll notice in American COP we regularly use articles submitted by readers. Readers would, technically, be you. While our own crew is damn good (the best, by the way), the legions of “You guys [...]