Cop stuff editorial



Hitting The Reset Button

By |April 30th, 2014|

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 [...]

$20 Box Store Lights For Cops?

By |April 22nd, 2014|

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 “Tactical” Overworked?

By |April 2nd, 2014|

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 [...]

Lights Fantastic?

By |April 2nd, 2014|

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, [...]

Small Agencies: Can We Afford High Tech?

By |March 4th, 2014|

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.

Are We Misusing SWAT?

By |March 4th, 2014|

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 [...]

Help Us Help You

By |March 3rd, 2014|

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 [...]

Are You An Idiot?

By |February 7th, 2014|

Well... Are You? I’ll give you a pass if you make mistakes now and again, or write a ticket you might lose in court, or be a bit lazy with checking for evidence on the next burglary report you take. I’ll even forgive you for not taking the next sergeant’s [...]

Are Specialized Units… Special?

By |February 5th, 2014|

During my career I was assigned to several specialized units. Sometimes on “loan” (can you say playing a hooker for the vice unit? Ahem … ), background investigations (for new hires) and other times driving a “crash car” as a traffic officer, as a commercial vehicle enforcement officer and as an accident investigations detective. I also spent time on the San Diego PD “Beach Team” trying to keep the hordes under control around the beaches and bays. I think there were other assignments, many temporary, but they’ve sort of greyed-out in my memory.

Setting Realistic Expectations

By |February 5th, 2014|

The supervisor of a vice/narcotics unit from a medium-size municipal law enforcement agency asked me to address the issue of selecting personnel for specialty assignments. As he puts it, management is split between those who feel time in patrol should be the determining factor and those who believe additional preparation [...]

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