A Deadly Time for Oklahoma Police Officers
I think it’s time for turds to stop killing us. Enough officers have died in the recent past and left families behind. The question is how do we as a law enforcement group stop this. Yep, I agree killing turds first before they kill us is the best idea. That being said, let’s look at some ideas. I believe the criminal element is keenly aware of body amour and is deliberately looking to shoot officers where the body amour is compromised or nonexistent. In this article, I will use the term ASSAILANT, there is a key word in ASSailant and I think you can figure it out.
If body amour is a problem there are techniques that provide some protection and possibly the chance you need to effectively neutralize your assailant. One of the first things is to be ever mindful and informed of what size assailant you are facing. Learning to read body language is very helpful. Reading the facial micro expressions will often give away a person’s true attitude towards you and the situation. In one interview, I was conducting with Inspector Bob Cannon, Inspector Cannon was watching the interviewee’s face. After I had asked a question and looked down at my notes, Inspector Cannon caught a micro facial expression of the interviewee that changed the entire course of the interview. He had caught her delayed facial response of getting by with a lie. It was great because from that point on we watched her body language like an eagle and were able to conduct a very good interview.
Years ago, I read a book by the name of The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker. I thank my daughter and her college professor for introducing me to this book. At first I was reluctant to read a college assignment book but why not. I am here to tell you it is a book well worth your time. It’s not about being scared but about paying attention to the signals you receive from a person, place or thing and not socially disregarding the information because of social training that occurs in everyone’s life.
Outside of law enforcement, corporations spend a significant amount of money on consultants who have mastered the art of body language. Attorneys spend money on consults who watch the jury’s reactions during a trial to hopefully determine if the jury is favoring them or not.
I also believe officers need to be taught the art of profiling. This is one of the great tools that law enforcement can use to stay alive. It is a part to the body language of a person and can be coupled with what you see right in front of you. If you have a person who physically exhibits tattoos that appears to indicate this person rejects authority, it would be worth your time to be cautious. Back many years ago profiling was used in determining the probability of a person transporting narcotics. It consisted of known behaviors that were commonly exhibited by drug dealers. These behaviors did not rise to the level of probable cause and were determined to be useless in arrest warrants and search warrants. When the courts determined it to be useless, it obtained the reputation as not worthy of using. It has somehow now become taboo to mention you use profiling. Many years ago I was a guest speaker at a university. During the question answer segment I was asked if I ever used profiling. I proudly said yes and I could see shock on many of the students face. I believe profiling has unfairly earned the reputation of being a bad practice with the help of defense attorneys and political correctness. The politically correct attitude has labeled profiling as unacceptable to even consider.
With the use of the concepts in THE GIFT OF FEAR and profiling, an assailant who appears to be cooperative may be giving a whole different message with his body, tattoos and language. With the use of these tools your decision to be on alert and cautious can save your life.
It seems today’s many killers are not that mad-crazed person who comes out and charge at the police. Whether they are motivated by political ideas, religious ideas or are just mad at something, they kill just to kill. To get that 15 minutes of social media fame.
At one time many officers carried clip boards with them. Some clip boards the size of a ticket book and some large enough to hold report forms. Ah, the age of digital entry and often gone the clip board. Whether it’s a clip board or digital entry device, it can be used as an effective distraction on an assailant and provide life saving time to use more effective methods; yes, getting your gun out and shooting the assailant. As a police officer I was never taught the concept of common place weapons. Almost every place you go there are weapons abounding. Let’s look at your seat in church. I see a song book - I can throw that. I see a bible - I can throw that. The keys in your pocket are stabbing and clawing weapon, if you still use keys on locks. How about the menu at the place you eat after church. The menu is a striking weapon. If you don’t think so, ask your partner to strike you in the face at full force with the edge of the menu and then call me with your opinion. The point is to learn to see the weapons around you that can enhance your survival.
There also appears to be a problem with arterial bleeding when officers are shot. While this not new information it beckons the idea of onsite first-aid. What are the first-aid skills of the average officer? Is there more an uninjured officer can do at the scene of an injured officer or citizen. Onsite first-aid is critical and with the changes in blood clotting medicine you could be very effective while awaiting more help. If you are issued a basic first-aid kit or just keep one on hand become familiar with every device in it and how it is used.
In the end, there is no complete answer to preventing the death of police officers in the line of duty. There is no satisfactory way to ease the pain the officers’ family will endure. When you put on the badge you take on danger and so does your family. Don’t forget every day to let your family know you love them.
Be safe out there, come home in one piece and lets be the best of the best.