POLICE Magazine

MAY 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

Issue link: https://policemag.epubxp.com/i/1113598

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Page 33 of 76

POLICEMAG.COM 31 Less than three years ago, in 2016, five Dallas Police Officers were murdered by a single killer in a running gun battle on the city streets while they were detailed to protect an anti-police demonstration. Each of these tragedies has presented lessons to be learned in terms of policy, training, equipment, and tactics. ose four words: policy, training, equipment, and tactics are the recur- ring themes of this series of articles. We know it's a dangerous profession. We know that public support for what we do changes over time, and that it's at a low point in the past few years. We sometimes hear members of the public say that police work isn't so dangerous compared to the number of deaths experienced by construction workers, for one example. We have our accidental deaths too, but it doesn't seem to occur to our critics that policing is the only civilian profession whose members occasionally get murdered for just wearing their uniform and doing their job. ese articles are meant to explore a half-century of po- lice policy, training, equipment, and tactics. How have we changed? And what does the future look like as we seek to con- tinuously improve? It's been 43 years since I first put on a badge at age 27. Do the math. As I get older, I've stayed in the game as a consultant and expert witness…shootings, TASERs, arrest-related deaths are most of the work. I meet officers from a lot of agencies who are be- ing sued (sometimes prosecuted), and I continue to be amazed at the professionalism, the resourcefulness, and the heroism of the men and women of our profession who do the right thing when they put their lives on the line to protect and to serve. (And I'm occasionally disappointed, as I'm sure you are, when someone falls off the wagon and embarrasses the profession.) Sometimes our policies, training, equipment, and tactics do not help us solve the problem we face on this call or that. We need to keep finding better ways and better stuff. Policy? Policy is a statement of what our organizations nor- mally expect in a given situation. Policy is driven by manage- ment discretion (sometimes with union input) and the law. You usually should follow it. But when should you break it? Training? It is the key to implementing policy, properly using equipment, and engaging in effective tactics. From basic train- ing to FTO to in-service training, we'll take a look. Equipment? Firearms, batons, saps, handcuffs. at's where we were. TASERs, OC and other chemical sprays, backup weap- ons, patrol rifles, trauma kits, extended-range impact projec- tiles, and ballistic vests and car doors. at's where we're at. But what else is needed? Tactics? We will get into better vehicle stops, safer pursuits, carotids and LVNR, the evolving responses to active shooters, de-escalation, and more. If you drive Interstate 5 a few miles north of Los Angeles, in Newhall you can see the memorial signs with the names of the four murdered CHP officers: James Pence, Walter Frago, Roger Gore, George Alleyn. If you visit the Los Angeles Police Muse- um (www.laphs.com), you can view an entire room filled with evidence and artifacts from "e Onion Field." And if you visit the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washing- ton, D.C., you can read the names and reflect on the lives of the t In 1997 LAPD officers shot it out with bank robbers in armor and carrying automatic rifles. The officers' handguns and shotguns were not up to the task. Now agencies issue rifles. PHOTO: POLICE FILE

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