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From SoCal to the South...a bit of a rant

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  • From SoCal to the South...a bit of a rant

    Let me say that I love the work I do at my agency, but I’m a bit surprised at the safety and tactics used by many officers out here. I don’t claim to know it all and I’m no super cop, but after coming from a major southern California agency, if there’s one thing that I am very confident in, it is my officer safety and tactics. I was patrolled trained on the streets of L.A., that being said, we never let anybody step out of their car without controlling their movements, we never searched anybody with their hands on the wall or their own car (always with their legs spread, feet pointed out and hands interlaced behind the back, on our hood), we searched everybody thourghly, rarely do I see officers doing a proper search for weapons or even trying to control the suspect while doing the search. We never ran up on felony vehicles (we did felony stops), we never rushed into things (I find that I’m always the one asking if the suspect has any weapons and trying to assess the situation before going into anything) so that’s my rant I feel the officer safety training seems to be behind in this region and I understand that this is not L.A., but officer safety is universal… Just looking for some opinions why this maybe…
    Last edited by MPD4Me; 10-17-2009, 08:58 PM.

  • #2
    I've always said that myself. I feel/have felt that Law Enforcement agencies in California have led the way when it comes to tactics and officer safety. I've always been impressed with what I've seen from there. That being said, I've been involved in the hands on the car and the 'blue' swarm in felony stops and it just seems to be indiginous to this area .... at least the vast majority of agencies down this way...not all, but most.
    Moooooooooooo, I'm a goat

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    • #3
      Originally posted by JSD73 View Post
      I've always said that myself. I feel/have felt that Law Enforcement agencies in California have led the way when it comes to tactics and officer safety. I've always been impressed with what I've seen from there. That being said, I've been involved in the hands on the car and the 'blue' swarm in felony stops and it just seems to be indiginous to this area .... at least the vast majority of agencies down this way...not all, but most.


      +1

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      • #4
        MPD4M,

        I am from the South and have worked the streets of LA for 9 years and have given this a lot of thought over the years. I think it just goes to mindset. In CA you expect everyone to hate you and to want to hurt you. In the South most citizens are friendly and since violence against officers are low in a lot of areas (big cities excepted) you don't come into a situation expecting it as much. Training is also the big reason. I know Deputies in some states that are working the street and haven't even been trained yet. I was told that as long as they go to the academy within 6 months or so they are fine

        OH, I also want to add to my Southern Police brothers that I have nothing but respect for what they do. I think its more dangerous working by yourself with backup 20 mins away then in a big city where you have a partner and unlimited resources a call away. I tell people that all the time.
        Last edited by CAHokie; 10-17-2009, 10:50 PM. Reason: added paragraph

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        • #5
          Because our officer safety tacitcs have been developed from the blood shed of our brothers. Unfortunatley people jump on good tactics as a result of tragedy. I hope the cops in your area never have to learn that lesson. Take the time to slowly lead your partners down the path of good tactics and maybe they won't have to.
          Today's Quote:

          "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
          Albert Einstein

          Comment


          • #6
            Excellent response, mdrdep. I have to remember, too, that CA (and other big-city/agency) cops have access to great training & equipment. We have many survivors of violent encounters in our midst - they share their story. We pin medals and elevate them to almost celebrity status. We also pull/pulled down a great wage, so we concentrate on our safety & tactics. We have unions & associations which make these things possible. Those unions also fight for us, to help save/protect our jobs....there's no at-will termination of even tenured employees.

            Sadly, our non-CA & smaller agency bothers & sisters haven't been exposed to the officer safety lectures we've taken for granted. They also get paid $$$, in contrast to the $$$paid to their CA (and other big-city/agency) counterparts. The chief of police position of the small town, next-door, to my agency pays less than the starting salary of an LAPD recruit.

            They have to worry, too, about their 'other' jobs they do to help make ends meet. And because of smalltown/agency politics, they have to do more with a lot less, often putting aside safer tactics because the mayor yelled at the chief, and the chief decided things would be done more like what the mayor likes.
            "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

            Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

            Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

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            • #7
              I'm on a dept. of about 2300 sworn, and I've tried to think of why the training and tactics are what they are. This is what I think, as big as our dept is and as violent as the City we work in is, we do not have a dedicated force training unit like LASD or many other agencies that run thier own academy, that teach these things in the academy, what we have is generations of fto's passing down information which dates back for years without being updated, that's my best guess....

              On another note I have had officers approach me at the end of shift and say something like, I saw how you pulled that guy out of the car or how I was patting someone down and asked me to show them, which I gladly do and they end up running with it. Then there are others who have watched me and I can tell thier curious but have too much pride to ask....

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MPD4Me View Post
                I'm on a dept. of about 2300 sworn, and I've tried to think of why the training and tactics are what they are. This is what I think, as big as our dept is and as violent as the City we work in is, we do not have a dedicated force training unit like LASD or many other agencies that run thier own academy, that teach these things in the academy, what we have is generations of fto's passing down information which dates back for years without being updated, that's my best guess....

                On another note I have had officers approach me at the end of shift and say something like, I saw how you pulled that guy out of the car or how I was patting someone down and asked me to show them, which I gladly do and they end up running with it. Then there are others who have watched me and I can tell thier curious but have too much pride to ask....
                That bolded portion would make me, personally, feel all warm and fuzzy inside. That's way cool, man!

                How long have you been at your new department?

                Perhaps it's time to suggest the creation of a Training Unit...even if just part-time?
                "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

                Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

                Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

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                • #9
                  It's not just the south. I'm from New England and can tell you it's exactly the same there.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Code Seven
                    Try taking the attitude that you have just as much to learn as you do to teach.

                    This is probably the best thing that I have read on this forum. Too many cops think they know it better, and don't need to learn anymore. I am more than happy to give advice to some of our younger guys. I like to think I listen too. The lessons are taught both ways. When you think you know it all, and stop learing, retire.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MPD4Me View Post
                      Let me say that I love the work I do at my agency, but I’m a bit surprised at the safety and tactics used by many officers out here. I don’t claim to know it all and I’m no super cop, but after coming from a major southern California agency, if there’s one thing that I am very confident in, it is my officer safety and tactics. I was patrolled trained on the streets of L.A., that being said, we never let anybody step out of their car without controlling their movements, we never searched anybody with their hands on the wall or their own car (always with their legs spread, feet pointed out and hands interlaced behind the back, on our hood), we searched everybody thourghly, rarely do I see officers doing a proper search for weapons or even trying to control the suspect while doing the search. We never ran up on felony vehicles (we did felony stops), we never rushed into things (I find that I’m always the one asking if the suspect has any weapons and trying to assess the situation before going into anything) so that’s my rant I feel the officer safety training seems to be behind in this region and I understand that this is not L.A., but officer safety is universal… Just looking for some opinions why this maybe…
                      I think you and the other posters are right on the money.


                      I have had the same issues w/ the attitudes here in Ga.

                      I know what is good and bad in terms of tactics and take the best approach possible, whenever possible.

                      I "copy" many of the officer safety tactics from So. Cal agencies and often have been accused of being tooo gung ho and all that nonsense. I just blow it off, and keep on doing it.

                      Suspect control and handcuffing are my big pet peeves as well as a general lack of giving a s**t when it comes to these issues.

                      Anyway, good post.

                      Good luck.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        IMO, officer safety practices aren't a regional "thing", but areas do have their own quirks. Working in a relatively large city here, I know officers that work in smaller towns & their safety practices range from extreme to non-existent. As was mentioned, I think some of the problem is simply a lack of exposure to high-risk incidents but the other thing is the officer selection process itself.
                        Many (NOT ALL) small towns naturally don't have a budget for high-tech training & a dedicated assignment of officers trained to teach high-risk situations. But more importantly (IMO) they often don't pay a decent wage or have the qualified personnel to select prime LE candidates. Consequently they get individuals that, while their hearts are in the right place, simply don't have the abilities to be efficient LEOs. I'm not talking about "super cops" here --- I'm talking about places that simply can't get a mature, level-headed, inteeligient individual that wants to put on the badge.Developing anemployee is no different than building a hoouse--if you have a weak foundation, you'll have a weak (in terms of performance) LEO. The Calif. officers here that moved to smaller towns prove this. They came from larger agencies, with better resources to that could screen potential employees better and they're now the ones in their new agencies that can point out ways to improve their new depts.
                        Of course demographics play a big part in this. But it's the mature, common sense officer that knows this & can adjust his tactics accordingly with minimal citizen complaints that can quickly ruin one's career. I guess the point I'm making is that the lack of safety practices isn't necessisarily a regional thing, but one that's determined form dy one when the employee is selected ---- sub-par pay & management is going to produce a sub-par employee

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                        • #13
                          A buddy of mine had the same issue gong from Tulsa PD to an agency in Colorado.
                          Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead.

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                          • #14
                            Fortunatley or unfortunately (depends on how you want to view it) a lot of our Officer Safety practices were developed or derived from real life events. Events that agenices do not forget. Years ago we were taught to qucikly scan under and around our cars before getting back into them. This was directly related to the Sybonese Liberation Army's (SLA) attempts to blow up officers in the late 60's.

                            Prior to the New Hall incident in which the four CHP offciers were killed, there was no such thing as a felony vehicle stop. Officers in LA and around CA have been dealing with violent gang members for 40 years now, officer safety was and still is critical.

                            How many agencies carried AR-15 or the like prior to the North Hollywood bank robbery? CA has had both the Watts riots in the 60's and the riots after the Rodney King verdict. SWAT teams were developed after the Watts riots. There were riots in Berkley during the Vietnam war.. The Goodguys hostage takeover here in Sac which is still the single largest hostage rescue in US law enforcement history. The events have left a lasting affect on us, and we all learned different things from them.

                            There was a time when criminals would try and kill an officer just for what we stood for, whether it be a bomb or sniper bullet. This still happens today, but to a lesser degree. When you think about the lessons that we were/are taught regarding not backlighitng yourself while out at night, and drawng your gun when a shaddy person walks up to your car and placing people in control holds while searching, these lessons are becasue of what was happening 30 and 40 years ago. In the academy we were taught the LAPD qucik cuff method of handcuffing. Terry V Ohio is a great example for OHIO.

                            P.O.S.T (CA police officer standards and training) has done a good job intigrating these lessons into our academy. All CA acadamies are taught from the same learning domains, no matter where in the state you attend.

                            I have a picture of an NYPD officer standing behind 15 guys that have their hands on the wall assuming the positon, while another officer searches them. Would this happen today, no! NYPD has had more than their share of incidents to draw from, probably more than any other agency. But they are better because of it.

                            Times have changed for all of us, no matter where we live. Our training is much better and there is more of it available.

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                            • #15
                              I remember years ago LAPD used to make a great series of training videotapes. They pretty much covered any deadly encounter not only within LAPD but several from surrounding agencies as well. They were excellent tapes, but I haven't seen any new ones since Chief Gates left, hmmmmmm

                              Anyways I've always thoght that if I won enough money in the lottery I would use some of it to start a company where we would travel the country and help teach good tactics without cost to a lot of smaller agencies around the country. Not because I'm "Joe Bichin" but because I know a lot of guys that are, some that didn't make it, and because I would hate to see other officers lose their lives because their agencies just couldn't/wouldn't put the money into training their officers need to survie these violent encounters.
                              Today's Quote:

                              "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
                              Albert Einstein

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