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

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  • #16
    It's not always that the bigger agencies have better resources and such. As I mentioned earlier, I'm from New England and have friends on different departments back there so we share info all the time.

    They've all told me that the biggest problem is the mindset of their brethren. For example, in the academy they are taught the typical felony car stop: stop the car, prone the occupants out on the street and then approach. However, for whatever reason, when they get on the street, that training goes "out the window" and they just swarm the car and pull the occupants out the windows, sometimes with a bad crossfire situation.

    When I ask them what is said in the debrief afterward, they tell me that they don't have debriefs because those are bad and they don't want to talk bad about a fellow officer. When I ask why the supervisors don't tell them not to conduct felony stops that way, they tell me the supervisors don't care or don't see anything wrong with it.

    And if nothing goes wrong, the mindset is: "Well that was a good job, we should do that everytime." It's hard to change people's minds when it's been done that way for many years.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Chief Wiggum View Post
      A buddy of mine had the same issue gong from Tulsa PD to an agency in Colorado.
      Colorado is like most states it has very rural areas and very urban areas. My personal experience I started on the street with a very rural agency and was used to doing things alone most of the time. When I started with my current department I had to completely relearn alot of things. I think there are some very good agencies in Colorado that are on the cutting edge of training and officer safety tactics. Most of the country has gone to active shooter training because of events and lessons learned in Colorado from the Columbine incident. I dont watch things like COPS anymore it makes me cringe. I also see the other extreme though where officers want to dress up like military commandos and approach every call like it's a military operation. We are civilian law enforcement officers for the most part and do have to communicate with the public we serve, but we should do it in the safest way possible.

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      • #18
        What I've seen is that it's not really that they weren't ever taught proper tactics, it's that some guys lack command presence and lack confidence not only in their ability, but in what they can and can't do. Some just lack common sense and some shouldn't have been hired in the first place.

        Too many guys are afraid to go hands on or take absolute command of their scene for fear of complaints or because of ignorance on what we are justified in doing. That only serves to get them or someone else killed. This happens everywhere, not just in one region.

        If a guy doesn't have confidence in what he's doing, he can't take command. I blame the department for hiring them and I blame the officer for not giving a crap. I don't blame anyone for correcting their unsafe actions regardless if their feelings get hurt.
        sigpic

        " 'Blessed are the Peacemakers', is, I suppose, to be understood in the other world, for in this one they are frequently cursed." - Benjamin Franklin

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        • #19
          Originally posted by LA Copper View Post
          When I ask them what is said in the debrief afterward, they tell me that they don't have debriefs because those are bad and they don't want to talk bad about a fellow officer. When I ask why the supervisors don't tell them not to conduct felony stops that way, they tell me the supervisors don't care or don't see anything wrong with it.

          And if nothing goes wrong, the mindset is: "Well that was a good job, we should do that everytime." It's hard to change people's minds when it's been done that way for many years.
          Wow....they REALLY would not like how we do things then.....

          Debriefs are mandatory after most major incidents; pursuits; and UOF capers.....and most Sgts could really care less if you get all butt hurt when your screwups are pointed out.

          I would imagine it is roughly the same on your side of the street.....
          The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

          "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

          "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

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          • #20
            Originally posted by LA DEP View Post
            Wow....they REALLY would not like how we do things then.....

            Debriefs are mandatory after most major incidents; pursuits; and UOF capers.....and most Sgts could really care less if you get all butt hurt when your screwups are pointed out.

            I would imagine it is roughly the same on your side of the street.....
            You're correct, they don't like how we do things. I've tried to get some of them to conduct debriefs when I go back to visit but they just refuse (not all departments are like that, although it seems to be the norm rather than the exception).

            You're also correct about debriefs for us, all major incidents require one. I've seen deputy chiefs get involved and were the first to "fall on their sword" when they had to. As I'm sure you know, we're not looking to offend anyone, just to learn from the incident, both good and bad.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by mdrdep View Post
              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.
              I always wondered which one was worse- "not knowing" if someone was armed or not, and having them go "918 Victor" on you or "KNOWING" almost everyone you encounter can have a gun ( many southern states have liberal CCW laws) and seeing them go the ding route and try to hurt you!

              Have seen too many training instances ,as well as read incidents where officers were killed for their inability to see the danger signs in southern states ( one instance where a TX county Dep pulled THREE suspects out of the car, discovered drugs, and failed to SEARCH, or even restrain the suspects- the deputy was murdered in a roadside ditch! another was of a Ga. deputy who pursued a suspect, allowed the suspect to get out of the truck, threatened to kill the deputy, then ARM himself with a M-14 carbine rifle and gun the deputy down !)

              true enough that most police officers are killed in auto collisions nationwide, BUT I "chatted" with officers here who think CA. Cops are too "paranoid" or have that "if your times up" attitude. I wish there were some time of universal training( have a internet bud who went down south to live AFTER having been to a pre service CA Police Academy) He tried his luck in that states L.E. and said that the legal training,weapons defense, the PT and the driving were good, BUT that tactics were incredibly substandard when it came to hitting the streets- on several situations he said that officers actually got drawn on before they draw weapons( the suspects gave up on one occassion, and one got shot and wounded on another)! After talkingto one of the officers in the previous incident, the officer -my pal said- told him "that he was just lucky that time", and blew it off...

              I thought it was because of the different state laws or agency policy, But apparently its just officer complacency that allows for some officers to fail to handcuff a FELON, waste time in verbal dispute with a violent offender,or try to go hand to hand with multiple suspects ALONE. Call me a pootbutt- but unless it was life threatening to a citizen, I'm not chasing some FELON ALONE through a heavily wooded area in the dark( the idea of being ambushed , or left for dead just doesn't sound appealing).

              Maybe those "lessons learned" as MRDEP and Sarge Keith M have stressed make us "think" differently( LAX Officer Tommy Scott,EOW 4-29-05 is a sad reminder of letting your guard down).I am in know way trying to dog the officers who work in conditions or environments like that- they know what they deal with daily, BUT making it home alive at end of watch is more important to the community than being a dubbed "hero" any day...........


              A sad difference in traffic stops-





              "if" only both traffic stops could have been done with the same assertive officer commands and control, we'd have one more " brother" in blue with us today. BETTER them than us.......
              Last edited by DOAcop38; 10-21-2009, 03:22 PM.
              "we're americans ! We don't quit because we're wrong, we just keep doing it wrong UNTIL it turns out Right"...

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              • #22
                Originally posted by 11b101abn View Post
                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.
                ....but conversely, you also work in a place where a "good apology" afterward goes along way, whereas here in So.Cal ,you can bend over backward to apologize( even in most cases where you were 101% right) and the folks- from the yuppie in his BMW to an Lennox 13 hardened homeboy will still growl "F... you !" with the least bit of concern, and your "neck of the woods", the avg citizen might actually get out his/her car and try to help you......
                "we're americans ! We don't quit because we're wrong, we just keep doing it wrong UNTIL it turns out Right"...

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                • #23
                  I work for a small agency now, where its usually one officer on patrol. I am almost at my first year on the job and I see these same things yall are talking about. I am the only officer that routinely wears a vest, I call in my traffic stops and I always pat down subjects prior to getting into my vehicle. The other officers at my agency either dont or barely ever do them.

                  The biggest problem I see is that most of our agencies as mentioned before are much smaller than those in CA. Charlotte-Mecklenburg is the largest law enforcement agency in the whole state and only has 1600 sworn. Often times information isnt shared between agencies unless specifically asked. Mutual aid or cross training isnt done or is very seldom. Imo Im working in a cluster waiting to happen.
                  Striving to create a world in which I am no longer needed. 1*

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                  • #24
                    its not the entire south, its just your agency and I am sure there are others like it throughout the US where officers get to relaxed. Some officers only get the 12 week academy and'thats' their training. Over time with the lack of experience in a small rural department you can lose skills.

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                    • #25
                      many southern states have liberal CCW laws
                      What has this really got to do with tactics? Whenever I approached a situation I always expected someone to be armed and if they weren't that was just icing one the cake. In Ohio if they have a CCW permit you'll know it whan you run the tag and that doesn't mean they're a threat or a non-threat just they have a CCW permit.

                      its not the entire south, its just your agency and I am sure there are others like it throughout the US where officers get to relaxed. Some officers only get the 12 week academy and'thats' their training. Over time with the lack of experience in a small rural department you can lose skills.
                      You're correct, the more activity you have helps to keep skills in shape. I didn't work for a real large department but we were almost like a precinct of the large city we were bordered with and it was a very busy area.
                      Last edited by dadyswat; 10-20-2009, 08:02 AM.

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                      • #26
                        I moved from Southern California where I was a Police Officer for many years, to a small town in Kentucky. It amazes me that you don't have to go to an academy before you can work the street. So the joke is, you can be working at Walmart pushing carts on Monday and on Tuesday you can be putting people in jail. You can work the street for a year before going to an academy. This just blows my mind.

                        I work with a bunch of great people, but most would never make it in California. The "good ole boy" mentality around here is going to get someone killed.

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                        • #27
                          I could name several of the larger agencies around here who get GREAT training in the academy, but who I've seen on numerous occassions, NEVER do a felony stop after a pursuit.

                          I will say that California and Nevada agencies are tactically sound from what I've seen and while we in the South may not be as rigid in our tactics, from what I've seen of several of the east coast agencies, many of their tactics make those of us who work in the south appear like we are trained like LAPD.

                          I don't think it's the size of the agency so to speak, but rather how the FTOs end up training them, which is usually how they were trained and it gets passed on. It comes down to, "this is the streets and we don't do things like you learned in that there academy."
                          Moooooooooooo, I'm a goat

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                          • #28
                            IMHO good tactics are obtained from shared experiences and training. Here in So. CA, even LAPD has frequently failed to learn from what departments surrounding them have gained through hard won experience. Long before the "North Hollywood Shootout", similar situations occurred in Riverside County (Norco), Oxnard and San Diego that proved the necessity of having rifles available to "regular" patrol personnel. Why was LAPD unprepared? Because, regardless of the quality of their own training and experiences, an attitude existed of: If it didn't happen here or wasn't invented here, we must not need it.

                            This kind of attitude can occur in any jurisdiction or state. It comes from failing to communicate regularly with other agencies, learning from them (as well as providing learning opportunities) and discounting the professionalism of other departments based upon self-perceived "excellence." Sometimes this occurs due to a lack of resources (for outside training) and at other times it's just because of an agency's culture. Changing this attitude/culture takes a lot of self-reflection that (if it occurs in a vacuum) is extremely tough to manage.

                            If an individual or department is really serious about improvement, they need to get out and meet regularly with others doing the same kind of work. Closely at first (with neighbors), but also communicating with those working a great distance away is a good way to improve both a perception of others' and one's own organization's strengths and weaknesses. To me, forums like this one are a really good place to start.
                            "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

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                            • #29
                              To be completely fair good tactics aren't a California regional thing. There are plenty of bad tactics everywhere, including in L.A. In the EVOC courses around here there is an entire "What NOT to do" section that is all videos from California. Video after video of officers swarming a car following a pursuit. There were also a lot of "What TO do" videos from California as well.

                              It seemed that if a suspect stopped voluntarily and gave up the officers in the video did nearly flawless high risk traffic stops and used great tactics. But in the videos where the suspect wrecked out it looked like a riot as blue and tan shirts swarmed the cars trying to yank people out through the window, all empty handed. One of these days that's going to happen and we're going to here a "pop" and see an officer or two drop dead.

                              A former California officer who was in training with me a couple of years back said the mentality was a split between "If they wrecked, they're stunned and can't fight back" and "If they wrecked and didn't stop on their own, they're gonna run on foot and we can cut them off before they get the chance". Neither method of thinking fly around here. Wreck or not, once a felon's vehicle stops, it's all high risk traffic stop tactics. If they don't respond and we have no choice, we will approach the vehicle, weapons drawn, being careful to avoid crossfire. If they run, they run. We'll evaluate the situation when it happens. But if they aren't stunned and are waiting in the driver's seat to shoot, we won't be right there in their window making a nice target.

                              As far as hands on tactics, I admit that California is a world above us and probably the model by which all others try to learn. I wish I could send all of our guys to California for a month to train with LAPD or LASD to learn proper pat searching. Way too often I see our guys let people put their hands in their pockets and not order them to remove them or pat them down. And when they do pat them down it's usually with bad form and without securing their hands first. I am hardly a tactical guru and due to the political environment around here I make as mistakes like anyone else in the name of furthering our bosses' political career, but if they need patted down, they're turning away from, placing their hands behind their back and interlacing their fingers before I go near them. If they need to come out of the car, they're getting patted down. I've tried teaching others that, and it hasn't really caught on.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by kcso View Post
                                What I've seen is that it's not really that they weren't ever taught proper tactics, it's that some guys lack command presence and lack confidence not only in their ability, but in what they can and can't do. Some just lack common sense and some shouldn't have been hired in the first place.
                                Agreed. What we called proper tactics 10 years ago is sometimes still being taught and practiced today and admin may not want to change for "liability" reasons even though those tactics have been deemed inadequate.

                                The issue of Command Presence and Command Demeanor... different but essential and more subtle is displayed in ability or lack thereof.


                                Originally posted by kcso View Post
                                Too many guys are afraid to go hands on or take absolute command of their scene for fear of complaints or because of ignorance on what we are justified in doing. That only serves to get them or someone else killed. This happens everywhere, not just in one region..
                                Cell phone cameras, Command staffs wonderful ability to CYOA and not to back up a Deputy if it "looks sketchy" has brought the above to fruition.

                                Originally posted by kcso View Post
                                If a guy doesn't have confidence in what he's doing, he can't take command. I blame the department for hiring them and I blame the officer for not giving a crap. I don't blame anyone for correcting their unsafe actions regardless if their feelings get hurt.
                                We went to Krav a couple of years ago, and am an instructor in it. I was surprised because in Krav there is no "Nicey nice."

                                Recently had a bar fight and one of the Deputies involved told me how the overwhelming force worked... fast. Doesn't look pretty.
                                This Deputies confidence level went up because he was taught something that was decisive and worked..

                                The BG was not happy, and it looked like what it was.

                                Decisive, effective, and a lot of patrons saw serious contol from a Deputy and MAY think twice before entertaining resisting in the future.
                                Last edited by Dep D; 10-20-2009, 06:54 PM.
                                Be safe pulling back into the thread...
                                http://infidelswithhonor.com/

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