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Give Them the Light
May, 2006
Paul, MTPD

When interviewing a subject during evening hours, I usually stand with my back to the front of the patrol car and I put the subject in front of me facing toward the headlights of my car.

I find that this reduces his night vision while maintaining mine.

If we're on a busy road, I try and do the same but off to the side a bit, so if my car gets hit we don't also get hit.


Let Him Run Out of Steam, Not You
May, 2006
Roger F. 

When a suspect takes off running, he or she usually explodes into a sprint and runs at full speed. Often, this will mean that it won't be too long before they run out of steam. Generally, at full speed he will die off somewhere within 30 seconds to a minute from where the foot pursuit began.

When taking off after them, run at about 60%. This will give you a chance to use your radio, keep them in sight, and keep going after they drop off. Also, you will still have energy left for any physical altercation which might occur when you reach them.


Danger Sign
April, 2006
Senior Trooper, Oregon State Police

Your hit your lights, and the car you are stopping begins to drift over to the right.  It eventually comes to a complete stop.  The driver and passenger remove their seatbelts, and the driver begins to reach for the glove compartment to gather his paperwork. 

Other than the reaching for the glove compartment (which is actually quite normal), nothing to worry about, right?

Here's a question.  Why is the passenger taking off his seatbelt?

While it could mean nothing, it should at least register as a warning sign. On most stops, the front seat passenger will not remove the seatbelt.  When he or she does, it could be a sign that he or she is getting ready to exit the car which is a definite danger sign.


April, 2006
Senior Trooper, Oregon State Police

Officers attending a recent street survival class were given two scenarios.

When stopping a known or suspected outlaw biker, order the rider to keep the kick stand up and his hands on the gas tank. This will hamper his/her ability to take any aggressive actions against you and will telegraph his/her intentions, giving you time to react.


Shoot, Don't Shoot
March, 2006
Rusty, NPD

Officers attending a recent street survival class were given two scenarios.

In the first, officers responded to a "man with a gun" call.  Upon arrival, the man was standing in the street holding a handgun.

Immediately, officers responded with commands ordering him to drop the weapon.

In the second scenario, officers responded to the same call, but upon arrival the man was standing next to a table.  Instead of him holding the gun, the gun was situated on the top of the table.

Here, officers also gave commands ordering the man to the ground.  When the man reached for the gun, officers fired.

The point brought out by the instructors afterwards was very interesting.

In the first scenario the man already had the gun, but the officers only responded with verbal commands.  They didn't shoot.

In the second, the man was just reaching for the gun, and the officers did shoot.

In law enforcement there are very few "always" and "never" situations.  How you respond to the above situations will depend on numerous circumstances.

But, the lesson from this class is still very interesting.


Your Nose Knows
March, 2006
Rusty, NPD

The sense of smell has led to many a good arrest, however many officers do not use this sense nearly enough, especially when making motor vehicle stops.

On every stop, I make it a point to subtly get myself into a position to take one good whiff on the vehicle interior.

Also - and very important - I always make it a point to smell the credentials. I've had a couple of good pinches from doing this of subjects who keep (or have kept) marijuana in the glove compartment.


Suggestion for Quiet Stop
February, 2006
By Cpl. Sandor, New Philadelphia Police Department

In response to the QUIET STOP article.

There is an option available through code 3 emergency equipment called brake light out. It hooks up to the same box which houses your overheads, alleys etc. When activated, it disengages the brake light allowing for stealth mode when arriving on those type of calls where that is necessary for your safety. Also works great when a violator passes you and you go to brake to turn around. The violator assumes you kept going because he didn't see your brakes come on.


Beware of Shoplifters
February, 2006
E Allen Hendersonville PD, NC

Beware of shoplifters and edged weapons. Most shoplifters carry some kind of edged device to cut open packaging and remove tags. Whether it's a knife, scissors, razor blade or fingernail file, it can quickly become a weapon if the suspect so chooses.


February, 2006

When doing building searches, we are always very conscientious about giving away our position. We maintain radio discipline, sound discipline, light discipline (at night), etc.

One thing we often neglect, however, is our shadow.

Your shadow can extend anywhere from a few inches to a hundred feet depending on the lighting, time of day, etc.

When there are multiple light sources, you may be casting several shadows.

Whenever possible, control the lighting yourself to your advantage. When this is not possible, keep a half an eye on how your shadow may be giving away your position.


Quiet Stop
February, 2006
By Kent, ISP

When arriving at some call during the evening hours, many officers turn off the headlights as they approach. However, as they are braking to stop, the brake lights illuminate signaling their arrival with a bright red light. A good alternative is to slowly depress the emergency brake instead of using the foot brake. This way, the brake lights are not activated.

This technique should be practiced in an empty parking lot before ever being utilized to ensure that the brake works and that it doesn’t let off a squealing sound which would defeat the goal of a silent arrival.


Man with a Gun
January, 2006
By Jimbo, MTPD

Whenever I respond to a "man with a gun" type call, as I am about to enter the street where he is suppose to be located, I remove my seatbelt.  I do this for several reasons. 

First, if my car suddenly comes under fire, I can easily crouch lower without being trapped. 

Second, I have to quickly bail from the car, not having to remove the seatbelt is one less thing to worry about. 

Finally, it is very difficult to quickly unholster my weapon when the seatbelt is on. 

If the situation goes mobile (like a pursuit), I'll quickly get the seatbelt back on.


Speaking from the Car
January, 2006

Okay, so you pull up to a group on a corner or perhaps someone waves you down on some road. Most of the time, some words are exchanged and you're on your way.  However, what if the subject with whom you are speaking has other intentions?

When pulling up (or being pulled up on) keep your car in drive.  Should the situation go bad, all you have to do is hit the gas. No fumbling with the gearshift or depressing the brake to get the car out of park.  Just keep the car in drive for easy escape.


At Traffic Lights
January, 2006
By Officer
Joe P.  Passaic County Sheriffs Department

At red light do not pull the unit up too close to the vehicle in front of you- leave about a car length distance between you. This will allow you to make a u-turn if a violator goes by the other way or will allow you some maneuvering space if a threat presents itself. Otherwise, you are boxed in.


Don't Get Trapped!
December, 2005
By Officer
Jim H. from GPD, NJ

A reminder when working in urban areas where you are dealing with many high rise structures, apartment buildings, etc. 

Get into a habit if chocking the front door open if the front door is operated by being buzzed in.  You don't want to be waiting for your backup to get "buzzed in" when your calling in OFFICER DOWN.  Also, easy accessibility for any medical or fire department personnel help that may be on the way. Some public housing areas may not be so inviting to buzzing in public safety members. 

Chocking the door may be done with any items found in the interior hallway once you have entered including mail and sale advertisements that are left in the hall. Some can be held open by using loose change, pens, or your notepad.  They only cost $.99!!


Positioning of Wheels During Traffic Stops
December, 2005
By Officer Roger Mangum, San Antonio PD

Ok, all you police tactics instructors out there!

Officer Roger Mangum here. Patrol Tactics Coordinator for the San
Antonio Police Dept.

Frequently I fight the battle of whether to turn the front tires of the police cruiser on low risk traffic stops. One can argue the point either way.

Advantages for turning the front tires:

  • Some protection to your lower extremities should gunfire develop.  Especially "bouncing bullets".
  • Cruiser supposedly gets thrown in the direction the wheels are turned if police car is hit from behind by vehicle.


  • Makes it harder for officer to back and spin vehicle 180 deg. "evasive
    technique" to escape threat.
  • At high (expressway) speeds does it really matter which way wheels are turned?

This last point I would like to get some opinions on......especially if anyone has data concerning tests done on wheels turned vs speed.  If anyone cares to help please e-mail me at rmangum@ci.sat.tx.us

Many thanks,
Roger Mangum


Police Tactics Resources
December, 2005
By NJLawman.com

There are some excellent books written on all aspects of police tactics.

Below are just some:




Tinted Windows
December, 2005
Mike F. from VSP

In some states tinted windows are perfectly legal.  All states, though, have people driving around with them.

A couple of options for stopping a car with tinted windows:

  • Using your PA, order the driver to open all the windows before approaching the vehicle
  • Using the PA, order the driver to step out to the rear of the vehicle  (Should only be used when at least two officers are present)
  • Using the PA, order the driver to turn on the interior light of the vehicle


Dealing with Emotionally Disturbed People (EDP's)
November, 2005

Handling a call involving an EDP is one of the most dangerous and unpredictable duties of a law enforcement officer.  No two are alike, and they can range from the quiet and calm to the loud and violent.

A couple of thoughts for dealing with EDP's:

  • Their perception is their reality
  • Distract them through dialogue to change their behavior rather than ordering them to stop their behavior
  • Maintain Distance
  • Know your retreat routes
  • Use a normal to low voice when speaking to them

Finally, don't take their comments, insults or actions personally.  Most of them have no control, and they really can't help it.


Vehicle Pursuits - Broadcast What is in Front of You, not What is Behind You
November, 2005
Red from NPD

When engaged in a vehicle pursuit and calling the pursuit on the radio, it is of no use to broadcast what you just passed.  Let your fellow officers know what you are approaching.


Sunday, October 30, 2005
'Spot the Pursuit'
NJLawman.com Site Visitor

When engaged in a MV pursuit at night, keep your spotlight on the back window of the suspect vehicle. This will not only make the fleeing subject encounter poor visual perception of his escape route, but it will enhance the ability of a surprise PIT maneuver. The spotlight will break-up the outline of your patrol car, making it very hard to see your position. You can also see a lot that is going on inside the fleeing vehicle.


Sunday, October 30, 2005
Passenger Side Approach Warning
Mark from PAPD

More and more officers are adding the passenger side approach when making motor vehicles stops to their tactics arsenal which is good.

One caution though.

When utilizing the PSA on a street with curbs, stand on top of the curb instead of in the street.  I do this because if the passenger were to open the door while I were standing in the street, I would fall back and trip over the curb.  If already on the curb, I could just take a step back.


Where to Point an Unholstered Weapon when Moving
October, 2005
By Mike S. from Philadelphia Police Department


On television a swarm of moving officers always have their weapons pointed into the air while they are moving.  This came up in a class I was attending.  The instructor addressed it with a simple question: Which is worse, an accidental head wound or an accidental foot wound?

It makes sense.  You obviously don't want to point the weapon at the back or the head of the officer in front of you, so you are left with up or down.  If, God forbid, there is an accidental discharge, a bullet to the foot or leg is a lot less lethal than a bullet to the neck or head.


Firearm Night Sights
October, 2005
By NJLawman.com

With police firing ranges in some states slowly becoming extinct, many of us don't even do real night firing anymore. Instead, most agencies are using welder's goggles to simulate low-light conditions. One of the many drawbacks of this technique is that the shooter cannot even see or practice with the night sights on the weapon.

When we say "night sight," we are referring to those expensive night sights that your agency purchased a while back for your service weapons. Do you know if your weapon's night sights even still work?

A common misperception is that the Tritium Night Sights are actually a liquid which is applied to weapon sights to later dry and be used forever.

The reality is that these sights are actually tiny glass vials of gas which are carefully attached to the front and rear sights. These sights do have a shelf life (which differs depending upon the manufacturer), and these sights can fall off.

If your agency doesn't do realistic low-light firing, you probably do not even know if your sights still work. Bottom line, Tritium Sights must be checked before every shift.


Drawing Your Weapon with Your Support Hand
Sunday, October 16, 2005

First the disclaimer: Only practice this technique with an unloaded gun on a range under the supervision of a certified range instructor.  Also, make sure that practicing this technique does not violate any policies or rules governing your agency.

Drawing a service weapon from a holster with your support hand is not part of many firearms qualifications programs.  This is unfortunate.

Can you do it? 

This should be practiced in the event that your strong hand, for whatever reason, becomes incapacitated.

When practicing this technique, make sure that you are not putting a finger in the trigger guard and pulling the trigger as you attempt to pull the weapon from the holster.

With today's holsters, it is tricky, especially if you have not done it before.  Learn it now so you don't have to learn it on the street.


Sunday, October 2, 2005

Whispering between suspects or persons an officer has stopped should immediately raise danger flags.

Whispering means planning, and the last thing any officer wants to do is to allow detained suspects to plan.

Most of the time whispering will be an attempt by suspects to get their stories straight, or it could be planning on how to discard CDS or some other form of contraband.

Of most concern to us is when suspects are planning to launch an attack on officers.

During all investigative detentions and motor vehicle stops, officers should halt any communication between detained persons.  If necessary and safe, split up the stopped parties.

When it does happen, put a stop to it, and if the situation is not fully contained, call for additional manpower.

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Old Street Cop Trick
Sunday, October 2, 2005

This one is more for the younger guys.

You have probably seen this done in the movies or maybe even by some of the senior guys on your job.

When making motor vehicle stops and approaching the stopped car, push down on the trunk as you walk up from the rear. This is done for two reasons.

First, it allows the officer to be sure that the trunk is fully closed in the event someone is hidden in the trunk preparing to attack. 

Second, by placing your hand on the trunk you are leaving your fingerprints, assuming you're not wearing gloves, which can be helpful later on if things go south.


Last Second Turns
Sunday, September 25, 2005

You hit the lights, toot the horn, and see that the driver of the vehicle you are stopping begins to slow.  However, he continues on more than most driver do and makes a right turn onto a side street before coming to a stop.

While this will raise many different flags, make sure that you backtrack to the intersection and check the street. 

Sometimes a driver wants to discard contraband.  He knows he cannot do it with you right behind him.  However, if he makes a right turn, his driver side will be out of the officer's view for a few seconds giving him a chance to drop it out of his window.


Hidden Weapons
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Walt H.

One of our frequent readers, Walt, sent us this one.

It is a webpage on the Orange County Shields' website which catalogs a large assortment of hidden weapons and concealment devices

There is some great information here.  We will also be filing this on the Police Tactics section of this website.


When They Don't Have Identification
September, 2005
By Sergeant Ryan Melsky, Clinton Township Police Department, Hunterdon County, NJ

If, during an encounter (traffic stop, investigative detention, etc.), the detainee is unable to provide you with identification and there is reason to suspect they are about to give you an alias, be sure to mix things up when requesting their information.

For example, don't ask "first name, middle name, last name, etc." People memorize their friends' or relatives' information in this order.

Instead, start with their middle name. Although this will be an easy answer for an honest person, those giving a fake name will be caught off guard.

Second, ask for their date of birth. Write it down.

As you continue to request information in a random order (first name, social security number, last name, address), do the math for the date of birth/age on your notepad. Write the person's age down and circle it.

Also listen for the person to repeat your questions to give them some time to think about it. "What's my middle name?," they will ask.

Once all of the necessary information has been obtained, change the topic of conversation for a few moments. Then surprise the person by asking how old they are. Now the person must: 1) remember what date of birth they gave you, and 2) do the math in their head.

Again, although an honest person will immediately know how old they are, the vast majority of liars will get tripped up.

Use this technique over and over until it becomes second nature. It will help you identify aliases very early on during an encounter. Once the person lies, they are under arrest for (Hindering Apprehension, False Information To A Law Enforcement Officer, Obstruction of Justice, or whatever the applicable statute is in your jurisdiction).

This, in-turn, will lead to greater officer safety because you will not be conducting a curbside or roadside investigation while face to face with a wanted person. It will also give you a search of the person and their immediate area incident to arrest.


Situating Your Patrol Car
September, 2005

Doors won't stop bullets.  Windows won't stop bullets.  Seats, the trunk, and the roof won't stop bullets. 

The patrol car can give officers a false sense of cover. 

The engine is the only part of the patrol car that will stop just about every round. 

When approaching an encounter-type call, situated the patrol car in a manner where you can take cover behind the engine.  Simply, put the engine between you and the threat.

And, always remember that rounds can still get through under the car.


First things First
August, 2005

It is required in just about every jurisdiction that officers announce to the suspect that he or she is under arrest.  Not to do so provides a variety of defenses to Obstruction, Resisting and other related charges.

When arresting, don't forget, "You're under arrest!"


In Front or in Back
August, 2005

With the possible exception of a pregnant woman, everyone placed under arrest should be handcuffed and handcuffed in back. 

If a person is large, use more than one pair or a pair with an extra long chain.  If the person is considered very dangerous, use a restraining belt (where you cuff the suspect to the belt) and a pair of leg shackles.  If your department doesn't supply them, purchase them yourself.  Your life is worth more than $29.99.

This should not even be up for debate. 


Take their Shoes
July, 2005
By Justin from Sidney, Australia

A tactic which we use here when dealing with young offenders who may run  is that when speaking with them, get them to take off their shoes and jacket (if they have one).

Most of our young offenders don't want to go anywhere without their shoes or jacket, so it lowers the chance of them running away.


House Search Checklist
July, 2005
By NJLawman.com

You respond to a call of a resident who returned home to find their front door opened.  They suspect that someone may be in the house.

All too often, the next step is the search of the house.  This is a mistake.

The resident should be completely debriefed before any officer goes in the residence.  Some questions you should ask are as follows:

  • Are there any weapons in the house.  If so, what kind of weapons, how many weapons, the location of the weapons, etc.
  • Who else lives in the house?  Are all occupants accounted for, or is it possible that one of the residents came home early or unexpectedly?
  • Is there a basement?  Attic?
  • How many entrance and exit doors are there?
  • What is the overall condition of the house?  (If it is suppose to be immaculate and the search reveals that it has been ransacked, consider pulling out and waiting for additional officers or a K-9 unit)
  • Is there anything else we should know?

Based on the circumstances of the given situation, you will be able to come up with additional questions. 

Getting information first could help prevent disastrous outcomes.


House Search - Should You Knock and Announce?
July, 2005
By NJLawman.com

In the situation described above, it is determined from interviewing the wife that it's possible that the husband could be in the house although she doesn't think it is him.

Should you loudly announce your presence before commencing with the search or should you go in silently?

There are several schools of thought here. 

Normally, we do silent searches.  However, in this case it could be the husband inside.  If you go in silently and he hears you, he will not know that you are the police. 

To make matters worse, if there are weapons in the house, upon hearing an intruder (you), the husband may arm himself setting the table for disaster.

In law enforcement, we seldom use the words "always" and "never" when describing what to do in different situations.  So, it would be wrong to say to always announce or never announce your presence.

In the given situation, try having the complainant call the home from a cell phone first.  If that doesn't work, have her try to call her husband's cell phone, work number or whatever to determine if it may be him in the residence.  If neither work, it may be an intruder.  Consider calling for additional officers and a K-9 unit.

If it is a situation where you clearly establish that a burglar or intruder is in the home, the rules of the game have changed.  It should then be treated as a barricaded person situation.


MV Stop Position
June, 2005
By NJLawman.com

Generally, the best position to take when speaking with the driver of a stopped vehicle is behind the crack of their door.  This would put you next to the door to the rear seat.  From here, you can lean forward to speak with the driver.

This way, if the driver were to suddenly open the door, it would not injure you or push you into passing traffic.

Also, if the driver were to produce a gun, it would be more difficult for him or her to aim at you as they would have poor line of sight.

Finally, should quick retreat be necessary, you will only have a few steps to take before reaching the rear of the car. 


MV Stop Retreat
June, 2005
By NJLawman.com

An officer is on a stop, and a belligerent driver begins to exit the car.  Often, officers will hold the door closed and give verbal commands ordering the driver to stay in the car, and this will solve the problem.  But, what happens if the driver appears to have violent intentions and overpowers the officer?  In the battle and the heat of the moment, which way should the officer retreat?

Well, there are three options: toward traffic, toward the front of the car, or toward the rear of the car.

Retreating toward traffic is seldom a good idea for obvious reasons. 

Retreating toward the front of the suspect's car is better the running into traffic, but it offers less cover, excellent line of site for the occupant(s), and the officer would standing in front of a car being operated by a driver with violent intentions.  Clearly, this is not the best choice.

Generally, the best direction to move would be toward the rear of the suspect's vehicle.

First, it reduces line of site for the vehicle's occupant(s) more than the other two options.  It also allows the officer to use the suspect's vehicle as temporary cover.  It puts the officer closer to his or her vehicle to use as additional cover; it enables the officer to retrieve additional weapons should it become necessary; and it puts the officer in a better position to use the car's radio should the portable radio be in a dead area.

Of course we do not use "always and never" in law enforcement, and each situation must be dealt with according to the particular circumstances, but an instinctual move toward the rear of a stopped car when confronted with danger will generally be recommended.


Conning the Keys
June, 2005
Sean H. from Utah Department of Public Safety

During the course of a motor vehicle stop, that feeling sets in.  Somewhere, somehow, something is wrong.  Among the several concerns that develop in your head is the concern that the driver might speed off resulting in a pursuit which is about the last thing any officer wants.

This fear can be immediately rectified by getting the keys to the car.  But, how?

Try this.  Go up to the driver's window and ask, "hey, are those car keys to this vehicle?"   He or she will reply with a yes.  Then ask, "Oh, okay, may I see them for a second?" or "May I see them for a second, and then I'll get you outta here?"

By phrasing the question as above, nine times out of ten they will think that by handing you the keys and proving that they belong to the car, their problem of being stopped will be solved. 

After getting the keys, pretend to talk back to your radio as if you are replying to a broadcast and excuse yourself. 

This technique has worked numerous times for me.  However, it should be used when practicable and when it won't expose you to additional danger.


Effecting a Motor Vehicle Stop
June, 2005

You get behind the suspicious vehicle, activate your lights, and slowly come to a stop on the shoulder behind it.

Two things you should be watching for. First, the vehicle's brake lights went on when it began to stop, but did they go off? If they didn't, the driver may be waiting to speed off when you approach. It might be a good time to use your PA and instruct the driver to put it in park.

Second and less reliable, what about the reverse lights? While this only applies to automatics, most cars, when being shifted into park, will shift pass the reverse gear causing the reverse lights to quickly go on and off.  Remember though, this one is not always reliable.


Pulling Up
May, 2005

Every encounter-type call requires a careful response.  How close you pull up will depend on a number of factors including the type of call, the environment, the time of day, etc.

Pulling up too close is the most common mistake.  If someone approaches your vehicle with a gun while you are still inside, you are at a very bad tactical disadvantage.  Simply, you are trapped, and many officers have been killed while in the car.

On the other hand, your vehicle offers a certain amount of cover.  Pulling up too far and walking a long distance in an open area can also be dangerous.

Every situation will require a different tactic, but tactics should dictate how you approach, not laziness.

Also, position the engine between yourself and the most dangerous threat.


Giving Your Location Away
May, 2005

Cell phones, pagers, audible watches and other such items should not be carried when conducting a building search.  This duty is difficult enough without having the theme from Lucy come blaring out from a cell phone announcing to any and all suspects your location.


Keep Radio Out of Earshot of Suspect
May, 2005

Again, COPS.  The radio crackles, and the dispatcher advises of an outstanding warrant for the person who you have just detained and who is standing right next to you.  This sets up a very dangerous situation.

If you run a warrant check over the radio, you have to expect that the dispatcher's next communication to you will be the result of the warrant check.  Have one officer (if out with a suspect, there should be several officers) fade from the group and monitor the radio while the others turn their radios down.

Seasoned dispatchers will often subtly signal before putting out such information, but new dispatchers should be trained in this. 


Who's in the House?
May, 2005
Rudy from Flagstaff, Arizona PD

You arrive at the residence to where you were dispatched and are greeted by the lady of the house out front.  She called because when she got home, she heard something upstairs.  She is very scared and believes that a burglar may be in her home.

Before beginning your search of the house, take inventory.  Who lives with her?  Is it possible that her husband or one of her grown children came home unexpectedly early?  When she was in the house, did she notice anything out of order?  From the outside, can you see any signs of forced entry?  How about this...are there any weapons in the house?

Here's a scenario.  It is her husband who came home early.  He is upstairs moving some things around when he hears someone coming up the stairs.  That someone is you and your partner moving as quietly as possible, but the husband doesn't know this.  The husband thinks that his wife is not due home until later and now he suspects a burglar.  He grabs his lawfully owned revolver from his safe and waits.  It is a recipe for disaster.

Perhaps when faced with the situation of the husband possibly being home, announcing "Police!" in a loud command voice would be in order.  The husband would probably respond to the commands and not retrieve his gun.  If there is no response, consider calling a K-9 unit if available to conduct the search. 


Quick Peeks
May, 2005

Quick Peeks are an essential tactics for any officer doing a building search.

Simply, when approaching a corner of a hallway or room, with a quick tilt of the head, the officer looks into the unknown area and snaps back.  Literally, it should take less than a second.

If a second peek is needed, it should be done at a different height than the first.  If the first one was done while standing, the second should be done at knee level, so if a shooter is trained on the original area, he or she will not have a shot when the head peeks from a lower position. 


Calling for Backup without Calling for Backup
April, 2005
By NJLawman.com

Like a good officer, you called out on the radio when you made the vehicle or suspect stop.

During the encounter, you make an observation which causes you to draw your weapon and train it on the person or persons detained.  Often, this is the point where officers mentally debate whether to call for backup or focus on giving commands to the suspect.

Your first focus must be the danger.  Begin giving the commands necessary while simultaneously keying the microphone on your radio.  This way, your other officers, who already know where you are, will hear the situation.  They will know to immediately respond. 


Knowing When to Stay Off the Air
April, 2005
By NJLawman.com

An officer in another sector calls out on location at an alarm call to which he was dispatched.  Too often, someone else jumps on the air to run a driver's license or ask for a plate check. 

There are certain times in a shift when the radio should go silent.  When officers are out on a call or with a situation, the time has arrived.


Approaching a House or Apartment
April, 2005
By NJLawman.com

No one should still be doing the old "walk up and knock."

When walking up to a residence on an encounter-type call, look, listen, feel, and smell.

Look.  Assess the door area before approaching.  Is the door open?  Are there windows next to the door? Is someone peaking out from an upstairs window?  When is the best retreat route off the porch should things go bad?  Is there blood on the ground?  Is a window broken?  Pry marks?  Look!

Listen.  Is there arguing?  Is there a dog barking which tells you there is a dog in the residence?  Is there a baby crying which tells you to be concerned for the baby once in the residence?  Listen!

Feel.  Is the porch shoddy which will cause you to fall through should you quickly exit?  Is the stairway railing loose?  Is the door open or unlocked?  Is the door warm?  Feel!

Smell.  Marijuana?  Alcohol?  Natural gas?  Something cooking?  Something burning?  Smell!

If you follow this, you will have a lot of questions answered before you even knock on the door. 


Speed Cuffing
April, 2005
By NJLawman.com

One of the most dangerous moments in law enforcement are the seconds between when suspect realizes he is about to be cuffed and the moment he is cuffed.  He knows that if he is going to make a move, that is the time.

How fast can you unsnap, draw, and get both cuffs on a suspect.

This is a great drill that should be practiced during roll call.  Even if only once a week, everyone who encounters bad guys should be using this drill.  You should be as comfortable with your cuffs as you are with your flashlight.


Bringing Occupants Back
March, 2005
By Ramsey C. at Baltimore County Sheriff's Department

Chances are, if you are conducting a felony stop, it is because you believe that the occupants of the car are armed.

After giving commands and ordering occupants out one at a time, if I am still between the police cars and the suspect car, I walk backwards and use the suspect as a shield between me and the suspect car.  This way, if anyone pops out and begins shooting, I'm not going to take one in the back.


Extra Handcuff Key
March, 2005
By Jim L.  from Fort Worth Sheriff's Department

An extra handcuff key is not option, it is a requirement for any street survival-thinking officer. 

One can be kept in a pocket, at the bottom of a glove case or even inside the cuff case.  The best option, though, is to purchase one of those keepers that has a cuff key secreted inside.

Carrying an extra cuff key is not enough, though.  Officers should practice removing the cuffs using the key.  When the hands are cuffed in front, it's not that hard, but it is very hard when cuffed in back.


Chasing a Suspect into a House
March, 2005

Laws differ between states, but many allow officers to chase fleeing suspects into houses in fresh pursuit under certain circumstances.

Tactically, how wise is this?  Should a lone officer chase someone into a house or apartment?  We say "no!"

Chances are, in the heat of the pursuit, the officer is not going to be able to clearly advise over the radio the exact address of the residence into which he or she is running.  So, the officer will be on his or her own once in the residence. 

Now, the lone officer is left by himself or herself to deal with the pit bull, the crying kids, the mother who begins to block the officer, the brothers and cousins who begin screaming, and the bad guy. 

Plus, the suspect is now on his home turf while the officer is in unfamiliar territory.

If it's for a warrant, is being exposed to such danger worth it?  If the suspect is holding a package, is it worth it?  Armed? 

Absent four street crimes officers bailing out together after a fleeing suspect, we find it hard to imagine any scenario where going in would be worth it.

This is just a job.  Your family is your life.  In a previous piece we talked about "over committing."  A lone officer chasing someone into a house it nothing less than over committing.


The Range
March, 2005

Each year we are required to re-qualify with our weapons several times at a range.  Too often, officers view this training as target practice.  Instead, it should be combat practice.

The goal should not to be to take long amounts of time for each shot in order to make a pretty little grouping.  This is suppose to be combat.  In a real situation where a gun is being pointed at you, can you make the shot instantly?

While the target practice style is okay for a few rounds in order to maintain accuracy, speed should be the goal of the day.  How fast can you draw your weapon?  How quickly can you get two rounds off hitting your target? 

The next time you go, focus on speed.  If you practice enough, you will be able to have accuracy as well.


Searching Jackets
March, 2005
By Sgt. Robert D., North Hanover Twp. Police, NJ

Check jackets carefully!

Recently while searching a suspect, CDS Crack Cocaine was found in between the inner liner of a winter coat and the outer sleeve. The only way to access this spot where the CDS was hidden was to go inside the jacket, go into the inside chest pocket, find where the liner had been sliced or cut open to allow access to be able to reach down inside the coat. Also, crack and heroin addicts like to hide their CDS in small slices or cut open spots around the bottom seams of jackets.


March, 2005
By NJLawman.com

There are many theories on the best method of frisking a suspect.

The "against the wall frisk" is becoming obsolete.  New schools of thought suggest that the wall or the squad car offers the suspect an excellent leverage point from which to push off or from which to launch an attack.  The wall or car can also be used as a weapon by shoving an officer's head into it.

Some new techniques being discussed and utilized are cuffing the suspect before the frisk or putting the suspect on his or her knees before the frisk.  Here is another one.

Have the suspect put his hands behind his back and joined together as if he was praying or as if he was clapping but obviously without the actual clap.

If flexible enough, have the suspect turn his hands so his fingers are pointed up and his wrists are facing the ground.  (If not flexible enough, that is okay too)  From here, an officer can come in and either grab the fingers which are pointed up or the thumbs which, if done correctly, will be pointed toward the officer.  Both give the officer a good amount of control. 

Frisks should preferably be done when more than one officer is present.


March, 2005
an Officer

One other thing to consider for those of you who wear the radio mic's attached with the coil cord, is it makes a great weapon for someone to strangle you with. If you are ever in a struggle and an actor gets that mic cord, it will only take a second to wrap it around your neck, and things will quickly get even worse.

Be safe!


Multiple Occupants
February, 2005

If you seek to remove someone from a stopped vehicle containing multiple occupants, always request additional officers. The number of officers outside the car should always be greater than the number of occupants inside the car.

Watch COPS to see how many foot pursuits result from one officer having several subjects exit a car.  But the foot pursuit is, by far, not the worse case scenario.  Multiple suspects means multiple attackers. 

Keep them in the car!


Great Hiding Spot
February, 2005
Dennis R. from NYPD

So we stop this taxi with three suspects in the back seat.  We know they have heroin because one of our undercovers just bought from them and saw a nice sized package.

We take them all out and find nothing.  We search again and find nothing.  We pull every trick in the book to get them to admit that they have it.  Nothing.

After about twenty minutes, we figure that they may have thrown it out the window after the sale.  One guy does a last search and finds the package.  It was inside the sleeve of one of the guy's jacket.  It wasn't in any pocket or hidden area.  It was just dangling in the sleeve of the jacket right by the elbow where hardly anyone searches.

Morale of the story, check the jacket.


Making Them Think You are not Alone
February, 2005
Ohio State Police Trooper

A good place to store you hat is above the passenger seat against the cage.

If situated correctly, from the vantage point of a stopped vehicle, it will appear as if the hat is the head of a second officer.  If necessary, you could even refer to the second officer when speaking with the occupants of the stopped vehicle.


Second Flashlight During K-9 Tracks
February, 2005
By Deputy A.M., Hardee County Sheriff's Office, Florida

My County is mostly rural with large amounts of wooded land, pasture and orange groves.

I have found when pursuing a subject with k-9's, it is  very useful to carry two flashlights. I carry both a rechargeable Mag light and a smaller rechargeable Stinger. There have been some very long tracks, and I've have been in a position where the dog was alerting on an area and the flashlights were almost too dim to use.

Caring that extra light has probably saved our lives a few times.


Asking the Driver to Step Out of the Car
February, 2005

There is well-established case law that allows police officers to ask the driver of a lawfully stopped vehicle to step to the rear of the car. You need no justification to make such a request in most states.

This is an excellent tool that should be used more often. It increases officer safety by removing the officer from the roadway close to passing cars, it opens up the driver's seat area for better visual inspection, and it is good for separating the driver from other occupants of the vehicle to see if their stories match.

However, just because this is permitted, it doesn't mean that you should do this in every situation. Absent extraordinary circumstances, you should never have anyone exit the vehicle unless you have additional officers present. Whenever possible, you should always outnumber the bad guys. Safety comes first. This provision applies only to the driver.


When a Search Ends
February, 2005

With everything we have learned from those who have fallen before us, it is inconceivable that an officer can be hurt or killed due to a previous poor search.

The search of a suspect ends when all possible area have been searched, not when something is found.  Too often, when contraband is located the search ends or it is done half ass because the searching officer thinks that he or she has found the suspect's hiding spot.


Use of the Radio (Referring to Audio Footage Below)
January, 2005
By Anonymous

This is communications nightmare!

SUPERVISORS! Don't hop right on the radio, give the officer the chance to tell you what is happening... You ask a question and don't give two seconds for an answer before asking again. OFFICERS....slow down, calm down, settle down. Take a breath and think about what is happening. I know that it is hard, but you have to listen to what is being repeated to you. Call it off! Call it off! was heard clearly, which could have prevented, at least an accident, but also a public safety nightmare.

BE SAFE!!!!!


Calling Out your Motor Vehicle Stops
January, 2005
By an Officer

When we decide to stop a motor vehicle, we should not rush to the light car up. Pick the location that affords you the most advantages over the suspect, and protects you from passing traffic. Prior to turning on the lights, call in your stop. Project where you want the motor vehicle stop to occur, and call in the information. Begin your transmission with the location of the stop. If your stop takes a sudden turn for the worst, dispatch and your fellow officers will know where you are, and not just the registration number. It doesn't hurt to provide dispatch with a brief description of the vehicle and occupants as well.

Remember, when you put on your lights, the bad guy's clock starts, if he hasn't already detected your presence. The quicker you are able to get out of your car the better. If bad guy decides to run, you need not worry about having to call the entire stop in to radio. Stay safe, and never give up.


Excellent Training Footage
January, 2005
D.S. - Jersey City Police Department, New Jersey

First, please don't put the link below in an email and send it out.  Our site is only permitted a certain amount of bandwidth, and if this clip makes it to an email leapfrog frenzy, we'll have to take the clip down.  Thanks.

Vehicle pursuits and other hot calls send the adrenaline to crazy levels.

No matter how insane a situation becomes, you have to keep your cool on the radio.  You also have to give the dispatcher a break.

Below is a link to an audio clip we came across.  It is from the 72nd Precinct in New York City.  It shows what happens when too many people are on the radio.

We are not criticizing these officers either.  We are learning from them.  Every one of us could be critiqued on how we handled a certain call and given tips on how it could have gone better.



Always Know Where You Are!
January, 2005
By NJLawman.com

In the heat of a situation it is very easy to loose your bearings. 

This is especially true with foot pursuits and cases where you drive up on a hot situation in progress.

Always check your location.  If you don't know the street, give a cross street or physical landmark.  Help can't get there if they don't know where "there" is.


Use of the Radio
January, 2005

When talking on the radio attempt to keep everything as brief as possible. You all know in this line of work anything can happen at any given moment.

Provide your communications with the necessary disposition, then let the button go. It may save someone's life. If you need to have a conversation with a co-worker call them on the phone or meet with them somewhere.


Tactical Use of Speaker Mikes
January, 2005
By EA, Asheville Police Dept, NC

Most of us use the external speaker-mikes on our handheld radios. I know several officers who attach the external mike to the right or left shoulder. This is unsafe because it requires the officer to turn his head -- and eyes! -- to the right or left -- away from the suspect/situation -- in order to transmit. I can't count the number of times I've seen officers turn their heads away from the very suspect they are checking for warrants! It's just enough time to give a suspect the opportunity to flee or attack. I attach my mike on the front of my uniform right below my chin so that I can communicate without diverting my eyes or head from my suspect/situation.


Loaded Cuffs
January, 2005

I keep my cuffs in a cuff pouch in front.  I always know which way they are facing, and I can pull them out and cuff someone without even looking at them.  This is called keeping your cuffs loaded.

Chances are, if you are in a situation where you need to cuff someone immediately, it's probably not a very good situation.  Every officer should be able to unsnap, draw and cuff both hands of a suspect in under five seconds.

I also keep a second pair in the back.  Everyone should carry two pairs of cuffs.


December, 2004
By NJLawman.com

This is an issue that should be talked about more. Over committing is when an officer goes to far into a situation for which he or she is not prepared.

An example would be when the officer is the first to arrive at a domestic and, instead of waiting for more assistance, the officer goes inside, lets the door shut behind him or her, and moves into an area of the dwelling where retreat is not readily available.

Over committing is when an officer makes an MV stop and orders all four occupants to exit the car with no other officers present.

Over committing is when an officer is alone and goes out with a subject who has a warrant and signals an intention to arrest without having backup on the scene or close.

For every call, for every investigative detention, for every MV stop, the words "Do not over commit" should be floating around every officer's head.


Mental State
December, 2004
Calibre Press Book, The Tactical Edge

I hope that Calibre Press does not mind us using this, but it is too important to omit.  In their book The Tactical Edge, they created a systematic view of an officer's mental condition on a given day ranging from patrolling around without a care in the world to panic.  Take a look:

CONDITION WHITE- This is a state of unawareness, you are totally relaxed and unaware what is going on around you.

CONDITION YELLOW- A person is relaxed but at the same time is alert.

CONDITION ORANGE- An officer in Condition Orange is in a state of alarm. His training, education, common sense, tells him that something is not right. He doesn’t know what the problem is but he is constantly evaluating the situation and is planning a course of action.

CONDITION RED- In Condition Red danger is obvious. Threat recognition is mandatory. You see the threat and then you act upon it using verbal commands, physical force, or deadly force. You are totally committed to neutralizing the threat in a controlled manner.

CONDITION BLACK- An officer in condition Black has completely lost control of the situation. He is in a state of panic, or mental paralysis.

Just awesome. 

The only area we would add to is Condition Black. 

Another symptom of Condition Black is when an officer loses control of himself.  He begins screaming at suspects and is clearly not in control of himself.  Every human being is susceptible to this.  It is important to recognize because this will be the guy who lets loose uncontrollably on a suspect.  This is also the guy who will get you indicted. 

If you spot this, save him from himself, and have him disengage from the situation.

Call Out Everything
December, 2004
By NJLawman.com

It is truly mind boggling that some of us don't call out on the radio when making a motor vehicle stop or conducting an investigative detention.  God forbid, something happens.

You should call out on everything for several reasons.  First, it signals other officers not to tie up the radio with non-emergent traffic should you need the air to call for assistance.  Second, your location will be known should there be a problem.  Third, if you are doing it right, you should also be advising of the vehicle or suspect description should you not be able to provide it later.  Finally, if something drastic happens to you, at least we will have some information with which to use.


December, 2004
By NJLawman.com

The television show COPS is an excellent training tool for both what to do and what not to do.  Very poor police tactics are often utilized.

It is mind boggling that in this day and age we still search people who are under arrest before handcuffing them.  As soon as arrest PC rears its head, the cuffs should go on immediately.

More importantly, the United States Supreme Court has upheld law officers handcuffing persons during investigative detentions even when they are not under arrest when the officer can articulate why he or she felt there was a danger.  

This should be used!  If you are getting the slightest bad vibe from a suspect, put him or her in handcuffs, then conduct the frisk or search.  

Once a suspect is in handcuffs, the risk of injury to officers significantly decreases.  



Of course, all officers are subject to the rules of their agency, district

attorney or prosecutor, State, Attorney General and other sources of law.  All

should be checked prior to following any outside advice or recommendations.


Getting Caught Up in Finding "The Package" Instead of Focusing on Safety
December, 2004
By NJLawman.com

Everyone wants to find the mother load whether it be in a vehicle trunk or it a backpack.  However, too often officers become preoccupied with finding contraband, and they lose sight of what is really important which is safety. 

You will have numerous opportunities to find the package.  You will have only one opportunity to avoid death or serious injury.


Flashlight Kill Switch
December, 2004
By NJLawman.com

Most flashlights today can be clicked on or the button can be held down slightly to activate the flashlight and provide a kill switch affect, meaning that if the flashlight were dropped it would go off.

It is recommended that when handling encounter-type calls, the kill switch method be used.  One danger to the flashlight is that it gives away your position.  If it were turned on and dropped, it could roll in a manner which would light up the officer.


Assess, Assess, Assess!
December, 2004
By NJLawman.com

During my first month on the job, several senior officers and myself responded to a fight.  When I got there I rushed right passed several people and jumped on the two subjects fighting on the ground.  My actions were done in front of the senior officers, and I was happy that they would see that I was not afraid to jump into a situation.

My happiness was soon knocked down by one of the senior officers.  After initially jumping on me, he explained that I did not even take a second to assess the entire picture.  Sure there was a fight, but there was also a crowd.  I did not notice if anyone in the crowd was cheering one or the other on, if any of them were armed, who else was around, if either of the combatants were armed, etc.

This was a very good lesson to me.  No mater what the call, assess before you commit.  This applies to everything from motor vehicle stops to domestics to alarm calls.  Always Assess!


Retreat is an Option
December, 2004
By NJLawman.com

In law enforcement, we are not taking the hill that will change the war.  In almost every situation when contemplating a course of action, retreat should be among the choices being considered.

We're not saying to retreat every time a situation goes bad.  However, when retreat is available and death or serious injury are facing you, retreat is a perfectly acceptable decision.

In fact, before committing to any situation, a retreat route should be considered.  For example, you respond to a call of a verbal dispute at a residence.  As you approach the steps to the porch, you should be looking for a safe exit route should someone answer the door holding a shotgun.  Or, if working in a prison mess hall surrounded by society's finest, you should be asking your self "what is my way out if a a major disturbance erupts."

We all plan in our heads when responding to situations.  Planning a quick exit should be part of this process.


Strong Hand / Weak Hand with a Flashlight
December, 2004
By NJLawman.com

While this is so basic, so many violate this simple principle. 

Flashlights should be carried using the support hand.  (There is no such thing as a weak hand)  The strong hand should be available to draw and fire your service weapon.


When is it Time to Call for Backup
December, 2004
By NJLawman.com

Well, it's certainly not after you are already in a fight.

Ninety-five percent of the time, the suspect signals to you when you should be calling for additional units.  It is when you walk up to the car and he is belligerent.  It is when you stop him on the street and he begins to get loud.  It is when you separate him from the party he is arguing with and his telling you to take your hands off of him.

The call for an extra unit should go out at the first sign of trouble, not the last sign.


Where is Cover?
December, 2004
By NJLawman.com

When handling any encounter-type call, you want to always be aware of your closest cover.  When initially arriving at a situation, you should get in the habit of looking for cover in case it is needed. 

And remember, there is a difference between cover and concealment.


Vesting Your Vehicle
December, 2004
By NJLawman.com

Since bullet proof vests all come with expiration dates, every department has a stash of extra body armor lying around.  Usually it finds its way to the trash.

We heard of one agency making excellent use of these old vests. 

When a vest is retired, it is turned in to administrators who hold on to it.  Each time the agency gets a new police vehicle, they have their vehicle maintenance people insert the vest panels into the interior of both front doors of the car.  While these are old vests and there are no guarantees, it greatly reduces the risk of an officer getting shot through the car door. 

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Police Tactics for Stopping Motorcycles
December, 2004
By NJLawman.com

You have probably seen reality law enforcement programs on television where a motorcycle is stopped by an officer, and as the officer approaches, the motorcycle speeds off from the stop.

Here is a technique that can help you avoid getting duped in a situation like this.

After executing the stop, order the rider to turn off his bike, remove his helmet, and stand next to the motorcycle. You might need to do this over the PA system so he or she can hear you.

Do this from inside your patrol car.  After he complies, then make the approach.


Fill in the Gaps
December, 2004
By NJLawman.com

Your radio crackles.  One of your fellow officers is going out with a suspicious subject.  You respond to assist.  Where should you position yourself?

Often, the second officer to arrive approaches and stands right next to the first officer.  Minutes later a third officer responds.  He or she then stands next to the first two.  Additional officers respond, and the shoulder to shoulder action continues.

Too often the above scenario is the case.  

When a second officer arrives, he or she take a position directly behind the suspect.  This way, the most obvious path of flight is now blocked.  If a third officer responds, he or she should take a position to the left or the right of the suspect.  The other two officer should re-position themselves, so they are forming a triangle around the suspect.  With each responding officer filling in an empty gap, the chances of flight significantly reduce. 

When responding to back up a fellow officer, FILL IN THE GAP!  It is just good police tactics.


Passenger Side Approach
December, 2004
By NJLawman.com

Using the passenger side approach of a stopped vehicle is something we all know about but rarely employ.  You shouldn't use it just for high-risk situations.  As with everything else, it is necessary to practice and be familiar with this technique as there are new considerations.  For example, when making such an approach in an area where there is a curb, you don't want to stand on the roadway between the passenger door and the curb.  You should stand on top of the curb.  Otherwise, if the passenger door suddenly opens, you would be pushed back and could trip over the curb.  The same applies with a drainage ditch.  

To become more familiar with this technique, use a passenger side approach on a more frequent basis when circumstances allow. Use this approach every other stop for the next few weeks until you are completely comfortable with it.  After that, use it every fifth stop to maintain your familiarity. 


Realistic Scenario Training
December, 2004
By NJLawman.com

Realistic scenario training is the most effective method of teaching police tactics for law officers new and old.  

More and more agencies that utilize scenario training are inserting Simunition rounds into the program.  These are non-lethal rounds that can be used in actual service weapons (after they are temporarily converted to avoid inadvertent loading of real ammunition) so scenario participants face the actual danger of getting hit.  After being fired, the cartridges leave a detergent-based, water soluble inert color mark to denote hits.

The possibility of being struck changes the whole feeling of scenario training.  The result, hopefully, is a better trained officer.  Good police tactics begin with training.

Click here to visit the website for Simunition.

Note:  No agency or officer should begin using Simunition until receiving complete training in all aspects of the rounds, conversion of weapons, and all other related areas.  Consult the manufacturer. 


MV Stops - That Bad Feeling
December, 2004
By NJLawman.com

On occasion, you walk up on a car you have stopped, you immediately get a feeling that something is wrong.  Sometimes it is best not to reveal your hand until you have backup.  However, you want to maintain control over the situation.

A good tactic and bluff would be to tell the occupants (before returning to your car)  "Okay, my partner is going to write you out a warning.  He'll  be with you in a second."  Here, you suggest that a second officer is already present.  This technique works best at night when their visibility is limited.  


Handling Bank Alarms  -  Send them out to us...
December, 2004
By NJLawman.com

Bank alarms are the bane of those trying to enjoy an otherwise pleasant dayshift.  While most are set off in error, ALL have to be treated as the real thing.

When a bank alarm comes in, the OIC should instruct the dispatcher to first call the bank and ask if everything is okay.  Many agencies will ask the bank employee for a previously given code which would indicate that there is no problem.  Use caution with this practice as, more often than not, the employees are not properly trained and do not know the code.

If this checks out, officers should pull up out of the view of the bank's windows.  The OIC should have the dispatcher direct the bank employee to walk out to the location of the patrol car.  If the bank employee seems okay, the officers should first try and assess the situation inside through the windows.  If everything still seems okay, officers should escort the bank employee back inside and make their own determination.  

There is no reason that officers should blindly walk into a bank upon responding to a bank alarm.  Pre-designated meeting areas should also be avoided as they are too difficult to remember for officers who work in towns with many banks, and if the bank employees weren't properly trained in the designated area, their walking out to the wrong location could send false alarms. 

Obviously, the rules and procedures of your agency supersede anything written here, but this is an excellent police tactic.  


MV Stops at Night
December, 2004
By NJLawman.com

When effecting nighttime motor vehicle stops, upon approaching the stopped vehicle, start making a habit of always asking the driver to turn on the interior light.  This serves several purposes.  First, it illuminates the vehicle interior for you observation.  Second, should the driver come out of the car for any reason, he or she will have reduced night vision which always occurs when someone goes from a well-lit environment to a dark environment.  This is a good tactical practice.


December, 2004
By NJLawman.com

A good place to store you hat is above the passenger seat against the cage.  If situated correctly, from the vantage point of a stopped vehicle, it will appear as if the hat is the head of a second officer.  


December, 2004
By NJLawman.com

When handling calls involving any type of dispute, it is advisable to separate the parties.  However, when this is done, it should be done in a way where the officers on the scene still have each other in sight.


MV Stops - Always Outnumber the Bad Guys Before Removing Anyone
December, 2004
By NJLawman.com

If you seek to remove the driver from a stopped vehicle containing multiple occupants, always request additional officers.  The number of officers outside the car should always be greater than the number of occupants inside the car.  This is basic police tactics but not practiced enough.



Legal Note: 
Your departments and agencies set all policy.  Nothing contained on this website should be implemented without express written permission from your upper management.  While legal in some states, certain tactics may be illegal in others. 





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