LESC Links April 6th 2010 | Law Enforcement & Security Consulting

Pittsburgh police wasted precious minutes waiting for two accurate, long-range rifles to arrive before they could match the firepower of a gunman who killed three of their comrades and injured a fourth.

Almost a year after the deadly Stanton Heights shooting, police have purchased 46 assault-style service rifles and plan to buy up to 50 more by year’s end, and 911 officials are poised to begin using a $10 million emergency dispatching system.

It is great Pittsburg PD has upgraded in equipment (patrol rifles in patrol cars) as a result of the tragic loss of three officers responding to a domestic. This along with good tactical decision making can go along way to assuring officer safety. We must always remember this job takes moral, mental and physical abilities to successfully navigate through bad situations. ~Fred

Evolving Threats and the Fourth Generation Warfare Problem Here at Home

Fourth generation warfare (4GW) is conflict characterized by a blurring of the lines between war and politics, soldier and civilian. ~William Lind

An alarming series of articles, Gun rigged to kill Calif. gang detectives, Calif. gang officers targeted a third time, Calif. gang task force finds explosive device in its office has me thinking again about the evolution of the threats law enforcement face and the need to develop full spectrum police officers capable of dealing with these aggressive and networked criminal organizations that pose a serious threats.

“It is incredible and I think unprecedented that police officers in the line of duty could be subjected to these kinds of terrorist attempts on their lives,” Attorney General Jerry Brown said.

Law enforcement has long been the target of retaliation on a small scale. In the past, criminals typically avoided the police, so retaliatory or outright targeted and planned attacks on law enforcement were rare. Today, it appears there are ever-increasing attacks on police officers. What lessons have these elicit organizations learned from the current world situation that blurs the lines between criminal and terrorist? What lesson must law enforcement learn and APPLY to stay ahead in the decision making cycle to detect, deter, disrupt, prevent or respond to these unpredictable, uncertain, unexpected and unconventional threats? Continue reading

We were ready, they weren’t…40 Years after Newhall, Are We Applying Lessons Learned?

This title is part of a quote taken from cop killers dating back to April 6th 1970 in what’s known in law enforcement circles as the Newhall incident. “They stopped us. We were ready; they weren’t. One of them got real careless, so I wasted him.”

The Newhall incident itself is, or should be, well known to law enforcement as it left four cops killed in the line of duty and sparked modern day officer survival training. (For a full account and critique get Brian McKenna’s book (Officer Down: Lessons from the Streets). What I would like to discuss in this piece is our level of readiness and what, if anything, have we learned and applied as it relates to officer survival 40 years after this incident.

“An emotionally charged follow-up investigation followed the incident, but eventually led to a complete revision of procedures during high-risk and felony stops. Firearms procedures have also changed fundamentally due to this incident, and physical methods of arrest have been improved. The police baton and pepper spray have been added to the officer’s arsenal, with more in-depth training in their use. In all, though the incident was a great tragedy, the reforms that stemmed from it have made uniformed officers more alert and better prepared for the dangers faced every day.” ~ Newhall Incident Finding

Who is more ready today, us or them? What have we learned from the lessons 40 years ago? Have we made a serious cultural shift in the law enforcement mindset or has there only been talk and not enough ‘walk’ in actually applying these lessons paid for in blood and treasure? Here is a look at some of the lessons from the Newhall Incident; I will let you be the judge as to whether or not we have evolved much in the last 40 years. Continue reading

An Affair of Honor-The Duel

Here is a great article titled Man Knowledge: An Affair of Honor-The Duel which is actually done in two parts on the origins and history of dueling. 

In the ancient tradition of single combat, each side would send out their “champion” as the representative of their respective armies, and the two men would fight to the death. This contest would sometimes settle the matter, or would serve only as a prelude to the ensuing battle, a sign to which side the gods favored. Prominent single combat battles have made their way into the records of history and legend, such as the battle between David and Goliath in the Valley of Elah and Achilles’ clashes with both Ajax and Hector in Homer’s Iliad. As warfare evolved, single combat became increasingly less prevalent, but the ethos of the contest would lend inspiration to the gentlemen’s duel.

The topic of the duel also gets you to thinking about whether or not in our quest to rid the world of violence (still not done as of yet, nor likely ever to be) have we by attempting to preventing violence through anti bullying laws and zero tolerance policies created and atmosphere of high anxiety that actually leads to more violence?

    To us, duels seem like a pointlessly barbaric way to settle disputes; going into a duel the odds were nearly 100% that one man or both would be wounded or killed. And, adding insult to injury, it could very well be the innocent party who was slain.

    Even at the time, there were many critics that argued that dueling was unnecessarily violent and contrary to morality, religion, common sense, and indeed, antithetical to the very concept of honor itself. But there were also those who argued that dueling actually prevented violence.

    The idea was that single combat warriors averted endless bloody feuds between groups and families ala the Hatfields and McCoys. The duels nipped these potential feuds in the bud as insults were given immediate redress, with satisfaction given to both parties. Continue part 1 here

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