Chicago PD Murder Charges

I have watched Chicago PD’s officer-involved shooting video from October 2014.  A few things come to mind about the totality of the circumstances.  Officers are responding to a commercial burglary call where a suspect was detained by a citizen, but is now on foot in the urban area.  The suspect is armed with a knife.  He is now evading police on the street.

The suspect sprinted through a fast food restaurant parking lot, stabbed the front tire of a police car, and damaged the windshield of another.  If you forward to 4:53 in the video time (not the PD time stamp), you get to the perspective of a cruiser entering the scene.  At about 5:06, the suspect can be seen cutting through the Burger King.

The marked CPD Tahoe following the suspect at 5:15 has the subject officer, Jason Van Dyke, in the passenger side of the squad.  They are shadowing the fleeing suspect.  Ofc. Van Dyke opens his door briefly at 5:20, but refrains from exiting.

At 5:28, the suspect is seen running down the road when he moves within 10 feet of an occupied police SUV, the driver of which maneuvers Continue reading

Posted in Knives, Legal, Media, Misc., Officer Safety, SWAT, Tactics | 4 Comments

Florida Open Carry Bills in the Legislature

IMG_1133Imagine you are working road patrol in your uniform and marked squad car at the scene of an urban disturbance when you see a man walking up behind you on a crowded sidewalk.  As he moves closer, you see he has a 9mm handgun in plain view, tucked into his waistband over his shirt.  You make eye contact, but, despite your unease, you cannot stop and ask him about the pistol because that would be against the law.  Does this make sense?

Under 2015 Senate Bill 300, and its companion, House Bill 163, open carry of firearms would be legal in Florida if the person possesses a state-issued concealed carry weapons license (CCW).  Both bills, in their respective Judiciary Committees now, would result in a $5,000 fine and loss of qualified immunity for an officer to question that man about his Continue reading

Posted in Concealed Carry, Firearms, Legal, Media, Officer Safety | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

Orange Deputy Beats Mickey

imageOrange County Sheriff’s Deputy Keith Rogers was a hit in the Magic Kingdom.  From OCSO’s Facebook page:

Deputy Rogers is a celebrity in the eyes of this Tewksbury, MA. youngster! His mom Jennie Ann (who is also a police officer) writes:  “A big thank you to this Deputy for taking the time to sign an autograph for my 6-year-old son Shayne at Disney’s Hollywood Studio. Who needs Mickey’s autograph when you can have an OCSO Deputy’s?”  We couldn’t agree more! Thank you Jennie Ann for sending this to us.  We love to hear from our citizens and visitors.

Take that, Mouse!



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Terrorists and Cops

Militarization of the Police copyAs extremist violence proliferates around the globe, it will be local law enforcement who directly confront the threats in this country.  The coordinated attacks on civilians in Paris last Friday by eight terrorists wielding AK-47’s and suicide bombs could well have been perpetrated in any of our cities right here in the USA.  Are you prepared to be the badge on ground zero when it goes down?

While law enforcement has been criticized for “militarization,” those same armored vehicles, tactical equipment, and rifles, are exactly what we need to counter threats like Continue reading

Posted in Officer Safety, Street, SWAT, Tactics | 4 Comments

Reconsidering a Carry Gun

Kahr PM9 mist watermarkA co-worker has been literally salivating (his desk is a wet mess) over the idea of buying a new Glock 43.  Although he was gravitating toward the .380 ACP Glock 42, the later introduction of a similar frame size chambered in 9mm made up his mind for him.

Detectives at our agency are issued the .40 cal. Glock 27.  My buddy likes the idea of the Glock-format pistol in a smaller package for off-duty carry.  Good so far.  He excitedly texted me one weekend that he had put a hundred bullets through a G43 at another department’s range and he was “totally sold” on the gun.  The dude is fixated.

When I considered the prospect of buying a Glock 43 for myself, I came to the frank realization that Continue reading

Posted in Concealed Carry, Firearms, Off Duty, Street | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Failure to Supervise

Sergeant StripeIn October, a Zephyrhills Police Department sergeant was fired for failing to supervise an officer during an arrest.  The officer went to a suspect’s residence to talk to him about a misdemeanor retail theft.  After speaking to the suspect through a hanging screen at front door, the officer ordered the suspect out of his home.  The man declined and stood passively inside the doorway with his hands raised.

Following several warnings, the officer deployed his TASER at the suspect, then entered the residence to effect a physical arrest for the petit theft.  A charge of RAWOV was also filed.  The incident was captured on the officer’s TASER CAM.  The sergeant was present and assisted in the arrest.

I think you will agree that this was a problem from the moment the officer unlawfully ordered the suspect to exit his home.  No charges were filed against the perp by the State Attorney’s Office.  ZPD fired the officer and the sergeant, each of whom are Continue reading

Posted in Street | 1 Comment

Next Generation CAT Tourniquet

imageNorth American Rescue is updating their popular Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT).  The graphic above displays the new features.  A strengthened windlass rod, clip, and strap address the issue of high torque when the unit is applied correctly.

As we found during TCCC training earlier in the year, dual routing of the strap through the buckle is better, but a little difficult with one hand since the strap has trouble sliding.  The new single routed buckle with teeth should help preloading and administering the CAT in all conditions.

No word on release date or price yet.


Posted in Medical, Officer Safety, Street, SWAT, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A Few Long Range Pistol Shots

Sig and Range at 100Wednesday was the annual SWAT Qualification Day and I made time to attend.  Although I am retired from the Team, they graciously let me join them.  After the physical requirements and marksmanship quals were completed, we had additional ammunition for shooting drills.

The 100-yard range was open and a few of the guys were testing out some pricey long guns brought by a SWAT medic.  These included an FN SCAR and an FN FS2000.  While the shooters hammered away at distant silhouette paper targets, I decided to give them some friendly competition–with my handgun.

On an adjacent shooting bench, I ceremoniously unlimbered my Sig P226 and rested it on a sandbag.  Its iron sights mocking Continue reading

Posted in Firearms, SWAT | Tagged , | 4 Comments

New GPS Tracking Device Law in Florida

imageOh, the Relentless March of Technology!  In a previous article, I wrote about Florida’s brand new Revenge Porn Statute.  Another recent piece of legislation is F.S.S. 934.425, which addresses the illegal use of electronic tracking devices.

Four months ago, my Cyber Crimes detectives and I examined a GPS tracker that a victim said she found underneath her vehicle.  The suspect was her jealous soon-to-be-ex-husband.  She believed that he surreptitiously place it on the underside of her car’s frame rail to “spy on her.”  I will not discuss why here, but the facts and circumstances of the case precluded criminal charges, the new legislation notwithstanding.

At the time of our report, Florida’s laws did not specifically address the use of trackers. Recognizing this vulnerability to citizens’ privacy, Continue reading

Posted in Legal, Technology | Tagged , | 2 Comments

When Less Is Definitely Not More

IMG_0978I borrowed a fellow sergeant’s marked Tahoe for the execution of a search warrant last week.  As I was checking out the rig, I saw these impromptu labels on his gun rack.  Guess I can’t argue with that.



Posted in Firearms, Humor | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Police Body Cameras Gaining Ground

taser_body_cam_front_1_low_res_largeFrom the recent TASER International Axon body camera sales I have attached below, you can deduce that the new fiscal year has begun and that many agencies are following through with police body cam purchases.  While some local, state, and federal jurisdictions are wrestling with the seemingly mutually exclusive issues of police transparency and citizens’ privacy rights, other departments are moving forward, no doubt some under urgent public pressure.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office’s request appears to make it the largest Florida department to pen a substantial purchase order.  As for other major agencies, where cost can be a prohibitive factor, Miami-Dade Police have $5 million earmarked for future body cams.  Broward Sheriff Scott Israel has said his office lacks the funding, but he will ask for additional money from his county commission.

Tampa Police have finished a trial program, and have expressed Continue reading

Posted in Officer Safety, Taser, Technology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

News Misinterprets Suspect, Streetwise Readers Split Sides


(Hint, there was no canis familiaris–Randall)

I almost tumbled off my sectional when I read this journalistic misfire on a television station’s news website.  Apparently, something has gone horribly wrong in the Mainstream Media.

Cooper then ran from the scene to a nearby church, where the pastor found him hiding in a bathroom, deputies said.

Cooper was taken into custody without further incident.

Deputies said Cooper, who smelled of alcohol and marijuana, asked who was chasing him and said “you slow as [expletive].”

Cooper then said he wasn’t driving the car, according to the report. “My dog was driving that car,” he reportedly said. “I ran ‘cause I wanted to. You ain’t gonna find no drugs or guns on me.”

I regularly groan at misspellings, poor grammar, and nonsensical headlines in the paper, but, seriously, writing an article about a supposed four-legged accomplice when the bad guy clearly meant “his dawg,” y’all?  Too funny.

Come on, even Cooper would have a laugh at the amateurishness of this article.


Continue reading

Posted in Humor, Media | Leave a comment

Blue Lives Matter Billboards

imageBaton Rouge, Louisiana’s Lamar Advertising Company has donated 302 digital billboards with a Blue Lives Matter graphic and #thankublu Instagram link to promote support for law enforcement.  Conceived by Memphis branding agency Tactical Magic, the billboards first appeared in that city, but Lamar has expanded their exposure nationwide.

Tactical Magic creative director Trace Hallowell said a citizen approached him about honoring those who serve in local law enforcement.  The original Tactical Magic billboards, which went up in June showed support for the Memphis PD. Continue reading

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Active Shooter Survival Tips

imageThere was an absolutely tragic Active Shooter incident at Umpqua Community College in Oregon today.  Reports at this time say that at least 10 have been murdered and 7 wounded in the on-campus attack.  The shooter is apparently dead.

I have a daughter in college and I do not know if she has ever received training for such an occurrence at her school.  I decided to send her an email containing some tips for surviving an active shooter event.  Most of the information below comes from the Department of Homeland Security.  It is meant as a guide and is not a guarantee of an positive outcome.

As police officers, we train for and respond to critical incidents in real life.  Despite our experience, we cannot always be there for the safety of our own sons and daughters, but we can make them aware of techniques to increase their own chances for survival until our Brothers and Sisters in Blue arrive on scene.




Quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life.

  1. Evacuate (RUN)

If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises.  Be sure to:

  • Have an escape route and plan in mind
  • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Help others escape, if possible
  • Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be
  • Keep your hands visible
  • Follow the instructions of any police officers
  • Do not attempt to move wounded people
  • Call 911 when you are safe

2.  Hide out (HIDE)

If evacuation is not possible, find a place to Continue reading

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Boydd’s Pat-Down Props

imageBoydd’s Products, Inc. will sell you a bag of “gold” that can help you with your trolls.  Boydd’s Pat-Down Props are injection-molded, non-functioning replica weapons and contraband used for realistic search training.  Raise your hand if your agency trains with crappy BB guns and busted knives with taped blades.  Yeah, it happens.

Used by the FBI Academy, DEA Academy, FLETC, Dept. of Homeland Security, U.S. Probation and Parole, all major branches of the U.S. Military, and hundreds of state and local agencies, Pat-Down Props are safe, cost effective, and highly useful.

A Single Pack of Pat-Down Props arrives in a carry bag that contains 16 Continue reading

Posted in Concealed Carry, Officer Safety, Tactics | Leave a comment