Lake Wales Police Officers Shot

imageNews agencies are reporting that two Lake Wales police officers have been shot while responding to an “active shooter” incident.  The Lake Wales Police Department and Polk County Sheriff’s Office have a suspect in custody.  A PCSO spokesperson stated no one “was seriously or critically injured” at the call.  Neighbors on Hillside Avenue said there had been numerous gunshots from the area.  I hope the officers will make a full recovery…


Update:  This was a straight-up ambush.  Suspect John Goepferich called 911, saying there was someone shooting in his house.  When Ofc’s John Schwartze and Benjamin Metz arrived, they were hit by gunfire from Goepferich’s 9mm pistol.  In all, the suspect shot at 12 LEO’s.  Five Lake Wales officers returned fire, striking the suspect.  Ofc’s Schwartze and Metz suffered non-life threatening injuries, as did Goepferich.  Goepferich is facing 12 counts of attempted homicide of a law enforcement officer.  Good work by the officers surviving and prevailing in this cowardly attack.

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Police K9 Handlers and Dog Control

Author with his second K9 partner.

Author with his second K9 partner.

A Coconut Creek Police Department K9 dog has been retired from the force after biting two innocent persons, one an officer.  Four-year-old K9 Renzo had only been on the job a year and a half at the time of his dismissal.  The circumstances of the bites, as widely reported in the media, shine a light on the subjects of a handler’s judgment and his control of his police dog in public.

I am commenting only on the scenarios as documented, not the persons involved, who will not be named here.  In the first instance, November 26, 2014, the K9 team was tracking a home invasion suspect around 12 a.m.  The handler lost his footing and control of Renzo, who then bit an officer.  The officer received multiple puncture wounds.  The handler said the dog might have viewed the officer as a threat.

If true, this situation is both handler error and unfortunate circumstance.  The error of the handler in falling may have been unavoidable.  Running around in the dark with a motivated four-legged partner pulling you all over creation can result in the K9 officer going down and losing the dog.  If a trailing officer was close, the dog may have seen his or her movement and reacted Continue reading

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New CODECAM Police Body Camera

CODECAM frontI spied a couple of police body cameras at SHOT Show 2015.  One was the CODECAM designed by HQ Industries, LLC.  This is a low profile camera that can be carried in a uniform pen pocket or clipped to other items of clothing or MOLLE webbing.  It even comes with a magnetic mount.  HQ says theirs is the only camera with a built-in LED utility light.

The CODECAM records video in 720p HD at 30 FPS and stores it on an 8 GB micro SD card, which can be removed for upload.  Video is recorded, in color and with audio, to .MOV format.  Over two hours of video can be captured.  The lens of the camera has a 60 degree viewing angle.  The unit is rechargeable by USB.

CODECAM is activated by sliding open the lens cover, called the iLid, on the front of the camera.  This cover also protects the lens when not in use.  HQ says the iLid makes using the camera “mistake-free.”  One could just say “foolproof.”  We have pretty thick skins. Continue reading

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Recording the Police: Hands Up 4 Justice App

handsup4justiceHands Up 4 Justice is an app that lets people record police/citizen encounters without the officer knowing that the user’s cell phone camera is active.  Although the message is that taping the interaction is innocent, the Hands Up 4 Justice Facebook page contains the following:

“The App will allow you to secretly record any traffic stop & share & save the video online. In the event that you are detained or killed the video is safe”

I am a little put off by the words “secretly” and “killed.”  This is more sinister than HU4J’s regular website, which gives helpful tips to app users such as:

  • Make sure you have updated driver’s license, registration, and insurance information.
  • Be polite and don’t make any sudden movements.
  • Always comply with the police officers’ requests.
  • Tell the officer if there are weapons in the car.
  • Tell the officer this entire stop is being recorded.
  • Ask the officer his name, badge number, and reason for the stop.
  • Don’t be a jerk to the officer.

I can support these recommendations.  The website also shows a traffic stop which is obviously done by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper.  Strangely,  I did not find any legal disclaimers on the site.  But, there is case law pertaining to officers’ behavior with respect to a citizen recording their conversation.  Continue reading

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Gerber Strongarm Fixed Blade Knife

Gerber Strongarm CoyoteGerber Legendary Blades as offered fixed blade knives for military use going way back to their 1966 Mark II fighter of Vietnam fame.  Focusing on the needs of the soldier in real time, Gerber’s new Strongarm knife is Made in the USA for today’s modern warriors.  This knife at SHOT Show barked SWAT use as well.

Strongarm is a full tang fixed blade of 420HC stainless steel.  420HC is easy to resharpen and holds a decent edge.  It is used in some of Gerber’s fixed blades for its toughness and durability.  Blade length here is 4.875″ and it is coated in a black ceramic.

The Strongarm stretches a measuring tape to 9.75″ from tip to pommel.  Speaking of the pommel, it is a “skull crusher” or glass breaker, depending on your mood.  It has the obligatory lanyard Continue reading

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SWAT Medics In Harm’s Way

SWAT Medics3Last week, a Polk County SWAT medic was shot in the shoulder during a barricaded suspect shootout.  A Polk Sheriff’s Office M.R.A.P. was peppered by the suspect with over 40 rifle bullets in the incident.  This scenario reminded me of some of my Team’s struggles to integrate medics into our own program.

When I joined SWAT in 1989, there were no trained medical professionals on any tactical unit in the my county.  About eight years later, we began sending fire department paramedics to SWAT School.  Although the FD guys qualified with handguns and shotguns, they only carried them in training.

Once the medics had been activated with our Team, we began to think about how they would be utilized on actual operations.  We practiced bringing the medics with us on perimeters.  We integrated them into large scale entries, though they were always at the back of the stack with a rear guard as their armed companion.  Medics would be called out for Continue reading

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Point Blank/Paraclete Shields at SHOT Show

Mike from Point Blank Enterprises demonstrates some of the features of their new Paraclete brand Phalanx shield.  Paraclete also had several other new models with upgrades.  Below are the specs for the Phalanx:

  • Level IIIA+ protection
  • Lightweight (24” x 36” with viewport) is only 20 lbs.
  • 100% Boltless System
  • Larger, more functional view port
  • Wider ballistic protection at top
  • V – shape added strength to the entire center length of the shield
  • Three weapon mount platform on both sides
  • Accurate handgun and long – gun deployment
  • Better view at 12 o’clock and conversely when held inverted 6 o’clock position
  • Mitigates ricochets and diverts away from center

3 important components offered on the interior of the shield:

  • Stationary handle
  • Thick high density foam pad
  • Unique Velcro forearm strap attachment system

Continue reading

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Taurus Curve at SHOT Show

Taurus Curve pegAt SHOT Show 2015, I was able to leave my fingerprints on a Taurus Curve.  No, Taurus Manufacturing did not unveil the new .380 ACP pistol at Industry Day at the Range.  We had to settle for examining the firing pin-less version on the show floor.  Well, if you are going to set it on a peg, I will pick it up.

I have to say that as soon as I had the Curve in a shooting grip, my face twisted in an unpleasant way.  Let me preface the next remarks with assurances to you that I have handled many, many handguns in my last 34 adult years.  Holding the Taurus Curve, for me, felt like…wearing somebody else’s worn shoes.  Nope, just Continue reading

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New CRKT Shizuka noh Ken Folder

CRKT Shizuka Noh KenJames Williams’ history as a U.S. Army officer and martial arts instructor to military and police special units has led him to design a line of knives for Columbia River Knife & Tool.  Personally, I own the Williams/CRKT Hissatsu folder and Heiho.  With these combative blades in mind, I was happy to see yet another new Williams offering on the CRKT table at SHOT Show 2015:  the Shizuka noh Ken.

The Shizuka noh Ken is a smaller version of the very popular Otanashi noh Ken, from Williams’ drawing board for SOCOM personnel.  But the 4.6″ bladed OnK is intended to be a large knife.  Shizuka noh Ken dials down the size while keeping its offensive/defensive qualities intact.

Shizuka enters the battlespace with a 3.625″ blade of AUS 8 steel, which has an unspecified Continue reading

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Elite Survival Systems New Pulse Backpack

Tony at Elite Survival Systems gave me a tour of their new Pulse 24 hour backpack.  It is filled with great features, as you can see.  I put it on and immediately tried to trade it for the one I brought to SHOT Show.  Well, no rules against trying.

The vented back panel and aluminum stiffening spine seem to keep the Pulse off one’s lower and mid-back, the spots where a loaded pack traps heat.  I know this happens because when I took off the backpack I was wearing to put on the Pulse, I was sweating under the load.  The Pulse, conversely, felt airy. Continue reading

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KA-BAR TDI at SHOT Show 2015

Hinderer TDI bladeI dropped in on John Benner at KA-BAR’s booth at SHOT Show.  Mr. Benner is the founder of the Tactical Defense Institute.  He designed the TDI law enforcement knife that KA-BAR builds.  Benner has 37 years of service as both a soldier and a police officer.  We had a great talk.

You may remember that I wrote an article about the original TDI knife in 2012 in which I was not pleased with its sheath from a law enforcement perspective.  In March of 2014, KA-BAR introduced two new TDI knives, the Hellfire and Hinderance, which had locking sheaths.  I pronounced, “Problem solved!”  But with the reservation:  I wanted to know if the sheath and lock combination was strong enough to retain the knife in a grab. Continue reading

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Galco QCL Quad Magazine Carrier!

Galco Mag HolderGalco International had this beast on a display mannequin at SHOT Show 2015!  I thought it might be one of those joke products designed to draw you into their booth, but, no, this thing has a purpose (other than stressing your rotator cuff).  The QCL Quad Magazine Carrier was made at the request of soldiers heading overseas.

In 1969, Galco made the “Original Jackass Rig,” which was a modular shoulder holster design with the intent to have components which could be swapped out.  The QCL will hang on today’s Miami Classic opposite your full-sized roscoe.

Brother, this will hold a lot of bullets.  At 15 bullets in a standard M9 magazine, the total number you could bring to the fray with one in the chamber would equate to 76 rounds!  Plenty to fight your way to your rifle, I’d guess.

Quad_BDU_1_bGalco products, and the Miami Classic line in particular, are well-crafted gun leather.  Although I initially cracked a smile when I saw the QCL, there is no doubt that it was a nice piece of construction and had a purpose to which I was unaware.  The QCL can be bought from Galco for $119.00.


photo at left, Galco International


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Kimber Micro Raptor at SHOT Show 2015

Got a minute?


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New Ruger Handguns at SHOT Show 2015 Industry Day

Sturm, Ruger & Co. had a few changes to existing platforms at SHOT this year.  Their LCR was chambered in 9mm for some increased potency while retaining its mainstream shootability.  To bolster accuracy, the LCP was granted front and rear sights.  To show off this model, one of the Ruger reps said they intentionally made the skeletonized aluminum trigger in anodized “Ruger red.”

I found the 9mm LCR to be very controllable.  As always, it is pleasant to fire.  Since it is not nearly as hammering to the hand as its .357 counterpart, I think this 9mm ballistics upgrade from .38 Spl. will be popular.  I thought the 9mm felt less sharp than some .38 +P rounds I have sent through an LCR. Continue reading

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German Sport Guns Will Make an MP40 in 9mm!

Randall with Schmeisser MP40German Sport Guns GmbH proudly announced at SHOT Show 2015 that they will manufacture a 9 x 19mm version of their MP40 Schmeisser steel replica.  The MP40 is the infamous World War II German submachine gun that GSG currently sells in .22 LR.  Chambered for 9mm, the sub gun will return to its roots.

I appreciate German engineering and I am as fond of my little BMW 3 series as I was my Heckler & Koch MP-5.  The closest I have come to shooting a Schmeisser is in the Call of Duty video game series.  I would love to have one of these subs in 9mm.

The rep at SHOT told me the sub guns would have combination 16″ barrels for civilian sales.  A faux silencer will give the extra length to make it legal in the U.S.  A “pistol” version Continue reading

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