UV Paqlite Scout Pack

UV Paqlite Scout Pack ProductsEveryone should have an Uncle Vernon.  UV Paclite Company was founded by a father and daughter team who named their business after a wise old role model and protector of the family.  Uncle Vernon inspired generations of his kin to venture into the outdoors with safety in mind.  These lightweight, no-fail glowing “pack lights” echo his teachings.

UV Paqlite sells products featuring natural strontium aluminate crystals that absorb, store, and reproduce light without the use of batteries, chemical reactions, or radioactive elements.  The company says their large crystals are environmentally friendly and non-toxic.  These glowing objects provide utility as nightlights, equipment markers, and safety beacons.

For fun, I ordered a combination set called the Scout Pack.  It had entry-level items intended for a Boy Scout. (I may have been called one during my career.)  The UV Paqlite Scout Pack contains a 4″ GloStik, 1 1/2″ Round UVO Necklace bead, 6″ Tooblite, and flat 6″ x 8″ UV Paqlite.  When the products arrived, I quickly found some uses for them. Continue reading

Posted in Flashlights, Street, Tactical Bags | Leave a comment

FBI Publishes Latest Active Shooter Study

FBI Active Shooter Graphic

The FBI published its 2014 Active Shooter Incidents Report this week.  It collated information from a total of 160 ASI’s from the years 2000 through 2013.  In the introduction, it noted that the selection of ASI’s can be subjective and that the aggregate seeks to add “clarity and data of value” for a basic assessment.  The 2014 report adds 33 incidents, as well as 17 from 2013, to the prior bulletin from January of this year.

From 2000 to 2013, the 160 incidents resulted in 1,043 casualties:  458 killed and 557 wounded.  The average number of ASI’s per calendar year was 11.4.  The first seven years of the study showed a yearly average of 6.4 ASI’s, while the latest seven years rocketed to an average of 16.4.  The report includes a one paragraph synopsis of each of the 160 events. Continue reading

Posted in Media, Misc., Officer Safety | 1 Comment

Comsonics Texting Sniffer

Comsonics Sniffer Sleuth IIHave you ever been illegally texting behind the wheel, seen a marked police car, and lowered your phone until the “threat” had passed?  Of course you haven’t.  The California Highway Patrol is now testing a device that may end up putting thumb cuffs on texting outlaws.  Comsonics Sniffer Sleuth II can detect cell phone emissions and identify among texting, calling, or emailing from inside a moving vehicle.

We all know that distracted driving leads to car crashes.  Whether it be texting, sightseeing, or eating a McWhopper, taking your attention away from safely operating a motor vehicle is dangerous.  While not a primary p/c stop, the Florida Ban on Texting While Driving (FSS 316.305) aims at curtailing en route mischievousness.

Comsonics Sniffer Sleuth was originally developed as an electronic leak detector for the cable industry.  The same technology that can locate a damaged TV cable can discern the different cellular frequencies assigned for Continue reading

Posted in Legal, Street | Leave a comment

Liberty Ammunition Civil Defense Review

Liberty Ammunition Civil Defense(Ed. note:  Richard of BlueSheepdog.com and GunsHolstersandGear.com was kind enough to review this ammunition for me.  He is a true gentleman, experienced law enforcement officer and writer, and a really bad joke teller.)

Knocking someone through a plate glass window with a single shot from a pistol is the stuff of TV fantasy.  Handgun ammo is just not that powerful.  In fact, pistol calibers are generally considered marginal for stopping a violent attacker when compared to rifle and shotgun loads.

Even so, there are definitely differences between handgun ammunition designs that can affect how quickly an attacker is stopped when shot.  Some rounds have built reputations as being effective on the street, while others have been dubbed “widow makers” because of the poor results experienced by the officers relying on them.

Liberty Ammunition is a Florida company building unconventional ammunition for self-defense.  The company’s Civil Defense line of handgun ammo uses a variety of techniques to create significant wound channels that are likely to quickly incapacitate an attacker.

Generally, Liberty Ammunition uses lighter-than-typical bullet weights in each caliber.  This allows the bullets to be driven to much higher velocities while still staying within the pressure specifications set out by the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI.)

Energy can be described as the potential amount of work done.  Since the energy is measured as the mass times the square of the velocity, dropping the bullet weight while increasing the speed can actually produce a load that has more energy than a conventional load design.  The idea is the more energy a bullet has, the more work – or damage – it can do to the attacker.

The Civil Defense line of ammunition uses solid copper hollowpoint bullets that are Continue reading

Posted in Concealed Carry, Firearms, Florida Companies | Leave a comment

Florida Protects Children From Identity Theft

TBFLogo800x600I found this information in a post on the Pinellas County Victim Rights Coalition website.  It should be of particular interest to the parents of children under 16 years of age.  The new law will enable a parent to put a “security freeze” on their child’s personal identification information to prevent criminals from opening illegal lines of credit in the child’s name.  This legislation is sorely needed, especially as we are currently witnessing an unprecedented spike in frauds committed through identity and account thefts.

Excellent news to help keep our minor children safe:  Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (DACS) Commissioner Adam Putnam worked with the Florida Legislature this past session to pass the Keeping I.D.’s Safe (KIDS) Act ( SB 242).

This legislation allows parents of minors to contact the three credit reporting bureaus, open up a credit record for their child and freeze it, thus preventing anyone from starting credit in the child’s name.  Identity theft of children is a growing trend in Florida and across the nation, and more than 50,000 children have their identities stolen in Florida each year. 

Although there are existing ways for adults to freeze their own credit, there was no way to freeze a child’s credit until this legislation was passed.  This legislation, coupled with other precautions and tips DACS is making available to parents, will be one more tool that helps give parents control over their child’s future.  The law became effective September 1st.

Randall

 

Posted in Legal | Leave a comment

9/11–A Reminder of Service

Swearing-In BlueI spent the morning of September 11 this year being sworn-in to a federal task force, which I will not name here.  As I talked to the ASAC and a supervisory agent who were completing the documentation, we compared experiences from 9/11/2001.  None of us was involved in the infamous events of that day, but all of us were in service to our communities and country at the time of the attacks 13 years ago.

Today’s law enforcement efforts are more collaborative than in decades past.  Federal agencies are spread thin for personnel, due to their increasing duties, and can use the assistance of police officers and deputies as supplemental staffing.  In turn, local departments benefit from wider sources of intel and info, better training, and, sometimes, upgrades in equipment through federal funding or forfeiture monies.

Though my particular task force duties will be as-needed and part time, I am pleased to be able to help our G-Men colleagues.  Although I am not credentialed in other areas, I assist by supervising a Continue reading

Posted in Misc. | Leave a comment

QALO Rings Save Fingers

QaloRingsRing avulsion.  This is something that first responders and soldiers should worry about on the job.  QALO Ring has come up with a solution to getting your wedding band or other metal ring caught in machinery or on a fixed object, which can result in finger amputation or serious degloving of the tissue.  Google it if you have a strong stomach.  I think it will convince you of the peril.

QALO stands for Quality Athletics Love Outdoors.  They say, “We searched for a solution that would allow us to show our commitment of marriage, and wear a comfortable wedding band that could withstand our active lifestyle.  We started playing around with some rubber wedding rings, and then discovered 100% medical grade silicone wedding rings…”

QaloGrey

The QALO silicon band can be worn Continue reading

Posted in Officer Safety, Street | Leave a comment

NTOA Partners with KOTA Longboards

image

The National Tactical Officers Association is joining forces with KOTA Longboards to introduce SWAT-themed skate decks.  Although my nephews would probably enjoy these boards, I’m too old to be collecting road rash like I did when I was a teen.  Still, you can get them customized with your department patch, unit insignia, or other personalization.  Press release from NTOA:

Doylestown, Pa. (September 2014) – The National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) is pleased to announce a partnership with veteran-owned KOTA Longboards®. Through this new partnership, NTOA and KOTA Longboards® will bring the members of NTOA three uniquely branded longboard options: NTOA Eagle Edition Nieuport 17 longboard, NTOA Veritas Edition Handley Page longboard and NTOA Law Enforcement Customizable Boards. A portion of the proceeds from each longboard sale will benefit the NTOA Educational Scholarship Fund.

The NTOA Eagle Edition Nieuport 17 longboard measures 9½” W x 43 7/8″ L and is made from American Hard Rock Maple. It is available as a complete set up only and includes Paris 180mm trucks, 73mm Seismic Speed Vent wheels, KOTA precision bearings and ½” risers. Continue reading

Posted in Misc., SWAT | Leave a comment

FSA 2014 Officer of the Year

The Florida Sheriff’s Association produced this video about their 2014 Officer of the Year, Officer Mario Gutierrez of the Miami-Dade Police Department.  All I can say is, Wow.  Ofc. Gutierrez’s account and the radio traffic are chilling.  It is an outstanding example of courage and staying in the fight.

Randall

Posted in Misc., Officer Safety, Street | 1 Comment

I Got Pulled Over

SheriffCarThe other evening I ran out to the store for some supplies.  On my way home, I saw blue and red lights in my rear view mirror. Aaaaah.  I blinkered into the right lane, turned on to the first side street, and coasted to the curb.  When was the last time I was pulled over?

The sheriff’s deputy made a driver’s side approach.  I was actually a little nervous as I kept both hands on the steering wheel; I’ve been on his side of the traffic stop, too.  The deputy stayed safely just behind the B-pillar and said, “Sir, I need to see your license and registration.”  I replied with a chagrined smile, “Yes, deputy.”

After I had produced the documents, he stated, “You rolled through a stop-before-right-turn-on-red at that last intersection.”  Thinking back, I had checked for cross-traffic and proceeded slowly through the right turn.  Yep, I’d have to agree with him.  He said he would be right back.  In my side view mirror I watched him walk back to his cruiser.

No, I did not “badge him,” nor did I tell him that I was an off-duty officer.  Although I am normally Continue reading

Posted in Officer Safety, Street | 4 Comments

New FLIR One Thermal Imager

FLIR OneFLIR Systems, Inc. is producing a new low-cost thermal imaging system that mates to an iPhone 5 or 5s and lets the user view heat signatures through the cell phone’s display.  The new device is called FLIR One and will sell for about $350 (iPhone not included).

I mention this product, not because I see it as a cutting edge law enforcement tool, but because I see this as a precursor to some exciting technology coming to a cop shop near you.  I predict cost-effective thermal imaging will make infrared night vision obsolete as an LE search tool.

A few SHOT Shows ago, I previewed FLIR’s latest handheld thermal units–the PS series for public safety and civilian use.  I played with a PS-24 and had a blast pointing it around at people and marveling at its clarity and magical illumination. Continue reading

Posted in Officer Safety, Technology | Tagged | 4 Comments

Public Sevice Message

Don’t worry, I am not going to dump a bucket of ice water over my head like everybody else.

Randall

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Yet Another Day in the Pressure Cooker

ThinBlueFlorida
It is almost Midnight and I just got home from a regular eight hour shift followed by just over seven hours of OT on a series of surveillance and arrests for one of our specialized units, working in conjunction with other local and Federal agencies.

I do not pull this kind of duty nearly as much as I had in days past.  It reminds me that this kind of adrenaline-infused work goes on around-the-clock in our country.  The challenges made me respect those who are on the front lines taking criminals off the street every day because the reality is that after nearly 27 years on the job I now drive a desk for the most part.  It is the way of things.

But I like keeping my skills sharp and running my part of this Op brings back memories of the hundreds of buy-busts and SWAT calls with which I was entrusted.  I could not help but noticed that after all these years, safety was still the mantra with our guys.  Protect our UC’s and keep ourselves on the “high ground.”

A few arrests and one “pursuit” later, I could relax again.  My detectives were going home safe to their families, no innocents were put in harm’s way, and the offenders will have their dates with the court.

We accomplished the mission.  All things considered, an above-average day in law enforcement.

Randall

Posted in Detectives, Street | 3 Comments

Militarization of the Police–A Cop’s View

Militarization of the Police copyI get a little miffed at the argument that the police are becoming “too militarized.”  Detractors say that law enforcement has no need for the equipment that the U.S. Government has been distributing from its arsenal of aged or obsolete equipment.  This controversial military equipment comes mainly in two flavors:  weaponry or protection.

As to weaponry, we are talking rifles.  My agency just took possession of two dozen older Colt M-16s from the Department of Defense at a very low price per unit.  Before the naysayers get in an uproar, understand that we already have more authorized fully automatic rifles for our SWAT team.  Our street officers also field semi-automatic civilian model AR-15’s.

This is representative of most police departments and sheriff’s offices around the nation.  Rifles have been recognized as a more appropriate weapon for modern police officers than the traditional shotgun to counter today’s violent offenders.

Back in February of this year, I published the results of an FBI study into Active Shooter Events from 2000-2012.  The recommendation by the FBI was that, “Officers ought to have firepower at least equivalent to what they will face if they go in harm’s way.”  The study urged that today’s police officers should have access to patrol rifles and protective armor.

The American Civil Liberties Union says the DoD lets police agencies have “grenade launchers.”  Actually, they are old M79 40mm launchers that the cops can only use for less lethal gas and distraction munitions.  Police cannot even acquire deadly anti-personnel rounds for them.  “Grenade launcher” is intentionally used for its inflammatory connotations.

The Department of Defense, under the National Defense Authorization Act of 1997, is not giving police departments hand grenades, anti-tank rockets, crew-served heavy machine guns, or phased plasma rifles in the 40 watt range.  They are Continue reading

Posted in Media, Politics, Street, SWAT | 8 Comments

Raven Concealment Systems ModuLoader

Raven ModuLoaderRaven Concealment Systems has come out with a product that made me think, “Duh!”  Raven’s ModuLoader Pocket Shield is perfect for the discreet carry of knives and other like equipment.  There are times that I would prefer to hide my blade, especially when in dress or business casual clothes.  A metal knife clip dragging on the pocket edge of an expensive pair of slacks will not do.

I ordered a Pocket Shield primarily for knife carry.  It arrived packaged with a nifty Raven sticker, a short length of small nylon cord, and six Chicago screws for affixing accessories.  I ordered a gray Pocket Shield instead of black, well, just because I could.

The Pocket Shield’s scalloped top edge and horizontal slots provide mounting points for clipped gear and, as a bonus, give ventilation to the area.  If you’ve ever pocket-carried a large, bulky holster in the heat of summer, you know that it can be uncomfortable.  The ModuLoader piece is flexible, light, and cool.

Photos on their website show small fixed blade knives, flashlights, and pistols bolted to the Pocket Shield for pocket carry.  Its flexible shape masks bulky objects.  Raven credits MDTS Training Systems’ Chris Fry with conceiving Continue reading

Posted in Concealed Carry, Detectives, Firearms, Flashlights, Knives, Off Duty | 2 Comments