Institutional Inertia – Never Accept Average

How law enforcement snipers can avoid the dreaded ‘Institutional Inertia’ that often slows progress at agencies.

As I travel around the nation providing instruction to various law enforcement agencies, I see a consistent trend that greatly inhibits growth and development in the areas of training and equipment.
That trend is a lack of time, money and resources related to sustainment training, and identifying advancements in equipment and tactics.
A man far wiser than I once told me that the three critical assets needed to accomplish tasks were time, money and resources. He continued on by saying that if you’ve got all three at your disposal, tasks get completed quickly and, for the most part, effectively.
However, if you’re lacking in one, then you’d better have
a lot of the other two to make up for the deficiency. That makes sense, but what happens when you don’t have a whole lot of any of the three? This is what most agencies are up against, and it’s an uphill battle.

As a result, what usually happens is acceptance that this is the way it is, and the way it’s always going to be. Let’s call it what it is: institutional inertia. It’s an uncomfortable topic to discuss.

It’s stagnation, it’s a lack of progress, and the results can be deadly in this line of work. Is there a way to get your big boat turned? Absolutely, but in order to turn a big boat, pressure needs to be applied in specific places, and it takes patience and time.
Learning where and how to apply that pressure is critical to making gains and removing your team from the grips of institutional inertia.
As a young sniper I quickly learned that gaining the trust of your leadership is critical to opening the doors to new opportunity. If you want work for your team, your command structure needs to have complete trust and confidence in your abilities.

How do we establish that confidence? It starts with effective communication skills, and creating awareness of deficiencies. Make an effort to deliver solutions to problems rather than simply highlighting problems.
That simple act can go a long way, and presenting multiple courses of action to solve one problem shows that you’re open to suggestions.

I’ve also had a lot of success by inviting leadership to training events. The intent here is to create awareness through illustrating what you do, and what you may be up against when it comes to time, resources and money. Maybe you’re trying to convince your department that you need an infrared illumination capability to augment your current night vision assets and you’re getting push back because of cost.
Reach out to an IR laser company to get a test and evaluation unit, and set up a night shoot for your leadership to see the undeniable pros and cons of positive target identification with that IR asset.
How do you sell it? That’s easy; who doesn’t want to shoot a sniper rifle with night vision and lasers? This is just one example of an attempt to get your leadership engaged with what you do.

Good relationships with your leadership generally equal positive results. Another trend I see is a lack of progression with equipment. The world of precision rifles, optics and other support equipment has literally exploded with innovation in the last 10 years. With that comes a wide variety of solutions that aren’t necessarily associated with a high cost.

Still shooting that tired old Remington M700 PSS that your department bought 10, maybe 15 years ago? Tired of using foam and duct tape to build up a cheek piece that’s inconsistent and unstable? Can’t mount an in-line night vision optic to your rifle? There are plenty of cost-effective stock replacement options out there that will solve those problems.

I’m honestly blown away when this topic comes up in class and only a handful of students are aware of these advancements. The only way you’re going to stay abreast of these advancements is to take the initiative and do the research. With the information age being a way of life, there’s no excuse to not be current with equipment advancements within your discipline.
We don’t always have to do more with less. Let’s say you’ve taken the initiative and educated yourself on the current state-of-the-art as it relates to equipment, tactics, techniques and procedures. You’ve carefully and artfully developed your sales pitch for some more training time and updated equipment.

Bulk Ammo In-Stock

You’ve outlined solutions before highlighting the problems. You make your pitch, and it’s answered with “Why do we need this? We’ve always been able to make it happen with what we’ve already got. It’s good enough.” It’s incredibly frustrating, and like mentioned above, it’s institutional inertia at work.
Change is scary, change is resisted, and change takes time. How can we find a chink in that armor? A lot of this comes from education and using as many resources as possible to solidify your position. As an example, I always ask my students if they’ve ever heard of the American Sniper Association’s Police Sniper Utilization Report.

Surprisingly only a small percentage of hands go up, and quite frankly, I see that as completely unsatisfactory.
The data in that document alone can be enough to support your position and get your leadership to see merit in your request. Seeing a trend here?
Initiative and education are powerful tools, and they both go a long way to building credibility and defeating institutional inertia. I wish I had all the space necessary to touch on all the topics that law enforcement snipers need to address.

There are so many small things that contribute to the overall preparedness of a law enforcement sniper, and for some, you may be fighting an uphill battle. My intent with this article was to provide some insight and tools for those in need, and to get the creative juices flowing so you can hopefully invoke some positive change.

Snipers are selected based on certain personality traits. Intelligent, intellectual, creative, resourceful and passionate are just a few that come to mind. If you’re one of the many who are plagued with some of the problems mentioned above and want to invoke positive change, be humble, take the initiative, educate yourself, use every available resource, and be relentless in your pursuit. Never accept average.
Editor’s note: Author Caylen Wojcik is the owner/founder of Kalinski Consulting & Training Services, which specializes in providing precision shooting instruction to law enforcement and military professionals. To learn more, please visit

Modern Day Gunfighting Lawmen

Gunslinging Lawmen of the 20th Century – that you never Heard of

First thought that comes to mind is Wyatt Earp. We’re talking lawmen from the mid 1930’s to later in the 20th century. You’ll see a common core that they all share in their survival stories – that is to be very decisive and not hesitate when it was time to pull the trigger. Maybe, this was a function of the eras during which some of these officers worked, partly the assignments they had, and partly it was just that their own natures made them particularly proactive.

What stands out is that these lawmen did not use the conventional best practice way of shooting that we’re accustomed to. Such as sight alignment, grips, smooth trigger pull, sight picture, Isoceles/Weaver stances, etc… Though, these lawmen have their way of shooting or what was taught back in those days…
These lawmen were no slouch when things heated up, they fought the bad guys with grit and determination. Their high level of discerning a deadly situation and making a quick decision to act on it to save lives help in providing a safer community. Without further adieu here are some of the 20th century lawmen that you may never have heard of:

Ralph Friedman

NYPD’s Most Decorative Detective of the 70′-80’s.
He was assigned to the 41st Precinct in the Bronx, known as Ft Apache. It was one of the highest crime rate areas in the country. During his career he made over 2,000 arrests. Ralph Friedman was involved in 15 shootouts in the course of which he was forced to shoot eight perpetrators, killing four.
After two years on with NYPD, in 1972, he had to kill a man in the line of duty for the first time. Here is how Friedman describe this terrible experience.
The following is an excerpt from Ralph Friedman book “Street Warrior”:

“Muzzle blasts lit up the area. We’d passed through a short foyer adjacent to the living room and were now standing in a hallway that led to the rear of the apartment. There was a black male three feet in front of us, shirtless, gun extended, firing rapidly. Kal went down almost immediately, firing his revolver as he pitched forward. The noise of the gunfight in a confined space was ear-shattering, and I felt as if an ice pick was being shoved into my brain. I had my gun extended and was firing rounds at the guy who was shooting at us. The room was caught up in a strobe-like miasma of light, scream and curses.

“The gunman tried to get by me, but I grabbed his shoulder and we struggled, grunting and swearing, although our voices sounded muffled given the effect the gunshots had on my hearing. Everything was happening very quickly, yet it felt like slow motion. I was fighting for my life, nearly deaf from the gunshots, and wondering if I’d been hit. The shooter was about my height, medium build. A river of adrenaline was pumping through me, and I knew if I didn’t put him down, I was gonna die.
I heard the approaching cavalry — the job now a rapid response ‘shots fired,’ allowing for flashing lights and sirens all the way — or thought I did. The troops were coming, and I hoped they’d arrive in time. As we fought, I pressed my gun against the gunman’s chest, hoping I still had ammo, and fired. I heard the welcome sound of a boom, no empty chamber click. The gunman went down like a dropped anchor. I found later he’d been hit a few times, but my last round got him in the heart. The three of us had fired a total of 18 rounds in what couldn’t have been more than a 10-second gun battle inside what seems like a medium-sized closet.”

Here is what he learned from his gun fighting experiences:
-I carried two while on duty — so why learn an entirely new weapon? Surviving a gunfight is about shot placement, not throwing numerous rounds at a target and hoping a few hit their mark. Training is the key, not necessarily large-capacity magazine.

-Carry enough guns. Carry enough gun. Sub-optimal 158-gr. SWC .38 Special rounds were issued during Friedman’s time on NYPD. Revolvers were superseded by 16-shot 9mm autos in the early 1990s, and the last .38 grandfathered as a primary duty gun left the streets of the Big Apple in August of 2018. Circa 1999, New York City cops at last got hollow point ammunition, and the 9mm Speer Gold Dot 124-gr. +P seems to have solved long standing complaints about feeble ammo from the rank and file of New York’s Finest.

-Maximum control equals maximum hit potential. Friedman told me except for when he killed the man who shot his partner, while grappling at muzzle contact, he was able to hold his .38 in both hands in all his other shootings. He also said every shot he ever fired on the street was double action.

-Have secure holsters, including off-duty scabbards that won’t dislodge from your belt in a strenuous physical fight.

Delf A. Bryce also known as “Jelly Bryce”

Jelly Bryce was an Oklahoma City policeman and an FBI agent, active from 1928 to 1958. He was significant for being an exceptional marksman and a fast draw. He survived 19 gunfights, some during the “gangster era.” Bryce was considered a master of point shooting.

At the age of 22, on his second day with Oklahoma City police he confronted a thief trying to hot-wire a car. He identified himself as a police officer, after which the suspect drew a pistol; Bryce then drew his and shot and killed the criminal.
On another occasion during his first year, while patrolling in a police car, he confronted two thieves attempting to break into furniture store premises. After Bryce demanded their surrender they both fired pistols; Bryce then drew and fired twice, killing both men.
Jelly Bryce shooting skills were freakingly amazing and accurate. Though, he possessed natural shooting talent, he also trained relentlessly both with live fire and dry firing in front of a mirror. What sets him apart from someone in a gunfight is that Bryce can quickly assess the situation and beat his perpetrator to the punch (shoot) first while on the move.

For those that knew him, Jelly Bryce was a fanatic when it came to training. Here are some of his methodology:
  • Fast draw
  • Accurate point shooting
  • Training relentlessly with Live fire
  • Drawing and Dry Firing in front of a mirror daily
  • Being decisive in gunfights
  • In other words – move, draw, and shoot quickly and accurately under stress.

    Here’s Youtuber OrigamiAK demonstrating shooting on the move from the appendix carry.

    Bob Stasch – Chicago PD Veteran Of 14 Gunfights
    Here is a 52 minute interview with Chicago PD Lieutenant Bob Stasch. He has been in 14 gunfights. Many people have big beliefs and swear on “stopping power”. Hearing Bob Stasch encounters in his LEO gunfights it seems that there is a possibility that people have a stronger will to survive beyond rational belief. I tell customers at work, that people will surprise you. They can defy physics and rationality and Bob Stasch’s example is a good one.

    He shares his personal retort to “why did you fire?”. “I fired to live” as opposed to “I fired because i was in immediate danger of death or serious bodily harm”. It is a subtle change that still conveys the same amount of information in a short and concise method.

  • Gunfights happens at arms length and no further than 20 feet away
  • Best point of aim is eye to target, eye to muzzle, emphasis on the front sight which leads to point/instinctive shooting for gunfighting.
  • If there were shots fired at greater distances than 20 feet, it was suppressive fire for cover
  • Center mass shots may not stop an attacker, head shots would need to be relied on.
  • His preferred practice target is a 6″ paper plate. From his experience in gunfights, he has progressed to aim for the head. If he can hit the plate, he is confident he can hit a head at combat distances.
  • Use of two hands while combat shooting was never used. Everything was one hand shooting.
  • Use of off hand were normally used for talking on the radio, putting hand out for balance while shooting

  • Frank Pape Chicago PD

    Pape “sent 300 men to prison, five to the electric chair and engaged in more than a dozen gun battles, surviving without a scratch while sending nine suspects to their graves.” Pape had never fired his gun in the line of duty until his partner, Morris Friedman, was gunned down. After that, he “carved for himself a reputation for fearlessness if not ruthlessness, sometimes going after criminals with a Thompson submachine gun.
    Dead Foot Arms

    ‘My attitude was: If you shoot at me, I’m going to kill you if I can,’ Pape said years later. ‘Of the nine people I shot, every one of them had a gun and in every instance they had used it or were about to use it. I wouldn’t take them into custody and I don’t give a damn who criticized me for it.'”
    Due to the nature of Frank Pape’s nature of hazardous assignment, he was known to carry multiple pistols. Before high capacity magazine was the norm, Frank Pape needed to be armed with multiple pistols while on these raids. So Frank custom tailored his pants and coat pockets to carry extra pistols.
    Frank Pape was known to be armed with .38 caliber revolvers, 44 Magnum and even a Thompson machinegun when taking down robbers.

    Jim Cirillo

    The late Jim Cirillo was a member of the New York City Police Department’s Stakeout Squad (SOU), where he was forced to kill at least 11 men in the course of more than 20 gunfights during the 40-man unit’s some 250-plus stakeouts.
    Jim was armed with his issue Smith & Wesson M10 4-inch barrel .38 Special revolver, but he also used a matching gun as one of his back-ups, which included his personally owned Colt Cobra .38 Special 2-inch barrel and Walther PPK in .32 ACP. He was also armed with either of two types of 12-gauge shotguns – a short, double-barrel Savage or a short-barrel Ithaca Model 37—and the option to use an S&W Model 76 9mm submachine gun.

    In an interview conducted by Paul Kirchner a question was asked whether the use of sights during a gunfight was necessary. Jim said he did use his sights whenever he could.
    In his first and most written-about shootout (the second of the SOU and his first gunfight), he and “George Ballinger” (a fictitious name at the officer’s request) set up at the Old McDonald’s Farm Store on 101st Avenue in the Jamaica section of Queens, New York. Jim fired six shots in 3 to 4 seconds against threats with exposed areas no more than 8 inches in diameter at distances of 20 to 25 yards.

    Jim and his partner were hiding behind and slightly above the cashier counter when the three robbers entered. One confronted the cashier. As Jim rose to challenge him, the codpiece on Jim’s vest fell loudly to the floor, causing the robber to duck down behind the counter and run along its length. Jim shot him three times in the head and killed him. He then fired at the other two as they ran out. His partner also fired, using a shotgun. The two robbers were later arrested, suffering from handgun and 00-buckshot wounds. Jim said he was looking so hard at the front sight of his revolver he could see the serrations in it.
    What was and is still ignored are instances where he or other officers were not able to do such sighting. In these later instances, they were confined in small spaces or had to fire through small shooting ports such that they could not sight their handguns. They still came out on top with the felons either dead or seriously wounded.
    In my conversations with him, Cirillo further clarified what he meant, saying he knew where the sights were while he looked at the “background,” He also said his shootings were done at the subconscious level and reflected how he trained.
    If you have the time, favorable lighting and the need for a precise shot at some distance, take the best sight picture you can get. Conversely, if you are up close and under attack, use only as much (if any) sighting needed to make the same well-placed shot, keeping in mind Jim also found that only accurate shots, regardless of caliber, can stop a life or death fight.

    Gunfights that Changed Law Enforcement Tactics

    In the past 30 some odd years, U.S. law enforcement tactics, procedures, and policies have evolved because of these tragic incidents. Not all of us are LEO’s but their training in gunfight tactics have trickled down to private citizen training as well.
    The gear and training employed by officers is much different today, partly as a result of the infamous FBI Miami shootout in 86. There have been other game-changing gunfights in the last quarter century. The following segment examines each of them and how they changed LE tactics, procedures, and policies.

    The following are compilation of Police Mag interviews with LEO trainers, firearms experts, and tactical instructors to assess the lasting impacts of these events on patrol officers.
    As noted by Massad Ayoob, former director of Lethal Force Institute, in addition to horrific circumstances, these incidents contain plenty of bravery by law enforcement officers.

    “One thing you take from all of these is the tremendous courage of cops fighting against the odds, for their brothers and for the public they serve,” Ayoob says. “It’s inspiring.”

    Carl Drega Rampage Aug. 19, 1997: Bloomfield, Vt

    Recluse Carl Drega took his one-man war with society across state lines on Aug. 19, 1997, launching a rampage that started with the murder of two New Hampshire troopers attempting to ticket him in the parking lot of a LaPerle’s IGA market in Colebrook.
    Drega, was armed with an AR-15 and ballistic vest, stole the trooper’s cruiser and drove to Columbia, where he killed a judge and newspaper editor.
    He then crossed into Vermont, running a game warden off the road and firing on responding officers who located the stolen cruiser.

    Two New Hampshire troopers and a U.S. Border Patrol agent with an M14 .308 rifle providing mutual aid eventually stopped Drega by shooting and killing him. The gunman had also been struck in the vest with a rifled shotgun slug.

    Following the incident, rural agencies began equipping their officers with patrol rifles, says Ayoob, who was a reserve officer in New Hampshire.

    “Drega sold more police patrol rifles than the entire firearms industry sales force,” says Ayoob. “It reminded the public that small town, rural departments were just as likely to face this sort of thing as the municipal departments.”

    FBI Miami Shootout April 11, 1986: Pinecrest, FL

    This close-quarters gun battle involved eight FBI agents and two heavily armed suspects during a felony stop in southern Miami.
    This horrific incident led FBI Firearms Training Unit Director John Hall to conclude that the carnage was primarily “an ammo failure.”

    The FBI’s after-action report solidified Hall’s belief, because it showed that Michael Platt and William Matix—an Army Ranger and Army MP of the 101st Airborne, respectively—sustained fatal wounds yet continued to bring the fight to the agents.
    The agents had fired .38 Special and 9mm rounds from revolvers and semi-auto pistols, which lacked adequate stopping power, FBI officials said afterward.
    Only Special Agent Edmundo Mireles deployed a long gun, Remington 870 pump-action shotgun.

    One bullet, in particular, was singled out as the “shot that failed.” Fired by Special Agent Jerry Dove, this 9mm bullet struck Platt’s right forearm, entered his right ribcage, and stopped an inch from his heart.
    Platt survived to fight for four more minutes, eventually killing agents Dove and Benjamin Grogan.

    Matix had also apparently been taken out of the fight early with a .38 Special +P round fired by Special Agent Gordon McNeill from his S&W Model 19 that struck Matix in the face and bruised his brain.

    According to Dr. French Anderson’s “Forensic Analysis of the April 11, 1986, FBI Firefight,” the wound “must have been devastating.” After he lay unconscious for more than a minute, Matix became alert, left his car, and joined Platt in agent Grogan’s and agent Dove’s vehicle.

    In the aftermath of the tragedy, the FBI phased out revolvers and .38 Special ammunition. Agents were also eventually issued H&K MP5 submachine guns for high-risk encounters.

    “The FBI went looking for a pistol round with deeper penetration,” says Dave Spaulding, a retired Ohio police lieutenant and pistol instructor. “It’s not important that you hit something, it’s important that you hit something important.”

    The FBI’s adoption of 10mm Auto to attain greater stopping power popularized the then-obscure round.
    The FBI later switched to a subsonic load (the “10mm FBI”) to better tame the full-powered 10mm that delivered about 38,000 pounds psi, says Ayoob, who’s written extensively about the incident.

    Later, the FBI switched to the .40-caliber S&W that was the most prevalent duty ammo in law enforcement in that era. The .40-caliber provides similar ballistics to a 10mm in a shorter casing.

    Fast forward to the modern day, with the advancement of technology – the 9mm round can perform just as well as the 10mm in terms of penetration.
    The FBI has gone back to the 9mm not for the knockdown power but for less recoil and ability to do multiple rapid fire. Another plus is the high magazine capacity which can bring more fire power to the fight.

    Columbine High School Massacre April 20, 1999: Littleton, CO

    The attack on Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold with bombs and a small arsenal of shotguns and carbines was more of a failed bombing than a shooting incident, according to Dave Cullen, who wrote the bestseller “Columbine.”

    The shooting was bad enough. The Columbine incident may have become one of the most studied active-shooter massacres in law enforcement and led to the popularization of IARD (Immediate Action Rapid Deployment) among tactical teams. During the Columbine massacre, Jefferson County (Colo.) Sheriff’s Office tactical officers followed a traditional strategy of surrounding the building, setting up a perimeter, and containing the damage. The results were catastrophic.

    The IARD tactic (which was actually used by the LAPD prior to Columbine) calls for a four-person team to advance into the site of a shooting, optimally using a diamond-shaped wedge, to stop the shooter as quickly as possible and save lives. Cullen has said the tactic, used at Virgina Tech, “probably saved dozens of lives.”

    The IARD tactic has evolved since Columbine because the four-officer response has existed as a theoretical approach and has been rarely used in the field.

    “It was all based around the four-officer cell,” says Don Alwes, an active-shooter instructor with the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA).
    “It could be a diamond, a T, or a Y. But none of those formations look like they’re supposed to when you start using them in the real world due to the environment structures.”

    Regardless of formation, Alwes reiterates the idea that first-responding officers can’t wait for SWAT to engage an active killer.
    In every first responder option will always be the “now go plan” dictated by the dynamics of the situation.

    North Hollywood Bank Robbery Feb. 28, 1997: Los Angeles, CA

    The Los Angeles officers who found themselves under a barrage of heavy machine-gun fire from the North Hollywood bank robbers quickly realized that their 9mm pistols and shotguns were ineffective against the armored gunmen.

    Officers responding to the Bank of America branch along Laurel Canyon Boulevard on Feb. 28, 1997, engaged Larry Phillips, Jr. and Emil Matasareanu from the cover of a locksmith shop across a four-lane thoroughfare.
    LEO’s typically trained at 25 yards with 9mm handguns fired from 70 yards, attempted to answer the military-style rifles—a full-auto Romanian AIM AK-47 variant, Norinco Type 56 S-1, semi-auto HK91, and modified Bushmaster XM15 E2S—used by the suspects. Their loaded 3,300 rounds of ammo were in boxes and drum magazines inside the trunk of their white Chevy Celebrity.

    Nine officers were wounded, and one LAPD Crown Vic squad car was hit at least 56 times during a gun battle that lasted 44 minutes.
    During the blistering gunfight, 650 rounds were fired at the suspects, who fired 1,101 rounds at officers.

    With his troops outgunned, Lt. Nick Zingo authorized officers to head to nearby BB & Sales Gun store to acquire rifles to match the ones fired by the suspects.

    Following the shootout, which was broadcast locally on live television, law enforcement agencies began providing AR-type rifles to patrol officers.
    In some cases, the rifles were installed in cruisers. In the case of the Florida Highway Patrol, rifle training was provided and officers bought their own rifles, says Ayoob.

    The LAPD also added ballistic Kevlar plating inside the doors of its cruisers.

    “Two important lessons come to mind from the North Hollywood shootout,” says retired LAPD Capt. Greg Meyer, a member of the POLICE advisory board.
    -“First, it is essential these days to equip patrol officers with rifles. Incident after incident around the country proves this. The North Hollywood officers did not have that resource until SWAT arrived on the scene in the final minutes of the shootout.”
    -“Second, several of the nine heroes wounded were detectives, male and female. Don’t overlook tactical training for your detectives.” Everyone needs to keep up-to-date with tactical training. (gunfight drills)

    Perceptive agencies also noticed a rescue of a downed colleague by Officer Anthony Cabunoc and his partner with a police cruiser. “A lot more departments seem to model the excellent extrication work that was done there in the field, scooping in and using vehicles as cover to pick up the wounded officers and evacuate them from the field of fire,” says Ayoob. “That was widely emulated.”

    Mumbai Attacks Nov. 26, 2008: Mumbai, India

    Why would we include this incident that didn’t even occur in the United States? The reasons are many, but here’s a few.
    One, we face the same enemy as the Indians, and that enemy loves to copy successful operations.
    Two, America’s cities and public gathering areas are extremely vulnerable to this kind of attack.
    Three, in India the military responded, but Posse Comitatus will not allow that here. LEO’s and private citizens will have to respond.
    That’s why the 10 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks by Islamist terrorists on a hotel, hospital, rail terminus, and other populated locations still keeps American law enforcement tactics instructors awake at night.

    The attacks, occurred over four days, resulted in the killing of 164 people and the wounding of at least 308. The lone attacker captured alive disclosed that the attackers were members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based militant organization.

    This attacks have triggered a rethinking of terrorist response strategies by police, and the emphasis on lone-officer engagement during deadly assaults.
    As with the attacks on Columbine and Virginia Tech, Mumbai also taught officers they must engage active killers to lessen the bloodshed, according to Alwes.

    In recent years, lone officers and partners have engaged shooters at a nursing home in Carthage, N.C., in March 2009, and at a military deployment center at Ford Hood, Texas, in November of that year.

    “An active shooter situation is not a tactical team problem, it’s a tactical officer problem,” says Alwes. “A tactical officer is anyone on duty.”

    The NTOA and other trainers have begun teaching a tactical philosophy known as Multiple-Assault Counter Terrorism Action Capability (MACTAC) that allows more flexible officer deployment when multiple locations are hit. Regardless of the deployment strategy, officers who arrive first at the scene must now take matters into their own hands.

    “If we know the killers are active, our first priority above all else is to get in there and stop them,” says Alwes. “We can’t wait for SWAT. The officers at the scene have to stop it.”
    This sentiment has spawn into public citizens training who may be caught in the affected area but first responding LEO’s have not arrived yet.

    Sources:, Masaad Ayoob

    Red Ants And An Arrest – Funny Cop Story


    Red Ants And An Arrest

    [su_heading]Story by Retired St. Lucie County Detective Scott Young[/su_heading]

    [su_dropcap style=”light” size=”5″]A[/su_dropcap]s any law enforcement officer knows enemies come in all shapes and sizes. To Florida law enforcement officers one such enemy is the fire ant. Small pesky critter whose bite stings ferociously.

    Cop LaughingWhile conducting a traffic stop on a busy two-lane road I had asked the driver for their license and registration and then returned to my vehicle to check their credentials. This is when I felt the sudden yet all-too-familiar stings on my ankle and leg. When I looked down I noticed that my foot was entirely engulfed in fire ants.

    The roadway where I conducted this traffic stop is very narrow and I had to be careful entering or exiting my vehicle to ensure not stepping into oncoming traffic. Hastily, I kicked off my boot but continued to get stung inside my uniform pants. I pulled off my sock because it too was covered in fire ants. I carefully held my boot and sock out of the car window, and shook them violently to get rid of the ants. In doing so the sock flew out of my hand into the oncoming traffic which launched it about 50 feet passed the vehicle I had pulled over.

    This was right about the time my 911 dispatch advised that the operator’s license was suspended and he had an active warrant for his arrest.

    Wanting to retrieve my sock, but fearing to put my bare foot back inside my boots I exited my patrol car and limped along. The driver was laughing and said, “Hey, man, was that your sock that flew past me?”

    I retrieved my socks, put my boots back on and then placed him under arrest and consequently in the back of my patrol car. He was a good old country boy who was laughing hysterically, and said, “Hey, bud, if you let me go, I promise not to tell anybody what happened.”

    He went to jail and I went to the emergency room. Not a good day for either of us. ASJ

    The Violin Is A Dead Giveaway – Funny Cop Story

    Funny Cop Stories

    The Violin Is A Dead Giveaway

    [su_heading]Story by Retired NYPD officer Scott Baker[/su_heading]
    [su_dropcap style=”light” size=”5″]O[/su_dropcap]ne day, my partner Nicky and I responded to a call on Church Street in New York City. When we arrived, a woman was leaning out of a fifth-story window yelling “Up here! Up here!” We ran up the stairs of the old five-story walk-up and saw that the old wooden door had been knocked in and was hanging by a single hinge. We went inside and met with a heavy-set, 30ish Latin lady who had been yelling from the window. She was clearly upset and sporting a fresh shiner. The following is a breakdown of our conversation, which in and of itself tells the story.
    NYPD What happened?
    Lady My boyfriend beat me up and then ran up the fire escape.
    We radioed in to “central command” to confirm that we were at the correct location, explained that a woman had been assaulted and they should stand by for a description of the suspect.
    NYPD What did your boyfriend look like?
    Lady He’s short, very short.
    NYPD  How short approximately?
    Lady Well, he’s less than 4 feet – 3 feet, 10 inches.
    I looked at my partner and could tell he was asking himself the same question. How could someone that small kick in such a heavy door?
    NYPD How was he able to kick in the door?
    Lady He’s a karate expert.
    Somehow Nicky was able to speak into his microphone and said: “Central, be advised that the suspect is 3 feet, 10 inches tall and was last seen fleeing up the fire escape of this building.”
    At this point, other officers started making inquiries on the radio. One officer asked, “Well, is he a midget or a dwarf?” “What’s the difference?” I asked. “Why does it matter?” Nicky added.
    Another officer chimed in: “A midget has a head proportionate to his body, while a dwarf has a small body and a large head.”
    NYPD Is he a midget or a dwarf?
    Lady He’s a midget
    We informed central command that the suspect was a midget and they should stand by for further information.
    NYPD Ma’am, what was he wearing?”
    Lady Well, he was wearing a tuxedo and carrying a violin case. He was going to propose to me.
    We advised command that the suspect was 3 feet, 10 inches tall, wearing a tuxedo and carrying a violin case. At this point, we left the apartment and proceeded up the fire-escape towards the roof to search for the suspect. When we arrived and started looking around, we heard a rookie officer ask over the radio, “Central, what does the suspect actually look like – what color hair does he have?” Nicky had a strange look in his eyes. He grabbed the radio and said, “Stop anyone carrying a violin case!” ASJ
    Editor’s note: Scott Baker is a former police officer for the NYPD and the author of  A Warmer Shade of Blue – Stories about good things cops do. Visit his webiste at or

    Stop Sticks Gone Wrong


    Stop Sticks Gone Wrong

    [su_heading]Story by retired St. Lucie County Detective Scott Young[/su_heading]

    [su_dropcap style=”light” size=”5″]W[/su_dropcap]orking as a deputy sheriff in south Florida during the late 1990s, my agency had just been issued stop-sticks. These sticks were about 3 feet long and had large spikes protruding all the way around. They were meant to be used as a stop-gap measure when a suspect was fleeing in a vehicle.
    If an officer could get into position, the sticks were to be thrown in front of the tires as the car passed by. The weight of the car would bear down on the spikes, deflating the tires and ideally ending the chase safely. If I said everyone was eager to deploy them, that would be an understatement.

    Stinger stop sticks are similar to large hypodermic needles (hollow on the inside) which allows the tire to quickly deflate.

    While working a series of burglaries in the most southern portion of our county, I heard dispatch state over the radio that the special investigations unit (SIU) was in pursuit of suspects who had fled during a drug raid. Although I was some distance away, there was a possibility the suspects would flee in my direction, so I kept my ears open. A short time later, dispatch advised that SIU was still in pursuit and heading my way. I responded to let them know my location and that I had stop-sticks. As the information unfolded over the radio and I listened intently, my excitement increased when the suspects chose an escape route with only one possible avenue: right past my location. I repositioned my marked patrol car to a more hidden location and stood near the roadside and waited.

    I watched other traffic pass my location and soon heard the loud siren of the pursuing patrol car and the roar of the suspect’s engine as they neared. I saw a dark van careening around the corner with the marked patrol car right on its tail. I waited for the vehicle to get close, then threw the stop-sticks just before they passed. The sticks hit their mark, and not only the front tires, but the back as well. Excited, I ran to my patrol car, got in and advised dispatch that I hit the suspect’s vehicle. I activated my lights and siren and headed south. As the road wound to the right I saw the pursuing patrol car parked behind the suspect’s van, which was tilted rigidly to the right and on the side of the road. That is when I observed several individuals dressed in black with the letters DEA on their backs. “OMG!!” I had stop-sticked the DEA van.

    Stop sticksDispatch had communicated the description of the suspect’s vehicle on the SIU channel, but not my main channel. I stopped my patrol car about 100 feet way and turned off my lights and siren. To say they were upset would, again, be an understatement. They all were yelling something and with arms flailing wildly while motioning for me to come closer. I shook my head left and right to say no way! At that moment my sergeant’s voice came through over the radio and asked, “Well, did you get ’em?” Oh, I got them. My only reply was, “Sarge, I think you need to get down here right away.”

    Several years later, as a task force officer assigned to the DEA, the driver of the van that day was assigned as my training officer. He trusted me with his life, but not the stop-sticks. ASJ


    FUNNY COP STORIES – Bathroom Break


    [su_heading size=”15″ margin=”0″]Story by former Deputy Sheriff Danielle Breteau[/su_heading]

    [su_note note_color=”#545457″ text_color=”#ffffff” radius=”2″]BEAT STORY: Bathroom Break

    When I was a cop, I spent some time working with an undercover unit that handled all sorts of cases, including prostitution rings, gang violence, drug manufacturing and movement, Internet child pornography, etc. I was never good at the reverse prostitution stings because I have always been a very healthy-looking girl, so it never really worked. I even had a gentleman drive by only to stop and hand me a McDonald’s sandwich, and then drIve away. I still do not know what to think about that gesture, especially since we had previously caught him on numerous occasions for soliciting other ladies.

    The unit would be called on to handle problems throughout the county that could not be handled by a patrol officer in their full uniform or marked cars. One season, we received a slew of complaints from people visiting the public parks and beaches. The complaints stated that people were using the public bathrooms, located inside parks, to meet up and have affairs. These incidents were homosexual in nature and it was not uncommon for participants to be caught by unsuspecting children, who were just trying to pee, in an indecent manner. It turned out that the bathroom escapades were being conducted by people who didn’t even know each other before meeting up.

    The unstated rule was that if you pulled into the park, backed your car into a parking spot near the bathroom and simply waited, someone else would do the same. This meant that you wanted to “hook up.” These folks would eventually both end up in the bathroom together. While it is not illegal to have flings, it is to present yourself in a lewd and lascivious manner in a public place. The undercover unit was asked if they could come up with a plan to help thwart this ever-growing problem.

    The plan was to set up on a public restroom with a decoy participant, played by a deputy on the unit. That deputy would be wired up for sound, and the rest of the team would be listening from about 200 yards away behind a sand dune. The idea was that the decoy would use the bathroom, and if approached and subjected to lewd-and-lascivious behavior, the decoy would verbalize a code phrase that would signal to the responding team that a crime had been committed and they could make an arrest. In this case, the code phrase was “Boy, I wish my friends were here.” That is how it was supposed to go.

    The decoy went into the bathroom and was quickly followed by another man who had been sitting in the parking lot. The outside team could hear a quick exchange of pleasantries such as “Hey, how are you?” and “Great weather today, isn’t it?” Within a minute, the decoy was heard saying things like “No, thank you … what? No, not interested, but thank you … what are you doing? Please don’t pull on my clothes!”

    The outside team had been listening very intently, knowing that they would need to quickly jump and run just as soon as they were heard the code phrase. It was a very serious and pensive moment. Then, there it was and in a surprisingly calm voice: “Boy, I wish my friends were here.” What happened next surprised everyone. They were listening and ready to go; however, just as soon as the signal was given, the outside team instantly burst into laughter. Not just a giggle, but a full seizure of laughter. The kind where your stomach hurts, and you can no longer function or breath. No one could move. They were rolling around in the sand churning with laughter, completely unable to react. What didn’t help was the bathroom guest must have been getting pretty anxious because by the sounds coming through the microphone, he must have been pulling on the decoy’s clothing and pants. This made the backup team’s laughter even worse and crippled any possible assistance they could have provided.

    By the time the team was able to assist, the decoy’s wire had been ripped off, but the team was close enough at this point to hear the perpetrator saying “Well, they aren’t, so it will just have to be you.” It took the entire team to grab that guy and hold him while the laughter subsided, much to the dismay of the decoy, who looked completely disheveled and was mumbling all kinds of obscenities under his breath. True story!

    Author’s note: I found the best part of being in law enforcement was that nothing goes right, as planned or expected. When you look at a cop, know that they are human too, have a sense of humor and just want to safely go home to their family. To them, anyone can be a potential threat as most threats come from unexpected corners. Be patient, calm and respectful and they will do the same.[/su_note]

    Funny Cop Stories

    Police Survival back in the Day was Different

    Lets step back in time and see how our illustrious FBI G-men trained back in the day for survival shooting.
    You gotta remember FBI methods were supposed to be the leading edge in gun tactics. These gunfight methods were passed down to the local law enforcement agencies.
    For those that have training in LE and military, you’ll noticed the old barricade technique that was taught and toting that .38 Smith & Wesson. (and the old Charger vehicle as police cruiser)
    Key Takeaways
    -Lectures on ricochets have been going on since those 1974 days for the G-men and good to know. These lessons are still taught today at BLEA (Basic Law Enforcement Academy).
    -Hip shooting with a shotgun vs shoulder fired methods for close quarter encounter differ from back in the day to now. Present day utilizes the low to high ready position.
    -Overall, its important to note the use of cover has always been the same, just the firing methods and weapon employment are different in modern day. You can also sense a flair of Rex Applegate shooting methods taught from the post WWII era.
    These vintage videos gives you new perspective on how gun training has evolved for survival.

    Cross Fire Rescue?

    There are many “what would you do?” scenario in law enforcement. In this video not sure if this is a training exercise or a real world life threatening situation from the Far East Asia.
    Scenario looks to be a hostage taking at a hospital.
    The bad guy has a cleaver to a female nurse’s neck.
    While a male (maybe a PO) is trying to talk to him, possibly to get him to calm down. He is shown making a call over the radio.
    A second female nurse arrives with something in her left hand.
    She is holding it out as to show here it is. The bad guy asks to have the bottle opened up (unscrew the cap)

    The nurse hands it to him and he takes it and takes a drink.
    While he is drinking the bottle, the captive nurse gets free.

    During the struggle, the second nurse draws a pistol from under her garment and shoots the bad guy.

    Other officers converge in to inspect the bad guy. Was it a successful hostage rescue?, Who knows?
    We’ll let you be the quarterback for this piece, let us know below in the comment section.

    Video cred: @jjracaza, @nico_detour

    LEO+NRA = Success

    [su_heading size=”30″]A growing number of law enforcement agencies depend on the National Rifle Association for supplemental firearms training, from classroom and range settings to sanctioned competition events.[/su_heading]


    The NRA’s Tactical Police Competition, or TPC, events, held across the country, require officers to use duty weapons and gear, and can involve transitions from one type of weapon to another.

    [su_dropcap style=”light”]T[/su_dropcap]he officer entered the room, heart rate elevated, his carbine leveled and at the ready. He tried to control his breathing. There! Three to his left – two armed terrorists and a hostage. He found the trigger and squeezed. He’d eliminated the threats, but there was no time to lose. He worked his way quickly, but methodically, through the maze of rooms, careful to use available cover as he scanned for more threats.

    A range officer follows a competitor through each TPC course of fire to time the stage, to watch for rules violations and to ensure safety.

    This time around the scenario was simulated, part of a competition. But there was more than a trophy at stake. The competition served as training, preparation for a time when lives would be on the line, when the threats and hostages would be real. The competition was tailored specifically for police officers, for the real situations they face, and it was conducted by the National Rifle Association.

    When we think of the NRA, we often visualize the organization at the forefront of protecting our Second Amendment freedoms; the group that fights against the often absurd proposed legislation by elected officials who believe the government should be our only protector and that we don’t have the right to take on the responsibility to defend ourselves.

    TPC competitors are often forced to shoot from unconventional positions.

    As more officers carry patrol rifles in their vehicles, training and competition in their use have been increasingly important.

    Unfortunately, because of this vital and public phase of the NRA’s work, the organization’s other programs can often go unnoticed. There’s the Eddie Eagle program on gun accident prevention geared toward children from pre-K through the 4th grade. About a million people attend firearms training courses each year that are taught by NRA-certified instructors.

    The NRA has multiple programs for women, including Women on Target shooting clinics, Women’s Wilderness Escape and Refuse to be a Victim. There are youth education, training and competition programs. Add in the NRA’s gunsmithing schools, range planning services, the Hunters for the Hungry program that helps to feed the poor and the hunter safety programs that many states have adopted and you begin to get the idea.

    But there’s more. To preserve our firearms heritage, the NRA also operates three museums in Virginia, Missouri and New Mexico that showcase historic firearms. When it comes to civilian competitions, the NRA sanctions about 11,000 shooting events, including 50 national championships each year. Shooting disciplines include air gun, muzzleloading, pistol, rifle and silhouette. While the media seems to seek out politically motivated, high-ranking police administrators on the side of strict gun control to interview for their reports, it’s been my experience that the average cop on the street is pro-gun.

    Once an officer receives final instructions, he is on his own through the TPC course of fire and must make splitsecond decisions on how to “solve” the tactical problem.

    THE NRA HAS BEEN PRO-LAW ENFORCEMENT since its inception. It created a special Law Enforcement Division in 1960 and has been active in training police firearms instructors and fostering police firearms competitions ever since.

    Most police agencies have their own firearms instructors to train and requalify their officers, but who trains the instructors? Often, it’s the NRA. In fact, the NRA has trained and certified more than 55,000 law enforcement firearms instructors over the years. Currently there are more than 12,000 NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructors across the country.

    TPC courses of fire can entail anything a police officer might face on the street.

    The NRA training is centered on the use of handguns, shotguns, patrol rifles as well as select-fire and long-range rifles in tactical situations. Instruction is conducted both in the classroom and on the range. In recent years, military personnel and military contractors have also been trained in police tactics, as their roles sometimes include policing as well as combat missions.

    Because maintaining a police agency’s firearms often falls on their firearms instructors, the NRA Law Enforcement Division often coordinates their training with the armorer schools of several manufacturers, including Heckler & Koch, Beretta, FNH, Glock and Smith & Wesson.

    Police Pistol Combat (PPC) events divide shooters by gun type and skill level classifications.

    Police SWAT units normally train frequently, but time and money enter into the equation for the average cop on the street. As a result, many police departments conduct in-service firearms training and qualifications only once or twice a year.

    Officers who want to train more frequently to increase their proficiency are often on their own, and the NRA helps fill this gap by offering opportunities for officers to keep their firearms skills sharp through their numerous competitions.
    POLICE PISTOL COMBAT (PPC) events are sanctioned by the NRA, and are open to full-time active law enforcement officers and, more recently, to military police. An officer doesn’t have to be a member of the NRA to compete. There are divisions for both semiauto pistols and revolvers and shooters are divided into various classifications according to their results in previous shoots.

    The NRA also sanctions Tactical Police Competition (TPC) events across the country that require the use of actual duty guns and gear, as opposed to competition-specific “race” guns and holsters. These competitions are open to law enforcement officers, military personnel and private sector officers.

    While certifying police firearms instructors, the NRA works with firearms manufacturers, which often provide armorer courses on maintaining specific duty weapons.

    “The officers that participate in the Tactical Police Championships not only get to put their training to the test against other LEOs, but get to see where they can improve,” said Marc Lipp, the NRA Law Enforcement Division competitions manager. “This isn’t like competitions where shooters bring in customized guns and gear – they’re using the same gear they use in the line of duty.”

    Each of these matches consists of four to seven courses of fire for handgun, rifle, shotgun or combination of those. There are skill-based courses of fire to test an officer’s handling proficiency and accuracy with a particular type of gun.

    Certain custom features are allowed on firearms used in PPC competitions.

    There are also scenario-based courses of fire that place the officer in hypothetical situations that the officer has to solve. These courses of fire might include assessing threat and nonthreat targets, shooting from various unconventional positions and making tactical decisions on how to move through the course using cover and navigating barriers, managing the available ammo, and finding the right balance of speed and accuracy.

    Competitors in NRA-sanctioned PPC events come from agencies across the country.

    “We aim to present scenarios LEOs would face on the job in order to accurately evaluate their skill level,” said Lipp. “It might be a competition here, but it could be a matter of life or death on the streets, and being able to respond to realistic situations is the best way for officers to train.”

    These competitions can be eyeopening experiences for officers.

    “The TPC is intentionally uncomfortable to navigate, and a lot of newcomers aren’t prepared for how challenging it is,” he said. “That’s good, because it forces the officers to face their training deficiencies head-on and make improvements in key areas. In the field, they’re not getting commands from a range tower on how to solve a problem – they need to know how to approach fluid scenarios in fractions of a second to deescalate potentially dangerous situations.”



    PPC events entail shooting from different positions too.

    THE NRA’S NATIONAL POLICE SHOOTING Championships will be conducted in Albuquerque, New Mexico, beginning September 16 this year. The national shoot is open to law enforcement professionals from around the world. Unlike other national competitions, there are no qualifiers or invitations needed. You compete against officers in your own classification. Unclassified shooter can also compete.

    Reloads are often part of shooting stages in the PPC events.

    TPC events are often very challenging, both physically and mentally.

    So, the next time you get pulled into a debate with a gun-control advocate and the NRA is mentioned, you can help set the record straight. More than just a special-interest lobbying group, the NRA is deeply committed to firearms safety, training and competition, with special devotion to our nation’s police officers. ASJ

    To learn more, visit the NRA Law Enforcement Division at

    The National Rifle Association created its Law Enforcement Division in 1960, and has been training officers and conducting competitions ever since.