Print

Training >> Browse Articles >> Firearms

Training >> Browse Articles >> Homeland Security

Training >> Browse Articles >> Officer Safety

Training >> Browse Articles >> Tactical / SWAT

+39

Training Our Cops For Combat

Training Our Cops For Combat

SWAT Digest

If you read the world news headlines it’s easy to find articles about terrorist acts being committed in other countries and how the specific country’s military responded. This is a common theme all around the world. Terrorist group commits act – country’s selected military unit responds. Why is that? Because terrorists commit acts of violence that are, for all intents and purposes, acts of war.

The only reason we, in general, don’t label them as such, is because they aren’t acting on behalf of a government. While it’s no secret that many governments sponsor and support various terrorist organizations, those terrorist organizations are not given the authority to act on behalf of a specific government. So, it’s not “an act of war”. Here in the United States, we have a special problem that calls for a special solution: we define terrorism as a crime.

That means that our law enforcement professionals, and not the military, will be tasked to respond to and deal with terrorist acts. What’s the problem then? Our law enforcement professionals are not – as part of their academy or in-service training – prepared to act as combatants on a battlefield. They are trained as peace keepers; law enforcers; not soldiers in a war.

Here’s the irony: According to LtCol R. Gangle (USMC ret) in 2002, approximately 85% of our military deployments in the past four decades had been peace keeping missions. So, to me, this naturally begs the question: If our soldiers and our law enforcement professionals are both fulfilling the primary mission of peace keeping, then why is their training so radically different?

The answer, at least partially, lies in the recognition of this fact: men (and women) can be trained to commit acts of violence and acts of defense. It is a fact that acts of defense can be violent in and of themselves. However, the primary difference between war and peace keeping is that war mandates offensive violent actions. It requires attack.

Peace keeping requires constant vigilence while keeping all violent energy contained until such time as it is required to defend against an attack. Further, in peace keeping, the mandate is always to release as little of that violent energy as is necessary to repel or overcome the attack. “Using that minimum force which is necessary to affect the arrest” is a term often heard in law enforcement training.

Now, just as a barbarian cannot act civilized, but a civilized man can act like a barbarian, it’s unreasonable to expect that we can train peace keepers to train and operate within specific parameters and then expect them to shrug off all the limits they’ve learned when faced with acts of war. Our professional peace keepers in the United States – those police officers, deputies, federal agents, etc. – they have spent months and sometimes years training to perform their duties within the controls and restrictions of Constitutional Law, State, County and Local laws, and departmental guidelines.

They are regularly given reminders that all uses of force will be at least minimally investigated and that they (the LE professionals) will be held criminally and civilly liable if they use more force than is required.

Continue >>


+39
  • Est_training_with_kansas_city_metro_037_max50

    CBPD607

    about 3 years ago

    264 Comments

    Great article.

  • Edres_max50

    wiyemb

    over 3 years ago

    86 Comments

    The genetics in some individuals allow them to be better soldiers and officers, both requiring individuals to make important decisions under strenuous situations

  • Im000112_max50

    inspectorgadget7389

    over 3 years ago

    108 Comments

    I guess America will always be the number one terrorist target because I don't see a time that our civilian peace officers will ever become the so-called warriors the authors wants them to be. The 9/11 attacks were horrific but terrorism is less frequent an act than people think.I would guess that probably 98 to 99% of cops will never respond to a terrorist incident in their careers. if we train them to react like soldiers we risk them overreacting to regular crimes which they will face on a continuous basis. Wasn't this why S.W.A.T. and ESU was created in the first place? Everybody seems stuck on the terror attacks in Beslan. There is always the possibility of a Beslan style attack on a school in America, but training our officers to rush right in and engage the bad guys while accepting that they may have to kill some kids for the greater good won't go over well with officers or the public.

  • Photo_00002_max50

    Recondo99

    over 3 years ago

    2640 Comments

    Terrorists are not well-trained soldiers, they are minimally trained . But I agree that they attempt to fight as soldiers. Therefore they must, when the situation calls for it, be faught by Military small unit tactics. I totally agree with the Author that standard Police methods are the inappropriate response in certain situations. Great Article. LTC Tom Nugent

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    jdemandjr

    over 3 years ago

    4 Comments

    As Albert Einstein prophetically said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result." The author correctly points out that staying ahead of your opponents OODA Loop is the way to defeat your enemy. Many of the fears I am hearing in these posts about over reacting or being overly aggressive will be correct if law enforcement training does not focus training on developing critical thinking skills, namely observation and orientation. These are the key to making good and accurate decisions and taking action. It is an area that has been overlooked in law enforcement and I believe the key to success in dealing with the challenges of terrorism and violence in our society. In other words, if you can't perceive it correctly and be situationally aware through recognizing pre assault indicators, understanding behavioral assessment (yes profiling - not stereotyping) and pattern recognition law enforcement cannot be effective. This is the difficult part and requires training, the easy part is getting more powerful weapons. We need to quit dumping millions of dollars into technology such as useless scanning equipment and put it toward training our law enforcement officers and increasing their skill sets.

  • Copy_of_marine_photo_edited_edited_max50

    MarineMPSpecReac

    over 3 years ago

    230 Comments

    I disagree that our military will not be tasked. Both law enforcement departments and our military will be tasked if it ever gets to the point of what it is in other countries.

  • Usmc_rifle_team_match_max50

    jhall41

    over 3 years ago

    70 Comments

    Looks like these guys must have missed their class on the use of force/deadly force. Maybe their dealing with some anger management issues and could use an eval and treatment. The public is supposed to respect these guys as warriors? They have a little problem with recognizing a terrorist from a common crook. Warrior talk is irresponsible and fosters this type of behavior.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJkMuEMqjL4

  • Dscf0540_max50

    popoeric

    over 3 years ago

    14 Comments

    I'll likely receive hostility for disagreeing with fellow readers, but I believe the training should focus more on the peacekeeping tactics. There's plenty of attention directed towards using force as it is, yet peacekeeping is a daily routine for officers, while battling terrorists certainly is not. Police need to be taught skills that they will actually be using on a regular basis, and emphasizing "war" simply results in officers using excessive force.

  • Sfs_desktop_max50

    patrickalders1

    almost 4 years ago

    244 Comments

    I agree with you Chief!

  • Ycso-patch_max50

    gau8a

    almost 4 years ago

    34 Comments

    absloutely... training is essential, we should always be training and improving

  • 12235_sq90_max50

    chiefkcr

    almost 4 years ago

    3614 Comments

    Police Officer training needs to be stepped up to meet the time. All Officers should be trained in SWAT/TAC .

  • Usmc_rifle_team_match_max50

    jhall41

    almost 4 years ago

    70 Comments

    Ppupatrol you have once again missed my point. You can try to discredit me personally all you want but it doesn’t change the facts. I do not just sit around and dig up negative articles about police for the sole purpose of bashing them as you project. As a trainer I am interested using these examples to help keep everyone safe. You say nothing about the link to Plano, TX incident that I recently posted. I ask that you review it with an open mind and let’s discuss it. Lots of good examples to talk about and learn from. As you are aware, after every incident there is an investigation (military or police) and training is developed from the lessons learned in an effort to not repeat those mistakes. When people with guns make mistakes people die or suffer great pain and disfigurement. It doesn’t matter if they are civilians, military or fellow police officers. With class III or high powered weapons being placed in the wrong hands casualties multiply. As far as keeping me safe, well if the people that are supposed to be protecting expose me to additional danger then that’s a real problem and I would rather take my chances with just one threat at a time. From my experiences, arrogant and/or insubordinate individuals be they military or Leos multiply the chances of injury or death to everyone. Coming from one who has looked down the barrel of a loaded weapon in a weapons restricted police academy training class I can say that I’m qualified to address the subject.

  • Ericm60_max50

    cakdep1

    almost 4 years ago

    3194 Comments

    We are the Local city township village county state bourough or troopers state police and constables and are not the military however many are veterans! We are the local problem solvers and cat and animal and people rescuers! we deal with the domestics thefts dope Growers meth labs civi l matters drunks and hundreds of other issues and problems ! We develop the communications in our citys towns and villages that allow major and minor crimes to be solved because of trust in the Local officer! The Local officers that stopped Tim Mcvey or Shane and ChevY Kehoe on Traffic stopS or whackos in Phoenix WE ARE THE FIRST AND LAST LINE OF DEFENSE who follow some of the most strict standards usualley using the oldest equipment!!

  • Sfs_desktop_max50

    patrickalders1

    almost 4 years ago

    244 Comments

    Last I knew my state supposedly had a QRF:Quick Reaction Force team from the Army National Guard for things like this too. I think most National Guard in other states do too.

  • Sfs_desktop_max50

    patrickalders1

    almost 4 years ago

    244 Comments

    I cant believe i just read in this article they think that there are probably no terrorist in the US but just a few years ago only a few hours from me the FBI discovered a terrorist training camp right here in Oregon! I haven't looked at who wrote this article cause its not adding up but brings up the valid point that not all cops have the training they may need to face this initially.

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a criminal justice degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.

Recent Activity

10425093_586132061507443_3291059461144739228_n_max30
enya94 commented on: "Brandon Petersen", less than a minute ago.
10425093_586132061507443_3291059461144739228_n_max30
enya94 commented on: "SDK", 2 minutes ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
Bain3904 received the quiz result of "More Fit than Most", 2 minutes ago.
10425093_586132061507443_3291059461144739228_n_max30
enya94 commented on: "Diamond Holloman", 3 minutes ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
mkm007 uploaded the photo: "image", 27 minutes ago.