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Ignoring Operators Can hurt your Team

STL Joseph Garcia

This section is strictly for Leadership – what I am about to say to you may not be kind or even politically correct. As I look back at the past decade of training Prison / Jail Special Operations Units I treasure the times that I spend with the countless commander. I look back now and see how many commanders I have groomed or invested time in and how they are running awesome teams.

I could not help to ignore over the years the number of commanders that struggled with a small issues of lacking confidence in there men decision to improve the unit and there ideas.

Commander’s I have learned over the years that lack of confidence in your men to think for them selves is a mistake with

What will happen if you are not there to lead them

What happens to young operators that are use to being micromanaged they make serious mistakes and they either fail to act or they go to the extreme and over react because they are not use to thinking for themselves

We are in a new generation of independent operators and the skills of the hats and bats are quite simply dead and over. These tactics require way to much time and too much micro managing

One can disagree with this however some of the top Prison Special Operations Units in the world have proven that smaller units are the new trend.

The tradition of having large teams is based on Old National Guard mentality of Large man power. Let me put it simple and without holding any punches! You want to have a large team then OK do so. However look at the riots in the street where skirmish lines are broke and officers are dealing with multiple rioter are hitting the line and breaking the line. HOW DO YOU CONTROL SUCH A LINE WHEN everyone is now moving into a self-presentation to protect them selves?

Ok lets look at a Riot how much OC do you use? How many NFDD – Noise Flash Distraction Devices do you use? How many rounds do you fire into the crowd?

If you are honest then you will admit that technology is doing the work not the operators. Your operators are only being used as a line defense and used to restrain inmates!

So in saying this why do you need such a large team? If you say to show force then I ask you this.

If you have 10 men equipped with Riot Baton, OC, long Shields, and wearing those Knight Like armor to show power and force and fight if necessary – I can obtain the same result quicker, better and faster with 2 operators full loaded with the latest combat equipment – FN303 or the Latest Remington Combat Shot Gun with the Complete Correctional Combat Optics Systems and enough Stinger and NFDD, wearing the latest in Multi-threat Stab, Slash, Ice Pick, Knife, Fire, Taser, and Plastic protection, Assault Suits, RBR Helmets, ESS V12 Goggles, XGO FR – Fire Retardant, CEOTronics Com Sets, The New “Eagle / Hawk Corrections Assault Vest”

This team can move quicker to any location without delay, they are self-governed in the extremely high level of use of force. They are multi-role combat certified. I can assure you that this is the new wave and that this unit can handle just about. They can get in and get out faster and are more mobile than a large-scale traditional riot unit.

This is an example of a philosophical change that has been embraced by commanders around the world with successful results. We have to be able to trust our operators and let them take ownership in the team instead of them being used as pons in a war. If you allow them to take ownership of your team you can do what you do best lead and take your team to a new level! Teams that lack synergy and passion are teams stay stagnet and caught up in the vicious circle of spending money needlessly on tactics that are out dated, wasting time trying to get parts of your team to show up from practice.

News Flash Fellow Team Leaders and Commanders,

Your Operators if not motivated or inspired will move somewhere else or work on taking your position, or even worse kill your program! I have see passion and excitement about a idea turn into a crusade to get commanders replaced or turn the unit against the commander only to have devastating consequences.

Remember who your operators are!

These men are willing to walk into the depths of hell most of them there are a few that you some of us can afford to pick slip and give the golden parachute hand shake.

Today corrections has changed and many of the facilities CERT have not changed there tactics. Operators all over the world hit CERTOps to a tune of over 750,000 visitor hits a month as of last July! They are hungry for more. SWAT tactics have evolved so how come some CERT units commanders have a problem with this.


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    Anonymous

    over 6 years ago

    "If you have 10 men equipped with Riot Baton, OC, long Shields, and wearing those Knight Like armor to show power and force and fight if necessary – I can obtain the same result quicker, better and faster with 2 operators full loaded with the latest combat equipment....
    This team can move quicker to any location without delay, they are self-governed in the extremely high level of use of force. They are multi-role combat certified."

    I agree with most of your assessment, and commend you for putting out for public scrutiny a possibly controversial article, but, what you say you can achieve with two versus ten is unlikely.

    One concept of SERT operations is the psychological advantage - this is why teams are equipped and dress differently than line staff. With two operators on the ground, they are less likely to gain compliance and control sooner than ten, and are more likely to have to utilize a higher level of force to prove their point.

    Take one man out of your two man equation (because sh** happens), and suddenly you have a a lone operator with no backup - a big tactical no-no. For these reasons, though you may not deploy your ten men in a skirmish line, it is essential you have sufficient resources on scene.

    The team concepts of deployment that are catching on and being utilized in California (including the SERT I'm on) train as SWAT does for the streets AND for specific correctional disturbances or incidents. In my viewpoint, SWAT training allows the individual operator a freedom of thinking and adjustment on the fly which is an asset, while the old-school "lock-step-boot-drag-shield-bang" is a hindrance and a thing of the past. I think we agree on this.

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