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    Twenty-one Feet Rule

    Much has been said about the Tueller drill which addressed the reactionary gap and how a subject could succeed from a distance of 21 feet when assaulting an officer. The reality is that a person attacking an officer can cover 21 feet in less time than the officer could draw and fire two aimed rounds from a holstered weapon. It is ...
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    Hostages and Agency Liability - Part 2

    Negotiators may also become the focal point of attack following the death of a barricaded subject. A person suing the negotiator will make the argument that the negotiator violated generally accepted practices of negotiation and that this violation created the situation which required the use of deadly force. Gammon v. Blakeley and the Euclid Police Department,i provides an example of an ...
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    The Gospel According to the Kelly Blue Book

    Hi, and welcome once again to the August edition of the Chaplain’s Corner. Here it is almost football season again and, as I write, the last rain we had has long since evaporated. It’s gittin’ mighty dusty out there on those unpaved county roads – not a lot of point in washing the patrol car when you raise a dust cloud ...
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    Student showing propensity for violence can be required to undergo psychiatric evaluation

    Demers v. Leominster School Dept., 263 F.Supp. 2d 195 (Dist. MA 2003). Michael Demers and his parents filed a federal lawsuit against school officials after he was suspended from school following his refusal to undergo a psychiatric exam. The suit alleged among other things, a violation of Michael’s due process rights. School officials sought to have Michael psychiatrically examined after he ...
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    Burglar Alarm Response: Avoiding Danger

    "Oh %%@@##!, not another burglar alarm.!" We've all said it. All working cops know that the vast majority of burglar alarms calls are false. The problem has become so bad that some jurisdictions are levying fines against owners with repeated alarm activations. And of course, any storm with hard rain or strong winds will surely get that dispatcher to call stack ...
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    Major Lesson Plan/Dealing with the Mentally Ill

    Hypothetical #1 Officers stop a vehicle for a motor vehicle violation. Upon approaching the vehicle they notice that the single occupant appears to be acting irrationally. The man accuses the officers of being aliens from out of space. Question: What steps should officers take to insure their safety as well as the safety of the subject? Answers: Inform the subject that ...
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    Right Equipment for the Right Environment

    There are many teams that have spent money blindly or ignorantly, and teams that purchase equipment based on find-the-cheapest mentality. These teams do not do service to their responsibility. I have also seen professional teams like MN DOC SOG, CT DOC SOG, San Joaquin SO, Solano CSO, who make the correct decisions, even when difficult, regarding staffing and equipment. These units ...
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    The Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs of the "Lady Cop"

    Surviving in, and changing, the macho copshop, and how to cope with your police stress. I try to understand police stress from many points of view. But I am what I am (though I don't believe the common male delusion that I'm superior for being able to avail myself of these handsome porcelain facilities on the walls of police restrooms. Okay, ...
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    Major Lesson Plan: Strip Searches

    Major Lesson Plan: Target Audience: Law Enforcement personnel who may be faced with the task of conducting a strip search during booking. Objective: Provide officers with essential knowledge with respect to some of the current issues surrounding strip search Format: Roll-call/ supervisory training. Time: Five to ten minutes, but this may be expanded where agency resources allow. Materials: Law Enforcement Risk ...
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    HEY SARGE!

    Congratulations. You made sergeant. At last, the end of police stress. If it suits you, it is potentially the best job in law enforcement. You probably are still in the union, you have status and responsibility over and above what you used to have. You can finally exercise your leadership with the credibility of those stripes, which you worked long and ...
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    Probable Cause and Objective Reasonableness U.S. Supreme Court

    In Devenpeck v. Alford, 543 U.S.___, 2004 U.S. LEXIS 8272 (2004), the United States Supreme Court examined a case where officers, with probable cause to arrest a subject, Jerome Alford for impersonating a police officer, instead arrested him for tape recording the officers during the investigatory stop. A previous court decision held that it was not illegal to tape police officers ...
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    The Forgotten Piece of Equipment: Handcuffs

    Many of us in law enforcement remember to maintain our firearms. As a firearms instructor, I'm part of that group of trainers that has hammered the message home. Unfortunately, few remember to check our less glamorous piece of equipment: our handcuffs. Most veteran officer's handcuff maintenance practices are a far cry from those early days in the police academy when the ...
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    Supreme Court-Violation of Miranda does not Violate 5th Amendment but may Violate Due Process

    In a decision dated May 27, 2003, the United States Supreme Court held that interrogation undertaken and continued in violation of Miranda, does not give rise to a civil lawsuit based on a violation of the Fifth Amendment in cases where the police never attempt to introduce the statement in a criminal trial. Chavez v. Martinez, 538 U.S. ___, slip op. ...
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    Moving from Riot Troopers to 21st Century CERT Operators

    With more than 3,000 CERT teams in the US and 1,000 teams internationally, this article discusses what it means to be a 21st Century CERT Operator. I’m writing this article in response to a number of inquiries I’ve received from the field by clients and attendees who have heard me speak or have been trained by US C-SOG SOU teams. What ...
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    Advancement: Lieutenant

    h4. Description Lieutenants are junior level executives in the administration of a law enforcement agency. They are often perceived as being groomed for higher slots. They are responsible for multiple sergeants or first line supervision personnel in a section of the agency and report to a captain. h4. Testing Requirements Written Exam, Oral Interview, Assessment Center, Department Merit and Seniority Similar ...
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    Depression

    Between 5% and 10% of people in the United States will, at some point in their life, have a bout with depression severe enough to be of clinical significance. It is estimated that only a third of all those who are clinically depressed receive adequate treatment. It is not unusual for a therapist, or physician, to recommend a trial on an ...
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    Failure of Supervisory Involvement in Pursuit Contributes to Liability

    Clark v. South Carolina Department of Public Safety, 2002 S.C. App. LEXIS ( S.C. Ct.App. 2002), involved a police pursuit conducted by the South Carolina Highway Patrol. Trooper Greg Bradley observed a van operating at 57 mph in a 45 mph zone. He attempted to pull the van over but the van took off. At one point the van stopped in ...
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    Vehicle Checkpoints

    Over the past decade the United States Supreme Court has decided three cases dealing with law enforcement checkpoints involving car stops by police officers without individualized suspicion to believe that the operator of the vehicle had done anything wrong. In Michigan v. Sitz, 496 U.S. 444 (1990), the Court approved of Sobriety Checkpoints where the police were acting pursuant to set ...
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    The First Layer: Policy Establishing Departmental Standards of Performance

    In the previous article titled: "Focus on Liability Reduction and Better Performance" we described the Six Layered Liability Protection Process which requires absolute attention to the development of policies based on the principle of "foreseeability" for the performance of certain tasks, the training in the necessary skills and critical policies, quality supervision, corrective action and remediation, constant review and necessary revision, ...
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    The Modern CERT Warrior and Self Audit

    You Can Get There from Here! In the April CERT e-letter, you saw a chart that broke down the equipment and operational capabilities of CERT units from levels one to four. We shared that chart with you because during the past two years, our trainers have identified a promising trend in CERT operations: Team self-audits. I am encouraged by the increasing ...
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