So here my first blog since i announced my return. I have been thinking about this while on patrol and while i have been at home. Even while out with my family at public places, some of which it's legal to carry and even those that are posted up as "Weapon Free" areas.
As well all know very too well from other blogs and "news" outlets, many officers and individuals are now getting ambushed. That's because criminals are cowards and don't want to fight an opponent that is ready. Well, that's where i like to say, they're wrong about us, the armed public, being ready. So i compiled a short list of things to consider or to think about when it comes to ambushes.
On Duty - As we know, we are always in the public's eye and almost always inside our vehicles while on patrol. Those of us that are lucky will sometimes get assigned foot patrol or static positions. Although i have known security guards to have more of a static position when it comes to a job but we do get the occasional assignment.
So how can we as officers obey the law ourselves, keep the public trust, and come home at night without thinking that everyone is an enemy especially since the public isn't exactly law enforcement friendly in today's time? Here's one thought; park and walk.
Many of us that are in the cities know that the public is always lively and from time to time, a little bit insteresting. So one of the things i have done is find an area that is well lit and parked my patrol car where there is a lot of people. Now if this was my personal POV, this wouldn't happen but i will explain that in a moment.
So why park in an area that's well lit but full of people? One of the results i have had by doing this is more interaction with people at the local hang outs and even had the chance to talk to kids and young adults as if they were my kids or younger siblings. This has helped me create a tighter bound with the new generation. It has also helped me figure out what they think law enforcement really is and why they believe the way they do?
This way of getting out talking with the publichas also helped me learn more about people's emotions, reactions, and body language more than what i do from the driver seat of a patrol car. Many adults and younger adults have told me that seeing an officer just sit in a car and watch them makes them feel scared. By getting out and interacting with the public, this helps eliminate that fear.
So what does this have to deal with ambushes? Here goes, first you're in a crowded area with a lot of witnesses. Two, you're helping lower your chances and the departments chances of making enemies in areas which maybe not be police welcomed. Three, you're learning more on what to look for and where to look for an attack.
That parking garage you have to ride through, the back ally that you pass up and down the street, those high rise buildings that put you in a 'fish in the barrel' situation, even the school that used to be the nicest place in town. Learn what is the 'norm' and so should something ever look or feel off, you know it and can tell yourself that maybe you should call someone or maybe now would be a great time to undo that seat belt and look for possible cover and concealment.
It's not a lot to go on, but it's a tool that can help keep you alive just a little bit longer.
Off Duty - With today's technology and all the cyber attacks, you really don't picture ambushes following you at home or out in public after you're shift or on that well deserved day off that you want to spend with your loved ones. Well this is whwn you at your most vulnerable and more often than not will let your guard down.
Wrong answer if you're guilty of this. With the increase of ambushes on first responders and military, this has become the most common occurrence type of attack. Why? Because the criminal knows you will protect your family but also you're not wanting to think about that fugitive that got let go, not thinking about that rapist that everyone is talking about, not listening about the latest B&E or armed robbery that just occurred.
Nope! You're thinking about your spouse, your kids, the in-laws coming over while your favorite team is playing this afternoon. Your mind is anywhere but on the streets. Here's just a couple of tips to help with decreasing your chances of attack. Park your POV away from everyone else and walk some distance. This helps create space and also allows you to see everything going on around you. You come back out and see a car or two near you; go into defense mode and start scanning for threats. Don't take the same route back that you took coming in, this creates a pattern.
Remove all those damn stick family and family decals from your car! I know we all love our family and , having a family of storm troopers are cool but also this helps me figure out how many people you have that i can harm to get to you. "Proud 'insert military branch' parent" or "Proud 'school' parent" while we all love our kids or spouse, it's decals like these that help me learn who you are or who your loved on is.
These are dangerous and create data of which is visible and easy to gather. Therefore making you and your family easier targets.
Turn off your damn locator! "Living it up at 'favorite restaurants ' or vacation spot" well thank you for telling me where you are and what time you are there! Oh that time you say you do daily with your peace sign or bicep curl.....breakfast date or blind date you're going on; can't wait to be a place in x-y-z days, etc.
I know people are guilty of these and these not only let me know when you're not home but also tell me where i can find you and ruin your day and those snap shots tell me what you look like.
Sit where you can see everyone and everything! Counting one exit when are really three? Best change your vantage point before things settle down. Sit so you can have eyes on the entrance but the exits too. Ask for a new seat if at all possible or move to another spot before the lights go out. Anything to gain an advantage in the fight and to do recon without being rude.
Last but not least, get off your damn cellphones! You're out in public and you need to stay alert. That's not going to happen if you're glued to that miniature and portable television. This device will get you killed and now i have your contacts and information. So put it away!
These are some small tips but they will save you. Until next time, stay safe, stay alert, and always carry.
Blog posts are original content written by 1MMAGC moms and dads.