Posted by Nick Hrkman | Fire and Rescue, Law Enforcement, Performance, Safety
Friday, April 22nd, 2011 9:04 am

A “safety officer” in law enforcement?

By Richard Fairburn

Those of us on ‘the thin blue line’ are sometimes reluctant to admit it, but we can actually learn some important things from our brothers and sisters who ride the big, red trucks. One of those things is the need to appoint a “safety officer” at significant incidents and high-risk training events.

If you are up-to-date on your mandatory NIMS/ICS training, you have been introduced to the concept of a safety officer. The duties of a safety officer at a critical incident scene are to look out for the safety and well being of the first responders, and only the first responders. The safety of the general public during a critical incident rests with the Operations and Planning elements. Fire commanders use a safety officer religiously and confer great powers upon them.

Have you ever tried to get a fire truck or paramedic unit to move their rig for some police-related reason? Damn, tough to get it moved, isn’t it? Locate the FD safety officer and convince him the rig needs to be relocated for safety reasons (on a blind curve, too close to a pending SWAT operation, etc.) and it will be moved, right now!


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Posted by Nick Hrkman | Care and Usage, Law Enforcement, Performance, Safety
Monday, April 18th, 2011 9:04 am

Shoot to kill or shoot to wound?

By Roy Bedard

The Czech Republic is one of the most modern countries in the former communist block, and is quickly becoming a recognized leader in the global law enforcement profession. They are considered quite modern and up to date on western theory, technology, and applications. They produce one of the world’s finest firearms, and are great contributors to the advancement of law enforcement methodologies. Not long ago, while I was giving presentations in the Czech Republic, I was confronted by an unusual perspective that has comparative value to our system of policing here in the United States.


Posted by Nick Hrkman | Fire and Rescue, General, Law Enforcement, News, Performance, Performance
Tuesday, March 15th, 2011 9:03 am

Making 911 calls confidential

From the Daily News Journal

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Legislation filed by two members of the Rutherford County delegation would make 911 calls confidential, blocking public access without approval by the caller or the courts.

State Rep. Mike Sparks, R-Smyrna, and state Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville, are primary sponsors of the bill that would close 911 calls to the media and public, primarily in an attempt to protect crime victims and family members from hearing their frantic calls broadcast on TV.

Emergency calls could be used only by law enforcement, fire, medical, rescue, dispatch or other emergency services for public safety purposes. The bill prohibits the release of 911 calls to any other party without written permission by the caller whose voice is recorded or by court order.

Open-record proponents call the legislation a bad move that could hinder the public’s ability to monitor dispatch errors that affect public safety.

But Sparks said he decided to sponsor the measure because of the potential for people facing retaliation from neighbors if they call 911 about a loose dog or loud music, for example. Under current law, a person could seek a copy of the 911 call and use it as motive to make threats, he noted.

Read the full news story here.

Phil Williams of notes that similar legislation is being pushed around the country and argues that confidential calls lead to covering up potential unsolved crimes and 911 operator and police misconduct.

What do you think? Do you advocate legislation that would make 911 calls confidential?

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Posted by Nick Hrkman | Care and Usage, General, Law Enforcement, Performance
Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 9:03 am

A law enforcement officer’s guide to email

By Joel F. Shults, Ed.D.

Email is an electronic means of creating instant regret with the push of a button. I was reminded of this life lesson not too long ago with a message I wish I had never sent. Here are a few tips to remember before you lock and load that eMissile.

Keep your Finger off the Trigger
The “send” button is not your friend. As with any dangerous equipment, don’t engage anything unless you are certain of the result. Emails are safest when composed offline where editing can be done before the message is copied and pasted to the email text. No misfires that way.


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Posted by Nick Hrkman | Fire and Rescue, Law Enforcement, Performance, Performance, Training
Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 9:02 am

A bomb squad in a fire department? It works.

By Karen Bune

The usual perception of a Fire/EMS Department is one comprised of professional firefighters riding fire trucks and putting out fires coupled with medics riding ambulances and providing emergency medical service. Although firefighters and medics often find themselves together on the scene of a traffic accident or summoned by police to a call for service where victims of crime may be injured, most don’t realize that some Fire/EMS departments have professionals on board who are actually performing law enforcement duties. One such department is the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department in Prince George’s County, Md.


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Posted by Nick Hrkman | Fire and Rescue, Health, Health, Law Enforcement, Performance, Performance, Safety, Safety, Training
Friday, February 11th, 2011 8:02 am

Crowd control: Deindividuation on the suicide scene

Source: John Giles/Guardian UK

By David McRaney
for the blog You Are Not So Smart

Do you think you’re capable of goading someone on a ledge to jump, all the while taking pictures and tweeting about it? You might think you’d never do such a thing — but as this blog entry points out, you are not so smart.

The Misconception: People who riot and loot are scum who were just looking for an excuse to steal and be violent.

The Truth: You are are prone to losing your individuality and becoming absorbed into a hivemind under the right conditions.


Posted by Nick Hrkman | Care and Usage, Law Enforcement, PPE, Performance, Safety
Monday, February 7th, 2011 9:02 am

Why do America’s police need an armored tank?

LencoBy Justin Hyde

America’s most in-demand police vehicle is a ten-officer 16,000-pound armored tank that takes bullets like Superman and drives 80 mph. The federal government buys dozens each year for local police departments. Do America’s local police need tanks?

Every day, America produces a fresh batch of barricaded gunmen, some of whom want to lure police into a shootout. Roughly 50 police officers are killed every year, most in shootings, and many during arrests or ambushes.

Which is where the Lenco BearCat G3 rolls in.

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Posted by Nick Hrkman | General, Law Enforcement, News, PPE, Performance
Thursday, January 27th, 2011 7:01 am

A look at the next generation of Glock

Paul Markel, Firearms Contributor

“So what’s the big deal? They changed the grip or something?” The question was posed by a cop friend and the subject was the new GLOCK 23 Generation 4 model. Recently I had the opportunity to closely examine the new GLOCK Model 23 in the current configuration and now feel better qualified to tackle that question.

Veteran police officers today are intimately familiar with the GLOCK series of pistols. Many of them can remember the big deal it was when GLOCK added the accessory rail and finger grooves to the frame. The differences between the original GLOCK 17 and Generation 2 versions were slight and primarily aimed at staying in the good graces of the United States BATFE.


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Posted by Nick Hrkman | Care and Usage, Fire and Rescue, Law Enforcement, News, Performance
Thursday, January 20th, 2011 9:01 am

401(k)’s replacing future employee pensions?

By Mark Nichols
for the American Police Beat.

After citizens of San Diego voted overwhelmingly against raising taxes to cover deficits, the Voice of San Diego is reporting that the mayor has a great idea to balance the budget. San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders has proposed 401(k)-style retirement accounts for most new city employees and eliminating their pensions. When voters rejected the slightest of tax increases, half of one whole cent, Sanders apparently decided to bring out the big guns in trying to eliminate the $70 million-plus San Diego deficit. But Sanders’ plans to kill pensions for police officers needs voter approval.


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Posted by Nick Hrkman | Care and Usage, Law Enforcement, Performance, Safety
Monday, January 17th, 2011 9:01 am

Outdated use-of-force policies: Accidents waiting to happen

Terrence P. Dwyer, Esq.

While policy issues are not one of the more interesting topics cops want to sit through, experienced administrators know the importance of sound policy and implementation. Good policy and practice provides subsequent legal protection for the individual officer. However, the stark reality of use of force policy in 2010 America is that there are still many police departments operating from agency manuals drafted in the 1970s and 80s with inadequate deadly force guidance for officers.


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