Published on July 13th, 2012 | by Juliet One85
Home Defense: Be Your Own First Line of Defense
What I’m about to share with you is an experience my wife and I had late last year in our home in rural Ohio. I am extremely grateful that I was home to protect and support my wife when this even took place.
For any of you that do not know, I spend about half my year deployed overseas contributing to the war our nation has been involved in for over 10 years now, a war that I feel inevitably in one way or another we will be fighting on our own soil sooner than later. For that is the main reason I am going to share this story with all of you.
This story has nothing to do with terrorism or our country’s internal threat. It is a true story and a glimpse of how unprepared some of our law enforcement actually is.
It was December 2011 around 7pm, and I was sitting at my reloading bench drumming up some new rounds. My wife was studying for her med boards that she was taking early the next morning. It was a normal quiet December night in Ohio farm country.
At around 7:30 pm we both heard the sound of a good amount of gunfire in the distance. I thought it was a little unusual that someone would be shooting at that time of night but I wasn’t alarmed. Gunfire is commonly heard in my neck of the woods. I really didn’t think much of it. About 5 minutes later I received a phone call from a nearby neighbor who has a relative on the sheriff’s department.
My neighbor was informed by his relative that a deputy was shot by a man in a subdivision that was about a mile and half west of our home. He also informed me that the shooter got away and was on the run. He said that he was locking his doors and all his outbuildings and suggested that I do the same.
I have to admit that I took my neighbor’s phone call like a grain a salt initially. He is your typical small town farmer who likes to embellish and make a mountain out of a molehill.
I told my wife what was going on and thought about it for a minute and then decided I should probably take precautions, in the most unlikely event that this guy shows up on my property. I also had a glimpse of what my brothers overseas would say if some small town yokel with a gun caught me with my pants down. I would never live it down, to say the least.
I mean think about it, I go years fighting our nation’s enemies and get taken out by some local thug in my home. Certainly not the way I’d want to go out or be remembered.
So I locked up the house and turned all of the lights outside on and all of the lights inside off giving me tactical advantage of seeing out and no one being able to see in. I also grabbed my preferred precision rifle equipped with my preferred night vision device, and commenced to setting up a makeshift urban hide in my backroom that just happens to look over my 800 yard unknown distance range. This is the area the suspect would have to cross to get to my home.
I began going to work observing the objective area like I have so many times before in foreign lands. I have to admit it was kind of surreal to be doing this in my own home far from the battlefield.
So an hour goes by and there isn’t any sign of Law Enforcement presence in my general area, when a chopper comes screaming over my house with its searchlight on. The chopper begins doing racetracks over the 200 or so acres in the area of my property. This of course greatly aided my ability to see the objective area. I then spot what appears to be the figure of a man in the tree line in the far corner of my unknown distance range. Shortly after I spot the man, the chopper appears to spot him to. The chopper continued to circle the area with his spot light on the suspect.
The suspect at this point must have come to the realization that he was located. The suspect being pressured by the chopper and it’s intensely bright light I’m sure felt the need to find a new hiding spot and began walking towards my home.
He was walking deliberately in my direction.
Of course at this time I was thinking he is most likely going to try to breach my fortress and have a standoff with the cops. To me it really seemed the only logical course of action for this man to take. I of course was confident that this was not going to happen. In fact I was amazed of the extraordinarily bad luck this man had. He had to pick probably the worst home in the county to try to break in. It was apparent to me that he really had no idea what he was up against.
So the suspect began closing the distance between us. I had a good 5 minutes to study this man as he was walked towards my domain. I immediately told my wife to arm herself and go into the garage, which was the farthest room away from where this horrible event was going to take place.
I did not want my wife exposed to this event any more than what she already had been. I knew that this was going to affect her in more ways than we even realized and I did not want these images burned into her memory. I also did not want her exposed to any more danger than she already had been.
As I observed this man I saw that he was in fact carrying a handgun in his right hand. I knew this man could not see into my home therefore he could not see me. So I made the conscious decision to only engage this man when he tried to breach my safe haven.
If I was to end this man’s life it was going to be without a reasonable doubt that I was defending my home and family. I knew that if this was to happen that I was going to be subject to possibly criminal and most definitely civil action, which is complete bullshit but it is the world we live in.
The suspect approached to within 40 yards of my home, where I watched this man continuing to close the distance at a slow walking pace…and end his own life. An image I am not virgin to but an image I will never forget.
I am grateful that I did not have to be the one to deliver this man to his maker. I do wish things could have ended differently for this individual. Especially after learning what took place in the events that led up to this.
After the event took place the chopper continued to circle overhead. What surprised me was the lack of police presence around my home where the suspect laid. It surprised me because I learned shortly after that there were some 7+ supporting agencies some from major metropolitan areas involved by this time.
As a matter of fact it was at least 5 minutes after the man ended his life that the police secured the perimeter of my home. That means I was the only person between my family and the suspect. (No the chopper did not have a “sniper” in it). If I wasn’t on my game, or if my wife was home by herself, this man could have easily entered my home before any police could have interdicted.
I happen to feel this is extremely piss poor considering this wasn’t something that just popped up. This guy was on the run for 2 hours. The police completely lost track of the so-called “cop killer.” There was a chopper that had positive location on the individual, which traversed an 800 yard field at a casual walking pace only a mile and a half from the scene of the shooting. Furthermore, not one police officer even attempted to contact me or my wife in the home until 45 minutes after the suspect took his life.
The scene in front of my house was an impressive light show to say the least. There was no less than 20+ police cars and swat vehicles on the street. Plenty of manpower to mitigate a one-man threat. The biggest problem with this is they stayed on the street and made no effort to get between the suspect and my home.
The events that actually took place and led up to the grave ending in my backyard were even more disappointing. The story goes like this:
The suspect’s mother, who was in fear of her son’s mental status, contacted the Sheriffs department. They went to the suspect’s home and surrounded it. The suspect decided to evade the police and ran from his home. The officers on the perimeter shot at the suspect a number times and missed him with every shot.
Not only did they miss him, they put rounds in adjoining neighbors homes and two rounds in one of their own officers.
Not only did they shoot one of their own officers, they failed to pursue the suspect. It was a mess on a grand scale to say the least.
I have a problem with this for a number of reasons. The first being they led other departments to believe that this man was a “cop killer” until the following day. “By the grace of god the officer lived.” I have a hard time believing that the deputy that shot his partner had no idea he shot his partner.
Secondly, a wound from a pistol looks a lot different from a wound from an AR 15, which is what the officer was shot twice with.
The third problem I have is the obvious lack of initiative to mitigate a threat that appeared to be attempting to move to a hard point. My home. There was not one officer in position to stop the suspect from entering my home. They were all on the street 150 yards away trying to get into their “stack”. Way too slow if you ask me.
That pretty much completes my story.
The good thing that came out of this for me was it enforced the principles that I had been telling my wife for years. Her eyes were opened that day and she realized how under-trained she was. She was extremely grateful I was home and not deployed. But she has now taken it upon herself to learn the hard skills of defending one’s self.
I did not write this to bash our law enforcement community. I know there are many locked-on departments in our country. I also know that a lot of that depends on the type of environments these officers work in. I’m simply stating what I have experienced first hand. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be dealing with a situation like that in my small world. The thing is it happened and it can happen anywhere.
You have to ask yourself who do you want coming to your aid. You never know the level of proficiency the people that are coming to aid you are going to have. I can tell you our country is not getting any safer. We have hard times ahead of us and a good majority of our first line of defense is ill- prepared, to put it mildly.
I urge you as an individual to be your first line of defense. I also urge you to strive to be the type of hard target you wouldn’t want to face.
(Image Credits: TMCNews)
Great advice But I think it would take more than one active shooter to have give you a problem Also I know some state laws are different but in this situation where would have been legally clear to engage the shooter
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Came to this article after reading another one your wrote. Both were great. Please keep it up. As for this particular article, it is yet another great argument for arming up and training up.
Thanks for the post. Glad to hear that you and your wife came out OK and that you weren't pressed into taking action against this guy. Based on my experiences and the LEOs I know, the world of LE training and tactics is a fickle thing for sure. One account that will always stick in my brain is the 2006 Amish school shooting. Young children were inside the school, screaming as they were shot, and when several LEOs who were positioned nearby requested permission to make entry, their request was denied. 10 girls were shot, 5 died, and the coward POS shooter took his own life before the first LEO made it in the door. I trust law enforcement to do their job and I think it's a difficult and dangerous job to undertake, but in today's world your first line of defense has to be yourself and you have to be prepared.
Here's some news I came across:
The Californa Highway patrol officer is in a car riddled with bullets. He has been shot in his chest and his hand. But his voice is calm as he calls for help on the radio:
"Tell units to slow down. One of the shots went into my vest and one into my hand. Neither are life-threatening," the officer says
CHP officers work single cars and usually pull off to the side of the road to catch up on paper work in the course of their shift. While this officer had his head down filling in his log, a car full of Hispanic gangsters opened fire on him. Officer returned fire and radio'ed for help and put out pertinent info to catch suspects. Which was nicely done.
But everything could've been prevented had the CHP officer found a secure place to do his paperwork. CHP officers are notorious for their heads down, writing or doodling in their cars, just off on the shoulder of a highway. Get off the road, find a secure place--YOU ARE A TARGET OF OPPORTUNITY, don't give 'em that opportunity.
@James6 It's stuff like this that truly sickens a person. Since when does a POLICE officer have to "hide" to perform his/her job? I get what James6 is saying but this is just disgusting that a pre-occupied police officer has become a "target of opportunity". Normally I roll my eyes when guys talk about 'invading' parts of our country like Southside Chicago, South Central Los Angeles, or even Pritchard, AL. Now, though? I get it and I'm all for it. Go ahead and knock out these "domestic enemies" as you see fit gentlemen/ladies because I'm tired of reading, seeing or hearing of great people looking out for the safety of others get hurt, injured, disabled or killed. TIRED OF IT! Ok, I'm gonna step away for a minute... BS...
OH, and this was at Lake Isabella, about an hour east of Bakersfield, not really your South Central L.A. or South Side Chicago.
I hear yah, man. But this kinda stuff happens every day, some get on the news, some don't, sometimes, coppers come back at end of watch to see a bullet hole in their car, from where no one knows, could be sniper type attack, could be they stepped out to service a call.
Target of opportunity just about sums up the current situation, I'd say it's been like this since the 80s with crack. But most big city coppers have developed common sense, CHP isn't really big city policing, they're mostly traffic cops, so they really haven't evolved or institutionalized these big city tactics as of yet, they've been the butt of LE jokes because their tactics is so horrendous.
This video is making it's rounds in roll calls across the country, to remind everyone not to ostriches, with their heads up their asses out there. They will shoot you.
This is a wonderful topic of discussion. Individuals would be more secure if they were more involved in their own security. The important question to ask here is what kind and how much security each person wants and by what process should be used to provide that security? For example, one process is that people in a community use political means (voting, taxes, politicians) to obtain a certain type and amount of government-provided police protection. Often government-provided police protection comes with a string attached however: government doesn't want competition from other protection providers. In a single community there are almost never two or more competing security providers that are allowed to provide equal types of protection. Private security forces and individuals aren't allowed the use of certain weapons and actions that the state police are allowed. In other words, the state police claim a monopoly on the service they provide and people too easily agree to give them monopoly power. The problem with a monopoly is that the employees working for the monopoly have less incentive to provide good service because their customers don't have an easy way of switching to another service provider. Of course providing security is a special skill, just like flying an airplane, making wedding cakes or manufacturing iPhones. Not everyone has time or wants to learn how to use a gun to provide their own security. Some people might want to pay for a security service in which they hire trained professionals to provide private protection services. I believe that private security agencies, if given the freedom to compete with the state-police on equal footing would provide better security. Corporations that are subject to profit and loss, try to provide the best possible service they can to their customers. If they don't they'll go out of business. So, another process by which people can figure out how much and what kind of security they want is to use a market. In a market, institutions such as private property, prices, profits and loss, and competition are used to discover the best ways to provide products and services. Each person puts their money on the security services they think will be best for them. They may not make the right decision the first time, but they are free to switch based on the results they see. Eventually, a few companies will become known for providing excellent protection services and they will profit from their service. In order to obtain better protection services, people need to understand the bad incentives that government police agencies face and decide that allowing private protection agencies the freedom to provide security might be a good idea. The more rigorous economics of these ideas have been worked out already. They are probably best described in a book chapter called "Police, Courts, and Laws---On the Market" in David Friedman's wonderful book called The Machinery of Freedom. Here's a link to an electronic version of that chapter in which Prof. Friedman describes how two competing private protection agencies resolve a dispute in which a person television has been stolen. http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Libertarian/Machinery_of_Freedom/MofF_Chapter_29.html
A very impressive response to a very dangerous and scary situation. Your first instinct of eliminating dependence on 'Baney Fife' to provide protection speaks volumes of your obvious skill and experience. Most local law enforcement wants total control and communication in order to handle situations like these with minimal experience, resulting in minimal success. However this would allow them to portray, with the greedy media's assistance, the 'perfect hero' images and create drama filled front page stories that the sheeple love to read.... I can't help wondering where this would have gone if the current administration succeeds in taking away our rights to bear arms... If it weren't for our second ammendment this could have just been a 'fairy tale'...........another 'very scary' situation, indeed.
@izzi2008 Thank you for the comment, I to share your feelings about our slanted media. I call it cheap entertainment. Honestly I don't hardly even watch the news anymore because I know all to well through first hand experience the lack of "true" story that comes out. If I do watch it, I am looking for intel purposes to see what our government is trying to make, as you would say the "sheeple" believe. It really is a sad state of affairs. It's just to bad more of our citizens don't understand this. Mainly because they choose to engulf themselves in activities, tv shows, and just plain bs that doesn't matter. We as a country are getting weaker by the day.
Juliet1- Great job handling an obviously intense & dynamic situation. Keeping your head and clear presence of mind to remove your wife from the situation as best as possible (especially given the mental/emotional toll being a witness to what you knew was coming... GREAT step there!).
My one question is, why didn't you get on the line with your local PD/SO once you had him spotted down at the tree line? Especially once he started moving towards your home. Just wondering if that may have possibly sped up the response time of the units in the AO, if they not only heard from their bird that they had eyes on the suspect, but that there was a civilian who had eyes on him and he was feeling threatened.
Not trying to Monday morning quarterback the situation, it's just that as I read through the first few paragraphs I was trying to anticipate your moves and I kept waiting to read, "then we called 911 to report what we were seeing" and it never came about.
To be honest I didn't think about calling the police. I was concentrating on keeping an eye on the potential threat and felt I had the upper hand. At that time I wasn't willing to give up anything when it came to my ability to concentrate on the objective that I felt I had complete control over.
I didn't want to impede my ability to mitigate the threat by talking to a dispatcher on my cell phone. Which I know all to well what they would have been telling me to do which is "leave my home and get away from the threat". I know this because I have been in a different situation that I won't get into right now that I had eyes on a suspect and I was told multiple times to leave the area.
I was again the only one with eyes on the criminal in his vehicle and all the dispatcher kept telling me to do was stop following the suspect. I in the end was the only reason they caught the suspect because I was feeding them live intel about his location. That experience was aggravating because I felt like I was arguing with the dispatcher the whole time instead of her working with me. I was not gonna do it again especially considering the situation with an armed suspect closing in on my home. I was giving him my undecided attention.
I honestly figured that the eye in the sky was passing real time info over the radio to the units on the ground much faster than i could possibly do through a dispatcher. Maybe it would have been different this time around I don't know. But I handled it the way I saw was best fit at the time. He wasn't gonna get the upper hand and I was content with that.
@Juliet 1 That makes perfect sense- especially given your previous experience. I think you made the right move, but like I said, I was trying to predict where you were headed with each decision and my guess was you were going to get your wife to call 911 and report what you were seeing. But your choice was probably the right one in the end, getting her out of the room and protected. And thanks for sharing your story, I appreciate it and I've definitely taken away a few pointers that I'll think about applying to my own families plan for home defense.
@Juliet 1 As a former officer myself I can tell you that you did good in regards to not calling 911. With the bird having "eyes on," the ground units would have told the dispatcher they didn't need the live intel from you, but would have had them stay on the line with you "for your safety." I completely agree with your choice to allow the bird to direct ground units rather than you. Let the bird do its job, and you do yours--which is protect the fort, and more importantly, your wife! Good move, bro.This is the epitome of the fact that the police are a reactive force, not a proactive. You are the only proactive force you can count on.
@Juliet 1 Again, another good point. I had thought about that actually. Since they wouldn't know you & your background, they'd probably be quick to dismiss your input considering the obvious chaos they were dealing with.
I'm sure dispatch was already pretty busy considering the officer down and the multi-agency response. That had to be quite the hectic evening on comms.
@RegularGuyJ Your more than welcome!! There was 1 more thing I was going to touch on. Because of my background and what I do for a career I know how it is when you are on an objective and a bunch of different elements are trying to talk on the "net". It can be extremely hectic and confusing to the guys on the ground. I doubt I would have helped the situation from their standpoint.
From their sand point I can see them being like" Why in the heck is the dispatcher talking on the net right now?" Just a thought but I figure it would have been a lost cause.
I've been telling people this stuff for years. Anybody that has read my recent comments (or old ones) knows that I'm a HUGE proponent of training and learning the necessary skills to defend ones self. The police are a NOT going to be there for you when the shit comes down. For some reason, many people in this country believe that they are safe because they can call the police. Like I said, they won't be there when you need them. Every time you walk out the door, it's just like stepping into a jungle. In fact, it's no different than stepping into a jungle. There are predators out there that don't give two shits about you or your family. As far as your home, I can't stress enough for folks to HAVE A PLAN! You should practice that plan with and without your family whenever you get the chance. I have actually set my alarm for late at night to wake myself up and go through my home defense plan. It is EXTREMELY tough to do everything when your half asleep. It is your responsibility to protect yourself and your family. As Brannon LeBouf said "I carry a gun because my family loves me and I love them".
@FormerSFMedic You're totally right but then again, how many sheep are going to shepherd themselves?
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Quick, constant access to your firearm of choice is also a factor. How quick can your wife, son or daughter open up the gunsafe and load? $50 of mine say they don't know the combination. Of course with young kids you can't leave loaded weapons in every drawer but don't limit yourself to a fault.
@KineticFury I am with you 100% on that. I have a large family with a bunch of little ones running around. I simply keep my firearms in areas that are out of reach of these little guys. The ones that are old enough to get to the weapons have been taught and instructed by me time and time again safe weapons handling skills and marksmanship instruction. They are not afraid of "GUNS" by any means but they do respect them. They also know that if they want to look at a gun "because they can be fascinating to youngsters" that they have to have me present. They also know if they don't obey this rule "Pain is gonna follow" because I don't play by those liberal pussy rules either.
@Matt2 Great mind, dude... great minds, LOL...
@KineticFury That's why I have a mini-vault that uses a sequence of button presses laid out like your hand. Less complex for zero dark thirty abrupt wake ups and still has a master key to override the system if you forget. My wife has the key on her keyring which she keeps next to the bed, just in case.
@Matt2 @FormerSFMedic Out where I live the response time is usually in the 30 to 45 min range. Depending on where they are on their patrol. I don't expect them to come save me. I did however think in this scenario they would be a little more on the ball in this scenario because they were right down the street.
@FormerSFMedic Where I live if your in the city help is 3-10 minutes, Police or EMS. In the surrounding county times are from 3-45 minutes, depends where the deputy is when on his patrol. That's one hell of a long time when your faced with an emergency.
Despite being sorry to hear you had to go through such an ordeal, I'm glad you and your family are all fine. Coming from a country with arguably the worst firearm laws in Europe and a huge increase in armed raids on houses (thanks recession), I have to ask how you would have approached the situation should you have not been armed ?
@anirishlad That is a good question. I would have had my wife still go into the garage and lock the door and instruct her to get into her car and drive down the road and find the police. I would have then armed myself with a weapon of opportunity. I would have used the closest thing I could find that would inflict the most amount of damage to the suspect. In my house it would of been a Tomahawk. I would have used my intricate knowledge of the floor plan in my home to give me tactical advantage and I would have ambushed the suspect on my terms. I would not have left my home. For me that is where I draw the line laws or no laws.
With more and more municipalities going bankrupt, from corruption, embezzlement, etc., less and less cops are out there. Morale is low, no OT, it sucks. Most of these local gov't corruptions that ended up draining municipal coffers, can be attributed to dwindled FBI investigations in these cases (because of GWOT) and local newspapers going under, so no local watch dogs. I call that the trickle down effect of GWOT. Had we responded after 9/11 in a measured and precise manner, we'd have a better economy, less local gov'ts going under, and be happier. Oh well just my .02 cents worth, good to hear you and yours are safe.
@GiantForestcamper Thanks for the reply. Unfortunatly it's not gonna get any better for reasons you mentioned above. Completely agree with your comment
@GiantForestcamper Personally I think it has more to do with all the programs that have created an entitlement society or just poor planning on city/state/federal budgets is a bigger problem than GWOT. When states draw from their LE retirements, training funds, or grants for OT in order to cover section 8 housing, food stamp programs, paying people disability (when they can work) it limits funding for such agencies. Also poor planning is another issue. My particular city, while they have never restricted our training, denied everyone that was to receive a raise because of budget restraints. Yet they spent $4million on sidewalks and sidewalk repairs. As a result both fire and police moral drops because based on looking at the city budget which is public record, sidewalk repairs were more important that making sure fire and police get proper funding/pay. I am proud to work in a city where the police and fire are not controlled by unions as I am not a fan of them, but the negative is a city government can easily make such budget decisions knowing that their will be no real consequences other than some bitching and moaning. While I like your .02 cents, I wanted to throw in mine as well. Who knows it may be a combination of the two and they feed off one another creating a vicious cycle.
@ptd175 sounds like my city. We spend too much on aesthetic infrastructure and other pointless stuff, which means money ain't goin' where it needs to be OR they should lower the tax rate. Take of your men and they will take care of you.
Definitely, man. When times are tough, we tend to cannibalize each other. When times are good, the politicians get rich, and there's no problem. That's why one of the FBI's main job is to look into local & state corruption, white collar crimes, things other LE can't do. GWOT went into the billions and billions, I'm sure the housing and market collapse effects could have been averted had we not gotten out feet stuck in quick sand out there. These two difinitely fed off each other, as you've pointed out. The irony in your article, a wake up call, is that you benefited from GWOT and came home to experience first hand how GWOT attributed (whether more or less) to that incident you've described. So I agree, GWOT took and never gave back (not really if you do a cost benefit analysis), and we're less for it.
We had a similar situation the night of the 4th of July! Thanks for sharing, my eyes were opened to the fact that it can really hit home
A little backgrounds, it appears your man was suffering from mental health problems for the two decades prior to his killing his evil cat, dog, and TV. Pretty amazing he was able to blow by the police cordon and get loose in the countryside. Sounds like a good many of these shooters are mentally unhinged, possible suicide by cop?
Glad you and yours came through,still much too close for comfort.☹
@Old PH2 All I'm gonna say is be careful with what you see and believe in the media. I have watched news reports about certain events that took place that I was a part of overseas. I can tell you I have yet to see or hear an accurate report. Not 1 single report in the last ten years that the media has done on any of the events that I have intricate knowledge of has been accurate. Small local media is no different.
I don't even watch the news anymore. I might watch it to see how they are spinning a situation that I have knowledge of. The only reason I do that is to have intel on what our nations enemy"Media" is trying to make the "sheeple" believe. It's like looking through a filter. But you have to know the real story before you can see through the filter. To do that you have to be part of the situation or do your own investigation.
Just like I said below the American people are way to easily mislead.
Preaching to the choir. I was shocked at how the local media reported your incident as an attempted COP killing. Especially found it troubling that no one owned up to the Cop Blue on Blue incident. I find the demise of local newspapers to be particularly troublesome. This concentration of media from the local/rural area gives an unrealistic view of the area as a whole. Point of fact: The school district I graduated from famously returned funds to the state a few years ago. Although the district is in need of funds to expand these funds were earmarked for certain programs and could not be used otherwise. These facts were left out of the reporting entirely, the district was touted as a model of conservative ideals and held up as an example to the whole state. Interestingly the district would have spent all that money and more if it could have used it for construction and or building maintenance.
It is unfortunate how poorly trained or prepared many law enforcement agencies are in this country. Luckily as an LEO myself I work at an agency that puts training at a premium. We do simuntion and various use of force training multiple times a year. Utilizing simunition we practice active shooter scenarios, movement to contact, etc. and they are blunt about the facts of life in the training. Stating that if there is an active shooter there is a high probability you could get shot when making a dynamic entry into the room but it is what must be done to save innocent lives. It is constantly drilled into our heads good tactics, room clearing, violence of action. They even go as far as to poor out water dyed red to show the amount of blood the average person can lose before blacking out, just to give a visual demonstration. We get unlimited rounds to shoot at the range in both our duty pistol and patrol rifle. We work on shooting and moving. And everyday I encounter other agencies or read stories that make me realize how fortunate I am. Every officer at my dept. averages close to 4 weeks of training a year, excluding range time or any specialized training schools. We focus on training so much that if we didn't have to work the streets we would probably be sent to various trainings year round.
I think the reason why most agencies don't properly train or prepare is because of public perception along with budget restraints. Most departments don't want too much like the military or too "aggressive". Unfortunately our country/society is reaching a point where if the mentality among municipalities, counties, and states don't change then more LEO will get killed, hurt, or they will FUBAR situations up so bad that it makes everyone look bad. As a result the citizens we are trying to protect get hurt and lose faith and trust.
Lastly before I get off my soap box is a little comparison I came up with recently. The military is like the NFL in that they are looking to use the newer technology, safety equipment etc, while law enforcement is like MLB. We (not me personally) like things to stay the same, fight advancing to new concepts, and just love our nostalgic past. The two best examples are cruisers and duty/gun belts. Every other profession (military, fire, EMS, even the Post Office) have vehicles made for their jobs, yet in law enforcement we insist on taking sedans and cramming all of our equipment into them. Gun belts are one of those nostalgic items. Military has gone to harnesses and load bearing equipment decades ago because it better suits the human body's design. Yet in LE we keep getting more and more equipment upwards of 30lbs and wear it around our waist resulting in hip, lower back and nerve problems. Load bearing systems are out there but most feels it looks to "tactical" and is to intimidating. Retarded in my opinion but oh well.
To close, everyone needs to have a plan to defend themselves because response times will be slower than a firefight, and when the LE arrive many will be under trained and/or under equipped.
@ptd175 Thank you for your unique perspective. I of course am not an LEO and it goes along way to hear your opinion. I have had the privilege to train some LEO snipers on a few occasions in the past. I of course had the opportunity to get to know a lot of these guys and they almost said verbatim the exact same thing you did. One of the biggest things I observed was the "Old Guard" or the salty veterans the ones that are commanding the teams were extremely reluctant to learn or implement any new tactics.
It really is a shame because a lot of the younger guys are veterans with a ton of experience and a wealth of knowledge. These guys want to improve at the very least their teams tactics and I don't understand it but it seems to fall on deaf ears when it comes to their leadership.
A lot of them feel like there hands are tied "because they are". It really seems to cause some low moral in there respective units. I have observed this from the outside of course but it really is scary when you think about it. The LEO's battlefield has changed, especially in the last few years and a lot of the leadership doesn't seem to want to change with it. I've heard from some officers it's because the leadership feels like it's behind the power curve and doesn't really know how to handle it. The younger guys have good Ideas but the leadership feels threatened by the new blood with their wealth of knowledge. I don't know how true that is but I've heard it on multiple occasions.
I feel for the guys in this situation. I'm Glad you are a part of a locked on department because I know it isn't like that everywhere.
I have to think eventually things will change but for some of these departments the change will come only after the ultimate sacrifice has been paid. It really is a shame.
Thank you for service.
@Juliet 1 @ptd175 Juliet 1, the example you give sounds EXACTLY like the current state of our military as well. Of course you know firsthand what I'm talking about. Guys are going overseas armed with substandard training and a general lack of knowledge in all things shooting, tactics, and mindset. It is an unfortunate result of institutional inertia and an absolute mindset combined with a lack of knowledge.
I agree with you 100% It is extremely frustrating to see this on all levels. It's even more when you or your teammates are counting on those individuals to pull their weight and do their jobs.
@Juliet 1 The "old guard" is definetly a major part of the problem, with many of the big decision makers are Majors, Lt. Colonels, and Chiefs who are 10-15 years removed from actual police work and therefore can only draw on their own outdated experiences. Even though I have a better dept we still run into some of the same issues. We worked on and changed our response to active shooters, critical incidents, but then when someone requests a combat medic/trauma type training they are denied. So they train us now on let's say a school shooting to move to contact and eliminate the threat (no more perimeter and wait for a SWAT) tells us that it puts us at a higher risk but is necessary to save lives, but then deny another component to such situations like advanced first aid. Also more and more LEO are killed or shot in the line of duty by rifles of various calibers, yet almost no one offers plates for protection. I suggested it and I was told that they were to heavy and expensive. I know that higher end plates are as light 3lbs a piece and that their value is less than that of an officer's life. Again being a LEO during this time between the old guard, media, liberals, and an entitlement society is frustrating. And more and more former and current military are be becoming officers and bringing good ideas that fall upon deaf ears. Thanks for the story and letting me vent a little. Obviously I am a little passionate about the topic.
@Juliet 1 I'm thoroughly impressed with what I would say is a textbook response to the situation. I'm going to share this story with friends and family as an excellent example of how to adapt to an imminent threat in a domestic environment. A good lesson for us all. I'm glad that you & yours are safe and without harm.
The thing that I picked up on was the necessity to wait for this guy to actually attempt a break in. You've got your long gun you have the advantage of stand off, and by law you must give that up. Castle doctrine and all, you still have to wait for imminent threat.
@Old PH2 Just say he was trying to starve you out. That's a siege, ain't it? A certain threat is an imminent threat.
@KineticFury @Old PH2 You touched on something there. It bothers me to no end that while J1 had the "suspect" in his sights and that the man was walking directly towards his house with a firearm, he still had to maintain fire control to the point of entry. I don't know man, the ability to defend one's family and self is so severely hamstrung. I'm not for "shooting first and asking questions later" as a rule but circumstances like this are surely defined as "extra-ordinary". My brain hurts now...
@Old PH2 Yeah that is a bitch isn't it.
@Old PH2 +1