All posts by Tarin Keith

Sun’s out, Guns out – Preparing for Springtime Physical Training

TrainingWhether you’re a law enforcement officer, firefighter, soldier or just ready for a challenge – mud races and obstacles courses are an exciting way to stay physically fit during spring and summertime. Show off your toned spring body with these workout tips and gear to help you go the extra mile.

1. Outfit Your Feet

Something as simple as finding the right shoe will give you the head start you need on your next race. “You want a shoe with aggressive traction and a thin upper, so that it won’t absorb a lot of water,” says Spartan Race champion Hobie Call. A good shoe must be tough, versatile, and able to withstand everything race organizers throw at them. They also better feel good on your feet.

2. Fuel and Hydration

During longer races, water stations can be few and far between, so it’s important to carry a slim hydration pack filled with water or some sort of electrolyte/energy drink. Although it might be tempting to move faster when hitting an obstacle, you should resist. Keep a steady pace and keep your intensity levels even. It’s easy to get ramped up for the obstacles but that can hurt you in the long run.

3. Practical Apparel

Try to avoid cotton or anything heavy. Cotton will absorb water, add weight, and slow you down – Not to mention cause unwanted chaffing. Spandex or compression apparel are safe choices.

4. Preparedness

Weather has the power to change your game entirely, and it is important to be prepared for anything. For windy days, wear a light pullover windbreaker. Don’t wear a jacket with a zipper as zippers can get caught or clogged with mud.

5. Have Fun!

Mud runs and obstacles courses are a great way to enjoy the spring weather while staying fit. So breathe in the fresh air and have fun!

 

First Day On Duty? Equipment Check!

 

Welcome to police work! You’ve made it through the rigorous physical training and stressful testing. Now it is time to prepare for your first day on duty, and to purchase the proper equipment for your duty belt. Each piece of your equipment will be a huge part of your entire career.

Know your duty belt like the back of your hand. You should be able to reach down and grab anything you need with ease, at any given moment. The goal of proper placement of duty belt equipment is to assure you that everything can be located and ascertained as second nature – like an extension of your own body. This way, in a situation, you can grab and return each piece of equipment without taking your eyes off the suspect or what you are doing.

Here are a few necessary items to run through and some pointers for each piece of equipment.

handcuff caseHandcuff Case:

Starting from the front center and moving towards your strong side, the first item from the center point is your handcuff case. This is placed here so that it can be accessed from either hand. Many officers make the mistake of carrying the handcuffs behind their firearm. If your weapon was out, covering a subject, and you need to retrieve the handcuffs, you have to either holster the weapon or use your strong hand to obtain the cuffs.

crossfire sprayHandcuffs have the power to act as a defensive weapon if needed during a physical altercation and since this is the perfect location, there is no reaching around to locate.

Crossfire Spray

Again, it is accessible by either hand and the transition from spray to firearm is easy when utilizing this location. It can also spray from the case if necessary.

Firearm/Holster

On either side of the holster should be a belt keeper. This will help secure the holster to your firearm holsterbody. With the proper handgun retention, and a triple secure holster, the weapon will be protected.

Keep nothing behind the holster. There have been reports of police equipment moving on the duty belt and sliding behind the holster. Depending on the type of holster, this item prevented the weapon from being drawn.

Magazine Pouch

Moving to the non-firearm side of your belt, the first item is your magazine pouches. The magazine pouchmagazines are facing forward and nothing is blocking the quick removable and reloading of these important tools. Look for a magazine holder that has hidden snap closings to protect your gear, if needed.

Cross-draw TASER/Holster

The next piece of equipment is the cross-draw TASER. Cross-draw design should be used for a TASER, to prevent confusion with your firearm.

taser holderIn addition, the TASER can be drawn when in cross-draw location by either hand. On either side of the TASER are the belt keepers.

Portable Radio/Ear Piece

With the ear piece secured by a small strap around the ear and under the ear lobe, this will become a critical safety tool for you. Only you will be able to hear what is being transmitted. It’s light-weight and out-of-the-way.

Baton

After a belt keeper, should be an expandable baton followed by one last keeper. This completes batonthe duty belt, but not your duty equipment!

 

 

 

 

Tips and information from PoliceOne

Women in Law Enforcement

According to Curtis Crooke, a special contributor at COPS, the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE) has been working hard since 1995 to mentor women in executive positions and help guide new female officers to grasp the opportunity to achieve leadership roles.

Women bring a different, and highly effective, aspect to policing that relies less on physical force and more on communications skills. As a result, potentially violent confrontations are less likely to occur, or escalate into excessive force situations.

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’d like to take a step back to honor some of the brave women of our past who’ve contributed to the growth of women’s roles in law enforcement.

Lola Baldwin – First US Police Officer

lola_baldwin

In 1908, Lola Baldwin was sworn in by the City of Portland as Superintendent of the Women’s Auxiliary to the Police Department for the Protection of Girls (later renamed the Women’s Protective Division). Throughout her policing career, Baldwin stressed crime prevention and favored reform over incarceration. She promoted laws to protect women, advised other jurisdictions about women’s law-enforcement issues, and demonstrated, by example, that women could be effective police officers.

Alice Wells – Hired by LAPD

 OfficerAliceWells

Alice Wells joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1910 after petitioning the mayor, police commissioner, and the Los Angeles city council in order to better aid other women and children who were victims of crime. Wells was responsible for hand sewing her own police uniform, which was the first policewoman’s uniform in the United States.

Isabella Goodwin – NY’s First Police Detective

first_female_detective1

Isabella Goodwin, widow of a police officer, worked as a police matron in one of New York City’s jails, receiving only one day off per month, with very low pay. In 1912, Goodwin gathered valuable evidence needed to arrest highly wanted criminals and was rewarded by becoming New York’s first woman Detective.

Beverly Harvard – First Recognized African American Female Police Chief

beverly harvard

Although Cora Parchment was undoubtedly the first African American woman to be accepted into the NYPD in 1919, Beverly Harvard was the first African American woman to fill the role of a Police Chief. In late 1994 when Beverly Harvard – a 21-year veteran of the Atlanta Police Department – was appointed chief of police, a new face and a new image were attached to this public office. Not only is Harvard one of the few female police executives in the United States (joined by Betsy Watson in Houston and Austin, Texas, and Penny Harrington in Portland, Oregon), she is also the first African American woman to head a major police force.

Kristin Ziman – Influential Executive at the Aurora Police Department

kristin ziman

During Kristin Ziman’s years spent rising through the ranks to an executive position, Ziman continues to help promote gender equality. She has done her best to mentor fellow female police officers and, with the help of NAWLEE, has successfully aided women who were motivated to reach the executive level of law enforcement.

Choosing the Right Folding Knife

 

A high-quality knife is the sign of a good officer. A folding knife can be an excellent backup weapon when nothing else is around. Most officers carry at least one folding knife on them while on duty. There’s a lot that you should consider before buying your knife.

SOG_knives


Not too big, not too small, but just right.

“Hold it in your hand with your eyes open and then close your eyes,” advises Bill Raczkowski, category manager for Gerber. “If you have to use this knife in an emergency, you may have to do so without looking at it. Make sure it feels like part of your own body.” For officers who wear gloves on duty, Raczkowski adds that they should also test the hand feel while wearing the gloves. Your knife should simply feel like an organic extension of your own hand. This can be measured by size, weight, grip, and handle design.

The real damage: the blade.

At the end of the day, the blade is what’s going to do the real damage. What is the design? What material is it made from? What is the length? Folding blades usually have two kinds of tips: Tanto and Drop Point. A Tanto blade maintains its thickness until the very tip, then it angles to a very sharp point. It also makes the blade an excellent puncture and chopping tool. A fixed Tanto blade is even a very powerful prying tool (however folding knives should never be used as prying tools). Drop Point blades are the traditional rounded blade like a kitchen knife. They are great for slicing things and for skinning animals. These blades thin out toward the tip, which makes this design the preferred tool for making fine cuts.

Serrated or straight edge?

Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Serrated blades are great for ripping through webbing, rope, and other materials. They also don’t need to be kept quite as sharp as straight edges to be effective, which is convenient. There are several options for sharpening a straight edge; the only good way to sharpen a serrated edge is with a round file.

Get a grip!

Folding knives are manufactured with several different types of grips, including plastic, polymer, aluminum, titanium, and many more. Knife collectors and aficionados tend to prefer expensive metal grips, but for the average user, the main thing about grips is feel. If you don’t like the grip, then it’s not the right grip for you.

Recommended Brands.

Smith & Wesson: These knives are high-quality and often multi-featured. The Smith and Wesson’s Extreme Ops knife includes a half-serrated tanto-style blade, seatbelt cutter and a glass breaker. Perfect for everyday carry.

Coast: These tactical knives are often lightweight, tactical and tough. The Coast DX330 Rescue Knife will power through the toughest cutting job with ease. It includes a glass breaker, integrated seatbelt cutter for maximum versatility, and a double lock.

 

Information from Police Mag.

Avoid Accidents! Invest in Proper Reflective Gear

responderSafety

Traffic-related incidents are one of the leading causes of Line-Of-Duty deaths. Between automobile/motorcycle/bicycle crashes, and the potential to be struck on the side of the road while on duty, the deaths are increasingly disturbing. The safety of these men and women who respond to emergencies on our nation’s streets, roads and highways is of the utmost importance.

The Division of State and Provincial Police, among other safety advocates, recognizes the seriousness and the persistence of this problem and is committed to finding ways to ensure the safety of law enforcement officers while they are out on the roads. The more visible a firefighter or police officer is, the better chance a driver has to slow down and move over. The ANSI published standards for high-visibility clothing in 1999. The standard defines three classes of successively more-visible garments, to protect workers exposed to successively higher levels of risk from motor vehicles and heavy equipment.

  • Class 1: Activities that are relatively low hazard from slow-moving vehicles, for example, in a parking lot. Garments must have retroreflective strips 1 inch wide and a minimum of 217 square inches of fluorescent material.
  • Class 2: Activities that take place in proximity to vehicles moving up to 25 miles per hour, for example, railway workers or school crossing guards. The standard requires reflective bands of greater width and 755 square inches of conspicuously colored fabric.
  • Class 3: Activities that take place near traffic moving faster than 25 miles per hour, for example, highway construction. The standard requires at least 1240 square inches of fluorescent fabric, and two-inch retrorefector bands. Only very large vests have enough area to meet this standard, so full sleeves may be required.

There are a variety of different vests to help workers be seen with more ease.

  • reflective vestFor the sheriff, it is important to have a tactical vest with multiple capabilities. It should include utility pouches,  a radio pouch, mic clips, among other features.
  • For security, the vest should be reflective and have 4-season adjustability that allows for accurate sizing in any weather, even over bulky coats.
  • For EMS, the vest should be reflective with a 5 point breakaway system. It should include hook and loop closures and radio pockets.
  • For a selection of all high visibility vests, click here!

Officers, road workers, emergency responders and firefighters serve tirelessly to protect us and our communities; it’s time we do our best to protect them too.

Aim… Fire… But Don’t Miss! Pistol Target Accuracy Drills

 

It’s one thing to be able to shoot a pistol. It’s another to shoot a pistol with accuracy and consistency. There’s only one way to accomplish this: DRILLS. Attaining proficiency requires a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of marksmanship coupled with a strong desire to improve. Here are a few drills that we think stand out among the rest.

The Wall Drill (DRY FIRE)

walldrill

To perform this drill:

  1. Weapon must be completely unloaded and checked TWICE, before performing this drill.
  2. Remove all ammunition from your training area and find a wall that can serve as a proper backstop in case of an accident.
  3. Gripping your unloaded weapon in your usual stance, press the muzzle to the wall until it just barely makes contact, then back off about an inch.
  4. From this position, practice your trigger manipulation. The goal is to press the trigger straight back with consistent pressure until the “shot” breaks without disturbing your sight alignment throughout the process.
  5. Remember, that is the key to accuracy — a proper trigger press that doesn’t mess up your sight picture.
  6. Just work on keeping everything still except your trigger finger, and move your finger in a slow, smooth, relaxed trigger press.
  7. Work on this for about ten minutes, three to four times per week.

The focus of this drill is to practice manipulating your grip, without having to worry about your focus target. It is solely about the physical connection between you and the weapon. Using a blank wall will help to keep you focused, as there are no distractions in front of you.

 

Ready Up Drill

TriggerPull

  1. Load your pistol. Keep it holstered while you face the same target you use when you qualify.
  2. Draw your pistol and fire one round as soon as your front sight covers the scoring area of the target.
  3. Repeat drill until your firearm is empty at which time you should execute a combat reload and return to firing one shot at a time.
  4. Too add some variety to the drill, every time you draw your pistol fire one more round each time before re-holstering.
  5. Then try drawing and firing different numbers of multiple rounds.

This drill will help you to develop faith in the use of your front sight because you will pull the trigger in the split second that your front sight covers the scoring area of a man-size target. The point of this exercise is not to develop one conditioned response every time you draw and fire a handgun.

 

Circle Drill

shooting drills

  1. Fire six rounds at the plate at a slow pace (1 shot per second). Repeat.
  2. Fire six rounds at a moderate pace (2 shots per second). Repeat. This is considered “comfort zone.”
  3. Finally, maximize speed by firing six rounds at a pace of about 4 shots per second (or as fast as possible if 4/second is faster than the gun can be kept under control). Repeat. This pace should push a shooter outside of his comfort zone and force him to work harder at recoil management and sight tracking.

This drill is intended to teach students the relationship between speed and accuracy, and how time affects marksmanship fundamentals.

Recommended Gear for Trainees

Hearing Protector Ear Muffs: Not only will ear muffs protect your ear drums from harmful noises during training, but they will allow you to concentrate without breaking focus.

Police Target: This is a necessity for anyone working to improve target accuracy. It is concise and provides the shooter with a set of goals.

Sights: Learning how to manipulate highly technological target equipment can be a powerful tool for anyone working to improve target accuracy.

 

Sources: PT Pistol Training; Police Mag

K-9s, A Man’s Best Friend

 

Dogs aren’t just a man’s best friend. They’re a police officer’s, fireman’s, soldier’s and civilian’s best friend. Dog’s play such a significant role in protecting our communities, from searching for lost people, to looking for crime scene evidence.

The History

police dog historySince the Ancient Roman times, people have used canines for security and hunting. During wartime, dogs were trained for certain important roles: sentry dog, scout or patrol dog, messenger dog, or mine dog. About 1,500 dogs were used as sentries in the Korean War. During the Vietnam War, American troops used dogs to clear out caves and tunnels of the Vietcong, as well as to find traps and land mines. After the wars, the dogs were rehabilitated and returned to the people who loaned them to the military.

MEET THE BREEDS

GERMAN SHEPHERD

K9-pic-5

German Shepherds are a strong breed that possess intelligence, strength and teachability. They are a particularly obedient breed, often making them a police officer’s first choice. German Shepherds around the world are often utilized in the detection of narcotics and explosives. They are also used in the tracking and apprehension of human suspects.

DALMATIAN

dalmatian firedog

The roles of this ancient breed are as varied as their reputed ancestors. They were used as dogs of war, guarding the borders of Dalmatia. To this day, the breed retains a high guarding instinct; although friendly and loyal to those the dog knows and trusts, it is often aloof with strangers and unknown dogs. Today, Dalmations are known in the United States for being the token firehouse mascot and sometimes to educate the public in fire safety.

LABRADOR RETRIEVER

police dogs

Labradors (commonly known as Labs) are known for being even-tempered and well behaved in mostly any situation. Labs can serve well as a family dog, a companion or a police dog. Their athleticism and playful personalities make this particular breed a crowd-pleaser. In law enforcement, Labs are frequently trained for detection work and for tracking of human suspects. However, they are not used for suspect apprehension.

BELGIAN MALINOIS

belgian malinois police dog

 When it comes to law enforcement, the Malinois is a breed that means business. It is used as a working dog, including tasks such as detection of odors from narcotics, explosives, and accelerants (for arson investigation), and for the tracking of humans and suspect apprehension in police work. You do not want to get on their bad side.

Dogs – thank you for all of your hard work and your commitment to protecting our communities.

Chilling Photographs of the Brooklyn Warehouse Fire

Last Saturday,  giant clouds of smoke rose from a 7-alarm fire that destroyed a warehouse and floated across Brooklyn and into Manhattan. Over 50 units, almost 300 firefighters and help from the marine unit were called in to extinguish the flames in Williamsburg.

The single-digit temperatures and strong winds made this fire particularly difficult for fighters to contain. No injuries were reported, and no dangerous toxins appear to have come from the flames.

By Sunday, everything in firehose shot of the warehouse — a motorcycle, cars parked on the street, and even firefighters’ helmets and suits — were crystallized in a frosty coating and adorned with icicles. Here are some chilling photos of the events that took place.

Williamburg Fire 1

Williamburg Fire 2

Williamburg Fire 3

Williamburg Fire 4

Williamburg Fire 5

Williamburg Fire 6

Williamburg Fire 7

Williamburg Fire 8

 

Quick Workouts for the Busy Officer

 

The most common excuse for missing a workout session, is because “you just don’t have the time.” As a police officer, fitting in the time to workout might be difficult, but it is absolutely necessary. Instead of just sitting around on the bench press doing rep after rep with a five-minute rest in-between, here are some of the best exercises, whether you’re a town cop, state trooper, or SWAT.

1. Sandbag Clean and Press

Start in a quarter-squat position with both hands gripping a sandbag and the sandbag resting softly on the ground. Explosively stand up as you bring your elbows up, then sweep them under the sandbag so it rests on your chest. Pause for a second, then straighten your arms up as you shoulder press the sandbag overhead. That’s one rep.

2. Partner Glute-Ham Raise


Kneel on the ground (preferably on some kind of mat) with a partner holding your lower legs down to the ground. Keeping your core engaged slowly lower yourself (about two to three seconds) until you are in a push up position. Push yourself back up to the starting position and repeat.

3. Swiss Ball Knee Drive/Pike

Get into a push up position with your feet on top of a Swiss ball (stability ball) and your core engaged. For the knee drives, simply bring your knees to your chest in a controlled motion, slowly returning back to the starting position. For a more advanced variation, keep your legs straight as you drive them forward to form an inverted V with your body, pause for a moment, then return back to normal.

4. Walk the Plank

Start in a push up position with your toes on two weights or Valslides. Slowly walk your hands forward, one-by-one, as you try to keep your hips as straight as possible by keeping your core engaged throughout the entire movement. For a more advanced variation, bring your elbows down to the ground and slowly walk your elbows forward, maintaining good hip control and core stability.

5. Rope/Towel Pull Up

Hang a rope or towel on one side of a pull up bar. Grip the rope/towel with one hand and place the other in the standard pull up position. Pull your chest towards the bar, pause for a second, then return back to the starting position. Switch hands after each set.

Drone Technology Used By Firefighters

Drones armed with cameras and sensor payloads have been used by military and border control agencies for decades in order to improve situational awareness. They can be used across public-safety services, from transmitting birds-eye video of a forest fire to incident commanders, to mapping out hard-hit areas after a natural disaster. Here is some information from The Fire Chief about drone technologies for fire and emergency response operations.

elimcospain1. ELIMCO E300

This is a UAV with a large payload capacity and low-noise electrical propulsion being used by INFOCA, the Andalusian authority for the wildfire management in Spain, to track wildfires at night.

The E300 can be launched remotely and operated for 1.5 hours with a radio control from up to 27 miles away. During night flights, the E-300 can loiter over a fire for around 3 hours and get as far as 62 miles from the launching point.

eBee-Ag-Launch82. Sensefly’s Ebee

Switzerland-based Sensefly’s eBee drones are small in comparison to other drones; they have a 37.8-inch wingspan and weigh 1.5 pounds. The foam airframe eBee drones are equipped with a rear-mounted propeller and feature a 16-megapixel camera to shoot aerial imagery at down to 3cm/pixel resolution.

The drone has a flight time of up to 45 minutes, which is long enough to cover as far as 10 miles in a single flight. In addition, users can pre-program 3D flight plans using Google maps prior to deployment, with up to 10 drones controlled from a single base station. Then, using its Postflight Terra 3D-EB mapping software, it can create maps and elevation models with a precision of 5 centimeters and process aerial imagery into 3D models.

uav-f-1024x9413. Information Processing Systems (IPS)

IPS Mobile Command Vehicles and incident command mobile carts are deployable, customized, public-safety vehicles that integrate aerial, ground and subsurface remotely controlled robotic platforms. MCVs basically are custom mobile ground control station for UAVs and other public-safety robotics.

The truck can house security cameras, sensors, radar and communications infrastructure. It can be outfitted with trailers to carry drones, which then can be commanded form within the center.

Having a mobile command center for drone deployment allows wildland firefighters working in remote areas to take their entire communication system with them to launch a UAV or drones over a wildfire and map out affected areas.

uav technology4.  L3 Communication’s Viking 400-S

The Viking 400-S Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) is integrated with Autonomous Take-Off and Landing technology supplied by L-3 Unmanned Systems’ flightTEK system. It operates for up to 12 hours and can be equipped with up to 100 pounds of payload technologies, including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear detectors for hazmat emergencies.

The CBRN payload would let a first responder stay up to 70 miles line-of-sight away from a hazmat incident and, instead, send a drone to collect CBRN information from the scene and transmit it wirelessly back to incident command. UAS units carrying high-resolution cameras can capture bird’s-eye images of a manmade or natural disaster.