Identifying the Barricaded Subject

swat team armorThe National Tactical Officer’s Association National Conference has concluded in Kansas City.  One of the courses I was able to attend was a 4-hour session covering lessons learned on barricaded subject calls.  Although tailored for tactical officers, the training brings light to difficult situations faced by patrol officers as well.  This will be the first in a series on the class.

What is a Barricaded Subject

A barricaded subject can be defined as a person or persons in a location that provides a means of spatial separation that assists them in avoiding apprehension from law enforcement.  In short, a barricaded subject is in a position that inhibits law enforcement from easily taking them into custody.

Typically a barricaded subject is armed or has the means to cause harm to others before they are classified as a barricaded subject.  Joe Drunk who pissed his neighbors off with noise and profanity would not be a barricaded subject just because he refused to answer his door for responding patrol officers.

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Selecting a Police Sniper

Unfortunately, relatively little consideration is given for selecting personnel for a police sniper position. In my position as a sniper trainer, I have too often seen this attitude from students: “Of course, I’m a sniper. My name on the memorandum said I was!” Although a legitimate sniper school shouldn’t be afraid to flunk someone who can’t meet the course performance objectives, this is only the last link in the chain of a selection and assessment process which must have its origin within the agency.

police sniper

Military Background

In order to select personnel, agencies often turn to people with military backgrounds. Due to the current reduction of our military forces, many highly trained personnel are now becoming available. If the decision is made to recruit these people, close attention must be paid to a document which they will be sure to have in their possession: Department of Defense Form 214 (DD-214).

Contained in this form will be the official record of a candidate having attended a formal military sniper school. In order to read it, you have to know how to decipher it. Following are thumbnail sketches of some of the more likely military sniper schools, keeping in mind that course length and subject matter change from year to year and, sometimes, from class to class.

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Using Ballistic Shields in CQB Environments

ballistic shield cqb train

I am an advocate of ballistic shields. They are not only appropriate for law enforcement clearing (slow methodical mode) or safety clears, but, with current weight reductions, can be employed in the slow dynamic technique mode which is a bridge technique between dynamic entries and law enforcement clears.

Slow Dynamic Technique Explained

Today’s Level IIIA shields are lighter and more maneuverable. Shield drivers can move rapidly with them and teams can engage in a bridge technique between the two opposite ends of the maneuver spectrum which I call the “Slow Dynamic” technique.

This method of offensive shield tactics was developed by a former member of the FBI’s HRT and is based on the “heavy/light side” of dynamic room entries.

Movement is conducted in a “careful hurry” manner and usually does not exceed the speed of a fast walk. I like to get the shields into a room first.

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SWAT Team Leader Development Course


SWAT Team Leader Development

Date: October 10/22/2012 -10/26/2012 (5days)
Location: Lee’ Summit Police Department
Registration Information:
Cost: $670.00 per student

This five-day training is designed for law enforcement personnel responsible for deploying as a SWAT team leader, or as a supervisor who is responsible for the training and deployment of tactical teams. The focus is on pre-incident training, planning, organizing and the tactical decision-making process used in the resolution of high-risk operations.

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SWAT Attitude

A Few Words on the SWAT Attitude…

I have lately been talking with a few SWAT guys about their perspectives of their tactical teams. While I won’t go into politics or particulars, I will say a central theme in my many discussions has revolved around attitude.

Not as in Attitude with a capital “I’m a badass SWAT guy, so blah, blah, blah.”  Attitude, as it relates to a positive approach to training for and execution of high-risk operations.  A shared bad morale will destroy a Team from the inside out.

SWAT art

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DELTA Light Ball – Flashbang Alternative?

DELTA Flash BangRiver Rock Designs announced a new distractionary device that may be a suitable alternative to a flashbang in some circumstances.  The Dynamic Entry Lighted Tactical Access, or DELTA,  light ball uses a “…super-bright strobe effect and steady-light illuminator [to]  initially dazzle and confuse the bad guys and then lights up the target area like daylight.”

While the additional stunning/distraction from a concussive bang is absent, I could see where this might be an alternative to the traditional flash-bang in some limited circumstances.  Drug labs or other locations where flammable chemicals are expected to be present would be one example.

What do you SWAT guys think?  Sound off in the comments section below.

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Armored Mobility Provides Lightweight Level III

Armored MobilityRichard, Aaron, and I were meandering around after lunch at 2012 SHOT Show Media Day when we came across the Armored Mobility, Inc (AMI) display.  We were able to speak at length with company president Michael Berritto III, who was proud to show us his innovative Mobile Armored Shield (MAS).

Quite a few things stood out about this ballistic shield.  At NIJ Standard 0101.06 Level III, AMI states the MAS will stop (pistol and) rifle rounds to include:

  • 7.62mm X 51 M80 NATO FMJ
  • 5.56mm LeMas Urban Warfare
  • 5.56mm M193 FMJ
  • 6.8mm 110 gr OTM
  • 30-06 M2 FMJ
  • 7.62mm X 39 M43 Steel Core FMJ
  • 12 Gauge High Velocity Slug
  • (Armored Mobility notes–will not stop 5.56 M855 green tip)

The 15” X 38” Mobile Armored Shield does this at a weight of just 16 pounds!  Many shields on the market possess only Level IIIa capability at nearly double the weight.  The 18” X 38” MAS weighs 22 lbs.

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SWATSCOPE Surveillance Tool Review

Tony Leonti is the designer of the SWATSCOPE by Micro-Times, LLC. He took time out at his very busy booth at SHOT Show 2012 to give us a tour of his tactical periscope.

The SWATSCOPE is a hand held tactical sniper periscope that extends 22 1/2″ above the operator and provides a safe view of hostile territory with a 4X to 9X zoom lens. The aluminum body of the scope is sheathed in 4 mil removable 3M CamoClad material that is flat black. The optics consist of high quality glass prisms and lenses.

Some kind of magic goes on inside the angled tubes of this SWATSCOPE that keeps the image viewed through the eyepiece at the proper upright orientation to the user, no matter how the unit is rotated! It can even be turned 90 degrees to look around a corner and be viewed normally without adjustment. This makes for canting one’s head or trying to decipher a sideways image unnecessary.

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Uncle Mike’s Shot Gunner’s Vest

Uncle Mikes VestUncle Mike’s Law Enforcement products has brought out a load-bearing vest alternately called a Breacher’s Vest or Shot Gunner’s Vest that has a dual application for police officers.

This vest is build specifically for the officer or operator who needs to take aboard a large payload of shotgun shells. Previously, I told you how I felt about the police shotgun in today’s patrol environment and it was favorable.

A shotgun is also a valuable tool in a SWAT situation. The shotgun is undoubtedly the most devastating close quarter weapon that can be wielded by a team member. In some agencies, the shotgun is employed to facilitate door breaching.

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