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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