How Do You BlueSheepDog?

BlueSheepdog patch

The BlueSheepDog Crew is always evaluating the site to see how we can make things better. As we have stated many times already, our primary purpose is to provide America’s law enforcement officers an outstanding resource for:

  • Officer safety concerns
  • Training on key aspects of police work
  • Information on the latest firearms, ammunition, and LE duty gear available
  • Tactics for the modern police officer
  • Trauma treatment and the essentials of TCCC and a good Kit
  • Legal updates from the Federal Courts
  • Firearm and equipment reviews
  • And more …

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“Slow is Smooth and Smooth is Fast”

If you have been on the job for more than 5 years then you have likely heard the tactical training concept, “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast“.

VP9 Action-Image

I’ve been on our SWAT team for nearly 13 years, and I heard this saying early on in my training experience. I want to take a moment to break down the concept of the mantra; the good, the bad, and the ugly! I think there is a lot that can be learned from this training concept, but also a lot of myth that must be dispelled.

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CAA Tactical Training Mags

CAA Tactical Training MagThe MAG30BLK is a training magazine from CAA Tactical that allows for the use of blank ammunition in an AR-style rifle.  The magazine allows blank 5.56 ammo to be inserted and cycled normally through the mag, but makes it physically impossible to load or chamber a live cartridge.

With the unfortunate number of accidental shootings in training in both law enforcement and the military, such a magazine could be very helpful in minimizing needless deaths.  The mag allows trainers to maintain a high degree of realism, but removes one potential source of unintended, tragic consequence.

The CAA Tactical training mags hold 30 blank rounds (5.56 or .223) and is made the same high strength polymer used in the company’s other magazines.

The Winning Mind for Women Seminar in Florida

Dave Smith & AssociatesThe Winning Mind for Women is coming to Tavares, Florida on March 6.  Dave Smith & Associates is conducting the class for female law enforcement officers, which is being sponsored by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Lake Tech Institute of Public Safety.

The course is being taught by Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith, a retired cop with a wealth of experience both on the street and as a dynamic instructor.  In this course, she teaches about winning on and off the job, regardless of the odds plus so much more.  Smith is extremely knowledgeable and I’m sure that all of my sister officers would gain a great deal from her insights.

For more information on this and all of the training events offered by Dave Smith & Associates, click here to go to their website.  Also, as a special note to the Blue Crew members, click here to get your discount code and instantly save 10% off the price of  registration for this and all of their courses.

The Trick to Training Cops

SWAT training

Two of the most common questions I get from officers around the country are: “How did you get started in training?” and “What is your advice for me (someone interested in training)?”

Answering the first one is simple and it’s probably the same answer used by many instructors: “I kind of just fell into it.”  My first ‘gig’ was assisting a PPCT Instructor Trainer friend of mine, Bob Nicholas.  I enjoyed it as doing knee strikes, pressure points and arm bar takedowns was fun.  But there was very little lecture and I didn’t have to put any training points together in a lesson plan.

What moved me to another level was an order by my lieutenant, Dane Cuny, when I was a sergeant.  He dropped the bomb on me during the midnight shift about 22 years ago.  “Hey, you’re going to have to teach a BASSET class.”  “A BASSET class, what the hell is a BASSET class?”  His response was, “I dunno, but it’s got something to do with alcohol serving.  You have to teach it to everyone in the Village who serves booze at every bar and restaurant.  It’s a state certified class and six hours long.”  I went nuts. “Six hours?!  To thousands of people?!  Why the heck do I have to do it?”   “Because I don’t want to,” my commander responded.  And I had no real retort for that, but I still went into a panic.

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Problem Solving in the Aftermath of Disaster

Disaster Response

In 1989, I found myself staring down the throat of Hurricane Hugo, a Category 4 hurricane which frequently gusted up to Category 5 status. My career had spanned a broad range of law enforcement experiences, but I quickly discovered how naïve I really was. The lessons learned didn’t come easy, but they proved invaluable in 1992 when I was dispatched to assist the Homestead (FL) Police Department in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew.

As is typical of most law enforcement organizations, our members had completed a wide variety of training programs considered adequate for preparing for natural disasters. Once the location of Hugo’s projected landfall became evident, the Charleston County (SC) Police Department hastily executed additional training, planning and preparation. But, those of us who experienced the reality of this monster storm will assure you that nothing could have prepared us for what was to come.

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Executive Leadership in Training

“No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair” – General George S. Patton Jr.

Leadership in a law enforcement organization is every bit as important as it is in the military.   Men and women in both organizations are asked to do hard things that most people shrink away from.  A leader can motivate his or her people to act without hesitation in the face of grave danger.

The term leader is not synonymous with supervisor.  A supervisor is someone who holds rank, but not necessarily the respect of his or her subordinates.  A leader inspires people to act, where a supervisor can only get people to act to avoid the consequences of disobeying an order.  Too many police organizations find their administration staffed with supervisors, rather than leaders.

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Continuing Education for Law Enforcement

police trainingLast year (2012), the U.S. Census Bureau reported about 30% of Americans ages 25 and older had a bachelor’s degree. Commenting on the data recorded in March 2011, Census Bureau Director Robert Groves said, “This is an important milestone in our history. For many people, education is a sure path to a prosperous life. The more education people have, the more likely they are to have a job and earn more money, particularly for individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree.”

Census data show police officers mirror this nationwide trend. About 27% (or 175,280) have bachelor’s degrees and 52% (or 335,960) have some college education or an associate degree. The data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau for its 2006-2010 American Community Survey is found in the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Tabulation available via American FactFinder.

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PoliceOne Academy Review

During the past 40 years, video-based training for law enforcement has greatly evolved. Old videos were dry and boring – a “just the facts” presentation. In the ’80s, this began to change.

J.D. “Buck” Savage was a fictional cop created by officer and trainer Dave Smith. The Buck Savage series of videos were humorous demonstrations of what not to do as a cop. No one who survived the police academy in the ’80s or ’90s likely made it through without learning the key Buck Savage phrases, “Watch the hands, rookie” or “Saw drunk, arrested same.”

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TCCC Class Coming Up


A tourniquet carried on an ankle holster can mean the difference between life and death…if you know how to use it.

Saving your butt in a gunfight may come down to how quickly to can properly apply a tourniquet to a wounded limb.  Yes, shooting the suspect and putting them down is a component of your survival, but if you’ve taken rounds your fight for life may have just started.

The United States military developed a system for trauma care in the field called TCCC:  Tactical Combat Casualty Care.  The system has a lot going for it, including it is based on what you can to to help yourself in the most common, survivable injuries experienced in combat.  While most officers are not encountering IEDs or jumping from helos in a hot LZ, we do experience some of the same injuries that TCCC is designed for.

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