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THE TEN DEADLY ERRORS

THAT HAVE KILLED EXPERIENCED OFFICERS

                                                

1. YOUR ATTITUDE
If you fail to keep your mind on the job while on patrol or you carry home problems into the field, you will start to make errors. It can cost you or fellow officers their lives. 

2. TOMBSTONE COURAGE
No one doubts that you are all police; but in any situation where time allows, wait for the backup. There are few instances where alone, unaided, you should try and make a dangerous apprehension.

3. NOT ENOUGH REST
To do your job you must be alert. Being sleepy or asleep on the job endangers yourself, the community, and your fellow officers.

4. TAKING A BAD POSITION
Never let anyone you are questioning or about to stop get in a better position than you and your vehicle. There is no such thing as a routine call or stop. TACTICS, TACTICS, TACTICS!

5. IGNORING DANGER SIGNS
As an officer, you will come to recognize "danger signs". Furtive movements, strange cars, warnings that should alert you to watch your step and approach with caution. Know your beat, your community, and watch for what is "out of place".

6. FAILURE TO WATCH HANDS OF A SUSPECT
Is he or she reaching for a weapon or getting ready to strike you? Where else can a potential killer strike but from his or her hands. 

7. RELAXING TOO SOON
The deadly "rut" of false alarms that are continually accidentally set off. Observe activity. Never take any call as routine or just another false alarm. It's YOUR life on the line!

8. IMPROPER USE OR NO HANDCUFFS
Once you have made an arrest, handcuff the prisoner promptly and  properly. See that the hands that can kill are safely cuffed.

9. NO SEARCH OR POOR SEARCH
There are so many places to hide weapons that your failure to search is a crime against fellow officers. Many criminals carry several weapons and are able and prepared to use them against you. 

10. DIRTY OR INOPERATIVE WEAPON
Is your weapon clean? Will it fire? How about ammo? What's the sense of carrying any firearm that may not work?

Liddell's Eleventh Deadly Error:

11.  FAILURE TO CHECK YOUR EQUIPMENT BEFORE EACH  AND EVERY SHIFT.

If you were parachute jumping would you jump without checking the chute? We aren't much different.

Check the equipment on which your life, and others, may depend!  Flashlight operating?  Weapon in holster? Weapon loaded and/or round chambered?   Spare ammo in pouches?   Sounds silly but officers have gotten into shootouts only to find they forgot to refill their ammo pouches after the last range session. Is your ammo clean?  Magazines dented or lips damaged? Shotgun or patrol rifle clean and properly loaded? Mace, OC, stun gun, handcuffs  or baton in good repair and properly operating? ARE YOU WEARING YOUR VEST?!


Sometimes we forget............

That we ply a dangerous trade.

That 100% of our calls involve at least one individual with a gun... even if that individual happens to be us.

That while the soldier in combat is in contact with the enemy occasionally we are potentially in contact with "enemies" every moment of every shift. 

That for the military the issues of identification of friend and foe are fairly clear; ours are less clearly defined. We have to decide as fast as he, and react appropriately and legally; often with less warning or preparation.

That we can be confronted with violence, essentially with combat,  with little or no warning. A stop at a convenience store can interrupt a robbery in progress and put you in the middle of a firefight -- for your life.

That we must anticipate this danger as a constant --like a point man on patrol it is going to erupt up close and personal;  an ever-present factor of every call, every contact, every move, every stop.

To always know where your nearest available cover or concealment is.  Know the difference and have a mental plan on how to get there.

That as the combat soldier checks his weapons and gear in preparation for an operation, WE too need to be equally dedicated to checking ours. The gear on your belt.  The gear in your unit. And most importantly the gear in your head! It's our lives, the lives of fellow Officers and citizens that we are betting if we gamble.

To keep your head on a swivel, don't get tunnel vision.

If you have to shoot, shoot and move.  You are harder to hit when moving.  We plant our feet on the range, squared off the target that is always directly ahead of us, and most don't practice moving and shooting: we should.

We should be nice to everyone  but have a plan to engage everyone in sight.


 Home Up

     Last updated: 20-09-2013 00:36:57              Copyright 1998 William L. Liddell