Craig Dickerson gives a presentation at SHOT Show. (Photo Nicole Reino)
FEATURED IN TRAINING
Note: This is the first part of ongoing recapitulations of SHOT Show training seminars. There was too much to convey in words, but we will try, both inand LawOfficer.com. These courses were excellent, said Mark Richards, Bergenfield (N.J.) PD. The education part of the show made SHOT that much better.
Robert Hindi didn t need an introduction. He didn t need a lectern or a projector or anything at all, really, just a table for some props and some space to walk around in.
I m doing the talking right now, Hindi reminded us, in what came closest to an introduction, but I want to hear from you guys. You guys have the experience and the time on the streets. It s your butts out there on the line! If you hear something you disagree with, challenge me! Take me to the carpet if you hear any bull, okay?
Despite his offer, there was no challenge, only participation as Hindi delved into what is clearly his passion: officer safety. Pretty soon we were off and running.
Sometimes officers do things for bad or misguided reasons, says Hindi. For example, sometimes officers will place items on their duty belts based on a configuration they ve seen in an advertisement that prominently features a product irrespective of officer safety.
There is a better way, with evidence to back it up, says Hindi.
Laid back as he is, he s a firecracker with a baton explosive! As he enumerated the many reasons to retire the friction lock baton in favor of the automatic lock, he made his volunteers look stagnant as he whipped his baton all over and around them.
The problems with friction locks: First, they re aggressive to deploy. The force and noise required to lock them open draws attention and portends struggle. Auto locks, by comparison, are quick and quiet.
Also, you must bang a friction lock baton against the ground to close it, and they re fixed in their position; auto locks, on the other hand, rotate, which is handy in removing an offender from your baton, especially if you drill on this.
The other myth he tackled was the idea that baton length is about reach or striking force. It s not. It s about speed and control.
People choose bigger batons to be big and cool, says Hindi with mock bravado. I had a female officer tell me she chose a 22-inch baton because people made fun of her for using the 19-incher. She pulled that 22-incher on a suspect, who took it from and beat her bad with it.
It s not about a single strike, says Hindi, not most of the time. Often police are dealing with multiple suspects and missed swings. Control and speed are what matter. And to watch the fire cracker that is Bob Hindi wield an auto-lock baton, you might be convinced, even if the friendly rationale hadn t convinced you already.
The reasons for active shooting:
- Stress Inoculation;
- Communications and critical thinking; and
- Tactics and firearms training.
Dickerson showed a great video of his Prince George s County (Md.) training for active shooters, as well as photos of his training with Supreme Court security and other agencies.
And just because a person has a weapon doesn t mean they are a bad guy, says Dickerson. Police must verify that they are shooting the right person before they shoot, which in his training experience, they don t do often.
Most cops will be moderately proficient in handgun techniques; many will be must less proficient; and those few who develop a high level of proficiency will require a lot of time, commitment and ammo to maintain it, so they will most likely lose their edge. Therefore, simple is better.
Simple is easier to teach, to learn and to remember, Spaulding says. But it doesn t necessarily look cool. Remember: practice, anchor and maintain.
Simple is better in training. Do what works for you, says Spaulding, whether that s drawing with booth arms straight or with one bent or with both bent do what comes naturally and what requires minimal movement to achieve. Keep it simple.
Don t worry about arcane arguments for and against pistol grips, says Spaulding. The best shooters have their own ways of shooting that work for them.
Simple is better in firearms selection. Officers should choose a weapon that suits their grip, with recoil that won t overwhelm them.
Also don t weigh your weapons down with fancy gadgets. A lot of this newest-coolest-Navy Seal-ninja-laser stuff don t work, says Spaulding. Not when you need it.
Above all, officers must be prepared, and this means they must practice with the awareness that the gun they are using they may use to kill someone. Every officer must be prepared to kill, says Spaulding.
What are law enforcement officers? You are the people who try to find the people who prey on the citizens you re sworn to protect, says Spaulding. If you do that long enough look for the bad guys and disrupt them you re going to get yourself into trouble.
You can get excellent firearms training without firing, says Spaulding. Practice your draw, your reload skills and deal with a malfunction. The hardest thing to maintain is concentration. If you don t have time to be doing what you re doing, you re not doing it well.
But keep the in mind as you practice, says Spaulding: Felons don t think the way we do. They don t think about reasonable force. They re going to win. They don t fear cops. They look forward to it. Most cops don t look forward to it. Or if they do, we fire them.
When it comes to handgun techniques, Dave Spaulding keeps it simple and serious.
The laughter from Graham s seminar was probably disruptive to other classes but anyone who s seen him speak should know that he s uncommonly hilarious. That s not to say he s not serious. He s uncommonly serious too. He just uses humor to convey his message. He burns it into your gut muscle memory.
There are three basic rules that form the foundation of Graham s discipline:
- There are no new ways to get in trouble.
- There is always a better way to stay out of trouble.
- Things that go wrong in life are predictable andpredictableispreventable.
Graham also taught a course on tactical report writing, which featured 10 tips known as GRIID (Graham s Rules for the Improvement of Incident Documentation). They are:
- Incident documentation is an essential component of your job. If you can t write, you are in the wrong profession. Hey boss! Hire people who can write.
- Take timely notes during incidents. This is a dying art.
- Remember why documentation is essential and what it will be used for. Write reports that are factual in nature.
- Before you put pencil to paper (or fingers on a keyboard), think.
- Remember the importance of clarity.
- Don t forget the five W s and the 2 H s(how and how many)
- Remember the importance of accuracy.
- Always proofread your documentation.
- Be accurate, and if you re right, don t change it.
- Learn from your experiences.
Graham seems like a pretty smart dude. Follow these steps and you ll be OK.