The Law Officer team will be posting Below 100 tips once a week to promote officer safety awareness (See Part 1). These tips will be simple concepts and reminders that you can implement into your daily work routine. For more information on Below 100, check out Below100.com.
21. Give yourself the advantage. Position yourself with the sun or bright lights at your back when doing contacts in the field. You can see your subject better and their vision and ability to attack will be decreased.
22. Don’t stand in front of a driver's door during a stop. The driver only needs to shove the door open to knock you down or push you into oncoming traffic. Stand behind the edge of the driver’s door.
23. After you make the initial contact on a traffic stop, consider moving to a point just past the driver’s door while talking to the driver. You’ll be able to see a different interior view and keep an eye on oncoming traffic. Better yet, consider a passenger side contact when possible.
24. Never, never stand between two cars on the side of the road. Many officers have lost their legs or been fatally crushed when an oncoming car strikes the rear of the patrol car.
25. Does your body armor fit? Gaps on the side, under the arms and riding too high put you at additional risk. You have to have coverage to be protected.
26. Take a look in the mirror before you go in the field. What does your appearance tell the bad guy about you? Command presence or complacent putz? Remember: Complacency Kills!
27. Are you lucky enough to have a K-9 partner? Remember: Heat is a killer and water is a must.
28. Did you know that heart attacks are responsible for a lot of police deaths? And it’s not just the old guys. Get your check-up. Know your blood pressure. And stay in shape!
29. Do you know someone who pushes the envelope? First to a call, first in the door, waiving cover on calls? Time for a courageous conversation. Cops have to take risks but they need to be reasonable in relation to the situation.
30. When’s the last time you did a thorough strip down, clean and lubricate on your service weapon? Too many guns collect dust bunnies in the holster. Take the time to make sure it’s ready to go because you won’t get any advance warning.