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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just some advice.

The question was posed to me recently.

So I get out of the car on this man with a gun call, make the turn around the house and bang, im cught flatfooted away from cover, hes got the gun pointed at the ground, what do I do?

Answer, "hes got as much time as it takes you to draw a good center body mass bead on him, if he hasnt dropped it by then , shoot"

Rebuttal "but hes not pointing it at anyone!"

So off to the range we go......

I tell the new officer ok point at your target aiim center body mass

and he does.

i move to the target to his left and about 5 feet ahead (this allows him to clearly see my right hand)

I hold my hand cannon (in this case to make it obvious a Ruger Vaquero stainless ) pointed at the ground by my side.

I verify that he can clearly see my gun and he replies in the affirmative.

THE GROUND IS SET

the instruction, shoot your target when my gun begins to move

The result: 8/10 times he loses. i shoot (marginal hits sometimes ) before he can unloose his first shot.

Done again with my hands held in surrender position facing the target as well as facing away from the target (shooting over my shoulder)

Result, cop still loses over half the time!

WE all know this action beats reaction, the change occurs when we video tape this and show it to all the officers.

This allows for four things.

1. Officers get a wakeup call that doesnt cost them anything.

2. It can be classified as training for the officer

3. For reason two it can introduced as graphic evidence in court of why we acted the way we did (tried showing civilians and they were impressed and educated)

4. Because it was "training" it makes it harder for the agency to sever its liability from the officer, giving them a vested interest in protecting your actions in court.

this can also be used to demonstarate the Tuller sp? drill covering knives.

The key is to Tape it, nothing works in court better than what the jury can see!!! and exposure as training makes it available to introduce as the officers being exposed to the training.

For the record, i switched places with the officer during the test and i never beat the 50/50 odds, so it wasnt that i was lightning fast. Just the action reaction time wwe all should know.
 

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Good point, CC. The other way to test the Tueller drill is with a paper painters suit, eye protection, and a magic marker. Officer in suit tries to draw an UNLOADED gun before a role player 7 yards away can touch him with the marker. Also, remind folks that one shot, even a CNS hit, may not keep you from getting stabbed/killed.

The other method I used was two officers, back to back, at the 7 yard line. On the "GUN" command (not fire), the officer facing downrange draws and fires at the target. At the same time, the officer facing uprang starts to run as fast as he/she can. The runner throws his hat down when he hears the shot, and stops as fast as he can. I had some students leave their hats on the 25 yard line!
 

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At best the human brain has approx a 3/4 second lag time to acknowledge, decide and act...

Training and mindset can decrease the reaction time...but not by much...

Good luck and stay safe!
 

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My question, regardless of the fact that it takes longer to react to hostile action than it does for him to take it, is this: Does the mere presence of a firearm justify an officer opening fire? I would say definetely not and I question what exactly you are training officers to do here.

coastalcop said:
Answer, "hes got as much time as it takes you to draw a good center body mass bead on him, if he hasnt dropped it by then , shoot"
Then again he has to react to your action of drawing and presenting before he can drop it. Thats a helluva Catch-22 there.

Why not several verbal commands first?
 

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It is the same lag time as EVOC braking drills. You SEE the firearm. Your brain tells your fight or flight adrenalin trigger to set your body in motion and then, your body begins to take action. I faced this once in the real world. I had to draw and fire while still seatbelted in the car. I had answered a shots fired call. The shooter was 5150 and armed with a 12 bore. I arrived on scene as he stepped from cover with the 12 bore to port arms. I knew an officer who tried verbal commands on a knife wielder. He had nice funeral. The knife wielder crossed to him and stabbed him in the femoral artery. The officer was dead before the first back up arrived. If there is a threat, eliminate it.
 

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Shots fired IMO changes things.

My question is about the man with gun situation described. Somone merely has a gun in their hand as you come upon them before you give them any commands, or maybe even before they register that you are a cop. You can legally and morally justify drawing and firing if they cant drop it before you can make a good shot?

Quite a stretch.

You dont even know why they have a gun out.

Now that I think about it shots fired doesnt necessarily change it either. They could be perfectly justified in shooting, depending on the circumstances.

On the other hand if somone with a knife moves to within range of you, or reaches towards what could be a weapon after you are within range thats another story. I would pop them in that situation as well.

I wanna make it clear I am on your guys side. I want you to be safe out there while you do your job. Im just extremely uncomfortable with the idea of immediately drawing and firing just because someone has a gun. Drawing absolutely.

What do other people think?
 

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An officer should identify themselves as such and attempt to command a situation. The circumstance of a weapon being present changes things period. Drawing a weapon as a response to a weapon is simply good tactics. If an officer feels threatened by a armed threat, deadly force may be used as a response. A recent example I am familiar with involved a detective who attempted to make a domestic violence arrest IN a PD. The suspect turned and began using the handcuff chain to choke out the detective. Officers responding to the detectives aid used mace and phsical force to attempt to subdue the attacker. The detective suffered oxygen deprivation and the attacker threw off three officers and escaped. I suggest that deadly force was the only proper response. It was not used and a detective is disabled. The attacker was arrested and charged with attempted murder of a LEO. The officers said that they were following the agency's policy on escalating use of force. This agency had a officer injured earlier when a suspect drug him off as he was ordering a driver out. That officer made many mistakes and almost died as a result. Deadly force is a Catch-22. The greater threat to the public must be considered. I have been beefed for using deadly force. A proby was cut by a homeless bum. The homeless bum was shot. There was a question as to whether the homeless bum was a threat. My defense was that the homeless bum was armed, had cut a LEO and was within 21 feet of me. I based my decision to fire on that 21 feet. The homeless bum could have crossed that distance and cut or stabbed me. I gave no verbal commands as there wasn't time to. I only had time to assess and respond to the threat of an armed attacker. There is just not enough time to try to deal politely with a armed subject sometimes. You also have to consider the suicide by cop angle. These suicidal people are homicidal also. When there is a calm and cool environment, talk is cheap and sometimes works out. The armed subject requires heightened response. I am of the old school. A suspect who chooses to resist should be dealt with as hard and fast as possible. LTL force is a great option if there is time. Time is as precious as blood. I never give up either one easily.
 

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I absolutely agree with all that. Im not trying to tie your hands. Im also not saying drawing your pistol or even taking out a rifle or shotgun wouldnt be appropriate when responding to somone who has a gun.

I was just asking if it was really considered appropriate to give a person with a gun in a non threatening posture (for reasons completely unknown to you) only as long to drop it as it takes you to get the weapon on target before you fire. Especially in the circumstances described of coming around a corner and bam there they are.

That to me seems too fast.

Then again, if they watch you drive up the block towards them in a cop car with lights and siren goin and they dont put their hands up its a whole different story.
 

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The Hollyweird idea of responding wit lights and siren is not reality. Our training is better than that. units may respond Code 3 to the vicinity. There is too great a probability of accidents or backlighting an officer. The silent approach is preferred. An officer will try to use any means to defuse a situation first. I would never use a firearm first except when a life is threatened, a imminent danger of death or great physical injury is about to or is occuring or to prevent a rape. That is about it for use of deadly force. The LEO of today is smarter and better equipped than ever. They still carry firearms to deal with SHTF. Until somebody develops a sonic CNS disconnect it will be the brain, the firearm and the trigger that will settle some incidents. LEOs bleed and die. They are human. I wish there were a better way sometimes. There are alternatives when there is time. If you walk into a armed aggressor, there and then is NOT the time to qoute the penal code, statutes or annotated codes. Instincts, training and muscle memory are all you have. The ideal would be to have better intel before walking around that corner. I am reminded of the old bovine BM v. churning butter saying.
 

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coastalcop said:
The question was posed to me recently.

So I get out of the car on this man with a gun call, make the turn around the house and bang, im caught flatfooted away from cover, hes got the gun pointed at the ground, what do I do?

Answer, "hes got as much time as it takes you to draw a good center body mass bead on him, if he hasnt dropped it by then , shoot"
My objection was to this statement and I wanted to talk about that. Seems too fast to me to just draw and fire as soon as you can. If I had to make the call tommorrow Id dive back around the corner for cover and verbally challenge the person.

If cops are out there being trained to just draw and fire with the only chance for surrender being the time between them realizing a cop is drawing on them and the cop getting on target quite frankly that scares the hell out of me. Depending on the speed of the guy doing the drawing and shooting and the awareness of the guy getting drawn on thats probably somewhere between a second and change and no time at all.

Thats all.
 

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No problem. The dive back around the corner isn't likely though. CoastalCop and others are not likely to be afforded that option. The armed agressor need only fire. I saw this in a shootout years ago with bank robbers. A deputy and a trooper were both shot as they ducked for cover. Back up units found both by their driver side wheelwells. Their duty weapons were still strapped in their holsters. A prowler call can get dicey at night. I have stepped into motion detector lights and been lit up. I have had homeowners yell at me and come out of their houses with dogs, golf clubs and firearms. Tension escalates but, they settle down when they see a uniform and verbal ID. A BG with a firearm or knife is able usually to find cover and ambush an officer. I witnessed this once when a BG popped up out of a dumpster. An officer covered him with a 12 bore. The officer said that he would have shot the BG. The reason he didn't was that he saw his hands were empty. I would say that a officer pumped on adrenalin and looking for a prowler that pops up out of a dumpster and the BG isn't shot, is a sign of good judgement and observation. There are not many LEOs that would be able to backflip or dive out of a OS encounter. The last place you want to be is on the ground and sprained, strained or broken while the BG is advancing. When a LEO thinks that putting on a badge can make them bulletproof, leap tall buildings, run faster than a train or bend steel, it is time for a shrink and a dose of reality. No offense meant. I don't believe that a fractured coccyx bone would be much fun. If a Texas Constable had been alert and agressive, he wouldn't be used as a training tool at the academy. The firearm is another tool to keep you alive. I use the analogy of a carpenter and his tool belt. There is nothing there that is not purposeful. The same applies to a Sam Brown.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Mus

Sorry , been out of the office for a bit. I was identifing the response to the threat, commands are always yelled, but your focus had better be on surviving.

Because we are already behind the reaction loop in this example we need to catch up FAST. I cannot count on the good graces of the BG to ensure our survival.

Has the LEO community become a little more cynical? Depends on where you measure from, we dont shoot feeling burglars anymore, but we do intend to go home at night, i am sure that you would not want to argue with me if you were in your back yard investigating the weird noise , turn and see Joe police officer. You are going to drop your gun right? Sure hope so.


Was on a multi agency raid a while back (always a risky thing) plainclothes.

Bust went down, my badge got pulled out of inside my shirt and was hanging on my neck by a chain, I turned the corner of the building and bang , theres a guy in uniform, I dont know!!!!!!!(correct uniform for that agency and had the right cop "feel" to him)

I ditched my piece as he started to challenge, Dropped to my knees (skinning them in the process, as I was still moving) put my hands on my head, all the while yelling "im a cop dont shoot me"

Turns out he wasnt briefed on the raid (he was on the infamous "routine" patrol) but saw the activity and came to assist

Not being from his agency , he didnt know me, with me wearing a "loud" shirt the badge wasnt readily visible to him.

His reaction to challenge and draw a bead, my reaction to ditch the gun and work it out later. We did get it worked out, he apologized and I told him that he did NOTHING wrong, he saw a credible threat and reacted to it. In this case we were bothe lucky in that we reacted about the same time.
 

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Raids in plain clothes are a big no no. We do it, but only if we strap on overt armor that says Federal Agent or a bright raid jacket that says POLICE all over it. I try to be as visable as possible. I even like to have police on the back of my helmet and on the sides of my headgear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Fed

Fed ,

I would really like to do that as well, but some uc and most buy bust operations cannot be done that way, calculated risk sometimes.

Long time ago i heard of an agency that sent in the UC with a sweatshirt or t-stirt displaying the famous leaf (yes that green bud) with the logo "Caveat Emptor" underneath, thought is was very funny as i have seen shirts like this, never heard how long it took the bad guys to catch on.
 

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Ok now that you guys are talking in greater detail and describing actual situations you are talking about far more hesitation than was talked about in the original post. That post really got my attention.

If the purpose is just to train officers to appreciate how far behind they are if they are forced to react thats fine.

I can just think of plenty of scenarios where somone other than a BG has a gun for a legitimate reason, and the time it takes to get out a gun and get a good center mass hit isnt enough time for a good guy to react to that and surrender.

PS the Tshirt with the Caveat Emptor slogan is hilarious. Whats the chances of a pothead making the connection.
 

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CC, in most departments, unholstering a weapon is NOT a step up in the Use of Force doctrine. Is it not OK for your officers to answer a 'man with a gun' call with weapon already unholstered, pointed down or concealled behind your leg, especially if in the immediate area of the call?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
DD

Duh I see where the problem is , sorry , when talking to him his weapon was holstered, and I was writing from the office not the street, my bad

Absolutely, its ok, recommended in fact.

Though not policy officially it is the unwritten rule in my agency that "Gun" calls are answered with the 14 inch entry 12 gauge or the ar-15. I am a firm believer in superior firepower, and its effect on the psyche of the BG. And if they dont respond by surrendering we are ahead of the game (usually) if it comes to a shootout.

The training described though, already has the officer pointing center body mass with his duty weapon, still cant transition to firing the weapon before the BG (in this case me) can twist and shoot. Why? Because I was initiating the action.

the act of aligning and shooting takes even longer.

WE could also argue that he should have "sliced the pie" etc around the corner, fact of the matter is , we all screw up occasionally, and we usually dont enjoy the home field advantage.

Keep in mind the pendulum is finally swinging back SLOWLY from liability to officer survival, training like this helps the adjustment.
Do I honestly think that my officers are going to take this black&white a view....... No probably not, will it make them less likely to hesitate.... I sure hope so

Too many times the brain goes into neutral under stress , i dont want them thinking about the liability, i want them thinking about winning, and understanding ahead of time (by exposure) the reaction time needed to win.

Thanks for everyones comments so far.
 

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Re: DD

coastalcop said:
Though not policy officially it is the unwritten rule in my agency that "Gun" calls are answered with the 14 inch entry 12 gauge or the ar-15. I am a firm believer in superior firepower, and its effect on the psyche of the BG. And if they dont respond by surrendering we are ahead of the game (usually) if it comes to a shootout.
Im a firm believer in superior firepower as well. We had an incident here locally where an officer responded to a naked crazy guy yelling at people and pounding on peoples cars in an intersection. If I remember correctly he was insane and on crack. The cop approached the suspect, was physically overpowered and shot and killed with his own gun. I wish they had different SOPs for such situations like getting out a patrol rifle taking cover and waiting for backup before you talk an obvious crazy into handcuffs over many gun barrels. But they did not apparently, and it got this guy killed.

coastalcop said:
Keep in mind the pendulum is finally swinging back SLOWLY from liability to officer survival, training like this helps the adjustment. Do I honestly think that my officers are going to take this black&white a view....... No probably not, will it make them less likely to hesitate.... I sure hope so
The first time you shoot an innocent citizen in their backyard liability is gonna come swinging back in with a vengeance. It really did seem too black and white that first post around and Im glad that subsequent posts were able to clarify that.

I want to make it clear I am not a police officer. Just a pro law enforcement pro 2nd amendment kind of guy who doesnt want to get shot on a guy with gun or shots fired call if I ever have to defend a family member from an intruder out in the backyard.

;)
 
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