Avoiding The Dog Response

We spend an inordinate amount of time training officers to act tactically, but maybe we need to go a step further and assign an officer to the role of safety officer.

When I worked on a Methamphetamine Clandestine Lab Unit we had a Site Safety Officer. That person had the sole responsibility of determining when a scene needed to be shut down for the protection of none-other but the cops working it. When everybody's mind was geared toward finding, preserving, collecting evidence, and building the case for prosecution, the Site Safety Officer was focused on one thing - Officer Safety. In theory this same role can be applied to a policing incident where multiple officers are working an incident. For instance, while several officers are standing outside of a home thinking how do we get in to find the wanted subject, the safety officer better be thinking, Houses are ambush zones, how do we get out; can we do this another way. My point is this, not everyone needs to be thinking, How do we find the crook?. Somebody always better think - How do we stay alive here? I think in order for this to work, there has to be a conscious decision at roll call to appoint someone that task and everyone agrees that person has the authority (much like on the range for a safety violation) to pull the plug on an ongoing operation when it gets too dangerous.

Going back to the looming U.S. Supreme Court ruling impacting the emergency situation entry: if the Court supports the warrantless entry position once again, great. But just because we can legally, should we? I'm pretty sure the Justices are looking at this case with their Constitutional eyeglasses on and not from the viewpoint of a kill zone, otherwise known as a living room, when the offender is holding an assault rifle. Let's keep things in perspective when it comes to getting the bad guy. If it means they get to flush dope down a toilet and you have to wait another day to get them so be it. You don't deserve to die for a Misdemeanor or for any other crime.

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