Elevating the conversation about all things tactical.
A lone gunman killed 5 Dallas police officers and wounded several others in this 2016 attack following a series of contested officer involved shootings throughout the country. Lessons include ambush and counter-ambush tactics, the militarization of law enforcement, and use of a bomb robot rigged with explosives to subdue the attacker.
In this short episode, Jim introduces the idea of layering safety and security to “trap errors” and mitigate the risk of human error. We want to help you do dangerous jobs safely.
School Shootings seem to be on the rise, is gun control the answer? How many red flags does someone have to show before you intervene? Let’s look at the evidence and learn from the recent cases like Parkland and Uvalde.
Mike & Jim work through the considerations a tactical commander has to account for to accelerate the decision making process, navigate risk, and ultimately encourage initiative and violence of action.
Mike has a quick rant about when someone says “Be safe tonight!” What does that even mean?
People who have worked together long enough can almost read each other’s minds, and that sense of shared consciousness and implicit communication is the secret sauce to taking a team dynamic to the next level. Mike and Jim discuss group dynamics and ways to develop the bonds to take teamwork to the next level.
An ex-police officer went off the deep end and committed a series of ambushes as he sought revenge for alleged injustices that lead to his firing. Christopher Dorner declared “unconventional, asymmetric warfare” against LAPD and targeted police officers and their families, resulting in 4 murders and several other attempts. Dorner’s story ended when Deputies cornered him in a cabin and set the place on fire with burning chemical munitions. Mike tells the story with some editorial on tactics and mis-steps of law enforcement along the way.
Four refugees entered a “Good Guy” electronics store and took over 40 employees hostage. After hours of deteriorating crisis negotiations, a SWAT team conducted a dynamic hostage rescue. We cover the “doomed captives” concept, tactical considerations, and what went right and wrong.
Jim gives us a quick review of the key tactical and strategic lessons coming out of Ukraine, including things like the role of tanks in modern conflict, drones and airpower, and information warfare. Russia has been learning lots of lessons like: stay out of Ukraine!
Whether you are trying to deliver consistent training to thousands of people or manage a major critical incident one thing is for certain: More is not always better. But a lot of tasks at major events are manpower intensive and we need to make the most of the available resources. This is a thought exercise especially for people who work in either really big or really small organizations who want to be able to scale up or down according to their needs, and who need to develop expertise in their front line troops and supervisors.
Mike is a retired Special Agent from Homeland Security Investigations who also worked as a local cop back in the day. Now Mike hosts the ASP Podcast where he deep-dives critical self-defense encounters from both the civilian and public safety worlds. We compare and contrast federal and local law enforcement, and then we talk about some of the aggregate trends and lessons from the interviews he’s done since he started the podcast for Active Self Protection.
You own the culture of your team.
There is more to leadership than rank or titles—and before you know it, you’re the guy or gal with just a few years on when you realize you’re not the rookie any more. We talk about capitalizing on good mentoring and working within your sphere of influence to build a foundation of resourcefulness that will keep you happy, your bosses happy, and set you up for success down the road and avoid toxic or cancerous working environments.
A pet peeve of ours is when people talk about deadly force and say, “Do what you gotta do.” As instructors, using explicit language when teaching about lethal force is vital when there is a threshold that cannot be crossed. We have to help our students mentally prepare and morally reconcile lethal force so that they can be decisive when lives are at stake.
The medical treatment for trauma patients doesn’t change just because there are a lot of them. Managing large scenes is fundamentally a logistics problem and requires leadership, teamwork, and communication. We discuss ways you can learn to deal with triage, incident command, and scene management that doesn’t involve fancy medicine or bigger kits.
In between a harsh word and hollow points we need a stepping stone of some kind, training or a tool for situations which lethal force isn’t called for. Mike and Jim talk advantages and disadvantages of OC Spray, Taser, and other less lethal tools.
With some reasonable preparation, proportional to your personal risk of having to fight at night — you can use the darkness to gain and maintain gross overmatch. Start by sorting out your own personal risk, which should drive your investment in training and equipment. Consider both technical and non-technical ways you can improve your ability to see and screw with your adversary’s ability to see.
Traffic stops are dangerous and unpleasant. A lot of forces converge to make traffic stops dangerous: cops get killed on traffic stops, so they are anxious about them, some communities feel unfairly targeted and perceive a risk from the police, and everyone is at risk to distracted and drunk motorists passing by the stop. No one likes being pulled over, especially if they don’t trust the police. There has to be something we can do to make this whole thing safer and easier for everyone
The subtle, contextual cues that guide our instincts are often tough to put our finger on, but they are also the reason we might approach one person or situation differently than another. The last thing we want to do is leave those decisions up to someone else’s interpretation. It is difficult to teach what stress, deception, and threatening body language look like in training.
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