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Thread: Citizens Academy

  1. #1
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

    Citizens Academy

    Having known and talked with several of our local finest, and having been to two classes where I've met the Chief of Police of our city of 416,427 people as well as some of his best officers on the force, I would like to start this thread, not as a Colorado-specific thread, but as a way of sharing my impression with these officers with you.

    I'll begin with what I learned from tonight's Citizens Academy Class, our second, then backtrack to the first before moving on.

    Tonight we gathered at the Training Academy, where we interacted with two principle instructors, and had the opportunity to use the FATS (Firearms Training Simulator).

    Before I begin, however, I'd like to like to preface that my desire to relate this is a result of my claim that "If someone fires shots at me, being armed allows me to fire back. Except I don't miss..." Another here on this forum responded, "Just curious, but how many times have you shot at another human being who's shooting at you? I'm just wondering If your confidence that you don't miss comes from punching holes in paper targets or if it comes from punching holes in another human. I would like to think I train and shoot more than a common criminal, but since I've never put my training up against a living target who's shooting back at me, it would be pretty foolish to claim I don't miss."

    Good points, and you can view my full response to him, here.

    Meanwhile, what I learned in tonight's class is that our law enforcement brethren are taught to take cover, the same as I was taught in the military. Yet tonight, in the simulator, I didn't take cover at all. I just let the perp have it. As for my claim that "I don't miss," it's not so much that I don't miss as it is that I won't miss, particularly in a crowd. If we're in the middle of nowhere, I'll send lead downrange as fast as I can, but if we're in a crowded restaurant, I'm not going to risk hitting a bystander near the perp, unless the perp himself is spraying wildly and need to stop him right now supersedes a clean shot.

    Interestingly, tonight we also went through the factors involved in shooting situations, and they include:
    - level of light
    - number of people
    - type of weapon
    - officer/subject (size/strength/capability of each)
    - type of call (domestic disturbance, bar fight, etc.)
    - priority of life

    The last had it's own list:
    - hostage
    - victim
    - witness
    - fellow officer
    - self
    - suspect

    Even then, there's a Risk/Benefit analysis going on all the time. Although a shooting may be justified, it may not be necessary. It depends on the situation.

    What I learned from tonight's class, of which I barely touched on with the above, is that these situations can be very complex. However, one thing our instructor hammered home quite well is this:
    Observation - about all we can rationally discern of another person are their physical characteristics - height, weight, clothing, color, etc. But observation often leads to judgement, which involves drawing conclusions, and if the conclusions are wrong, then you're own resulting actions are likely to be wrong.

    Instead, he emphasized behavior, as this is what's actually happening. Everyone at a scene is a potential suspect, a potential victim, a potential eyewitness, and a potential bystander until the facts say otherwise. Is a potential suspect wielding a knife? Are they doing so because they're intending to harm another, or because they're in fear of the other person harming them? Wielding a knife isn't itself articulable justification for a shooting. If the knife wielder holds it in a menacing way AND advances towards a potential suspect...

    Behavior is everything.

    I learned that a lawfully-armed, law-abiding citizen is, statistically speaking, most likely to survive a shooting scene where you're the shooter when law enforcement arrives if you're unarmed, hands up 45 deg and fingers spread wide, than by doing anything else. They'll cuff you, consider you a suspect until proven otherwise. Obviously, if you need to keep perps at bay via gunpoint, and that's fine, so long as you immediately comply with LEO upon their arrival. If they say, "drop it!" do so and put your hands up without question. When they arrive, they're in control of the situation, and you're now one citizen against more than one law-enforcement officer. They want to get their man, but they want to be sure it's the right man i.e. the perp, and not just some law-abiding citizen whose been exercising his second amendment rights for years until some stupid thug crawls into his life and tries ruining his day.

    They get that. Well, at least these guys did. I hope most of our local force do.

    This scenario was the result of my asking a short but pertinent serious of questions with respect to what do we law-abiding citizens do if we ever have to use our firearms? I covered situations in which the perp was dead, in which case I could re-holster, as well as if he were merely wounded, in which case I might have to keep him at gunpoint until law enforcement arrived. In thinking through this scenario, I realized an LEOs arriving on scene might mistake me for the perp!

    What I also learned is that the procedures of our local department would sequester the entire situation, including the actual perp, and that at some point, if I'd called my local law enforcement, I'd either have to trust they would handle the situation appropriately, or that I'd have to beat feet and deal with them later. I also realized if I did so later, it'd probably be as a suspect, and fraught with as much, if not not more danger than if I'd just laid down arms at the scene.

    Well, this is my two cents. What's yours?
    I no longer have any confidence in the moderation or administration of this forum. Nonetheless, the First STILL protects the Second, and the Second protects the First! Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and other founding documents. If you're going to do anything at all, do it right!

  2. #2
    Herr Heckler Koch
    Citizens police-academies are valuable, more so when they are well and honestly done. CALEA accreditation might/should include CPAs. An accredited CPA should be a prerequisite to citizen review boards.

  3. #3
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
    I see nothing at odds with what the CSPD is telling us and CALEA standards. I'll pass it on.

    I do see, however, how the CSPD has exceeded CALEA standards in a couple of regards, so perhaps they're simply forging ahead with their own program.

    We may be independent, but we're extraordinarily well-trained and resourceful.
    Last edited by since9; 03-23-2012 at 06:49 AM.
    I no longer have any confidence in the moderation or administration of this forum. Nonetheless, the First STILL protects the Second, and the Second protects the First! Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and other founding documents. If you're going to do anything at all, do it right!

  4. #4
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    White Oak Plantation
    Did you ask what LE 'assumes' if the (you) shooter clammed up until a lawyer is present?

    Did you ask how the physical handling of the (you) shooter is done where there is zero resistance? Like, getting proned out, arms wrenched behind you, tackled from the blind side. Not specious questions, these physical restraint/control tactics are routinely used where they appear to not be appropriate. Or, do/will they just ask you to turn around and apply the cuffs? Knowing what to expect may influence a response to LE where cooperation is concerned.

    Will they shoot you if you ask to gently place my $1000 pistol on the ground? Or just drop it and suck up the damage/cost to repair.

    Do cops always have to shout when they see you? Unless, of course LE has learned that people with guns, in their hand, become extremely hard of hearing.

    What about conflicting orders from multiple cops at the same time?.....Las Vegas COSTCO.

    Did the instructors premise their information that every LEO that responds is going to follow the applicable law(s), department policy and procedure?

    Sounds good on paper, in the classroom, but practical application is what we need to prepare for.

    Good stuff....thanks.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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