Developing Smarter, Safer, More Successful Law Enforcement Officers

Posts by Crawford Coates:

Straining The Line

Dec 06, 2018 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Training
By: Crawford Coates

The thin blue line is strained. The strain is getting worse by the day. But what if the thin blue line breaks? What I mean by this is: Where will society be when no one wants to do the job anymore? Law enforcement agencies across the country are facing increasing shortages due to retirements, transfers, and a major decrease in applicants trying to get into the academy. The retiring generation often bought into the job at a time when major narco... Full Article »

To Serve & Protect

Dec 04, 2018 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Patrol & Training
By: Crawford Coates

“Not all men are created equal, but only the finest become police officers.” This anonymous quote is embroidered in thick, black letters on an oval shaped slab of concrete resting in the center of my backyard garden. My hero may not have a cape or a mask, but he does have a badge. My dad, Officer Wierenga, is my Michigan hero. My dad is a police officer, if you haven't figured that out yet. Everyday he is a hero. It's his job. Everyday, as s... Full Article »

Tactical Paraphrasing

Nov 30, 2018 in Defensive Tactics & Fitness & Health & Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Patrol & Training
By: Crawford Coates

‘Active Listening’ dominates discourse on ‘deescalation,’ at least as far as classes and training seminars go. As for using it in the field, however, that’s another story. The Problem You are in a situation where you are trying to calm down an agitated individual. In classic form of active listening, the officer is told to use stilted language like: “What I hear you saying is …” or “What you are sharing with me is …” The ... Full Article »

GRAPHIC: Officers Shoot Man in Restaurant

Nov 15, 2018 in Law Enforcement Today & Video
By: Crawford Coates

As reported by Muskogee (Okla.) Police Department has released body cam video of the officer-involved shooting that left a suspect dead earlier this week. Andrew Kana was shot and killed November 12 while being arrested on felony warrants, according to MPD.  Three officers were taking Kana into custody at the I Don't Care Bar and Grill on West Shawnee Street Monday afternoon. They had a tip from a 911 caller that Kana was at the ... Full Article »

Even Cops Get Depressed

Oct 30, 2018 in Fitness & Health & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival
By: Crawford Coates

I was a police officer for 30 years, I’ve taught Criminal Justice for 14 years, and I’ve dealt with Major Depression Disorder for 20 years. The purpose of this article is to describe my experience with Major Depression, which may assist police officers who are experiencing symptoms of depression or know someone with depression. What Happened As Charles Dickens wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” I loved my wif... Full Article »

Crash Reconstruction & Drones: The Gateway Drug

Oct 23, 2018 in Defensive Tactics & Driving & Roadway & Law Enforcement Today & Officer Safety & Survival & Patrol & Training
By: Crawford Coates

If you were a child of the '80s and grew up during the "War on Drugs" era of Nancy Reagan "Just say no" slogans and Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) programs spreading through schools in the U.S., then you’re no stranger to what a gateway drug is. In case you aren’t familiar with the definition of a gateway drug I will save you the Google search: It’s a habit-forming drug that, while not itself addictive, may lead to the use of ot... Full Article »

Leadership Without Title

Oct 09, 2018 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Patrol & Training
By: Crawford Coates

Leadership is a vital component to any given organization and it can be argued that leadership or the lack thereof can lead to the success or demise of an organization. Throughout the years in my law enforcement career I have noticed a couple of key takeaways about leadership. One thing that’s become evident to me is that not everyone understands the true meaning of leadership. There are many who believe that leaders have to possess a title i... Full Article »

The Myth of Pain Compliance

Oct 02, 2018 in Defensive Tactics & Fitness & Health & Officer Safety & Survival & Training
By: Crawford Coates

Almost 20 years ago, I attended a conference and listened to law enforcement trainer Phil Messina talk about the problems of using pain compliance to stop a violent attacker. This was well before I went into law enforcement myself, and, at the time, I scratched my head and wondered why he was spending so much of the limited class time to make an argument that seemed self-evident. After all, the act of attacking someone is inherently painful. If s... Full Article »

Street Survival II: The Legacy Continues

Sep 25, 2018 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival
By: Crawford Coates

There would be no Calibre Press without Street Survival: Tactics for Armed Encounters. Printed in March of 1980, the book was written by Special Agent Ronald J. Adams, Lt. Thomas M. McTernan, and Charles Remsberg—an instant classic. [caption id="attachment_11473" align="alignright" width="178"] The legacy continues: Available today![/caption] “When you look at line-of-duty deaths over time,” says Dale Stockton, a retired Carlsbad (Cal... Full Article »

Of Rookies: Rekindling the Blue Flame

Sep 06, 2018 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Training
By: Crawford Coates

Every time we start reading anything that starts with “Once upon a time …” we can almost predict that the closing will end with something like “… and they lived happily ever after.” Most of the time such stories share epic tales with a message in the background, like those stories of police “rookies.” For most police veterans the word rookie carries a negative connotation of inexperience, overzealousness, curiosity and everything... Full Article »

Why “Deescalation” is Becoming a Problematic Word

Aug 30, 2018 in Fitness & Health & Law Enforcement Today & Officer Safety & Survival & Patrol & Training
By: Crawford Coates

Violence is always ugly. A lot of the public believes, however, that if the violence justified, it will look as clean as a John Wayne movie. If it looks disturbing or if someone (other than an officer) is hurt, all too many people assume that police must have done something wrong. In increasing numbers of cases, particularly when it involves someone who may (also) be suffering from some form of emotional or mental disability, the talismanic phr... Full Article »

Emerging Issues: Alternatives to Enforcement

Aug 30, 2018 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership
By: Crawford Coates

Emerging Issues in American Policing is a quarterly digest intended for police-practitioners and community members that presents innovations in the field of policing from the leading academic journals and research publications. Please forward any questions or suggestions to [email protected]   Introduction Recent efforts to develop and expand alternatives to enforcement highlight research-informed strategies to more eff... Full Article »

First Responders & Their Spouses

Aug 28, 2018 in Fitness & Health & Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Training
By: Crawford Coates

Once upon a time, the current co-owners of Calibre Press were not married. They were dating. They were in Atlantic City for the storied Street Survival Seminar. Jim was teaching nearly 400 cops. When one of the facilitators didn’t show up, Lisa took over. Part of her charge was selling books. On top of the box of possible books to sell was a press copy that intrigued her.  I Love a Cop, was the title, and she read it. She married Jim, they la... Full Article »

The Black Hole of Leadership

Aug 24, 2018 in Uncategorized
By: Crawford Coates

One of the critical points in a leader’s tenure is when he or she first goes into a new position. Because of the nature of change and the uneasiness that accompanies it, all eyes fall on the new leader. As people, we quickly become anxious and start to speculate about what the new leader may change, who else may be promoted, or what the cause of the change will be. The way a new leader handles themselves in these first days sets the tone and ex... Full Article »

Gandhi & the Police: An Opportunity for Learning

Aug 01, 2018 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Training
By: Crawford Coates

Stress is the occupational hazard of first response. It’s not just the sudden acute onset stress of critical incidents. There is moreover the chronic stress of shift work and a lack of support from some communities, politicians, and police brass. “Death by a thousand cuts,” is how psychologist Ellen Kirschman describes it. Stress—acute and chronic—kills. It kills performance, morale, and innovation, and, quite literally, it kills you d... Full Article »

Brain Power vs. Fire Power

Jul 23, 2018 in Law Enforcement Today & Officer Safety & Survival & Training
By: Crawford Coates

 [Publisher's Note: This was originally published in November 2010 by and is reprinted here by permission of the author. Sgt. Humes (Ret), a longtime friend of Calibre Press, will be inducted into the Law Enforcement Officer Hall of Fame in September. The ceremony will be held in Maumee, Ohio, a suburb of Toledo.] “This is the law. The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in defense. The sword... Full Article »

Peer Coach Training: Mindfulness

Jul 11, 2018 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Training
By: Crawford Coates

[Publisher's Note: Calibre Press is interested in reducing, and acknowledging, stress in the work of first response. To that end we have published many articles on mindfulness and meditation, which are a couple of complimentary tools for enhancing situational awareness and diminishing the harmful effects of stress on our lives. One of the leaders in bringing mindfulness to first responders is Lt. Richard Goerling, who is leading upcoming peer co... Full Article »

Considering the Use of Force

Jun 15, 2018 in Fitness & Health & Law Enforcement Today
By: Crawford Coates

[Publisher's note: The following is an excerpt adapted from Dr. Richard Hough's The Use of Force in Criminal Justice, available now from Routledge. You can learn more and purchase the book here.]   The role of law enforcement officer in a Western society has evolved over the past 200 years. A unique aspect of this role is the ability that society grants to officers to detain fellow citizens even to the point of using physical force. Probation ... Full Article »

Moving Faster Than Thought

Jun 15, 2018 in Defensive Tactics & Driving & Roadway & Fitness & Health & Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Patrol & Training
By: Crawford Coates

[Publisher's Note: A version of this article was originally published by the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association’s (ILEETA) Journal. Spring Edition 2018 Volume 8, edition 2, pgs. 14 & 15.] It was a very hot afternoon in South Texas. I was conducting reality-based scenarios using force-on-force drills for a class I was facilitating since early in the morning, a class where the audience shared a diverse backgro... Full Article »

Axon’s Accelerate: An Opportunity to Learn

Jun 12, 2018 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Training & Video
By: Crawford Coates

For over two decades, Axon (formerly Taser) has been an industry leader in providing law enforcement with a less lethal option to subdue aggressive subjects. With their ingenuity and advancement into body cameras, Axon continues to build on its success and grow into a company that law enforcement can use for an entire system of technology now and in the future. I recently had the privilege of attending Axon Accelerate 2018, the company’s premie... Full Article »