Developing Smarter, Safer, More Successful Law Enforcement Officers

Posts by Crawford Coates:

My Apologies …

Nov 21, 2017 in Driving & Roadway & Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Patrol & Training
By: Crawford Coates

This is an apology to the person who thinks I snubbed him the other night. It will, I hope, serve two purposes. It will make me feel better because I have been thinking about it for a few days and it has really bothered me. It will also serve as an explanation to many in the community for what may be perceived as a "slight" to them by officers of the law. We may seem hurried, uninterested, bothered or even fearful at times. While all of these pe... Full Article »

Watching Your 12

Nov 14, 2017 in Fitness & Health & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival
By: Crawford Coates

You’re a cop. What does this mean? It means you do what’s best in the interest of public safety. You control, regulate, and keep order for a living. What’s often forgotten? Controlling, regulating, and keeping yourself in order. Cops often say to each other, “Watch your 6!” That is, you must keep aware of what’s happening behind you and your partners, where bad guys lurk. But what about watching your 12? Who’s making sure you ar... Full Article »

Fly High or Drop It By

Nov 08, 2017 in Law Enforcement Today & Patrol & Training
By: Crawford Coates

The investigation of drug delivery by mail or parcel service is a challenge for law enforcement, making it attractive to those who want to send various types of contraband rather than deliver it personally. To prevent this, law enforcement must work with the carrier, which might come across signs of illicit items or drugs in the course of their work, so that investigators can work to identify the sender and receiver, as well as make assessments a... Full Article »

OP-ED: A Catastrophic Failure of Security [RETRACTED]

Oct 16, 2017 in Law Enforcement Today
By: Crawford Coates

[Update: I have decided to pull this article down after hearing from several readers. If you wish to read it, a version of it was first published at Security Magazine, which you can read here. Calibre Press thrives on pushing the conversation forward, and, often, this involves publishing various voices and opinions. However, there is a limit to what is collegial and constructive and what is inappropriate. I don't want to cross over into the latte... Full Article »

The Face of Evil

Oct 05, 2017 in Law Enforcement Today & Officer Safety & Survival & Patrol & Training
By: Crawford Coates

I read Mr. Tony Blauer’s 15 August 2017 article titled “Lessons from a Vicious Ambush.” As usual, Mr. Blauer was spot on. But even more importantly, I learned something new that gave me reason to pause and reassess my own methods of dealing with such situations. I believe I’ve always been pretty tactically sound with the various undercover, “jump-out” type units I worked in throughout my career. But resting on one’s laurels is a r... Full Article »

Las Vegas Active Shooter: Timeline & Video

Oct 04, 2017 in Law Enforcement Today & Officer Safety & Survival & Training
By: Crawford Coates

[Update: The Los Angeles Times reported on Oct. 10 that the security guard at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino was shot six minutes prior to the gunman opening fire on the crowd below. They write: "Police have dramatically changed their account of how the Las Vegas massacre began on Oct. 1, revealing Monday that the gunman shot a hotel security guard six minutes before opening fire on a country music concert — raising new questions about why ... Full Article »

The Alarming Consequences of Police Working Overtime

Oct 02, 2017 in Fitness & Health & Leadership & Training
By: Crawford Coates

[Publisher's Note: We've been writing a lot lately about police fatigue and the importance of non-punitive close-calls reporting. Following is an excellent article from on this topic, reprinted below with permission.]  Fatigue is bad for any work environment. But for police, the stakes are much higher. Officers have to respond to late-night calls, make split-second decisions and de-escalate tense situations -- sometimes in the mid... Full Article »

REVIEW: A Weapon-Mounted Camera System that Works

Sep 26, 2017 in Defensive Tactics & Law Enforcement Today
By: Crawford Coates

Body- and dashcams have been around for quite a few years now. Both have been controversial for almost as long.  Most of the controversy seems to stem from exactly when the cameras were--or weren’t--turned on.  T.V. news programs always seem to focus on those incidents for which the cameras weren’t started until after the force-related incident ended. Many times, dashcams don’t capture the action since they were pointed away from the s... Full Article »

What Nearly Happened

Sep 22, 2017 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Training
By: Crawford Coates

I recently asked a very knowledgeable university-level researcher who studies police and, specifically, the effects of fatigue on officer performance a simple question: “Can you name a case in which officer fatigue was identified as contributing to a bad outcome?” He never got back to me. So I asked around and everyone basically said the same thing: Identifying fatigue as a contributor in a less-than-optimal outcome would open the agency ... Full Article »

Imagine This

Aug 31, 2017 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership
By: Crawford Coates

I really wrestled with writing this because I did not want this piece to appear disingenuous, as if I was searching for professional sympathy or was trying to engage in the woe-is-us. I wrestled with the disconnect between what law enforcement professionals really deal with and what our communities think we deal with. I did not want my ideas of that disconnect to serve as a further wedge between that supportive and valued community and those... Full Article »

Playing with Emotion

Aug 29, 2017 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Training
By: Crawford Coates

I remember almost every football coach I’ve ever had telling me to, “Get mad! Get angry!” at one point or another. It was a good life lesson at the time. It taught me how to use that anger to push passed the point of what I thought I could do. It taught me how to dig into the hidden reserves that we all possess but few of us ever learn to tap into, the much talked about 40% rule. Today I am no longer a football player, or a boxer, or wres... Full Article »

Auditory Exclusion is Real

Aug 24, 2017 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Training
By: Crawford Coates

Last week I wrote a piece that elicited an overwhelming response from this readership. And the conclusion: Auditory exclusion most certainly does exist. And not just for cops. I heard from firefighters, EMTs, hunters, and researchers, and every one of them in the affirmative. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. Here’s a representative email I received from Michael G.: Hello, I have been in law enforcement for 10 yea... Full Article »

Is Auditory Exclusion Real?

Aug 16, 2017 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Training
By: Crawford Coates

Tulsa Police officer Betty Shelby was charged with first-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Terrence Crutcher on Sept. 16, 2016. On May 17, 2017, a jury found her not guilty. Part of the defense argument was a familiar phenomenon to many in law enforcement: auditory exclusion. Problem is, some people aren’t buying it. Auditory exclusion—the idea that under extreme stress a person will sometimes not perceive noise that would be oth... Full Article »

BODYCAM: New Mexico Officer Cleared in OIS

Aug 15, 2017 in Law Enforcement Today & Video
By: Crawford Coates

From A Las Cruces police officer has been cleared in the shooting that killed a 52-year-old man. “After an extensive review of this case we have concluded that the shooting by Officer Kenneth Davis was justified under New Mexico law,” said District Attorney Mark D’Antonio in a letter dated Aug. 14, 2017. The shooting took place on July 17th after Ernesto Sedillo pointed a gun at Officer Davis.  According to police Davis res... Full Article »

Mindfulness & First Response

Aug 15, 2017 in Fitness & Health & Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Training
By: Crawford Coates

[Publisher’s Note: I recently spoke with Dr. Elisha Goldstein, a psychologist and co-founder of the Center for Mindful Living, about what mindfulness practice is and how it can help first responders. The Center for Mindful Living is interested in helping first responders and is offering a webinar to Calibre Press readers, free of charge, entitled “11 Ways to Ease an Anxious Mind.”] What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is the practice of hav... Full Article »

What Happens After You Shoot Someone?

Aug 14, 2017 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Patrol & Training & Video
By: Crawford Coates

Publisher's Note: I recently spoke with the co-creator of Officer Involved, a film that interviews officers who have been involved in shootings, most of them fatal. This experience and the lessons learned are important for every officer to ponder. For more on this groundbreaking and critically acclaimed film series, click here.  Who are you and why did you make these films? My name is Patrick W. Shaver.  Being a police officer throughout my... Full Article »

States ‘Opting In’ to FirstNet

Aug 08, 2017 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership
By: Crawford Coates

Officers in more than a dozen states and territories will be among the first eligible to use the new nationwide public safety broadband network. Governors across the country are making the decision to approve the plan provided to them by FirstNet for building the Radio Access Network (RAN) in the state. Known commonly as “opt-in” to FirstNet, this decision delivers many benefits to the state and its public safety community. “This is a gr... Full Article »

BOOK REVIEW: The Root Causes of Mass Incarceration

Jul 28, 2017 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership
By: Crawford Coates

Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America—deftly researched and superbly written—examines the root causes of mass incarceration, specifically that of black males. We need this book: It’s especially pertinent to American law enforcement in this critical moment. The author is James Forman Jr., a Yale Law professor, charter school founder, former public defender, and the son of civil rights activists. Forman has done the wor... Full Article »

Autism & First Responders

Jul 25, 2017 in Law Enforcement Today & Patrol & Training
By: Crawford Coates

Law enforcement today is always learning new ways: car cameras, body cameras, Mobile Data, GPS capabilities, FLIR—just to name a few. These resources make handling the calls easier and safer. But what about the people we serve? What do we do to better understand them? And: What if those individuals couldn’t speak? What if they don’t respond to verbal commands? These are just two of the challenges officers are presented with when they are ... Full Article »

Wyoming Opts in to FirstNet

Jul 12, 2017 in Law Enforcement Today
By: Crawford Coates

First-of-its-Kind Solution Will Create Jobs, Spur Investment and Modernize Public Safety Communications across the State RESTON, Va -- Wyoming is making history. Today, Governor Matthew Mead announced his decision to accept the FirstNet andAT&T* plan to deliver a wireless broadband network to the State's public safety community. This will make Wyoming one of the first states in the country to "opt in" to FirstNet and bring advanced t... Full Article »