Developing Smarter, Safer, More Successful Law Enforcement Officers

Posts by Crawford Coates:

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 »

Improving Deescalation with Defensive Tactics

Jul 11, 2017 in Defensive Tactics & Law Enforcement Today & Officer Safety & Survival & Training
By: Crawford Coates

The last article I wrote was titled “Building the DT Toolbox” and in it I suggested that when training recruits or novice police officers, an instructor’s primary focus should be to build their student’s “toolbox.” I then stated that the toolbox will be the “foundation upon which everything else will be built.” Notice that I didn’t state that the defensive toolbox will be the foundation upon which all other defensive tactics tra... Full Article »

Police Week: Why It Matters

Jun 26, 2017 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Patrol & Training
By: Crawford Coates

Due to the tragic loss of two officers from my department in 2016, I was asked by the National Latino Peace Officers Association (NLPOA) national president whether I would like to attend National Police Week in Washington D.C. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity. If you’re ever given the opportunity, I implore you to attend too. For me it was an incomparable and unforgettable life experience. What It Is For those who don’t know, Polic... Full Article »

The Tool That’s Been Forgotten

Jun 20, 2017 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Patrol & Training
By: Crawford Coates

Regardless of personal beliefs as to the beginning of humanity, it is apparent that communication is an important part of relationship building. Early man used every skill available to communicate to his partner. Of these skills, nonverbal communication was vital to the survival of man. Body language expert Joe Navarro (2011) has written, “This has been part of our biological heritage for so long that we still primarily communicate nonverbally,... Full Article »

Shooting Near the Capitol

Jun 14, 2017 in Law Enforcement Today
By: Crawford Coates

A gunman opened fire at an early morning gathering of baseball practice that included Republican members of Congress and staff. According to Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown, five people have been transferred to local hospitals, including the shooter. Sources, including President Trump, said the shooter has since died. At least one of the victims was medivaced to the hospital. Among the injured was Republican House Majority Whip Steve Scali... Full Article »

OFFICER INVOLVED: A Portrait from Inside

Jun 13, 2017 in Law Enforcement Today & Video
By: Crawford Coates

Over the course of 2 years, a police officer turned first-time filmmaker and his wife traveled the United States and brought together experts and current/former law-enforcement officers in an effort to explore the highly secretive, often misunderstood, and socially taboo topic of what the officer experiences in the wake of an officer-involved shooting.... Full Article »

A Matter of Perspective

Jun 12, 2017 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Patrol & Training
By: Crawford Coates

Being a police officer is one the greatest joys of my life. The ability to serve, protect the vulnerable, and make an immediate impact on the lives of people I contact on a daily basis is beyond gratifying. Every day I put on that uniform I’m filled with a sense of purpose and determination to be the best I can be. I constantly remind myself of why I wanted to walk this path and remember all the hardships and difficulties I endured to get to t... Full Article »

Building the D.T. Toolbox

May 24, 2017 in Defensive Tactics & Fitness & Health & Training
By: Crawford Coates

I'm a cop who's spent the last 12 years teaching defensive tactics (DT) to military and law enforcement personnel around the world. The goal of this article is not to promote or denounce any one defensive tactics system, but to simply offer suggestions on how to improve an agency’s current program based on my own experience. Tools & Toolbox I’ve trained cadre at various police academies around the nation and the primary philosophy that ... Full Article »

Security – What’s in a Word? Pt. 2

May 15, 2017 in Law Enforcement Today & Training
By: Crawford Coates

[Publisher’s Note: This opinion article originally appeared in the April, 2017, issue of Security Magazine and is reprinted here, in two parts, with permission. To read the first part, ] If there is a scenario where law enforcement agency receives a call for service about an active shooter at a site, the competency and operational capabilities of the security personnel who are on scene at that site is highly relevant. If law enforcement knows ... Full Article »