You had better make sure that the police know exactly who you are.
This is a discussion on Being a First Responder to Someone Else's House within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Today at 4:20, the alarm company that services my in-laws called my wife's cell phone to report that the intrusion alarm had gone off at ...
Today at 4:20, the alarm company that services my in-laws called my wife's cell phone to report that the intrusion alarm had gone off at their house and that no one answered the phone when they called to check. They dispatched the police. We were able to reach my mother-in-law (home alone during the day) a few minutes later and everything was fine. I was grabbing a spare mag and heading out the door as I was calling, though, since we live about 5 minutes away. At 4:50, the police finally arrived.
Now, my mother-in-law does not know that I carry. She's kind of a sheep. Her statement to me was, "that sure left an awful lot of time for something bad to happen before they got here." I told her that in terms of actual protection, the police are basically useless 99% of the time. They'll show up to draw a chalk outline and take pictures of the body.
Here's my question:
What considerations do I need to take into account considering that I would likely be the first responder if something actually does go wrong?
You had better make sure that the police know exactly who you are.
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I would be on my cell phone talking to 911 and sharing with them my responding to my mom's house...where I was...what I was wearing...what I was doing at the house...I'd stay on the phone unless I need that hand to change mags.
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To properly prepare for this type of response to a family member's house, one should make a plan in advance, just like we should plan our own home's defense. First in the plan, is to tell your mother-in-law where she should go to await help. She should take refuge in a room that offers adequate protection, have a telephone with her, and lock the door once she enters the room. This will allow you to know exactly where in the house she will be located when you arrive. Next, she should call 911 and remain on the line with them until you or the police arrive. In the event the break in turns out badly, this provides police with a recording of the event they can use for future investigation.
Your response plan should include, like others have said, calling the police and informing them that you are responding. Give your description, clothing, type car, where the car will be parked, inform that you are armed, and your general direction of travel to your mother-in-law's safe room.
Upon arriving in the vicinity, you should kill your headlights several blocks away from your mother-in-law's house, park at least a block away from her house, and make your approach on foot utilizing all available cover and concealment. This should help prevent getting yourself into an ambush situation. Move to an observation point outside the previously planned safe room and observe for any movement or sign of break in.
If there is a gun in your mother-in-law's house, then you should not attempt to enter the house before making contact with her in order to prevent any accident. If there is only the phone she is on 911 with in the house, then you should dial 911 and have the dispatcher notify your mother-in-law that you are present and to open up, only after you have determined it to be safe for her to do so.
Like most all operations, planning and communication is of utmost importance. You may even want to practice your plan before needing to implement it in a real world event. Of course practicing the plan would not necessarily involve the alarm system monitor or law enforcement for obvious reasons.
Hopefully, this helps.
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The most important part of this situation is being prepared enough to make sure no one gets hurt that doesn't have to. Proper communication is always the key to a successful plan, especially with any carriers (the police, possibly the mother-in-law).
Really... I believe you..
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I say stay on the phone with 911, advise them when you are on scene and what you are wearing. As others have said in other post, clearing a house by yourself is very dangerous. Good way to get shot, or shoot your mother-in-law if she decideds not to stay in the "safe room".
I admit I saw it in the movie Taken but if things do go south, would it be advisable to the victim to yell things to 911 like descriptions, etc?
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Charging into someone else's house? If I thought someone had really broken in, I wouldn't do it. The only exception is if there is some sign that there is an innocent person in there in immediate jeopardy, like screaming, and only if I knew that person well. Even then it would be a bad idea in urban areas with 2-5 minute police response, like where I live now.
If I were in an area with 1 hour police response, my answer might be different. I don't want to leave someone to die but nobody, not even a police officer, should go into an unknown house alone if they have a choice.
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First call you make before you leave your own home: to the resident of the home.
Second call from your home or en-route: to law enforcement so they can relay that you are related to the home owner and have been notified by the alarm company....you will be on the way and on site shortly.
I had to help a neighbor who was assaulted and robbed in his own driveway at 0300 one morning. Considerations go out the window when it's that immediate...adrenaline and trianing take over. It's unfortunate, but that's also human nature. My statement was this: Honey, call 911 and get a unit dispatched for assault and robbery...let them know the neighbor is the victim and I am in the area and am a former Military Police SGT that will likely be armed for his own safety.
Responding officer was great (former MP himself) and appreciated the heads-up. But, sometimes it will just aggravate LEO's or the circumstances. They don't want vigilantism out there, even if your intentions were honest and genuine.
All I will say is that I advise people to not go to scenes where LEO's are responding.
The Mother In Law is an adult and is responsible for her own safety, 'nuff said. You have a great opportunity to educate her on self protection. I would suggest you use this opportunity to your advantage.