A few weeks ago I went to some of our yearly mandatory training, this time it included various scenarios with Glocks modified to shoot Simunitions. There were several scenarios and it they played out in various manners. The "bad guys" were all veteran officers and the scenes that they acted in were actual scenarios that had been encountered by various LEO's throughout the state.
These scenarios had a twist to them. If you acted like you had been trained to, the outcome would be good on your part. If you deviated or did something stupid, you would get shot. For those that wonder what getting hit with Simunitions feels like, its a 9mm caliber paint-ball traveling somewhere around 800 fps. It hurts like heck and leaves a witness mark about the size of a quarter that you can show your friends for a couple of weeks. You have plenty of motivation to seek cover and not get hit. Trust me.
The first scenes were with the patrol car. We used the city ballpark for actual traffic stops, and we were to do it just like we were doing it for real. We light the offender up, call the dispatcher and get what info we could from them and exit the vehicle. In the patrol vehicle with us was a training officer from the Arkansas State Police, all well known to us, to evaluate how and what we did, right or wrong. They didn't exit, but sat there and carefully watched.
Car runs a red light and you call it in and stop him. The Dispatcher informs that he has a couple of warrants from various counties. He' nice about the whole thing and is very cooperative. Too nice in fact.
You make him assume the position, cuff him up and search him and place him in the patrol car. End of scenario.
The State Police Officer goes over what you did right and wrong. I get complimented for a text book stop that went very well. Except for one minor issue...
My prisoner who is now un-cuffed and standing beside me, removes a .380 KelTec pistol from behind his western belt buckle thats big enough to eat off of.
My search, he tells me, was pretty good, but not good enough. My "prisoner" tells me that I actually felt the gun and he thought I was about to find it. Wrong. All I felt was a big belt buckle. As the night progresses, 14 officers go through the same scenario. All but one of them miss the gun.
Man flees from an unknown suspected assault. We stop and go through the motions. Man exits vehicle at a high rate of speed with a large Bowie knife. I exit my vehicle, take cover behind the open door and issue commands to drop the knife. He stops. holding the knife, he's about 10 feet away. I've got the Glock pointing right at his head. I issue more commands, he's still got the knife. Now I've got 4 pounds of take-up on a 5 pound trigger and I tell him if he doesn't drop the knife right now I will kill him. He looks at me and drops the knife. I arrest him and the scene is over.
Before the night is over...two officers fire and end the scene immediately. Two, officers, one which is me," arrest" the guy. The man with the knife "cuts" 6 officers and ends the scenario. He does this by saying" I need help" and "can you help me?". The sad part is that he jumps in the police cars of the other 4 officers and steals their cars. He tells me when it is over, that he felt like I was ready to shoot and that he didn't want to get shot in the face. I inform him that I nearly shot him in the face anyway.
Although I could have done better, it was a successful outcome.
Possible murder suspect. I stop using felony stop procedures.
I do it by the book. Car off, keys out. Hands out the window. Now right hand out, left hand opens door. Suspect exits vehicle hand straight up and looking forward. I inform him that any deviation will result in shots fired. He walks backward until I tell him to stop and kneel down with feet crossed. He places both hands on interlocked. head. I grab both hands and cuff him. End of scenario.
Good outcome. By the time the night is over, 6 officers do the right thing and enact textbook felony stop. Two screw up, suspect jumps in car and takes off. Four officers get into a full fledged shoot out when suspect jumps out of car and engages. Two of the four take hits, supposedly less than lethal. Two win the fight outright. Two officers fail to get out of the car in time, suspect jumps out, runs at them firing into the windshield, ending the scenario...
Now onto the building clearing scenarios, Part Two...