Safe Distancing & Officer’s Safety

June 28, 2020

| Statistics published annually by the FBI’s Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Program show that close distance firearm encounters feature more officers killed by an offender compared with situations involving greater distances. The referenced article [1] addresses a case study involving a uniformed patrol officer who was shot multiple times by a gang member within close proximity. This article also identifies lessons learned and national statistics regarding on-duty peace officer deaths.

Why should I review this information?

The FBI LEOKA Program is an invaluable resource for local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies throughout the United States. The article with the case study provides a 30-years analysis of 1,665 law enforcement officers killed with firearms in relation to the distances murdered [1]. The online FBI LEOKA publications,1996-2019, provide invaluable insights for line personnel, trainers, supervisors, and managers to enhance training programs towards preventing injuries and saving lives. Managers may find the information useful in risk management and mitigation, identification of contemporary training needs, and justification to provide necessary equipment to enhance public and officer safety and improve performance [2].


[1] Young, Marcus, What Is a Safe Distance? Officer Survival Spotlight, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, July 2016,

[2] U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Program,


Lessons Learned: Incidents of Civil Disobedience

June 21, 2020

| We must understand the significant lessons learned from previous civil unrest.  Policing needs to be effective, safe, and vigilant while protecting and respecting the dignity and rights of the people we serve.  Leadership and training efforts must assure that peace officers get adequate rest, constant support, proper field direction on the use of force, reality-based training, and sufficient modern equipment. When law enforcement officers recognize pre-assaultive behaviors, this essential safety skill set may prevent injuries and safeguard lives. The article referenced below, The Tipping Point to Chaos [1], addresses the current pandemic situation coupled with mass unemployment and perception of police misconduct causing demands for social justice.

Why should I review this information?

There are four reports referenced in the resources for the referenced article based on after action analysis following major events which occurred in Maryland, Missouri, California, and Washington. Consideration should be given to a review of the findings within these reports through the lessons learned and recommendations. This critical information can then be compared to current department guidelines, policies, tactical procedures, and training to determine best practices and relevancy.  We offer these after-action reports as insight for further discussion to enhance effectiveness and decision-making, including public and officer safety.


[1] Wemmer, R. & Young, M., The Tipping Point to Chaos,, June 19, 2020,


Ambush Attacks Using Vehicles Upon LEOs

June 14, 2020

| As policing continues to be turned upside down daily, there are many new concerns for peace officers everywhere. Law enforcement leaders and trainers must seriously evaluate the recent ambushes and attacks against police facilities and personnel.  This week’s thought brings attention to vehicles used as weapons to intentionally strike officers.

Recently, a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy in California [1] and a Springfield Police Officer in Missouri [2], were both intentionally struck and dragged by their attackers’ sport utility vehicles (SUV).  The female deputy was on a traffic stop and the male officer had stepped outside the station to deal with a man who had just urinated on the front of the police station.  Fortunately, both uniformed peace officers survived the attacks.

In the California assault, there were two attackers who abandoned their vehicle and escaped.   The Missouri assault involved a single assailant who used his SUV to pin the officer between the police facility’s safety bollard (a short thick post for security) and the SUV.  To stop this attacker from killing the trapped victim, a responding officer from the station used deadly force that wounded the vehicle’s driver.

Why should I review this information?

Based on these two attacks combined with other nationwide law enforcement officer vehicle assaults, field officers, supervisors, managers, and trainers should assess command, leadership, and training actions for the following tactical considerations and policies:

  • Awareness – consistently checking and rechecking a 360-degree view to read the scene
  • Complacency – understanding the greatest enemy to peace officer safety
  • Facility Security – monitoring unusual behavior inside (front desk or lobby) and outside police facilities (Paso Robles Police Station, California attack)
  • Pulse of the Community – providing updates to civilian and sworn station personnel on recent events that may create an attack at or near the station
  • Site Protection – review current inner and outer safety defenses
  • Tactical Considerations – to have a plan to avoid and escape ambush incidents
  • Use of Force Options – reviewing deadly force considerations and policies for shooting at or from a moving vehicle
  • Visible Presence – directing agency personnel to conduct frequent patrol and visual checks when arriving and leaving the station, including a perimeter patrol pattern

This information is not inclusive of all best practices and safeguards. The FBI research publication titled: Ambushes and Provoked Attacks [3] provides insights based on incidents, and subsequent interviews with offenders and officers involved various types of deadly assaults. The goal is to foster discussion and protect community members and peace officers during these dangerous, demanding, and difficult times.


[1] June 12, 2020, KCAL 9, Santa Clarita, newscast and article: LA County Sheriff’s Deputy OK After Being Struck, Dragged By SUV In Santa Clarita; Suspects At Large,

[2] June 10, 2020: Simmons, L., newscast and article: You guys knew you had this coming”: Prosecutor charges homeless man for assault on Springfield officer,

[3] August 15, 2019,  FBI Report: Ambushes and Unprovoked Attacks on Law Enforcement Officers,



June 7, 2020

| “Ethics stands as a preface to the mission and commitment law enforcement agencies make to the public they serve”

Law Enforcement Code of Ethics

“As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve the community; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality, and justice.

I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all and will behave in a manner that does not bring discredit to me or to my agency. I will maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn, or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed both in my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the law and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty. 

I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, political beliefs, aspirations, animosities, or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice, or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.

I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of police service. I will never engage in acts of corruption or bribery, nor will I condone such acts by other police officers. I will cooperate with all legally authorized agencies and their representatives in the pursuit of justice.

I know that I alone am responsible for my own standard of professional performance and will take every reasonable opportunity to enhance and improve my level of knowledge and competence.

I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession… law enforcement.”

-Adopted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police in 1957

Why should I periodically review the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics?

During the past weeks, law enforcement officers have faced exceedingly dangerous, demanding, and difficult policing challenges.  As we continue to protect and serve in the highest standards of our profession, it is always important that we review our character values, code of ethics, and commitment to integrity and respect, reminding ourselves to not commit or condone police misconduct.