when to call for backup

Sometimes downplaying your intentions until you have enough back-up to deal with a situation is a good idea.



10 thoughts on “when to call for backup”

  1. Dear tgace,
    WHAT a video. It looks like just another Really Good reason for a two-person-per-car standard, too.

    I looked up the incident and it seems the officer made it okay. Best of luck to him from now on, including shedding whatever trauma from the incident.

    A good find,
    Ann T.

  2. There is a real “art” to operating solo. You need to be able to act (as in be an actor). Act like you didn’t see that evidence on the floor, or that you didn’t just hear the code for a wanted person. Tell them that you are going back to your car to check their drivers license/ issue a ticket etc. Then call for cover and WAIT. One of the biggest officer safety risks is our own “type A”…”I have to take command” mindset. Yes, we do have to establish control and let the contact know who is in command of the stop, BUT you have to use your head. Immediate threats need to be dealt with immediately, but you also need to be smart. Tacticians avoid direct assaults unless a direct assault is to your tactical advantage.

    In my dept we have more 1 man cars than we do 2 man and I tell my guys that there is almost no person that needs arresting so bad that it is worth your life. So they manage to swallow the dope or destroy some evidence,So what? Catch them some other time. There will almost ALWAYS be another time.

    Sometimes the best decision is to slow down, make a tactical withdrawal, make a plan and reapproach at an advantage.

    1. I was at a B-Day party at a firehall the other day. On the restroom mirror was a sticker that read something like “you’re looking at the person most responsible for your safety”…

  3. Dear tgace,
    Upon reflection, yes, I think the first mistake was approaching the car. He could have waited for them to make a move, like, getting out to find out why they were stopped. Trying to turn it into his ground.

    However, it was never exactly going to be his ground until reinforcements showed up . . .

    Learning something new all the time,
    Ann T.

    1. I don’t think there was a problem with the original approach. You have to figure out what is going on (unless you know the car is stolen or you are stopping it for a previously known reason). It’s about what you decide to do when you discover something “is up” and you are alone to deal with it.

  4. Good words of wisdom tgace. He should have waited as we can all see and the acting part as you put it is a very useful skill set.

  5. Having worked most of 15 years alone in a major city, I have learned what I call “strategic nonchalance”. Actual vigilance can be very effectively masked.

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