Train to Fight, Train Past the Fight, Train for the Fight (Video)

Training is a huge thing for me as a police officer. Too many departments lack the funds and the availability of instructors to properly train their officers on up-and-coming tactics and threats to our safety. I always encourage taking any training opportunity, even if it means you may have to use your own time, as long as your department allows. The more well-rounded you can become in your training, the safer you are on the street and the easier you can adapt to a wide variety of situations. In time you will prove to be a valuable asset to your department. You will be heavily relied upon. You can improve your department from the inside by becoming the source of good training. The most important point I want to make is to take training seriously. Sometimes it can be long, boring and seem like menial tasks, but I assure you, the better you become in every area of training, the better officer you will be. That being said, I would like to look into three different aspects of training I have gathered through speaking with different individuals along with spending time in the Army. We must train to fight, train past the fight and train for the fight.

Train to fight

Training to fight, in my eyes, means that we must take training seriously. Orient your mind, the best you can, to put yourself in a real-life scenario that your training is providing. The more serious you can become about training, the better result you will get out of it. If you are able to put yourself into an atmosphere where training is as life-like as possible, you will be more adapted to react appropriately when the situation isn’t training at all. As I said before, training can become long and boring, but we must combat that attitude and become interested in our training. Our training is the only practice we have before things get serious out on the streets.

Training to fight also involves our physical fitness. We must maintain our health. We can be a well-trained officer, tactically sound and proficient, but without the literal body structure to uphold the physically demanding tasks our job requires, our training will not be able to take full effect on our bodies. Create a sound infrastructure to build your training upon. Condition your body towards the purposes of your job. Endurance, muscular and cardiovascular, are essential in this line of work.

Bring both your physical fitness and your technical training together as one and you will be the most effective officer you can be.

Train Past the Fight

Training past the fight is something I obtained from Patrick McNamara, a world-class tactics and physical fitness instructor. Patrick is all about training past the fight. Training past the fight entails that we orient our minds to the fact that, although the first threat may be neutralized (and that may be the only threat that the training provides at the time), there may exist additional threats. If we condition ourselves to only believe one threat exists or that only the multiple threats, known to us at the time, exist and are neutralized, we leave ourselves vulnerable to additional threat. I have always been taught where there is one, there are two, where there are two, there are three. This is, in my opinion, a great way to keep in mind that we must train past the fight. As Patrick McNamara has said in an online interview with me, if the drill calls for 3 shots, have 4. If the drill calls for 6 shots, be prepared to shoot 7. Always be prepared to re-engage. Never leave yourself down in a fight. Constantly, even when the threat is neutralized, maintain the advantage. Always remember your training and continue the fight as if the fight never stops.

When we are training, we are in a controlled environment where time-outs are allowed and after completing multiple iterations of a drill, we will go into the next knowing when to stop. The operational environment in which we work does not provide for a definitive end to a threat. The threat is ongoing. We must fight the urge in training to allow our minds to stop. While the drill may physically require our bodies to stop shooting, searching, or detaining, it does not require that our minds stop negotiating the next potential threat.

Train for the fight

Training for the fight may seem similar to training to fight. However, there are differences. While training to fight more so relies upon our ability to orient our minds in training to link us with a real-life scenario, training for the fight relies upon our ability to train effectively and train for tactics that are relevant to our specific operational area and environment. It is imperative that we train for the most relevant aspect of our daily jobs. Training in woodland search and recovery of a suspect would be ineffective for those serving in a non-wooded, barren community. Training on urban pursuit tactics would bode ineffective for those officers serving in undeveloped, rural counties. While it would be nice to learn multi-jurisdictional tactics, it is simply too difficult, both with time and available funds, to train officers on every single operating environment. Training for the fight is training for what you do, training for what you may be called on to do. There are some training programs that span all law enforcement agencies nationwide, such as firearms training, combat life saving training, narcotics training, etc. Then there are training programs that are specifically tailored to departments operating in certain environments. It is imperative that we can effectively pick and choose the training programs that will directly affect our operations within the communities or capacities we serve.

Training for the fight also means to prepare yourself to the best of your ability to utilize the training you have been given. While a specific course may span 8, 16, 24 or even 60 hours plus, we must take these skills back to our departments and continue to train on them. This is solely the officer’s responsibility. We have been given the training, it is our job to make sure we stay on top of that training.

In conclusion, there are many different schools of thought on training when it concerns law enforcement. Our departments’ biggest issue is funding. Often, the first thing to go, when budget is tight, is training. There is no reason we can’t, as the individual officer, take on the responsibility of training ourselves. Informal training is available, as is online training. Take the opportunities you can to better your own tactics. We owe it to the public, we owe it to our families, we owe it to ourselves.

Heroin – A Message to Police, The Public, The Addicts and The Dealers Alike

I have always wanted to write on the topic of Heroin. The issue was, what in the world could I possibly write, without going on for pages and pages? It’s impossible. Why? Because Heroin has become this country’s biggest epidemic.

If you have found yourself in a position where you’ve never encountered a Heroin addict, whether on the street, or through the job, consider yourself completely blessed. Seeing that the largest audience of LEO USA’s website and Facebook page are in the field of law enforcement, I highly doubt any of us have gone without making contact with a family or individual affected by the Heroin epidemic. I won’t get into the rhyme and reason behind Heroin addiction. We all know its onset can be for a few different reasons. What I do want to look into is why it is such an epidemic and what it is doing to this country.

I often joke at work that if a zombie apocalypse ever occurred, the zombies would resemble someone who is high on Heroin. It is simply amazing to see someone high on Heroin, able to nod in and out of an apparent sleep, while still being able to respond to directed questions and retain their balance, despite swaying back and forth, side to side. We all know what this looks like. And then comes the withdrawal. I’ve heard many Heroin addicts say that withdrawing is some of the most miserable pain they have ever felt. Heroin is an extremely powerful drug, extremely addictive and most definitely lethal.

This baffles me that somewhat decent people decided, at some point, to put poison into their bodies, that will throw them into a cycle of addiction and, inevitably, crime. They are lucky to end up in jail before they end up dead from an overdose. It is truly a game of Russian Roulette with a needle or straw.

The innocent communities in which these individuals live are inevitably affected by Heroin as well. Often, Heroin addicts find themselves short on money due to their addiction. They have lost jobs, lost family support, lost government support. This will lead to the individual needing to victimize hard-working people to achieve their next “fix”. This comes in the form of petty theft, motor vehicle theft, robbery, aggravated robbery, burglaries and, in some extreme instances, murder. Let us now attempt to say this drug is not a national epidemic, when innocent people are being victimized due to someone else’s addiction.

Let us stray from the actual throws of the addiction and center our conversation from the perspective of law enforcement.

Law enforcement agencies are spending hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars on combatting the Heroin epidemic in this country. Despite our ever-adapting tactics and strategies to curb this cycle of addiction and crime, we find ourselves in a never-ending battle of cat and mouse. We must enlist the trust and the efforts of the public to combat this cycle. We would never ask you to become the police and try to solve these crimes and take direct involvement in the Heroin epidemic. However, law enforcement agencies are constantly coming up with new ways for citizens to get indirectly involved in this fight. A large effort has been put into drug activity tip lines. It is imperative that the public understands that these avenues help law enforcement stay one step ahead of the criminals. Your family may not have been affected by Heroin, however, your community most certainly has. Every community has. It is time to become a collective team against a substance destroying this country from the inside out.

To the individuals affected by Heroin addiction, it is never too late to kick the habit. Much easier said than done, I know. I said it before, every single time you put the poison into your body, you are flirting with death. What little you know about Heroin. What even less you know about what is in the Heroin you are purchasing. What even LESS you know about the people you are buying the Heroin from and how dangerous these people are. You are putting your life at risk, in so many different ways, every single time you start the process of finding, buying and using this drug. Law enforcement isn’t here to take you down as the “big fish” per say. You have committed a crime and you will answer for that crime. However, in these instances, you are able to help combat the problem that has led you into a life of complete disaster. Allow us to work with you and find the people who are essentially feeding you death and depression. The road to your own personal redemption is always available, every moment of every day. We won’t try to understand what it feels like to be in the throes of a Heroin addiction, but I can promise you we have seen the result. We have seen the bodies, we have seen the families, we have seen the community. If you think it doesn’t effect us, you’re wrong, it does. Not only does it consume a large amount of our work time and effort (something we are proud to donate to the public) but it consumes a lot of our mental and emotional capacity. We are human, and we don’t like seeing other humans hurt. Allow us to help you. Allow yourself to help you.

To the “Big Fish”, the dealers, the manufacturers, I assure you our team is much larger than yours. Our resolve is much stronger than yours, our tactics are better than yours. There comes a time where we must say we will not back down without a fight. I officially welcome you to the fight. You prey on the physically weak and the weak-minded. We are here to ensure you do this no longer. Our laws are becoming more stringent, our tactics are becoming more refined. It is only a matter of time before you find yourself behind steel bars, searching for a lawyer who will represent one of society’s worst. What you are doing is essentially slow, premeditated murder. We do not take this lightly, we take it personally. We will fight this fight until each of us retire, and then our younger brothers and sisters will take on our fight, with the same ferocity that we left with them. One by one we will take on this fight. You may get away once or twice, maybe even three times. It is essential you know that, just because you got away, this does not mean we forgot about you. It’s okay, we are out and about every single day, just as you are. We see you, we know what you’re doing, and we will catch you. Tonight you may rest easy, without us knocking on the door. You will not be promised that same peace of mind tomorrow, or any day in the future. For the acts you do, the business in which you practice, you are inevitably limiting your days of freedom. Come to terms with that, because sooner, much rather than later, you will be looking on society from the inside out and not the outside in. We are Wolfhunters, and you are the wolf.

The pursuit is on.