Three Cs for perimeter overwatch

Submitted by:
Lt. Dan Marcou


08/24/2009

Cover, Concealment, and Comfort.  These, according to PoliceOne columnist Lt. Dan Marcou, are the three C’s for SWAT officers manning a long-term perimeter.



(Associated Press photo)

During a phone conversation following the June 2009 publication of his excellent article The action is on the perimeter, Dan told PoliceOne, “One of the things I try to do when I’m setting up a long-term perimeter is to remember that there is no rule that prohibits you from being comfortable.”

In other words, get yourself into a position — from which you can fire and move — where half your body isn’t going to fall asleep.

“I don’t have to choose — if I’m setting up a static perimeter for a long period of time — to be uncomfortable.  I can choose my location for cover, concealment, AND comfort. Quite often because we’re SWAT, we rule out comfort, or feel guilty for even thinking about it.  But tactically, if I’m going to be someplace for a long time I’m going to have to either rotate out on a regular basis if there are extreme weather conditions or find a spot that meets all three of those Cs.”

To his top three Cs, Marcou adds three more:

Containment
Commanding view/position
Cut-off considerations

“I always mention comfort,” Marcou explains, “because you have to consider spending a long time on the perimeter on any standoff. So, for a long term position you can continually improve your position by reinforcing your cover and ensuring you are comfortable (warm enough, liquids, sometimes food, and breaks for bodily functions). The position you choose to be in should enhance the ability to move and react at any time. There should be a way in and a way out from your position so you are not cut-off.”

 


Doug Wyllie is Editor in Chief of PoliceOne, responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website and managing the planned editorial features by our roster of expert writers. In addition to his editorial and managerial responsibilities, Doug has authored more than 750 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community.

On a daily basis, Doug is in close personal contact with some of the top subject-matter experts in law enforcement, regularly tapping into the world-class knowledge of officers and trainers from around the United States, and working to help spread that information and insight to the hundreds of thousands of officers who visit PoliceOne every month.

Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), and an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association. He is also a member of the Public Safety Writers Association, and is a three-time (2011, 2012, and 2014) Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" Finalist in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column.

Even in his "spare" time, he is active in his support for the law enforcement community, contributing his time and talents toward police-related charitable events as well as participating in force-on-force training, search-and-rescue training, and other scenario-based training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

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