Drill that helps you keep your eyes on the suspect

Submitted by:
Lt. Dan Marcou


Have you ever watched a professional carpenter working? That guy (or gal as the case may be) can, while hanging from a ladder or sprawled across a roof, find every tool on their belt and replace it. Without looking. Every single time they need to.

Accessing our tools quickly — and without looking — is even more important for police officers than it is for carpenters. Every now and again when the mood hits you, put yourself through the tool belt drill.

“What is the tool belt drill?” you ask. It is a simple drill that can be done in a few minutes. All the tool belt drill is you take the time to remove and replace everything on your belt. With your eyes forward at an imaginary suspect:

• Remove your flashlight and put it away
• Withdraw your TASER and put it away
• Grab your radio or access your collar mic
• Take out your handcuffs, your pepper spray, your baton, and so on...

You should do each of these movements about five times. With a little bit of regular practice, you will get to the point that you do not have to look away from your suspect to either access or replace any of your equipment. You can use a training firearm (like a ‘Blue Gun’) and do this off range with your sidearm also, but that’s not the principal focus of the tool belt drill. We're talking here about all your other tools...

Do this drill until it is second nature to obtain the tools you need without needing to take your attention away from the hands of the suspect. As J.D. “Buck” Savage would say: “Watch the hands!”

The tool belt drill is simple. It costs you and your department nothing. But it can prove invaluable.

Lt. Dan Marcou is an active, nationally-recognized, police trainer, who was a highly-decorated police officer with 33 years of full time law enforcement experience. In November 2006, Lt. Dan Marcou retired from the La Crosse, Wisconsin Police Department, where he had achieved the rank of Lieutenant, Director of Training. He served in the capacity of patrol his entire career, insisting on personally assisting in the field training of all new recruits.

"Lt. Dan" served as a Tactical Operator, Team Leader, and Officer in Charge of the La Crosse Police Department Emergency Response Team. He was also commander of the nationally recognized La Crosse Police Department Emergency Response Team, which developed what some call the “La Crosse Method,” of Crowd Control. He also is a trained negotiator and served in this capacity, which led him to be presented with the Distinguished Service Award from the City of Oak Creek, for assisting them effectively with an Active Shooter on November 5, 2004. This episode has been documented in Charles Remsberg’s book Blood Lessons.

Highly-decorated by the La Crosse Police Department, Dan proudly served there for 29 and one half years, receiving 15 departmental citations, three Chief’s Superior Achievement Awards, Police Officer of the Year, SWAT Officer of the Year, and Domestic Abuse Law Enforcement Officer of the year as well as Humanitarian of the Year.

Dan has achieved national recognition as a trainer for his innovations in Crowd Control, Defensive Tactics, Live Interactive Firearms Training, and his Five Phases of the Active Shooter. Marcou is a Master Trainer for the State of Wisconsin and he trains all levels of police officers from entry level to upper management in Defensive Tactics, Firearms, SWAT, Ethics, Supervisory Excellence and many other topics. Dan is also a graduate of the 175 FBI National Academy.

His first novel, The Calling the Making of a Veteran Cop was published by Thunder Bay Press in 2007 and is being lauded as not only an excellent training aid for Criminal Justice Classes and Academies, but a good read. It is being read by cops world wide and made the best seller list at Barnes and Noble as well as achieving a five star rating.

Lt. Marcou’s second novel, S.W.A.T. Blue Knights in Black Armor has been acclaimed for its depiction of police as they really are, modern knights. Marcou's third novel, Nobody's Heroes, has just been released and is already being met with critical praise. The reality he breathes into his police novels comes from having lived the life. All three of Dan's novels are available through Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com. For additional information check out his website.

Contact Dan Marcou

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