3 keys to preparing for the unexpected

Submitted by:
Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith


09/01/2010

Workplace violence seems to be back in the news again, with a man taking hostages at the Discovery Channel headquarters building in Silver Spring Maryland today. Although your average nine-to-five worker doesn’t anticipate facing an explosive-wielding gunman at the office, that’s exactly what your average cop has to be prepared to respond to, any where, any time. Are you ready?

• Mentally prepare. We all know things have changed; we don’t automatically button up the area and wait for SWAT. Are you ready to form that ad hoc team and run toward the shots, or maybe even go in by yourself? Visualize how you would respond to that “bank robbery gone bad” and several other realistic scenarios.
• Train with your beat partners. Not all departments have formal or frequent active shooter training, is yours one of them? Get together with the people you work the closest with and “tabletop” some scenarios. Where are the potential hot spots in your area? How would you approach? Where would you set up the inner and out perimeters? How would you make entry if you had to? Communication is key!
• Get that “go-bag” together. Load it up with a few basics: lots of fancy extras are fun, but basically you need a couple of energy bars, a bottle of water, some a couple of tac med bandages, and lots and lots of ammo. Your go-bag doesn’t have to be expensive, fancy, or complicated, but it needs to be ready to go when you are!

We’re living in increasingly dangerous, volatile times, make sure to refresh your self aid and buddy aid skills, train not only on the range but in your head, and always remember that you’ve got to employ that “warrior mindset” to WIN!


Sergeant Betsy Smith has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience, retiring as a patrol supervisor in a large Chicago suburb. A graduate of the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety's School of Staff and Command and a Street Survival seminar instructor for more than 9 years, Betsy is now a speaker, author and a primary PoliceOne Academy consultant. Visit Betsy's website at www.femaleforces.com.

Contact Betsy Smith and Follow Betsy on Twitter




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