Reality Training: Ambush at a marijuana grow operation


In July 2012, Miami-Dade (Fla.) officers arrived to a home suspected to be a marijuana operation (turns out, 80 pounds of pot worth $90,000 was found there) and very quickly came under gunfire. 

Miami-Dade Detective John Saavedra — a former Miami-Dade PBA Officer of the Year who suffered gunshot wounds to his abdomen and left leg — recently told a local TV station,  “I’m doing better... but I am still in pain.”

The assailant who fired on the officers — Gerardo Delgado — was killed in the gunfight he started.

The whole thing was caught on a pair of surveillance cameras, with the dramatic footage released earlier this month. 

The footage shows Delgado exit the front door of the residence just before officers arrive. Delgado then gets into a parked BMW with dark-tinted windows, and lies in wait as officers move toward the front door to begin questioning another man, Luis Lazaro Estevanell.

Watch the videos and consider the questions below.  

•    What went well — and what went not so well — with the contact/cover tactics used here?
•    Once the battle was on, did the officers' individual movements give them an advantage?
•    Did the officers’ mindset — compared to their assailant — enable them to win the day?
•    What other training points would you bring to your squad room in light of these videos?

About the author

This series of columns takes recent situations in the news and uses video footage to start a discussion.

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  2. Police Training
  3. Officer Safety
  4. Officer-Involved Shootings

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