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November 06, 2009
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Sgt. Glenn French SWAT Operator
with Sgt. Glenn French

Terrorism strikes, U.S. law enforcement responds

It’s being reported that Nidal Malik Hasan yelled “Allahu Akbar,” an Islamic exclamation in Arabic which means “Allah is the Greatest,” as he went on a murderous rampage which took the lives of 13 Americans. It’s also reported 31 other persons were injured.

My heart goes out to the soldiers and families of the 1st Cavalry Division of Fort Hood. I had the privilege to serve with soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division and they are truly one of the Army’s finest fighting units.

Godspeed to all the victims, soldiers, and families of the 1st Cavalry Division — indeed, to all the units affected by this tragic event.

As I read the early reports on this event a couple points came to mind. Since the 9/11 attacks I have assured many military soldiers as they deploy to combat overseas not to worry about their families stateside because “we have their backs” as they fight for Americans, Democracy, and an end to terrorism.

The law enforcement response to this active shooter incident lived up to my promise to these warriors.

We must commend the officer(s) that neutralized Hasan and his terrorist actions.

Once again, U.S. Law Enforcement was ready to combat violence.

For the past 12 years American Law Enforcement has trained and responded for this type of event. Unfortunately, terrorists in this country and overseas may view this incident as a success due to the international coverage and the number of casualties. However, it also sends another message and that is “American Law Enforcement is prepared to combat your radical attempts to squash democracy, liberty, and Christianity.”

The responding officer(s) surely demonstrated this with their heroic actions. For some time I have written about the importance of readiness for such an event. Don’t think for a minute that terrorists won’t look at this incident and learn from it. It’s obvious that if a lone active shooter can infiltrate a military installation — Hasan was apparently stationed at the base — and cause so much carnage then this country is full of soft targets.

My message is simple for the front line patrol officers and SWAT cops: “Train hard, be prepared, and defend our nation when you’re called to duty.”

One of my favorite quotes is from one of America’s original fighting warriors, a Mohican Chief named “Aupumut.” Chief Aupumut told his warriors: “when it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.”

Take his words with you as you patrol the streets, when you train for active shooter events and when you are called to fight terrorism on American soil.

When you see a soldier, thank him for his service and reassure him not to worry about his family because we “have his six.” He will know this phrase well and when he ships out perhaps he will have the confidence that his sacrifices won’t be in vein.

Early reports have also indicated that many lives may have been saved by the soldiers as they provided “combat first aid” to casualties during the shooting rampage.

Soldiers are trained in combat life saving, which provides care to casualties until EMS or Medics can render advanced aid. I have written about this concept in the past and I believe that tactical life saver training needs to become mainstream — rather than the rarity — in law enforcement and I urge you to get the training.

Fort Hood was locked down for some time when this incident occurred. The initial responders thought there was more than one shooter at multiple locations. There where reports of many casualties. The chaos from any active shooter event can delay EMS response for some time.

If this delay occurs at an incident you have responded to you may save the life of a comrade or an innocent victim with combat life saver training. For example the EMS response to the L.A. bank robbery, Columbine, and Virginia Tech were delayed due to the ongoing active shooter threat just like at Fort Hood. I strongly urge you to seek out the combat life saver training in your area and prepare yourself.

Remember: “Training, preparation, and the Warrior Spirit are the cornerstones to victory in combat.”


About the author

Glenn French, a Sergeant with the Sterling Heights (Mich.) Police Department, has 22 years police experience and currently serves as the Team Commander for the Special Response Team, and Sergeant of the Sterling Heights Police Department Training Bureau. He has 14 years SWAT experience and served as a Sniper Team Leader, REACT Team Leader, and Explosive Breacher.

He is the author of the award-winning book “Police Tactical Life Saver” which has been named the 2012 Public Safety Writers Association Technical Manual of the year. Glenn is also the President of www.tacticallifesaver.org.

Glenn has instructed basic and advanced SWAT / Tactical officer courses, basic and advanced Sniper courses, Cold Weather / Winter Sniper Operations and Active Shooter Response courses, Tactical Lifesaver Course and others. Sgt French served in the U.S. Army. During his military tenure Sgt French gained valuable experience in C.Q.B., infantry tactics and explosive breaching operations. 

Contact Glenn French.





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