Searching female subjects: Do it 'right' every time
Just as you visually and physically confirm that a firearm is safe, you have to visually and physically confirm that a person is 'safe'
Editor’s Note: I speak about five words of Spanish, so for this particular item I had a Spanish-speaking colleague also review the video embedded below. According to her, the TV reporter — who just happened to be present at the station at the time of this incident — apparently also did not notice what you will almost surely see right away. Why the camera operator failed to say anything to any of the coppers present is utterly incomprehensible, and in my humble estimation, borderline criminally negligent — at the very least, staying silent like he did shows a total lack of the most basic human self-preservation instincts. If you are fluent in Spanish and hear anything in this report that merits inclusion here, please post that information in the comments area below.
A few weeks ago, I wrote up a tactical tip related to female subjects and concealed firearms based upon a video that had cropped up on the Internet. For a variety of reasons, it got considerable attention from PoliceOne Members. Another video has come to my attention — this one from a Spanish-language news broadcast — that warrants our serious attention. Now, I don’t speak Spanish, but you don’t need to speak Spanish in order to get a pretty complete appreciation for what’s happening here (pictures, after all, are worth thousands of words). A couple quick things, right up front. The video involves a female subject, a firearm, and what appears to be a fairly significant mistake on the part of the California Highway Patrol. I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in pointing fingers at (or piling on) anyone at CHP. I have great respect for that agency and personal friends who work there. The point of this column is to use this video as a jumping-off point for a discussion around the specific subject of searching females (anyone, really) as well as the broader issue of inattentional blindness.
Okay, disclaimers out of the way, go ahead and check out the clip (either below or here), then scroll down to access the remainder of this column in which I’ll relay to you some of the thoughts from a handful of PoliceOne expert commentators.
About the author
Doug Wyllie is Editor at Large for PoliceOne, providing police training content on a wide range of topics and trends affecting the law enforcement community. Doug is the 2014 Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column, and has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips. Doug hosts the PoliceOne Podcast, Policing Matters, and is the host for PoliceOne Video interviews. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).
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