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Lessons from the Baton Rouge ambush attack

Here's what cops can learn from the DA's report on the July 2016 attack


Recently, the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s office released a report of its investigation into the July 17, 2016, ambush attack in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. While more legally oriented than a typical law enforcement after-action report, we can glean some important lessons learned.

First, understand my deep and abiding respect for the officers killed and wounded in this terrible incident. It is never easy to second guess the actions of officers caught up in such an event, especially when lives were lost. However, I feel by analyzing the details and disseminating information that could save lives in the future, we honor our fallen brothers.

Those who regularly read my column know I have written about the explosion of ambush attacks on U.S. police officers. Over the last few years I have researched this subject and taught counter-ambush tactics to many police groups. Since the tactics I present were primarily learned from officers who lost their ambush fight, it has been gratifying to recently analyze the actions of some ambush winners. The details from the Baton Rouge ambush further illustrate how some police actions can make you more vulnerable to the attacker’s actions and, more important, how some of our recommended tactics can put you in the winner category.

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