10 pre-attack behavior cues

Officers should be familiar with easily observed warning signs that often precede an attack


Assaults on officers are running at more than 60,000 a year, according to FBI statistics. Marcus Young is convinced that many of these could be averted if targeted officers were alert for certain common cues that indicate an attack may be imminent.

Formerly a patrol sergeant in northern California, Young himself is a survivor of a horrendous assault. While dealing with a seemingly low-risk call, he was viciously set upon by an ex-con neo-Nazi and shot five times before killing his assailant. His remarkable fight for life is detailed in the book "Blood Lessons."

Young recently taught officer safety courses offered by the FBI’s LEOKA (Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted) section. Included in his interactive presentations is a roster of easily observed warning signs that often precede an attack.

“These are compiled from FBI studies of violent offenders and officers they have assaulted, as well as from officers who’ve discussed their personal experiences and observations at the LEOKA classes,” Young explained.

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