14 simple rules for patrol

PoliceOne recently received the following list of 14 patrol “rules” from one of our good friends with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. All of these concepts have made their way individually around the Internet in some form or another, but we don’t remember seeing all of them collected in one place — at least like this short list. What should be rule #15? Add your own tip in the comments area below.

#1 — Wear your body armor.

#2 — Maintain a good level of shooting skills and proficiency with all your weapons systems: handgun, shotgun, and patrol rifle.

#3 — If necessary, purchase your own ammunition. An agency’s budget may not adequately prepare you for a shootout.

#4 — Practice training unconventionally. Develop one-handed, support-side, or weak-handed weapons manipulation skills, i.e. loading and malfunction drills.

#5 — Be polite and be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

#6 — Treat every self initiated activity or call for service as a potential ambush. This includes meal breaks.

#7 — Carry and use a gun that works every time. All of your skills are in vain if your gun doesn’t work.

#8 — Carry a backup. Guns are often hit and disabled, lost, or taken away.

#9 — Carry spare magazines and ammunition, in a firefight it never hurts to have more. Anyone who has been in a shooting will tell you that ammunition goes fast.

#10 — Be aggressive and quick.

#11 — Gunfights evolve rapidly. Have a plan, but be flexible for changes.

#12 — If you are not actually shooting, you should be reloading, communicating and gaining a tactical advantage.

#13 — Develop plans with your patrol partners, the old “what if” scenarios. Find out who carries what in their trunks.

#14 — Never give up despite the number of times you’ve been shot.

#15 — What should be rule #15? Add your tip in the comments below.

About the author

Doug Wyllie is Editor at Large for PoliceOne, responsible for providing police training content and expert analysis on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. An award-winning columnist — he is the 2014 Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" winner in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column — Doug has authored more than 900 feature articles and tactical tips. Doug is also responsible for planning and recording the PoliceOne Podcast, Policing Matters, as well as being the on-air host for PoliceOne Video interviews. Doug also works closely with the PoliceOne Academy to develop training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

Doug regularly represents PoliceOne as a public speaker in a variety of forums and is available for media interviews — he has appeared on numerous local and national radio and television news programs, and has been quoted in a host of print publications. 

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).

Contact Doug Wyllie

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  2. Officer Safety
  3. Community Policing
  4. Patrol Issues

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