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Being Ready: Philadelphia Standoff Lessons
Being Ready: Philadelphia Standoff Lessons

By On 8/14/2019, narcotics officers working a search warrant in Philadelphia were met by a shooter armed with a rifle, during this exchange, several officers were shot and two officers were pinned down on the second floor of the house.  These two officers were in uniform and had duty equipment on, they were equipped to conduct patrol duties not a prolonged stationary position with an armed and active shooter below them. This is a very specific situation which was very unlikely to happen, until it did, and one of the principal questions which was reported to have been asked by a supervisor to those officers was “do you have enough ammunition?”     Whenever I get new officers fresh out of the academy, I explain to them the redundancy concept of equipment.  There is a lot of equipment every officer should have and every one of those pieces of equipment should have a backup of, or near, the same capacity and function.  If policy allows a backup pistol, have one and it should take the same magazines as the primary pistol. Have at least two magazines, three if space allows. Two blades, and they are not supposed to be for cutting seat belts, but can do that job if needed.  Two medical kits, one for another person, and one for personal care. Medical is always discounted as unnecessary until it is immediately required, which means if it is not present then death may be an outcome. Ankle kits, soft armor velcro kits, duty rig kits, does not matter how you carry it, just have it.  A real world proven tourniquet, hemostatic, chest seal and nitrile gloves. They should be easily accessible by either hand, in any position.   While there are many officers who do not carry liquid mace spray anymore, it is still something which has a good application and is a redundancy to the taser.  Two pairs of handcuffs is a good idea, if weight is an issue on the rig, use a hook/loop pouch on the vest under the shirt. Have a copy of the patrol vehicles key in a wallet or in a boot.  Redundancy is how officers stay in the fight, and able to affect the outcome of a high stress situation. Training, however, is what takes the average street officer from having a basic understanding of implementation and pushes them into the professional law...

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