1. Wear your vest. We didn’t have them back then, and we lost some brothers as a result.
2. Look out for each other. Always important, but even more so when the family is under attack.
3. Be aware that small things can turn into big things, fast. Don’t forget that the ‘65 Watts Riots started with a simple DUI stop.
4. Go armed — heavily — always. You never know when the next SLA shootout will go down on your watch, or when you’ll run across the wrong crowd while off duty. Pack a War Bag with extra mags for the car, carry a backup gun (or two), and always carry a reasonable fighting gun off duty
COMMENT: Ammunition is cheap, your life is not. Replace your ammunition regularly, such as every year. Also, don't go cheap on magazines. I bought some after market magazines for my Sig 230 and I was having jamming on the range. The range officer looked at me and knew the problem in an instant, "Cheap magazines. Don't. Factory only."
Also something that came up a few years ago. I carried the Ruger Mini-14 as a patrol carbine, but I switched to an AR-15 around five years ago. One of my rookie officers was looking at buying a Ruger because it would save him $500.00. I told him when I was taking a low-light carbine course a few years ago, I was the only person there with the Mini-14. While the Ruger has a better sighting system IMHO, it is more challenging to disassemble quickly. But the main reason is the magazines are completely different. If the situation went down, such as an active shooter, I could not simply exchange magazine with another person if he or I needed ammunition. That made me buy my Bushmaster later that week.
5. Maintain operational security. Deny useful information to the enemy.
6. Avoid habit patterns. Habit patterns make you an easy target for ambush. Mix it up.
COMMENT: Immediately after the Dallas ambush, my department went to mandatory two man units for a while. I also told my officers to change your patterns. If you go to that Starbucks at the beginning of the shift for a cup of coffee, try going a little later. If you have your favorite spot for writing your reports, taking a break, etc, change the location or the time you are there. Don't get into a routine. You may not notice it, but your enemies will.
7. Harden your house. A police station must withstand attack. Glass doors and floor-to-ceiling windows offer no protection from bricks, bullets, or bombs. Put auto barriers in place. Move desks away from windows, secure the perimeter, control access, and change landscaping/architecture so you can see who’s approaching the door.
8. Conduct vehicle searches — on your own cars. When you return to your vehicle (duty or private), do a visual check for sabotage (lug nuts? tires? brake lines?), tampering, or explosives before you touch it.
9. Don’t be afraid of a tactical retreat. Don’t push a bad situation. Fall back, regroup, and choose the battlefield.
10. Know your counter-ambush tactics. Learn them. Perfect them. Use them.
11. Train in officer hostage tactics. Work out a plan with your partners. Never surrender your gun. No more Onion Fields.
COMMENT: Back up weapon.
12. Radio discipline. Never make a stop without calling it in. Ever.
COMMENT: Or use your car computer, but always let people know where you are and know where you are.
13. Hone your crowd control and riot tactics. You’ll need these skills when a First Amendment event becomes a riot.
14. Be self-reliant. When the system is stressed, there may be no backup available. Back in the day, there was no SWAT, no K9, and no helicopter — you did it yourself. Get all the help you can, whenever you can, but don’t forget how to get things done by yourself, if necessary.
15. Check your six. Remember, you’re not the only hunter out there.
Thank you Mr. Wood, excellent list. Be safe out there guys.