This month, examines the sensitive issue of police policemans who suddenly become deadly threats to various other cops - we start with the danger posed through impersonators

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Early in the morning that Sunday, January 29th the this year, i was saddened by the news that a Santa Maria (Calif.) police officer was shot and killed by fellow officers together they tried come arrest him.

The young officer — who had actually reportedly to be under investigation for sex-related misconduct through a teenage girl affiliated in the department’s explorer program — reportedly turned his pistol on the police officers who were compelled to confront him in ~ a DUI checkpoint the Saturday night. 

It simply so happens the I was in my car when i heard this news, en route to day 2 of a two-day firearms course with my good friend Ken Hardesty. In attendance would be a fifty percent dozen or an ext law enforcers I’d met the vault day. Needless come say, the event in Santa Maria was discussed in depth during our short breaks to ‘top turn off mags and also suck under water.’ 


Anders Breivik, seated in one armored police car after his twin-terror attacks, is put on the prison clothing befitting his true terminal in life. The day he allegedly committed the worst attack on Norway because World war II, however, he to be wearing a homemade police uniform tailored to make those innocent civilians think he was a regulation enforcement officer. (AP Photo)

Expert Analysis

Blue top top Blue: Stemming the tide of police impersonators

The problem of police impersonators is only bound to obtain worse. One factor we’re most likely going to see much more (and more aggressive) police impersonators in coming months and also years is because of the truth that there space truly too countless unsavory “trainers” out there who will provide training come anyone whose cash is green. 

The an ext training an impersonator is able come get, the more convincing the movements and also body language the an impersonator are likely to it is in — at least that’s the “worst situation scenario” i m sorry cops should probably prepare for.

Further, over there is an enormous prevalence that retailers whose core business is “paint the black and call that tactical” form of gear. They just don’t seem to give a hoot who they sell a badge holder to. 

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Norway"s Timothy McVeigh

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Anders Behring Breivik, who has actually reportedly admitted responsibility for both atrocities, is a psychotic whose an ideas came indigenous his very own twisted civilization view and lack of a moral compass.

Gone Seriously off the RailsBecause the those conversations at the class, I chose we’d ultimately need to attend to this blue-on-blue concern here top top My arrangement was to let the Santa Maria incident fade indigenous our immediate radar screens, revisiting it as soon as some the the emotionally precipitation had evaporated. 

Then, not also three mainly later, an ice agent in lengthy Beach that shot and also injured a colleague to be himself killed by a 3rd agent that “intervened and also fired his weapon come prevent additional rounds being fired at the victim.” 

Not also a mainly after that, a Massachusetts officer reportedly killed himself after shooting a fellow cop in the groin. 

Had he not made the decision to take it his very own life, it’s entirely possible he would have actually soon remained in an equipped confrontation v the officers who were trying to find him. Who knows how that could have ended? 

In all three cases, this police officers had actually done something far afield that the high moral standards come which police officers are held. Something, somewhere, had actually gone seriously turn off the rails for each of this guys. 

“I guess: v I need to do that blue-on-blue collection sooner than later,” i muttered to myself as I contemplated three eerily-similar incidents arising within mainly of every other. 

So, I referred to as my guys. 

Dude Looks like a LEOI request the abovementioned Ken Hardesty to write an short article on handle with equipped threats no matter what “uniform” they occur to it is in wearing. Ns asked Larry miller to compose a obelisk looking at the psychological results of having actually a gunfight with a fellow-officer. Ns asked Dan Marcou to compose something on one certain blue-on-blue occurrence which was particularly deadly. I didn’t also have to ask lining Joyner because that a obelisk on the blue-on-blue shootings the come from negligent discharges — by pure happenstance it just showed up in my inbox. 

With all of those angles covered, i’m confident we’re going to carry out a pretty comprehensive resource for your factor to consider during the following week and a half. 

With “my guys” Hardesty, Marcou, Miller, and Joyner managing the really hard stuff — actually having actually to do a deadly-force decision on a “good-guy-turned-suddenly-bad-guy” — I want to start this series with other that’s to be bothering me because Anders Breivik donned a homemade police uniform and also committed the deadliest assault in Norway due to the fact that World war II. 

Aerial images of Brevic’s deadly assault on the island of Utoya, located around 20 miles exterior of Oslo, show a guy whose movements and also appearance were carefully tailored to make those innocent civilians think he to be a law enforcement officer. 

His disguise no fool the Oslo police that responded, however it can have. Had he been even just a tiny bit far better at his ruse, he can have caused simply a millisecond of skepticism in the responding officers — just sufficient time to launch a deadly assault on those coppers. 

Toward the end of critical year, we acquired word that a bunch of gang bangers follow me the United states border through Mexico had been posing together police and also raiding illegal gambling parlors. Again, those disguises were sufficient to silly the unknowing civilians, yet an skilled officer might see with the subterfuge. 

But let’s not gain overconfident. Remember the situation of Vincent Richardson, a 14-year-old boy who sauntered right into a Chicago police station and successfully fooled a totality slew of coppers in his January 2009 stunt impersonating a police officer. 

Had Richardson had malevolent intent, he might have done an remarkable amount the damage. And also Richardson is by no means an anomaly. Impersonators have presented up freshly in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Colorado, Maryland, Oregon, Delaware, Florida, Oklahoma, Idaho, California, Wyoming, Illinois, Michigan, brand-new Hampshire, Indiana, Ohio, Alaska, brand-new Mexico, phibìc Carolina, and also Texas.

“Police impersonators posture a dangerous risk to law enforcement officers,” stated Columnist Lance Eldridge. “Not only deserve to they develop a rift in between law enforcement professionals and the community they serve, but they are also a straight threat come officer safety. In a much more volatile, deadly force setting the results could be tragic. Seeing another uniformed officer could an outcome in suspicion to action appropriately, perhaps costing the real officer his or she life.” 

Not to put too fine a point on it, if the subject is an armed and also deadly threat, he or she should be treated together such, no matter what “uniform” they appear to be wearing. Cops should be prepared to make the deadly-force decision even if it is you are managing someone you know personally to be an officer that the law, or you’re taking care of someone who disguise just happens come be yes, really clever. 

Like everything else in regulation enforcement, if you don’t mentally confront the possible scenario in advance, friend will most likely be a tiny behind the curve when that devastating day eventually comes. It’s really all just around your when-then thinking.