Ambush Attacks on Law Enforcement

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Ambush Attacks on Law Enforcement


Gordon Graham
Category: Law Enforcement

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. And Today’s Tip deals with ambushes of law enforcement officers.

An ambush is a pre-mediated, unprovoked attack generally targeting the badge and not the individual officer, deputy or trooper.

It’s happening on traffic stops, disturbance calls, field contacts, you name it. Ambushes seem to be happening with more and more frequency. But you know me. I study the data. Well, guess what, the data confirms my feeling.

An ambush is a pre-mediated, unprovoked attack generally targeting the badge and not the individual officer, deputy or trooper. According to the FBI’s data, from 1980 to 2010, the number of officers ambushed by bad guys is up 157%! And since 2010 27 more law enforcement officers have been killed in ambushes.

Some examples: 2013 saw two LAPD detectives fired on as they drove into the lot of their precinct to start their day.

A major with the St Louis Metropolitan Police Department was ambushed by subjects who he had previously tried making a traffic stop on. The suspects pulled away and once out of sight, pulled their car over, exited and from hidden positions and fired on the major as he drove past. In these two instances, the officers escaped unscathed. However, others haven’t been so lucky.

In March, 2013 a Texas police officer was shot three times as he made a passenger-side approach on a traffic stop. Unbeknownst to him at the time, the driver was responsible for the murder of the head of the Colorado Bureau of Prisons. Fortunately for this officer, his soft body armor saved his life.

Two of the core tenets of Law Officer Magazine’s Below 100 initiative apply here. Remember: Complacency Kills!  and W.I.N. What’s Important Now. Increase your chances of survival by exercising good situational awareness and expecting the unexpected. If you expect to be ambushed the next time you knock on that door or stop that car, you’ll be better prepared to react instead of being caught off guard and forced into being on the defensive.

And that is Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off.

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