June 25, 2019

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Surveillance Safety and Below 100

Gordon Graham
Category: Law Enforcement

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for law enforcement.

During the long and boring hours on surveillance, it’s easy to become complacent.

Today’s tip is for my law enforcement friends. Today’ I want to talk about safety during surveillance operations 

Whether you’re conducting surveillance of a drug house, a burglar, or a homicide suspect, the risks are similar. Let’s consider the five tenets of Below 100 as they relate to surveillance operations 

Wear your belt. When you’re sitting in the car, watching a suspect or a location, you probably aren’t wearing your seat belt. But you should put it on once you start moving. For the same reasons, you should wear it on patrol and the rest of the time. And don’t give me the excuse that you don’t want to wear your seatbelt because you don’t want to look like a cop. That might have worked in 1974, but not today when about 90% of motorists are buckled up. 

Wear your vest. I know you’re not in uniform, but you may end up facing an armed and dangerous suspect. Even though it probably isn’t the plan. This calls for vest. If you don’t have a shirt big enough to effectively conceal the vest, go buy one. Go to a thrift shop if you don’t want to spend a lot of money. 

Watch Your Speed. I know what you’re thinking. It’s impossible to keep the target in sight, without getting made, unless you exceed the speed limit here and there. Well, the more surveillance vehicles you have on the operation the easier it is. Regardless, speed kills. And speeding in this situation is probably illegal and against your policy. So, you might be left out there on your own if something goes wrong. Watch your speed and keep it under control. But what if the target is driving like a mad man? This is a nice segue to our next tenet. 

WIN-What’s Important Now? Keeping the suspect vehicle in sight may not be the most important thing right now. The safety of the kids leaving school or the men and women leaving work is more important. Just like in a vehicle pursuit, continuously evaluate the need to continue against the risks. But it’s a big dealer. But were up on a wire with the feds. None of that will help much if you crash and kill someone while you’re driving way too fast.   

RememberComplacency Kills. During the long and boring hours on surveillance, it’s easy to become complacent. If you’re nodding off, or if you’re playing on your phone, you might not see the suspect drive away. Or worse. Stay alert. Be aware of your surroundings. If you can’t, ask for someone to come relieve you. Your life could depend on it.  

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



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