5.11 Tactical, which as you may recall has been running a very big fundraising project to benefit the FDNY and NLEOMF, is going to be streaming the 9/11 tribute live on 5.11 Tactical. If you wanted to attend in person but could not, you can watch it at www.511tactical.com/911PatchProject.html.
You can watch Dan Costa talk about the 5.11 patch project, then mail them one from your department (if you haven’t already). You can read more about the memorial they’re building on the 5.11 patch project Facebook page; check it out, they have a lot of patches. It’s a good deal; every bit of the profit from the items for sale as part of the 9/11 Tribute go to the FDNY Foundation and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
Though it may be past the deadline, we still urge you to send your patches in. Dan Costa is a stand up guy and he’s passionate about this project. You can bet they’ll do something with the patches.
NOTE: Patches do not have to be from LE agencies. Any emergency response/first responder type patch is welcome, including Security Forces and Military Police units and military fire/crash units.
THE 9/11 TRIBUTE
c/o 5.11 Tactical
4300 Spyres Way
Modesto, Ca 95356
There are iPhone apps for everything as many of you well know. The Shooting Wire just let us know that the Winchester Ballistics App has been updated so users can determine aiming points, impact points and trajectories for rimfire, shotgun slug and handgun hunting ammunition. The previous version for iPhone and iPod Touch allowed the choice of centerfire rifle ammunition and a comparison of up to three different Winchester cartridges on ballistic charts, allowing for wind speed and ambient temperature.
Not something we’d recommend in lieu of range time (or for that matter, On The Job at all) but handy nonetheless, especially with hunting season fast approaching. Read more about the updated Winchester Ballistics App.
The staff of BOLO Report numbers several Luddites in its ranks. One (1) is an unnaturally snappy dresser who enjoys disrupting native tweaker life and doper mating rituals in their natural habitat. There are at least two (2) guys wear heavy vest couture, enjoy barricaded suspect resolutions by moonlight and high risk warrant service on a nice day; their knuckles are appropriately scarred from the dragging. Another, however, has spent the better part of the last decade involved in cyber security (for lack of a better term) at the behest of a couple of major national entities. He knows a lot more about this stuff than the rest of the staff (and appears to have made the correct choice in moving from the ranks of flatfoot patrolmen to where he is now). He will periodically be posting article of interest here, both to explain some things frequently misunderstood and to keep BOLO Report readers abreast of the law enforcement/security side of electronic/computer security and forensics. He’s one of the most tactically proficient nerds we know and we’re happy to have him helping out with the basics, even if it’s only once in a while.
We’ll cover cyber-crime, computer forensics and related news, but for his first post, something along the lines of “officer safety” (since being the subject of phishing, data mining and other information can certainly put you and your family at risk).
Anti-Virus measures and rescue tools:
The need for good anti-virus measures on your PC or laptop (particularly if you transfer materials back and forth from work stations) is obvious. It’s as vital in its own way for your information as your body armor is for your health. Unfortunately, it is also frequently the cause of irritating television commercials or radio ads. The simple fact is, you can create an effective, layered defense yourself with just a little work and little or no real cost.
AVG, a well known anti-virus company, has made available an ISO file that allows you to create a bootable CD that can be used to potentially rescue a computer that has suffered some kind of “irrecoverable failure”. Their software is available for both CD and USB depending on what your preferred media is. An ISO file is a file that allows you to create a bootable CD or USB that you would use to start a computer suffering from a problem that prevents normal usage.
One thing to remember, a rescue tool like this is effective only so far as the product (AVG’s anti-virus software) has definitions capable of detecting the particular threat or threats that affect the computer you are dealing with. It is possible that AVG may be able to detect something that other anti-virus solutions cannot. Conversely, other anti-virus solutions may be able to detect threats that AVG cannot currently detect. This is a tool, one of many but just one tool. You need to keep in mind the bigger picture when it comes to detecting threats on a computer or a network. As with physical tools of the trade (your flashlight, your weapon, your backing officer) redundancy can be a good thing. More to follow, but for now your options are just a search engine away….
Though it’s often misidentified as domestic calls for service, truthfully the most lethal aspect of police work may very well be suicide. Many estimates show that the suicide rate for law enforcement officers is significantly higher than that of the general public, though often personnel from LE agencies give their brethren the “benefit of the doubt” and call what may have been a suicide a “firearms training accident.” As many or more officers kill themselves annually as those killed by criminals in the line of duty, which is saying something considering the all time high rate of officers being murdered On The Job. (Some studies say this is grossly undercutting the number of suicides; others say the numbers are being grossly exaggerated.) Florida’s Institute of Police Technology and Management is offering a Police Suicide Awareness: Train the Trainer course next month. If you or agency has the wherewithal, it might be a course worth looking at. It’s very old, but the FBI put out an article on law enforcement officer suicides. The Cops Alive blog discussed it much more recently.
MFI is having a Labor Day Special, Friday September 2nd through Monday September 5th. Note: this isn’t a paid advertisement, we don’t have a vested interest in MFI (though we have used some of their kit and liked it), we’re passing it along to help our readership save money. We’ll advise of others if we hear about them. Check Mack Gwinn Industries (MGI) Labor Day sale and see if they’ve got something you just can’t live without.
Tweels. They’re being called the “next generation of tire” and will probably completely change the way the Michelin Man looks in future commercials. There are a lot of bonuses…no more air valves, no need for air compressors, no flats on the side of the road. They’ll undoubtedly affect police pursuits; “stop sticks” probably won’t work any more.
The Tweel is an integrated tire and wheel combination (Tire/Wheel, Tweel) that is currently being used in low speed, low-weight vehicles like the iBOT mobility device and Segway Concept Centaur. It’s actually pretty simple; a hub and spoke design comprised of flexible spokes in a flexible wheel that replaces any need for air pressure, while (according to the manufacturer) delivering performance that’s comparable to standard pneumatic tires. It will deform to absorb shock and should have weight-carrying capacity, comfort and road performance comparable to good old fashioned rubber-meets-the-road tires.
How much more effective would the Tweel make a police 4 x4, a Sheriff’s Department ATV or a special operations motorcycle? What about a ground mobility vehicle, ballistic armored transport or Bearcat? Could really improve things for the better if they work as well as projected.
After a run of more than 30 years (it was first introduced as a police car back in 1938), the Crown Vic” (Crown Victoria) is retiring. Newer Ford police models are based on the Taurus and Explorer. Competition comes in the form of the Dodge Charger and the returning Chevrolet Caprice (the older version of which a couple of BOLO Report contributors drove for many years before they were thankfully retired and replace). Read more about the end of an era: retirement of the Crown Victoria.
The Tactical Mic Keeper (TMK) of Webster Innovations LLC is the brainchild of Brian Webster, a veteran Law Enforcement Officer. He invented the TMK in 2007 as a reliable and professional solution for the microphone retention problems that officers face when in pursuit of a suspect (it will retain your mic; it will not do anything to hang onto the sunglasses you hung from your epaulette). The TMK is now being produced in a Scottsdale, AZ facility. To learn more about the recent move, watch the Video Announcement.
The TMK was designed to let you keep your equipment in place during a foot chase in particular – foot chases are damn dangerous. We just lost an officer in Alabama three days ago after a foot chase. All the equipment in the world won’t put you back home at the end of your shift without proper officer safety skills, situational awareness, tactics and physical/mental preparation. Those are your responsibility, and are the minimum you owe to your family, friends and yourself. Be safe out there.
USAF Security Forces units from around the country will conduct a ruck march in remembrance of the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and Defenders who have fallen by enemy hands since the start of Operation Enduring Freedom. Defenders (from Defensor Fortis “Defenders of the Force”, from the Security Forces crest) are the military law enforcement AFSC for the Air Force (as MP is the law enforcement MOS for the Army). Numerous Security Forces personnel, such as SSgt Travis Griffin and A1C Jason Nathan have been Killed In Action in OIF and OEF and many more (like A1C Tony Pizzifred and SrA Brian Kolfage) severely injured.
The ruck route for the Ruck March to remember will start at the Security Forces Center and go past Shanksville, PA before ending at ground zero in time for the 10th anniversary ceremony on September 11, 2011.
This march is approximately 2,181 miles broken into 16 legs. Units involved include:
-Lackland/Randolph/SF Center; 148 miles to travel
-Barksdale AFB; 148 miles
-Keesler AFB; 148 miles
-Columbus AFB; 146 miles
-Eglin AFB; 142 miles
-Tyndall AFB; 146 miles
-Moody AFB; 143 miles
-Robins AFB; 143 miles
-Pope Army Airfield (440th); 146 miles
-Seymour Johnson AFB; 148 miles
-Langley AFB; 141 miles
-Andrews AFB; 144 miles
-Dover AFB; 147 miles
-McGuire AFB/Ft. Dix; 136 miles
There are twelve (12) grant programs for “Disaster Preparedness” now available, totaling over $2 billion dollars. The money can be sourced by state agencies, tribal and territorial governments, non-profit agencies and qualifying sections of the private sector to “strengthen our nation’s ability to prevent, protect, respond to, recover from and mitigate terrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies…” DHS grants this year were reduced by approximately $800 million dollars compared to last year. There is no doubt that some agencies obtain high quality training and necessary equipment via DHS and similar grants but as always there will be someone who somehow manage to articulate a need for and justify truly far-fetched purchases. Unfortunately, despite grant fraud investigative efforts, a lot can be gained with the judicial use of creative writing (as anyone who has ever completed the labyrinthine Federal grant application status can attest). More information about Homeland Security grant program availability is on their website. If you know of a town that’s equipped all their school bus drivers with X50 MultiCom Headsets in case weapons of mass destruction are deployed or issued Extended Range Operator Packs to every single school crossing guard as a bailout bag in event of invasion, contact the DHS Office of the Inspector General.