Friday, 30 March 2018

Some Thoughts on Dynamic Tactics from Bill Blowers

Reposted with permission.

Today I read a funny post from a peer about things that should have been left in 2004. One of the things listed was dynamic tactics. This prompted a few comments and specifically a comment about running to our deaths. Reading this came on the heels of another post I read this week about how unsafe Dynamic Tactics (DT) is, no dope is worth an officer’s life, we don't rescue dope, and so forth is the typical rallying cry behind those that don't, or won't, use Dynamic Tactics (DT).

I quit pulling LEOKA stats in 2014 because they were basically the same year after year. In 2014, 4 officers were killed in the line of duty during “Tactical” events. 2 were killed using Dynamic Tactics (DT) and 2 were killed using Surround and Callout  (SC). But it's been awhile, and the posts made me decide to update my information so I pulled 2016 stats. 

In 2016, 6 officers were killed during "tactical" operations. I read through the summaries and then also did some internet research on each of those incidents. No officers were killed using Dynamic Tactics (DT) to serve warrants in 2016. 2 patrol officers were killed using slow and methodical clearing methods while serving a warrant for possession of a Syringe and during an eviction. 2 officers were killed during Surround and Callout  (SC) jobs, one was killed on the perimeter and another was shot in the turret of a Bearcat. 1 officer was killed during a Hostage Rescue. I would hope nobody would fault them for the decision to hit it fast, they had negotiated for 6 hours and the bad guy was armed with a rifle. The suspect was killed and the hostages were unharmed. The last officer was killed during a no-knock dynamic warrant service. However this officer was a Major, I assume command presence during warrant service. The bad guy ran out the back while the team was going in the front. The Major chased him on foot and was killed, he was not wearing body armor. 

My team has always used dynamic tactics, in addition to surround and callout as well as vehicle takedown and pick offs. If you decide to ignore one of these methods, you do so at your peril. Rather, evaluate each circumstance and then select the best method based on all parameters. One thing to be clear about is that I am not advocating Dynamic Tactics (DT) to recover evidence. The case should be made. I am advocating it in certain circumstances to secure the target, which by default secures the people. Once all that is secure, evidence can be located and seized. Last point is that if your team is restricted by command guidance or policies that do not allow you to enact ALL of the things that make Dynamic Tactics (DT) safe, then disregard. For obvious reasons I am not going to list them here. 

I know for a fact that Dynamic Tactics (DT) has prevented shootings because we were able to bounce hard dudes before they had a chance to come up with a plan. And while I'm aware that teams have been in shootings during Dynamic Tactics (DT), my team has only had shootings when using Surround and Callout  (SC). So my personal experience is that Dynamic Tactics (DT) is safer, and this is supported by LEOKA data. 

It is also my opinion that teams who have summarily discounted Dynamic Tactics (DT), may not be capable of Hostage Rescue. If you have never had to pick angles at speed, discriminate at speed, and have operational experience at speed, why do you think you can do it when lives are on the line? Maybe you can, but experience is what you get, right after you need it the most. And if the VAST majority of my real world experience is Surround and Callout  (SC) and the slow clear, how does that parlay over to the real deal? In my opinion, it doesn't. All of my Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) need to be geared toward the life safety mission. And as near as possible, seamless integration of tactics and experience should not only be sought, but mandated. 

So if you don't Dynamic Tactics (DT) because it's hard to get good at, or the bosses won't let you do what you need to do, then OK. But stop saying it's unsafe, because regardless of the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) saying it's unsafe, the facts don't support the assertion. 

One man's opinion for your consideration.

Bill Blowers, Founder of Tap Rack Tactical

Bill served in the US Army for 6 years and has been a Police Officer for over 25 years. He has spent the bulk of his LE career assigned to SWAT holding positions as a Sniper, Ballistic Shield Man, Mechanical/Ballistic Breacher, Assistant Team Leader and Team Leader on a large and busy regional SWAT team. 

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