Frontline Debriefs

Sort by:

FRONTLINE DEBRIEFS: Active-Shooter Response

A reader recently asked me to comment on a previous article I authored entitled the The Imperfect Machine as it relates to the recent Parkland High School shooting. First and foremost, I wasn’t there. Nor do I have all the details. I can, however, render my take on the situation. Read More

FRONTLINE DEBRIEFS: Dangers of Police Work

Many careers entail varying degrees of risk. Some careers are inherently riskier than others. But police work brings to the table an entirely unpredictable set of life-and-death decisions/actions with a most important caveat. It must operate within strict rules, dictums, and laws of engagement that are questioned at every step. Read More

FRONTLINE DEBRIEFS Make the First Shot Count

It has been my experience that overall, in the field, when the first shot does not connect with the intended target, successive shots as well have a tendency not to connect. On the opposite end of the spectrum, when initial shots connect, they are either successful in stopping the fight… Read More

Frontline Debriefs: The Imperfect Machine

If anyone has questioned you about why officers acted in a certain manner or you yourself have pondered why an event depicted on video played out as it did, the answer is straightforward. The human being is an imperfect machine. We are all comprised of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, and… Read More

Frontline Debriefs: Retirement Events

At some point in time, if you hang in there long enough, you may retire from a career in law enforcement, and hopefully it will be with a sense of satisfaction and a degree of accomplishment. Now there are retirements and there are retirements. Some individuals are immensely popular with… Read More


During my LAPD Academy days, we were debriefed on historical shootings on the LAPD. On the back lot of Universal Studios, SWAT debriefed us on the most famous ones during our one-day SWAT/Officer Survival training, a day that sadly no longer exists. These lessons sought to explain the history of… Read More

Frontline Debriefs: Judicial Perception

In recent times, a number of court cases have not being adjudicated in favor of police. While some cases are clearly in favor of the plaintiff and for just cause, I know of others in which the facts would not seem to justify an award against law enforcement, and yet… Read More

Frontline Debriefs: LAPD SWAT Tactics

LAPD SWAT has had four major shootouts in the last four months. I do not recall there having been this many shootings in as many months in SWAT’s history. For whatever reason, the bad guys in L.A. have decided to go to guns as opposed to relinquishing their freedom voluntarily. Read More

Frontline Debriefs: Newhall Incident Revisited

Virtually from my first day in the LAPD Academy in 1976, I was instructed in all matters relative to officer safety. Los Angeles was a dangerous place. If the traffic, smog, or femmes fatale didn’t get you, the bad guys certainly would! A seminal event in California was the Newhall… Read More

Frontline Debriefs: Deadly Force Shootings

If you have not seen the Clint Eastwood-directed movie Sully, you need to. What does an emergency passenger airplane landing on the Hudson River have to do with police work? As it turns out, just about everything. I have worked for over 26 years as a designated use-of-force expert… Read More