U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Old Cops Know "Stuff"--If You Want To Make it Home Alive at the End of Your Shift, Heed the Advice of Veteran Cops

NCJ Number
Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine Volume: 28 Issue: 10 Dated: October 2004 Pages: 58,60,63
Roy Huntington
Date Published
October 2004
5 pages
Based on his own experiences as a veteran police officer and what he has learned from "cops who were smarter than me," the author outlines "stuff" that may help new and inexperienced officers avoid injury or death.
One of the most important beliefs that an officer should continually hold is that all people lie to police officers. Officers should never rely upon untested and unconfirmed statements. Another principle is that the weapon most likely to injury or kill an officer is the suspect's hands; therefore, cuffing a suspect should be routine. Officers should search anyone whom they stop in the field or place in their car. This includes individuals transferred from the custody of other officers. Also, observe their hands, as guilty suspects tend to have their hands either more still or more active than innocent people. Officers should carry a backup gun that is easily accessible as well as a folding knife, a sturdy pair of pliers, both kinds of screwdrivers, a small crowbar, and some leather work gloves to protect the hands. Other advice on weapons is to carry at least one box of full-metal-case ammo for the duty gun and keep it in the gear bag. Other suggestions for weapons pertain to long guns. Advice is also provided on pursuit driving, lighting equipment, stopping cars, when to point the duty weapon at a person, avoiding puncture wounds, team work in making contact with suspects, street work, and the importance of telling the truth when internal affairs officers ask about the behavior of another officer.