Coup d’oeil Concept (The Tactical Edge, Fall 1995, p. 82) Commander Training

The success of a tactical operation often hinges on the commander’s ability to quickly determine and exploit a weakness in the suspect’s position.  This weakness can be related to position, as when a suspect is vulnerable from an avenue of approach, or it can be in...

Legitimacy – The 10th Principle

As Sid wrote in Field Command, “Neglecting or ignoring the principle of legitimacy is a recipe for disaster. In fact, win or lose, legitimacy can be the decisive element when actions are examined after the fact.” In recent use of force decisions, findings of...

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Because each transaction is accompanied with separate handling charges, we can pass on additional savings by bundling them in sets.  This complete set includes all six guides (At the Scene, Battlespace, Fundamental Concepts, Planning, Plans and Staff Functions) and...

Debriefings and After Action Reviews (The Tactical Edge, Summer 2009, pp. 68-70)

Successful or not, every tactical operation yields fruit in the form of lessons learned.  Accordingly, some effort needs to be made to “harvest” knowledge that can be used in bettering future operations.  While methods may vary, they usually take the form of a...

Intelligence (2-4) (The Tactical Edge, Fall 2004, pp. 72-74)

In the darkest hours of World War II, Winston Churchill wrote a note to General John Dill, stating, “The great thing is to get the true picture, whatever it is.”[1]  The picture Churchill considered so important is called the “intelligence picture” and refers to a...

Failure Analysis (The Tactical Edge, Fall 2009, pp. 64-66)

Somewhat ironically, one of the most valuable methods for achieving success in tactical operations is by analyzing failures.  The harmonious resolution of the factors and influences involved in successful operations make them all but indistinguishable from each other...

Micro-terrain vs. Prominent terrain (The Tactical Edge, Summer 1994, p. 60) Police Strategy and Tactics

Micro-terrain is simply terrain which will have an impact on your operation but is too small or insignificant to be depicted on a map.  Examples of micro-terrain may include sheds, rocks, fences, plants or ditches.  It is micro-terrain which requires diagrams and...

Constraints vs. Restraints (The Tactical Edge, Summer 1995, p. 61)

Every plan is developed within certain guidelines. These limitations may involve political, environmental, tactical or economic considerations. Since no plan is entirely free of influencing factors, it is necessary to have an understanding of them in order to devise a...

Get all 6 Guides and 2 Forms for 1 low price!

Because each transaction is accompanied with separate handling charges, we can pass on additional savings by bundling them in sets.  This complete set includes all six guides (At the Scene, Battlespace, Fundamental Concepts, Planning, Plans and Staff Functions) and...

About Field Command

Field Command is a company founded by retired police officers with a desire to pass on the lessons learned from years of practical experience in handling tactical operations and disaster responses.Likewise, they have extensive military backgrounds and are not only experienced but thoroughly grounded in the doctrinal science that supports sound planning and decision making. Using the military metaphor, they all have “muddy boots” from being in the trenches and can personally explain what worked and what didn’t. Even more importantly, however, they can explain why. This single word has become a mantra for explaining the reason such a focus is needed.

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Law enforcement has become a highly specialized and complex function and teaching the multitude of essential skills is both costly and time-consuming. Accordingly, nearly all law enforcement training is focused on what to do and how to do it rather than why it is necessary. While these boilerplate responses will suffice for repetitive situations, they leave decision makers with no other options when they do not understand why something is important (or not). This can easily lead to disaster when a commander applies a solution designed for one set of circumstances but which is woefully inadequate for the current one. As Abraham Maslow noted, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you have to think of every problem as a nail.”

Incident commanders, planners, and decision makers involved in handling crises of all sorts are far better able to recognize and understand the factors and influences in play if they have first mastered the science that identifies them and explains their significance. Understandably, they are also more capable of adapting and improvising when conditions change. We don’t make any claims on knowing “the” way to do these things but we can tell you a 100 ways on how not to do them. Hence, if you just avoid the things that we know that don’t work you’ll start where we left off!

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