View Full Version : Review: Practical patrol tactics for the 911 officer

Seppo Vesala
10-16-2003, 09:26 AM
Review: Practical patrol tactics for the 911 officer

Producer: LOTI group, 1993 / 2003

Instructor: C.J. Caracci

This instructional film covers only clearing buildings. There are chapters on clearing stairwells, clearing hallways, and room entries. Considering the length of this video, it is a good thing that the subject is restricted ”only” to building searches. I put ´only´ in quotation marks, because this is not a narrow subject. In fact, each of those chapters could have been given the whole length of this tape, and it still would not cover the subject fully. The complaint I have is that the title (or subtitle) of the video should give a hint on its contents. Now you get the impression that there are tactics form all of the areas of police work (vehicle stops, conducting field interviews, hand to hand combat and so on).

The film is intended as a fundamental instruction tape for patrol officers, therefore the tactics are limited to those that could be utilized by regular 911 officer. There are no special equipment used, for example. There is a short introduction on dynamic entries at the end of the tape, but otherwise the tactics are basic, routine tactics.

The subjects issued in the film are not given very detailed treatment, but you could guess this from the total lenght of the film. They explain the tactics quite well, but there are no slow motions, no zoom-ins or no multiple-angle viewing that could clarify the matters somewhat.

The tactics depicted in the film seem to be reasonable, although I have a couple of issues I didn´t like. In the film, they instruct that one way of ascending stairs is to ”crawl” on your back. I think that this limits your movement considerably, and therefore is not a preferred technique. And it is very tiring, as well. The other thing is that they instruct that when moving in stairwell, the proper distance between two officers is one yard. What they teach in Finland is that this distance is way too short, and the proper distance would be maybe five times that. But in the film, they integrate this into the total package, and it feels reasonable when used like instructed.

The picture quality is good. There are times where there is some echo that disturbed me a bit, but generally the sound is good also.

I think that the best concept in the film was that you should constantly pay attention to different kinds of stairwells, hallways, doors and so on in your daily routines. You should be doing constant mental practice, and keep rehearsing these tactics mentally. Not a new thing, but useful to be reminded of. There was a nice slogan in the film: ”the only easy day was yesterday”. Well worth remembering when it comes to officer survival.

Run time: 33 minutes

Format: VHS

10-17-2003, 07:33 AM
I agree with you that this is a pretty good video. I didn't like the stairwell movement on your back either, but other than that, it is good. I acutally used to use this video in roll call training when I was a LEO/Sergeant. All in all, good tactics and worth watching, especially for those not well versed in room/stairwell/hallway clearing.

11-10-2003, 12:25 PM
This is a purely production-related gripe. I thought the video itself was fairly educational, but would it be too much trouble to mic C.J. properly? He's in a room with incredibly bad acoustics and the resulting audio is like hearing him talk into an empty plastic water bottle. I think the whole genre suffers from poor production quality--inexcusable in a tape that costs upwards of $30 (which is why I rarely buy new).

11-16-2003, 02:28 PM
I bought this tape back in '95 and didn't like it initially. I have begun to appreciate it now because it teaches the basics. I actually tried to take it back because it was only 33 minutes, which wasn't indicated on the dust jacket. Fortunately, I only paid about $16.00 for it. That said, the sliding on the back thing up the stairs is worthless, and I personally don't care for criss-crosses, but I guess there are still some teams out there that do it. The parts on pieing doorways, clearing hallways, and most of the stairwell stuff is quite good. Probably not worth $30.00.


11-28-2003, 03:19 PM
I worked and was trained by CJ Caracci at my PD. We still use allot of this stuff, but of course we have modified things. one thing is we threw out the on your back stair way method. You have to understand Chris, Navy SEAL the whole nine yards, incredible shape. We also threw out the " capture the mind" throwing the keys... We found in teaching this class to our entire DEPT that allot of guys were not coordinated enough to throw the keys Pop up and scan the entire flight of stairs all at once. Stair ways suck you are definitely vulnerable. This tape is designed for the street cop and to get him thinking instead of just lazily walking through a building. This is not for SWAT or Tactical teams this is for the street cop to be safer when other resourecs are not available ie K-9......

Chris is an awesome guy, very capable and willing to share his knowledge with stupid new guys like me (10 years ago).