Badge placement effects survival [Archive] - Glock Talk

PDA

View Full Version : Badge placement effects survival


Sam Spade
10-28-2012, 10:03
From FSRC:

I. Badge placement affects survival odds for plainclothes cops

When officers who've just finished a shooting exercise gather around and an instructor holds up a "no-shoot" target that looks like it's been riddled by machine gun fire, that's a sobering moment.

Especially when the officers now see that the target sports a badge.

Some flat out deny they fired any mistaken rounds. But after running hundreds of officers through decision-making exercises in which at least one sudden target represents an out-of-uniform cop with a badge openly displayed, Sgt. Ward Smith knows the disturbing truth: Without awareness training, the average in-service officer will fire on the "friendly" form before realizing it's a fellow LEO.

Smith, supervisor of the Kansas City (MO) PD's firearms training section and a certified Force Science Analyst, has completed a two-year study of this phenomenon that's highly relevant for off-duty, undercover, and other plainclothes officers who become involved in a hot crime scene while armed--as well as for uniformed personnel who respond to such scenarios.

"When you're in street clothes with your gun out in an enforcement situation," Smith concludes from his findings, "where you place your badge--at your beltline or hanging from your neck--may directly affect your chances of surviving when you're confronted by a responding officer who does not personally recognize you."

Research results: A center-mass display is safer.


More in their newsletter. Cops should all subscribe.

Patchman
10-28-2012, 13:38
Badge placement affects survival odds for plainclothes cops

"When you're in street clothes with your gun out in an enforcement situation, where you place your badge--at your beltline or hanging from your neck--may directly affect your chances of surviving when confronted by a responding officer who does not personally recognize you."

Research results: A center-mass display is safer.


Great reminder. When I'm responding in uniform, and the gun/deadly threat still exists, the upper torso is what I'm aiming for. When tunnel vision kicks in, I'll probably not see (or stop seeing) anything hanging off the belt.

OFCJIM40
10-28-2012, 14:00
Maybe I'm wrong, but I tend to dismiss this as being real data being gathered when we are talking about a prop hanging off of a paper target being a real indicator. I would give more credence to this if it involved sim guns with live people. A paper target doesn't respond, talk back or interact with the shooter. In a real life on the street shoot/don't shoot scenario, we will be processing 10's if not 100's of indicators and stimuli from the people we are involved with to determine friend/foe, threat/no threat. Taping a badge image to a generic paper target, IMO, hardly represents real life decision making.

So did Sgt. Smith have another group, that wasn't aware like the first group, have targets that this time had the badge hung center mass? Was there now less holes in the target? If you claim A (belt badge) isn't effective, you can't just claim automatically B (center badge) is more effective without testing it. If you want to make a scientific statement, you must run this like a scientific study. You need two groups A and B who are equally unaware of the study or the objective and run them both through. If both A and B have the same number of holes your theory goes right out the window or you have a fatal flaw in the true assessment of the study.

Basically, if you don't know how to run a study that will produce true statistical results, don't claim you have an answer when you don't. So is it this article is that poorly written and the results aren't given? If he is a "Force Science Analyst" I would hope he knows how to run a study. So I'm thinking this is just a crappy summary article. I looked on their website and couldn't find the article. You have a direct link to it by chance?

fastbolt
10-28-2012, 14:42
I've seen fair number of No-Shoot targets riddled with holes where the pictured UC "cop" was holding a badge up in front of his chest in his extended hand. Shiny. Got shot.

The sad part is that I've seen cops of all lengths of service make that same mistake ... and others of the same variable lengths of service catch themselves (flinching, but stopping short of pressing the trigger) and not fire on the No-Shoot target.

People get rattled under stress and start not seeing & hearing things.

m2hmghb
10-28-2012, 15:16
My father always wore his badge in the middle of his vest, his thinking was if someone had something to focus on they would aim there, which is where the trauma plate is thus a lesser chance of injury.

ejes
10-28-2012, 15:16
I have a copy of the study memo PDF attached for anyone interested.

Patchman
10-28-2012, 15:35
The "Badge Study" passes my common sense test.

Unfortnitely, there's no scientific method to prevent ALL blue-on-blue shootings. The best one can do is prevent as many as possible.

There's even one school of thought that the plain clothes LEO should be wearing their badges on their back, so the approaching LEOs can see it.

OFCJIM40
10-28-2012, 15:42
Ok, the memo reads much better than the article. I agree with the points made of being more aware, scanning the target better, etc. simple put, there are still too many variables in real life to call this conclusive, but, what the training attempted to achieve it did, and that is very good. We know in real life things can get very dynamic and chaotic fast, and I real life, there is more to shoot/don't shoot than just seeing a badge. But I do see what this training was trying to achieve and I do believe it was very good.

Butcher
10-28-2012, 15:45
Our department mandated that all plainclothes units wear tactical vests with "POLICE" boldly across the back and front, and our badges have to be prominently displayed on the front. We had a blue on blue fatal shooting that prompted this change


Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine

OFCJIM40
10-28-2012, 15:50
Our department mandated that all plainclothes units wear tactical vests with "POLICE" boldly across the back and front, and our badges have to be prominently displayed on the front. We had a blue on blue fatal shooting that prompted this change


Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine

Same thing our Tac does unless they are working something deeper cover. If their is more of a UC operation taking place, and if there's outside PD's assisting, we are informed of their general location for safety.

DaBigBR
10-28-2012, 16:48
Cops should all subscribe.

I agree completely.

Hack
10-28-2012, 17:02
Force Science is a good thing to look at. I do agree on the center mass positioning.

steveksux
10-28-2012, 17:39
I've seen fair number of No-Shoot targets riddled with holes where the pictured UC "cop" was holding a badge up in front of his chest in his extended hand. Shiny. Got shot.
Makes sense, but I would think there's a big difference between wearing it on neck chain in middle of chest, and holding shiny badge in hand thrusting it forward to show the approaching officers... could easily be mistaken for a weapon in hand if things are happening quickly. Shiny+hand=bad.

Randy

OFCJIM40
10-28-2012, 18:09
Again, this is all paper target association though. This is the range effect. The best way to probably study this would be role playing and possibly with sim guns with coppers from other PD's where all faces aren't known. I still have a hard time believing and correlating that what happens on a static piece of paper with a badge prop on it with the yes/no of shoot/don't shoot really translates into real life.

Patchman
10-28-2012, 18:42
Again, this is all paper target association though. This is the range effect. The best way to probably study this would be role playing and possibly with sim guns with coppers from other PD's where all faces aren't known. I still have a hard time believing and correlating that what happens on a static piece of paper with a badge prop on it with the yes/no of shoot/don't shoot really translates into real life.


Absolutely agree that more "real life" study can/should be done. Role play with hanging a badge on a chain at chest level vs wearing it on their belt. Alternate that with wearing, say, a cell phone on the belt at the same place. And also alternate a cell phone or something non-LE-badge, such as a "CCW badge," that some BG could wear on a chain, across the chest area, to get a momentary advantage.

Sam Spade
10-28-2012, 18:46
Read ODMP. This isn't a theoretical problem, or something created on the range.

Patchman
10-28-2012, 19:39
Clearly this is NOT a theoretical problem. But maybe through role playing, we can (or maybe cannot) arrive at a "best industry practice." That is, balancing officer safety (paramount) vs. BGs gaining the momentary advantage.

S.O.Interceptor
10-28-2012, 19:51
We are required to wear our badges around our necks, in our left breast pocket, or pinned to our chest, at all time when in plain clothes. There is no belt carry for us, ever.

Sam Spade
10-28-2012, 20:39
We are required to wear our badges around our necks, in our left breast pocket, or pinned to our chest, at all time when in plain clothes. There is no belt carry for us, ever.

Is this a requirement when off duty, or just for plainclothes operations?

DustyJacket
10-28-2012, 20:51
My first shoot/don't shoot (range) experience ended up with me putting a round through the center of a handheld badge.

Of course, his other hand held a gun pointed at me, so it is arguable whether I screwed up.

Hint, if uniforms show up, point the weapon at the floor, or holster is before they get too close.

Hack
10-28-2012, 21:46
The way I look at it is if a person is aiming a gun at me, there is going to be a big issue, regardless of the shiny badge held in the other hand, (speaking of on duty).

lawman800
10-28-2012, 22:43
Massad Ayoob used to advocate clipping the badge onto your support hand so it's in front of your gun... there was an article back in the day showing his technique... but there is one thing the paper target cannot do and it's react to uniforms by yelling, "OFF DUTY POLICE OFFICER! DON'T SHOOT!" and then pointing the gun down or raising your arm up to get the gun out of the officer's face.

JuneyBooney
10-29-2012, 03:26
I've seen fair number of No-Shoot targets riddled with holes where the pictured UC "cop" was holding a badge up in front of his chest in his extended hand. Shiny. Got shot.

The sad part is that I've seen cops of all lengths of service make that same mistake ... and others of the same variable lengths of service catch themselves (flinching, but stopping short of pressing the trigger) and not fire on the No-Shoot target.

People get rattled under stress and start not seeing & hearing things.

There are many variables. What the article said did make some sense but with the no gloss badges being more popular than twenty years ago I would say that any undercover assignment is still dangerous from "friendly fire:.


A cursory google search also shows that larger urban departments seem to have more accidental shootings of officers than smaller departments where the officers are known to each other.

Mayhem like Me
10-30-2012, 12:48
When I was working true undercover, and not the more common plainclothes, my badge and ID were well hidden and so was my firearm, I would never think of having a gun out while undercover and uniformed officers were around..

No excuse for plainclothes agents not to have on a vest with prominent POLICE front and rear..
The one I have YEARS ago had quick pull down tabs .

S.O.Interceptor
10-30-2012, 20:29
Is this a requirement when off duty, or just for plainclothes operations?

Just plain clothes on duty. Off duty we're not supposed to display a badge or gun at all. I doubt any of our guys carry a badge at all except for a wallet badge.

fastbolt
11-02-2012, 11:33
Makes sense, but I would think there's a big difference between wearing it on neck chain in middle of chest, and holding shiny badge in hand thrusting it forward to show the approaching officers... could easily be mistaken for a weapon in hand if things are happening quickly. Shiny+hand=bad.

Randy

Your observation has some validity, as I know of a shooting where something that was plastic & reflective was mistaken for a weapon by both the cop who shot the person making the furtive movement and holding the plastic object, as well as by a passing motorist/witness who later called in to be a witness.

The thing is that hanging a badge on a neck chain can cause it to disappear when the badge carrier extends both arms to present/fire their own weapon (and the badge is nestled between the cop's arms, maybe visible below the weapon, but maybe not ... and the weapon will probably attract more attention than the badge, anyway).

No perfect answer, but it's an issue being muchly discussed by LE agencies and trainers all over.

I attended a plainclothes street tactics class more than 10 years ago where this was a main topic. Unfortunately, the class occurred not quite a week following a blue-on-blue shooting where a UC cop was killed by a uniformed cop from the same (large) agency, located in the county where the class was being held.

shootindave
11-02-2012, 23:38
KCPD has some very good training...... firearms on the top of that list. Glad this has spread. Didnt know it was published outside of the PD.

Dave

RM686
11-03-2012, 00:38
Badges mean very little. There are all kinds of badges available for sale from mail order firms to pawn shops. Many criminals use badges to throw their victims off guard. Seeing a badge does not score any points if a gun is pointed in your direction. A cop who is not pararoid is a dead cop.
The training should be given to uncover officers to assume a non threating posture or appearence, not to uniformed police who can't be expected to read whats on a piece of metal from 20 feet.

mikesull415
11-03-2012, 07:50
Lol. Two things:

1. This makes perfect sense. Assuming whoever is shooting at you is actually aiming at center mass and not blindly firing while running for cover.

2. (And in my defense I haven't finished my first cup of coffee this morning) when I clicked on this thread I honestly came in believing it was going to be about wearing your badge over your heart or something as an extra layer of protection. Lol. Yeah it's dumb, but again, it's also early and I'm not quite at full speed yet