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Old 02-16-2013, 17:06   #1
Nestor
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Making yourself invisible...

...we were told that we'll need to change our off-duty lifestyle quite dramatically. Make ourselves invisible on our days off, as some of the BGs (usually these are the gang members) are are very interested in all the details of our lives and especially our families. I'm living in different town - about 25 miles away from the city I'll be working in. For now I'm thinking about changing the car for more popular model in some grayish color, as the one I have currently is pretty unusual. I talked with my family already - and told them not to bring my Sheriff stuff to anyone's attention. I also told them to be prepared to see me disappearing immediately if I'll ever recognize any familiar face in the shopping mall, restaurant or cinema as I don't want my family to be recognized and connected with myself in any way.
Any tips from the more experienced members here?
How are You dealing with this stuff?
Thanks in advance for any tips.
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Old 02-16-2013, 17:23   #2
sheriff733
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I'm sure I'm misreading your post, but...

Do what, now?

What is the background I'm missing here?
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Old 02-16-2013, 17:24   #3
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I live in the city I work in. Not much I can do about it but keep my eyes open and my gun on my hip.

Guess I'm double screwed cause I have a take home car parked out front. I keep my gun on during the day and keep a shotgun in the bedroom while I sleep.
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Old 02-16-2013, 17:31   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheriff733 View Post
I'm sure I'm misreading your post, but...

Do what, now?

What is the background I'm missing here?
Just looking for the ideas that some of the people may implemented already.
I'm in the Sheriff's college now and we were told to start thinking about preparing some serious changes to our life styles.
Just want to keep my family safe, as I'll be probably dealing more often with the criminals than with general public...well at least for the first two, three years.
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Old 02-16-2013, 17:35   #5
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He's try to be grey, blending in, off duty to avoid local villains from recognizing him and skylining his family and putting them at risk.


Btw, if you get the chance, work the jail for a year or two. You get to know the local villains and establish your reputation early on. You know how to deal with regular citizens, now you need to deal with villains. Jail duty will help.
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Old 02-16-2013, 17:41   #6
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You will never avoid it all together. Just keep a low profile and stop loose lips. Try to show everybody respect and it will help with the run of the mill turds. It is possible to get the BG and still get their respect, sometimes. Regardless after awhile you will look at people and think they look familiar. The pain is trying to remember why they look familiar.

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Old 02-16-2013, 17:43   #7
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Looks like we will be assigned to the jail, prisoner transport or maybe courthouse security for the first few years before having a chance to jump on some more, serious duties. Either way, the criminals are our starting point.
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Old 02-16-2013, 17:44   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gills63 View Post
You will never avoid it all together. Just keep a low profile and stop loose lips. Try to show everybody respect and it will help with the run of the mill turds. It is possible to get the BG and still get their respect, sometimes. Regardless after awhile you will look at people and think they look familiar. The pain is trying to remember why they look familiar.

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Thank You, yes I'm trying to be quiet about my new career.
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Old 02-16-2013, 18:02   #9
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Well, it's always something to keep in mind, especially if you're out and about with your family.

I used to live more than 30 miles from where I worked (in a different county, as well).

Criminals travel and commute, too, though.

The first couple of times I heard my title & named called out by voices many yards away, when I was out & about in public, it startled and surprised me.

Then there was having someone approach me while I was at a "water park" recreation venue with my children ... but he wasn't a problem and didn't mean to be one. Still managed to elevate my heart rate for a bit, though.

Then, as my career progressed I'd accumulated my fair share of death threats from seriously dangerous guys with felony/state histories, at least one of which was specifically directed toward my wife and daughter (by a felon who had been arrested for crimes against a mother & daughter, incidentally). One of those threats was brought to my attention when it was passed along to my agency's admin by another agency during the course of a fed trial.

The couple of rounds that shattered the rear passenger window of my POV, while I was on the way home one night, were most likely completely unrelated, as the timing was off and I later found out I wasn't the only victim of that reported freeway sniper incident (but I'm still glad I was alone in my POV that night).

Bottom line? Cops tend to park where their vehicles can be seen (even if protected by a fenced enclosure), and you have to exit the lot to enter the roadway in order to drive home, so it's not like what we drive is that hard to determine.

It's amazing what can be found on the internet, anyway, especially if you're a home owner.

Don't go out of your way to create enemies. You'll develop enough potential folks who may fall into that category just doing your job, that you don't need to go making an "overt" effort to antagonize people.

Keep your awareness keyed at a practical level. It is better to see before being seen, but don't make yourself paranoid and all weirded out trying to SEE ALL. Not humanly possible.

Keep yourself grounded and everything in perspective.
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Old 02-16-2013, 18:04   #10
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Old 02-16-2013, 18:12   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nestor View Post
...we were told that we'll need to change our off-duty lifestyle quite dramatically. Make ourselves invisible on our days off, as some of the BGs (usually these are the gang members) are are very interested in all the details of our lives and especially our families. I'm living in different town - about 25 miles away from the city I'll be working in. For now I'm thinking about changing the car for more popular model in some grayish color, as the one I have currently is pretty unusual. I talked with my family already - and told them not to bring my Sheriff stuff to anyone's attention. I also told them to be prepared to see me disappearing immediately if I'll ever recognize any familiar face in the shopping mall, restaurant or cinema as I don't want my family to be recognized and connected with myself in any way.
Any tips from the more experienced members here?
How are You dealing with this stuff?
Thanks in advance for any tips.
I say blend into the local society. For instance, major cities tend to have a "metro" theme still going. In rural "redneck" places "camo is cool". Check out your department/agencies groom standards. If it is lax do the unexpected. The simple "goatee" is a standard in the plain clothes world, so do something else if you can.

When your shift is done, ocassionally take a different route home. Don't be predictable. A lot of places in the United States, I am uncertain about Canada (since your profile says you are from there), but a lot of places will let you go down to the County tax accessors place and make your information anonymous.

Whether a lot of people know this or not, but the people who own such and such an adress at the County tax accessors office is public information. A form and presentation of valid credentials can scrub you from someone being able to verify what adress is yours.

If you are allowed, don't proudly put your name on your mail box. A simple number will suffice.

Even though a lot of us are proud of what we do. The thin blue line sticker on your vehicle is also a dead give away, along with union stickers, or FOP stickers. There is even a black and blue "Lion" for LEO that is out there. It is cool, and lets the other "good guys" know who you are, but the "bad guys" have already figured out that code.

Just some of my suggestions. Hope that helps.
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Old 02-16-2013, 18:20   #12
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I've wondered about our county Sheriff, here. I've never met him, but I was in the next county over and had an interaction with a deputy and noticed his name tag was the same last name as our Sheriff and remarked on it.

He said he was thinking about running for Sheriff and that our Sheriff was his twin brother. Yikes!

He was such a nice guy I wondered how either one of them could know what criminals the other had encountered while out in their respective worlds while off duty wearing each other's face.

I wish you well Nestor.
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Old 02-16-2013, 18:21   #13
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Thank You very much.
Lot of good ideas already.
Much appreciated.
Yeah...I don't want to become paranoid and I'm pretty good and respectful among all the people - worked with the homeless people in Vancouver and never experienced even a single problem while dealing with them - simply because I was always respectful.
Some other guys from my company were always in troubles with them.
Very good point.
I need to reduce the Internet prints as well.
This is something I need to focus on soon.
Thanks again.
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Last edited by Nestor; 02-16-2013 at 18:29..
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Old 02-16-2013, 19:11   #14
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Pull your name off of spokeo.com. It'll show where you live, list your family members, and so forth. They will only take your name down if you email them.
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Old 02-16-2013, 19:15   #15
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Oh, and don't wear stuff like thin blue line / tools of the trade type shirts...you just draw attention to yourself. Tint your car windows, switch up your route home from work every once in awhile, and keep an eye in the rear view.
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Old 02-16-2013, 20:11   #16
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Quote:
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Pull your name off of spokeo.com. It'll show where you live, list your family members, and so forth. They will only take your name down if you email them.
Got the email address?
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Old 02-16-2013, 20:42   #17
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Don't change too much voluntarily, the job changes you enough as it is. If you like your ride, keep it. Buy a little sipper commuter car or change at work or something. Use common sense when off duty and you'll be fine.
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Old 02-16-2013, 21:04   #18
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Brief the kids if you have them. "Daddy, why don't you arrest that bad man" is not what you need to hear in a off-duty robbery. Code word for the missus that tells her to clear out with the kids and put some distance between you.

The other ideas you've read are all good ones.
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Old 02-16-2013, 21:11   #19
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Quote:
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I don't want to become paranoid...
Or do you? When people (whether on contacts or friends outside of work) ask, I always say that I am paranoid by profession. I get paid to be ready for stuff others never even think about.
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Old 02-16-2013, 22:15   #20
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My big thing has been to buy my clothes at chain stores. Nothing remortly police related. Even if I say buy cargo pants they will never be in green, black, or navy blue since they are traditional police colors. I will never wear 5.11 clothing off duty even if in some oddball color.

My car is pretty unique but if someone did follow me I would probably notice since my commute is a pretty hard to follow. They could drive around the neighborhoods to find it but realistically they could find me easier online or just wait from me as I enter the PD.

I do not tell people where I work unless there is a need to know. I have a cover story for those who I am not likely to see again or have a very limited relationship with, such as barbers. The cover story I have is pretty boring and it fits my income level. They can buy the fake career based on how I dress and the car I drive. The one time someone asked me about what my job entailed I just started talking about the things my friend who actually does the job has told me about.

I would prefer to have my LE periodicals go to work but they frown on that. They don't want 50+ copies of Police Magazine showing up every month. Multiply that time 3-4 and that would be the volume of what they would get every month.
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Old 02-16-2013, 22:27   #21
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We aren't hard to find if the criminal knows anything about finding someone. However, living far away is one good way to go about cutting down on random encounters. I worked in a different county which was far enough away that even I didn't want to make the drive, and nobody from work even lived close to where I was. I don't even run into work people while off duty.

Don't look like a cop, don't dress like a cop, don't even talk like a cop. I am about as far away from even appearing anything cop-ish on my own time. Maybe it's working too well, because more than quite a few times, while hanging with friends at different places, I had people light up marijuana joints in front of me or offer to sell me drugs out of the blue or offer stolen items for sale. My friends give me a hard time about it.
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Old 02-16-2013, 23:07   #22
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We aren't hard to find if the criminal knows anything about finding someone. However, living far away is one good way to go about cutting down on random encounters. I worked in a different county which was far enough away that even I didn't want to make the drive, and nobody from work even lived close to where I was. I don't even run into work people while off duty.

Don't look like a cop, don't dress like a cop, don't even talk like a cop. I am about as far away from even appearing anything cop-ish on my own time. Maybe it's working too well, because more than quite a few times, while hanging with friends at different places, I had people light up marijuana joints in front of me or offer to sell me drugs out of the blue or offer stolen items for sale. My friends give me a hard time about it.
Rumor has it that, in an ongoing effort to remain incognito while generating a second income, he wears this when he works his part-time gig as a male stripper:

Cop Talk
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Old 02-16-2013, 23:10   #23
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Soaking in all the informations Guys.
Thanks again everyone.
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Old 02-16-2013, 23:54   #24
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I can only keep a vigilant eye. Small town policing with a take-home car. I regularly see people I've arrested everywhere I go. Even traveling to area big cities, I still run into them. There aren't many times I go to the gym without feeling like I'm working out in a prison yard full of my arrestees.

I encouraged my little lady to get a CCW permit and bought the gun she said she wanted to carry.

The most difficult part is dealing with the little kids, younger than grade school age. Even though we've had a lot of talks with them, the little boy is grossly infatuated with all things LE, firefighter, tow truck, etc. While not every time, it isn't uncommon for him to announce, "Hey look! A cop, just like you!" when he sees a security guard or LEO. Same as he sees a firefighter and tells the world I do that, too.
The little girl sometimes tells the world I'm not supposed to take my firearm into places with "no guns" signs.

At the end of the day, you have to choose to live your life while using the most caution realistically possible, or to live your life in fear, safer, but alone.

Residency isn't an option, neither is the take-home vehicle.
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Old 02-17-2013, 00:07   #25
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Btw, if you get the chance, work the jail for a year or two. You get to know the local villains and establish your reputation early on. You know how to deal with regular citizens, now you need to deal with villains. Jail duty will help.
This.

It is unavoidable, especially if you work inside, and live in your jurisdiction. We will wait for your "recommendations for working inside" thread.
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