Any opinions expressed are my own and do not reflect upon any agency or orginization which I may be empolyed or affiliated.
I became an LEO in 1991, starting as a reserve officer, completed the police academy, went part-time, promoted to Senior Patrolman and FTO. After 9 years of LEO work I left to pursue opportunities in the private sector. I spent four months in the New Olreans area working for Advanced Tactical Services and Blackwater after Hurricane Katrina. Afterwards I wanted to return to LEO work or go in to contracting. I rejoined my former department and began a major training program, certified in SWAT, Sniper, along with many instructor level classes to include firearms and defensive tactics. Currently with another department on a part-time basis. I'm a Life NRA member. I keep my civilian ccw permit active.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Observations on Investigating Bumps in the Night
Tactical Observations on Investigating Bumps in the Night
Weíve probably all experienced that situation where we hear something going on outside our homes and wonder what is happening. It could be wind noise, kids out and about at night doing what kids do, a raccoon making a meal of the left over pizza box we threw out earlier in the evening, the police searching for bad guys or the dreaded serial killer rapist about to invade our abode and do harm to our family.
Key things to remember is if we decide to journey outside to confront these noises what can we expect. It could be nothing, it could be an MS-13 gang about to do a home invasion. What happens if it is a gang and you are taken out? Your wife/GF is now defenseless. Your family is now at the mercy of our worst fears. Itís the kids next door looking for their lost dog. Itís the opossum looking for a midnight snack. Itís the cops in foot pursuit of car jacking suspect who fled on foot after a pursuit. Itís nothing more than wind noise.
Before venturing in the great unknown what should we do? Prepare, observe and plan our excursion.
Look out the window from a darkened room.
Check the 360 degrees of the house before going out.
Exiting the home.
Securing home after leaving.
Recon of the area.
Dealing with what might be out there.
Communication with those in our home, those we might encounter or LE
Returning to the home after giving the all clear or dealing with what was discovered.
Lights: We always need lights. Whether it is weapon mounted or handheld. My friend JW777 has an excellent write up on weapon lights I suggest you read it. (Someone please feel free to link it this thread). Having a weapon light alone is not sufficient for investigating that bump in the night, always carry a handheld as a back up and for searching. Practice using your lights before you need to use your light. This is not the time to discover you canít operate it correctly or fumble around with it and weapon combo.
Weapon: Most of us will probably be using some type of handgun for out hunt in the night, others may have a long gun. Have you practiced with what you have in a lowlight environment? Weapon manipulation, to include movement, magazine changes, operations of your weapon with a handheld, etc. Nightsights are a must. Or are you going to use a blunt object such as a bat or club. You still need a light.
Gear: If you are going to use a handgun, use a holster. If you use a long gun have a sling. You may encounter situations where you need to move things or maneuver and need to stow your weapon. You donít want to lay it on the ground or in some way have it leave your possession. Extra magazines and a magazine holder.
Communication: You need a way to communicate with those inside your home and possibly to contact emergency services. You become wounded, you need to call LE to come get the bad guy, or you need to inform those inside of what is going on.
Dress: Are you prepared for elements? Itís cold, hot, or raining outside. Concealment for your weapons.
Look before you leap. Do not rush into the unknown without looking first. Watch the back lighting during your peeps out the window. You want to see them, instead of them seeing you.
Check all around the house if possible. You might hear something on south side of the house but now it has moved to the east side. Someone is staging a diversion on one side in an effort to draw attention there while preparing to invade or capture from another side.
Which exit are you going to use? The rollup garage door that makes tons of noise, backlights you and gives a bad guy lotís of time to prepare for you? The front glass door that reflects light and transmits your movements to others? The loud back door that opens up unto a back porch with no cover? Or the solid side door that allows you to immediately move to concealment to observe your environment.
Are your eyes adjusted to the dark or did you just come out of the bathroom with its twelve light bulbs to check out your tactical ninja outfit?
Lock the door after you leave. Do not leave it unsecured so someone else can get inside.
Recon the area. Plan your moves before you move, know which area you are going to move to next. Move in the shadows as much as possible and plan your concealment with each move. Move and observe. Observe and move. This is not a race, itís a stalk.
Is it a bad guy, several bad guys, the whole chapter of the local Crips or Bloods out there or just Cindy next door looking Fluffy? Do you engage, move back to the house without confrontation or help Cindy find Fluffy since you have a light?
Communication is a must you might need to call for help after tripping over that Big Wheel junior left on the sidewalk, let the folks inside know the noise you heard was screech owl, or call LE when find meth heads breaking into the neighbors house.
Have a code system for returning to the home. One you donít want the Mrs to shoot you with her new Glock 22, you donít want the bad guys to rape your daughter because you were captured and did not have a confirmed code word to alert her to danger before opening the door. Do not carry keys with you. Bad guy takes you down, he has the keys to your castle.
My personal system is to keep a Glock 19 with nightsights in a SERPA paddle holster, two Surefire flashlights, a two extra G17 magazines in a paddle holster, a pair of 5.11ís cargo pants and outer shirt ready to go, a cell phone set to vibrate and an old pair of black sneaker I slide my big feet into and move.
I like the set up because I can easily slip pants on, slide in the holster and mag holder and have a cover shirt to conceal my firearm in case I run into kids or LE and donít want to startle them or if itís bad guys not allow them to know Iím a threat to them.
In all prepare, train and have the mindset to take care of business.
Bama-Shooter @ 3:17:37 PM