Date: Fri, 08 Nov 2002 23:30:07 -0700 (MST)
From: thekoba  (K J WALSH)
Subject: cop tactics continued
Cc: thekoba , snail ,,,

The "suspect" complained about my taking his gun. I said, "Arizona Revised Statutes Title 13 [the exact statute escaped me] authorizes a peace officer to keep custody of any weapon found on or near a suspect during a stop. It will be returned to you when we're finished." I wa then told the scenario was over.

Then I was told to redo the scenario and that the suspect would react differently. This time the "suspect" walked out of the car and started walking away. Again, without drawing my weapon, I commanded him to halt and return to his car. After some delay, he finally did so. I told him to put his hands on the car. He did so. I then patted him down. He said, "What are you doing? You have no right to touch me ike that!"

I said, "This is called a Terry pat."

He said, "My name's not Terry."

I said, "It's from a Supreme Court decision, Terry v. Ohio." They stopped the scenario at that point.

Back in the classroom, my discussion of certain legal points with suspects was the subject of some derision, but I think it would be helpful for police to do that. It isn't always practical for a citizen to be given a legal lecture while being questioned, and it is a citizen's duty to know his or her rights, but people are more likely to comply with instructions if they know the reason for them than if they don't.

Next we had firearms training. As I had already shot a .45, a .380, a 9 mm, and the .51 Desert Eagle, the .40 Glock that Phoenix Police use was not totally alien to me, and I needed little instruction. One class member, the token Black woman, opted out, but everyone else tried emptying a magazine.

Finally we had the Firearms Training Simulator (FATS). It was essentially a videoscreen sensitized to infrared radiation emitted from a fake Glock from which an infrared beam was emitted when the trigger was depressed. It simulated which target was hit and by how many shots and also whether a shot should have been taken at all. It is used to determine if police can make a split-second decision on whether deadly force is warranted and if they can deliver deadly force in a timely manner if it is. We all passed, but then we were all given shoot scenarios. We might have had a harder time, if we had been given a "no hoot" scenario. We were shown a variation. In one case, we are escorting an ambassador down a street, when an assassin pulls out a pistol, obviously a shoot scenario. In another, the same "assassin" appears, only he draws a camera, intent only on photographing the ambassador, obviously a no-shoot scenario. Every cop has to pass this simulator, not only to graduate from the academy, but once a year for the duration of his or her career. We were told that they have terminated some veterans who somehow lost the ability to pass the test.

--Kevin Walsh

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