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One-Man Unit Survival Tactics

NCJ Number
Police Marksman Volume: 8 Issue: 3 Dated: (May/June 1983) Pages: 15-20,22-25
T Lesce
Date Published
10 pages
This article considers the theory and tactics of lone-officer survival in various patrol situations, including answering calls, field interrogations, autostops, handling prisoners, radio procedures, and lights and sirens.
Officer survival in a one-person unit is basically the same as when riding with a partner, but it requires more care and preparation. In a rural area, the absence of nearby units available for backup requires that officers be more mindful of their safety. In the matter of preparation, single officers must be certain that they have everything they need before going on patrol. Protective vests are important aids for survivial when there is no other officer to provide protection, but such vests are not practical in hot weather. Backup guns and extra ammunition are important precautions in case of extended gun battles. Reliance upon technical aids is particularly important for the lone officer. A Q-beam flashlight helps in searching an area and impairing the vision of person in an autostop. Extra handcuffs and other restraints are useful when making group arrests. Lone officers should remain in the same patrol area for extended periods to become familiar with the roads, the residents, patterns of activity, and the design of commercial facilities, which will give them needed advantage in detecting and handling suspicious activity and potentially threatening calls. Three bibliographic entries are provided.