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Slicing the Pie

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 33 Issue: 7 Dated: July 2006 Pages: 116,118-120,122,123
Lindsey Bertomen
Date Published
July 2006
6 pages
This article discusses the nature and techniques of, as well as training for, "slicing the pie," which is a term for the police strategy of looking around corners and obstacles in the search for possibly hostile suspects while presenting the smallest possible target.
Slicing the pie or "pie-ing" refers to the analogy of a tactical pie that officers and suspects are attempting to slice so they will gain a larger piece for themselves, i.e., a superior tactical advantage over the opponent in the confrontation. "Pie-ing" is a dynamic movement technique designed to minimize exposure around cover and maximize the tactical advantage for the officer. Pie-ing revolves around the dynamic process that Air Force Col. John Boyd labeled the OODA Loop (observe, orient, decide, and act). Each party in a confrontation continuously engages in cycles of the OODA Loop in responding to scenarios that evolve in the course of the confrontation. The opponent who completes the OODA Loop the quickest at each stage of tactical maneuvers will be the victor. One of the tenets of the OODA Loop is the exploitation of surprise. The winning officer increases the duration of the orient phase of the suspect's OODA Loop by disrupting the suspect's expectations regarding the officer's tactics. This causes the suspect to delay in his/her reactions, thus giving the officer a tactical advantage for quicker action. For this article, several scenarios were staged for officers in searching for a suspect inside a building. Using training tools and collecting data from the experiments, a list of recommendations for training in pie slicing were developed. These recommendations are presented with commentary.