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Author: Law Officer

Officer-as-Hostage

Pulaski County, Ark.

For nearly an hour, an in-custody suspect, 29-year-old Alonzo Gilliam, armed with a homemade knife, held a Pulaski County sheriff s deputy hostage in the basement of the courthouse. Gilliam was being held on numerous charges, including possession of a firearm, possession of a weapon in jail, terrorist acts and theft. He also had prior arrests for aggravated robbery.

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Rack 'Em Up

While I aim to offer valid information any officer or trainer can use, I have often directed this column toward the small-agency instructor or officer who doesn't have access to a multimillion-dollar training facility. I come from a department that had a reasonably well equipped firearms range that we made available to any agency that wished to use it. At the same time, I've conducted training courses on ranges that were nothing more than an earthen berm with a dirt floor.

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Working Specialized Units

During my 38 years in law enforcement I was able to work several specialized units. I found specialization offers both positive and negative aspects. An understanding of both of these perspectives will enable you to emphasize the positives and take practical steps to eliminate or reduce the negatives.

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Active Shooters

Active shooter incidents, although small in number, have had a terrible impact on the communities affected and the nation as a whole. In the early incidents, law enforcement responded to these disasters lacking suitable tactics and equipment, and we learned immediate defense of life requires immediate action. Unprotected and helpless victims cannot await the delayed arrival of SWAT/ERT teams. The original emergency-response strategies of contain, isolate and negotiate fail in active-shooter situations. The offenders do not come to parley they come to commit murder.

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