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Author: Law Officer

Street Sources Part 2

This column first appeared on

In the November/December 2005 issue (p. 32), Part 1 of this series discussed three creative and amazingly effective ploys developed by Pat McCarthy, a 25-year veteran of the Chicago streets and a national expert at developing informants, that can help you turn gangbangers into informants. In Part 2 you'll find four more.

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Get a Grip

The most basic pistolcraft fundamentals body position, trigger control and use of the sights don't mean diddly-squat if you don't properly hold your gun. Like all things related to combative shooting, controversy exists regarding how to grip your "roscoe"; this controversy, like all controversies, revolves around personal opinion. And, like all firearms instructors, I have my opinion on the subject, and I fully intend to express it in this column.

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Force Options

I recall returning to my office, where an officer awaited to talk to me. He had just killed an assailant. As I opened the door, I saw him wiping tears from his eyes. He was distraught. I knew the man he had just killed had shot at him first. I told him I was aware of the circumstances. I told him I knew he had no other choice but to defend himself. I commended him for what he had done and reassured him of the propriety of his actions. He responded, "Yes, I know but I just killed a man."

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Reality Based Training: Put a Charge into Training

Many of my formative years took place during the 1960s. It was a simpler time. If I acted up in public, I suffered a consequence meted out swiftly in the form of a smack on the behind from my omnipotent father. No one from the ACLU or Child Protective Services was going to jump in his way to save me. When I was 3 years old, I stuck my finger in an outlet. In 1962 there was no Consumer Protection Agency, no child-safety devices but there were penalties for doing stupid things. There was behavior, and there were consequences. And I learned. Boy, did I learn!

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Canines & the 4th Amendment

No doubt, canines remain a valuable asset for law enforcement. They sniff out drugs, conduct building searches and capture dangerous suspects. However, their use in the latter category carries some controversy (as does any other law enforcement tool) because in subduing their target, canines have sometimes caused serious injuries, and even death. This article will discuss whether the use of canines constitutes deadly force under the Fourth Amendment and, in so doing, will address a recent federal case from the Ninth Circuit that dealt with the use of canines.

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