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Author: Law Officer

Investigations: The Dead Always Rise

The September/October issue of Law Officer featured the first in a series of articles on fundamental and advanced criminal investigation techniques. The field is large, so I will concentrate on the more heinous crimes murder, robbery, sexual assault and the forensic sciences that enable us to recreate the past.

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I Learned About Policing From That: Training Takes Over

In May 1981, I was an energetic young patrol officer with almost 2 1/2 years of street-policing experience under my belt. I was a member of a progressive agency policing a city of approximately 500,000. I have to admit, at that point in my career, I felt invincible and had never really addressed the concept of deadly force. A night tour on a long May weekend, however, abruptly changed that. My belief structure, training and survival instincts would be put to the ultimate test.

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Street Sources

This column first appeared on PoliceOne.com

"The best cops don't wait for things to happen. They make things happen on their own." That's Pat McCarthy talking, a 25-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department who now shares a remarkable treasure-trove of street smarts with officers around the country through his popular Street Crimes seminars on how to conduct successful criminal investigations.

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Firearms Training

It would be optimum if every American law enforcement agency owned a state-of-the-art firearms training facility, but for many reasons, that will never happen. Regardless of how much any given community supports its police department, few citizens want a firearms range near their home. Some claim lead may contaminate the soil and ground water; others fear gunfire noise and the possibility of a stray round entering the neighborhood. Further, many urban communities don't have the space for a shooting range within or close to their jurisdiction.

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Give Them the Tools

Early in my career, four state police officers were shot and killed in a gun battle with two heavily armed suspects in an event widely known as the Newhall Incident. After this heartbreaking event was scrutinized and analyzed in hopes of preventing similar tragedies, a critical training issue emerged: During the intense and prolonged firefight, at least one of the officers had carefully placed his expended brass in his uniform pocket an action that may have cost him his life.

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