The week before last, I attended and taught at the annual conference of ILEETA, the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association. Despite the economy, the event drew some 725 police trainers from around the country and several other nations, even though a huge number had to subsidize their attendance out of their own pockets.

It is a horrible year for police line of duty deaths.  This past weekend alone, at least three cops in different parts of the US were murdered in the line of duty. Much of the emphasis of this year’s training was on Officer Safety and Survival.

The general consensus of police, military, and national intelligence is that it’s only a matter of time before this nation experiences an incident reminiscent of Beslan or Mumbai: armed, trained, committed terrorists massacring the innocent with automatic weapons and explosives. My old friend Jeff Chudwin, Chief of Police in Olympia Fields, Illinois and one of the nation’s leading authorities on such things, gave a compelling presentation on the topic.

At a time when we need more, better-trained and -equipped cops than ever, we’re seeing police layoffs, hiring freezes, and budget cuts.  Many of the presenters addressed how to deliver quality training with less money for equipment, ammunition, and pay for officers attending.

For the private citizen, what all this is saying is to be prepared for disaster. Remember Hurricane Katrina, just six short years ago.  In a nation where there are only about 800,000 cops to serve an estimated 320,000,000 citizens, it’s absolutely true that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

On a personal note, I shot the annual ILEETA Cup pistol match, sponsored by Meggitt, providers of excellent high-tech training simulators. We had close to fifty seasoned instructors and master shooters in the running, including Chris Cerino, finalist on last year’s “Top Shot” TV show. It was a challenging Meggitt course that represented targets as far away as about fifty yards, some of them moving, on the computer-run event.  I had the good fortune to win it, proving the old adage that even a blind squirrel finds an occasional acorn. With only time to shoot four matches in the first four months of this year, I was grateful for the outcome…but more grateful for the chance to recharge my batteries with the spirit of commitment my 725 brothers and sisters brought to the ILEETA conference.

Jeff Chudwin warns that it’s only a matter of time before Beslan and Mumbai scenarios are acted out in the USA by enemies of our country.

Jeff Chudwin

Ron Borsch’s research shows that mass murders in the US are generally ended by private citizens (sometimes armed, often not) or by single, first responding police officers.

Ron Borsch

2011 ILEETA Cup pistol shooting award. From left, Jimmy McCoy of Meggit LE Training Section, Jimmy Smith of ILEETA, Mas, and ILEETA executive director Harvey Hedden.



  1. Mass,

    I have been through LFI-I, II and III in Live Oak. I think that’s enough to say I’m not a nut job. You vetted me. That said, I have a simple point. I think cops need back off the paramilitary course they are taking. Put uniforms back on. Quit with the BDU’s. Start acting like what they are supposed to be. Police.

    Throw one of your best quotes back atcha buddy. When seconds count, they’ll be there in minutes. That’s the way I like it. That’s the way you like it.

    Should they approach every traffic stop with tactical awareness and use good tactics? Hell yes! BUT…. one of your best lessons was when the only tool in the box is a hammer.. every problem looks like a nail. So quit making every beat cop into SWAT Bob.

    Put them back in the uniforms of cops instead of rambo mall cops and their minds will follow.

    Sorry to be so harsh, you have my respect and have taught me a lot. But…… cops are people. Expect them to act accordingly.

    Scott Parsons

  2. There are bad members of any profession…absolutely. They exist in the military, politics, law enforcement, etc…they also exist in pharmecies, schools, daycare, hospitals, insurance companies, the oil field, constuction, etc. In short bad people are everywhere. Someone has to be the barrier between those who do harm and everyone else.

    If you dont want negative LEO attention dont drive while stupid/intoxicated/under the influence, dont carry a concealed firearm in a manner to draw attention to yourself or without a license, dont smoke/carry/purchase a controlled substance without a prescription, dont call attention to yourself in public by arguing/throwing a snowball at passing cars/causing a public disturbance. In other words, you dont have to like the law to follow it. Failing to follow the law, eventually, gurantees a visit from your neighborhood LEO.

    IMO, the vast majority of these complaints are brought about by people who were already violating one staute or another. Complaints about abuses are often brought about by those upset because they caught doing something they were not supposed to do in the first place.

    Legitimate complaints are greatly outnumbered by the BS ones…that is one reason, its hard to get any traction behind them. Not to mention the potental embarassment to elected officials…in other words they dont want to do anything to rock the boat. While we’re on the topic of elected officials…if you don’t like the laws or dont care for the officials “servicing/ignoring” your complaints, quit electing them. In the end that is the real power of the majority. If folks could focus their limited attention span longer than a local news sound bite, maybe some progress coud be made.

    My $.02 and worth every penny you paid.

  3. So Superfuzz, you’re OK with “Law Enforcement” spitting on their oath of office to “…preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution…” as soon as they suspect ANYONE of “violating one statute or another?” And their fellow officers who play Sergeant Schultz are fine officers as well? Yeah, that’s about what I expect from “Law Enforcement.” And that is why I thank God every time he sends another to rot where they belong. Because at least HE is just.

  4. Rob R. and pals need to understand this: to paraphrase Forrest Gump, police are like a box of mushrooms. At the end of the meal, the number of mushrooms in the box that WEREN’T poisonous doesn’t mean a good g***mn to anybody.

    Abusive police are removed from their jobs just about as often as incompetent public schoolteachers are removed from theirs. Accountability in the world of government paychecks is next to nonexistent. Within thirty years, people like Carl Drega will be recognized as the leading indicator of a social watershed.

  5. Mr. Ayoob. Police officers routinely approach citizens with their hand on their service weapon these days. They do this for routine traffic stops, when questioning potential witnesses and so on.

    This is just one reason why honest citizens fear and hate the police.

    If I approached you with my hand on a weapon would you love me for doing so?

  6. Rob R. and Superbuzz go on to prove with their posts all of the negative perceptions of the average citizen has with their “us vs. them” and “your all perps” on full display. Nice going and thanks a lot for proving We the Peoples point…

    This is the outcome of that poison fruit. But of course, only us Mundanes are to blame. Not those that rather then defusing the situation resort to CERT tactics. Welcome to the reservation kids.

    Think what you will. But very few people who witness this kind of thing end up feeling good and safe around law enforcement. Justified by “law” or not. The crowd could have been dispersed by traditional means. Instead, the LRAD, the dogs, and the truncheons come out. Nice.

    Congrats, acting like an occupying army gets you treated like one.

    This is a sad, sad thing. I weep for my country.

  7. Im not law enforcement…though, I do support their efforts and understand what it is to reviled while doing your job. Im military, currently deployed on my 4th combat deployment since 9/11. Im a citizen and veteran of 21yrs service. I dont support criminality. Im a proud proponent of the 2nd Amendment, capital punishment, and a Libertarian. Now that I have that out of the way…sorry it took me so long to get back to the internet to reply.

    At no time did I endorse wrong doing on the part of any LEO or anyone else for that matter. The focus of my commentary was directed at those who keep singling out LEO’s as the enemy. The old adage “No one likes a cop, until they need one” comes to mind.

    The problems with modern society can not be laid solely at the feet of the citizenry (lawful/criminal) or those who make/enforce the laws in the first place. Everyone shares some of the blame. Unfortunately the only people who truly suffer in this are the lawful (Citizens/LEO). Everyone else gets over. Especially since in the case of Law Enforcement, if you wear a badge youre percieved as a jackbooted thug because someone put a partial video on youtube.

    I would like to comment on folks complaining about individual LEO techniques. Cops performing “routine” traffic stops (no such thing) with their hand on their sidearm. You do realize that Cops get killed every year on “Routine” traffic stops right? Dont come to AStan/Iraq if you think that is over the top. We will make you cry yourself to sleep. I prefer LEO, err on the side of caution. As long as they serve within the constraints of their oath/position there is no problem. People need to not be so sensitive.

    I will say one thing regarding monday morning quarterbacking. If you arn’t there making decisions based upon your experiences, education/training, and the individual situation its very easy to complain about how things didnt work out or how you would have done it better…much harder to actually do it yourself.

  8. Mark Matis reading comprehension is your friend…Im not sure where you got the impression I was in favor of anything you said. But ok. BTW…you may want to rethink your paragon of justice. In my experience he doesnt take a tangible stand, either way.

    Captain Bob…sure. Its called the back button, enjoy.

    Toaster802…I fail to see how my post reinforces a negative stereotype. By the way I think youre confusing your metaphors. Regarding witnessing this “kind of thing”. The problem most of these internet vigilante’s tend to not be actual witnesses. They read a story, saw a video, talked to their buddies, about 4th and 5th hand knowledge and all the sudden their a self-righteous paladin of light and law. Of course Im over-genaeralizing a bit…but then again arent we all?

  9. “I would like to comment on folks complaining about individual LEO techniques. Cops performing “routine” traffic stops (no such thing) with their hand on their sidearm. You do realize that Cops get killed every year on “Routine” traffic stops right? Dont come to AStan/Iraq if you think that is over the top. We will make you cry yourself to sleep. I prefer LEO, err on the side of caution. As long as they serve within the constraints of their oath/position there is no problem. People need to not be so sensitive.”

    citizens get killed in routine traffic stops too. should cops stop being so sensitive?

    i agree that many “rough cop” situations are often justified when the facts are clear – but too many as well are not justified. a full grown 200+lb cop shoving a 15 year old girl who is walking away into a brick wall is nothing more then a full on physical assault.

    if a citizen would be arrested or guilty of a crime for an action (with no valid justification) then an officer should as well.

    if a citizen if being attacked by a criminal with a gun then a citizen should be able to defend themselves with a weapon – the same for any officer.

    too often with everyday citizens the escalation is brought about by the police FIRST. if a person ran a stop sign and an officer arrived with a gun in your face – that is an escalation.

    if you heard noise outside your house and got a gun because you thought you may be broken into – an officer could shoot you through a window because “you were armed” there was a new story of a very old women who was killed by officers outside her house this way.

    could a citizen shoot someone simply because they saw they had a gun? what it if it was an undercover cop approaching your residence gun in hand and had not yet announced who they were? would you be not-guilty? since when do officers alone have the justification of being concerned for their safety?

    the problem is officers can escalate the situation until the person reacts and then they are guilty of a crime! now they can back-justify any actions even though they were in fact the ones that provoked the now outcome.

    if a citizen walked up to someone with a gun in hand “just in case” they were bad – that citizen would be guilty of a crime. an officer doing the same without provocation or in defense of them self is guilty of the crimes the same as any citizen should be.

    because the officers are being protected by the unions and other rogue officers all in the “we were afraid” defense is why they can get away with it. could a citizen do the same and get away with it? not without hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal defense (that is if they did not get killed beforehand)

    do you realize there are growing numbers of home invasions from criminals either dressed or saying they are police and demanding you open the door?

    are you aware of how many carjackings occur just from someone walking up to your car?

    so you are authorizing and validating that every citizen can walk around armed because we may be concerned for our safety as well? – a concerned citizen should keep their hand on a weapon when anyone including an officer (or a criminal dressed as one) approaches your home or car? “just in case” it may be an unsafe situation?

    or are citizens not allowed to protect themselves or be concerned for their own safety?

    do you see how you cannot validate these actions by a few events (although as distressing as they are and i truly do not want any officers hurt in the line of duty)

    our government put up these scanners at airports due to a failed shoe and underwear bomber – although recently they have been “testing” these same scanners at train stations – then “surprise” just found documents indicating OBL was contemplating attacking trains (although never did or even seem to get past the discussion stage)

    now very soon expect to see these x-ray stations at every train station – next i predict a car bombing will occur somewhere and then the government can justify the event to put their mobile x-ray scanners at all major highways to scan cars and trucks as they drive by – as well as license plate scanning and facial recognition systems -(by the way some red light camera systems and dash cams in squad cars already do this)

    justifying the act of punishing the entire country by the actions of a few is completely backwards to our legal system. everyone is now guilty and treated as such until they are hard won proven not guilty (for now)

    this is a completely unacceptable pattern of justification.

  10. Superfuzz, reading comprehension might be your friend as well, some day. Not sure where you got the idea that I think you favor even ONE thing that I said. Let me reassure you that I did not. And let me say the feeling is mutual. Also not sure who you are calling my “paragon of justice”. Maybe you could enlighten me there.

    In the meantime, how about you actually READ the Constitution that you swore an oath to. It doesn’t matter what the meaning of “is” is. The Thugs with Guns violate that oath on a daily basis, and the so-called “good cops” look the other way. The stench is overwhelming.

  11. Let’s see… in Indianapolis just in the last 2-3 years we’ve had police officers arrested for
    DUI (numerous, one with a death)
    Arson (a serial arsonist, no less)
    Running a prostitution ring
    Planting drugs on seemingly innocent folks
    Selling drugs
    Several hit and runs, both on and off duty

    You think a lot of people hate cops? You’re damn right a lot of them do, and a lot of the cops deserve the hate. What really pisses off the average person is how the police departments do everything they can to cover it up instead of hanging these losers out to dry.

    And this is coming from a guy that’s never even had a speeding ticket.

  12. […] Massad Ayoob » Blog Archive » SOBERING KNOWLEDGE FROM COPS My advice to private citizens on this topic, is that when you hear staccato gunfire, screams and revving engines- get your ass out of sight and behind something that will stop your deer rifle. Lay low until its over, unless you feel the It also makes the local LEO's obligated to back up or provide the muscle for those federal no-knock warrants where pets are shot or kicked to death in the name of officer safety and sometimes children are injured. […]

  13. Well in Spokane Washington, a city of roughly 200,000, the cops were helping to curb growth, by killing at one innocent person every month from January to June. I presume they either got their rogue cops in hand, or got better at covering up.

    The rule in our neighborhood is ‘Call a cop, Leave our community!’ If you’re the kind of person who calls rabid dogs into our midst, we don’t want to know you!

    And Mas! I don’t blame you for your attitude, I did think you were better than that! I’m saddened to see that you are what the cab driver in Harvey called, “A normal human being.”

  14. Great article although very eye opening. I believe terrorists are a big threat to our general population as well to police officers. It is a very noble and honorable task to become a police officer. The duties of a police officer place him or her in harms way every time they put on that uniform. Thank God for each one who chooses to protect his/her community and country.I have several members of my family that are in law enforcement. is a good site for those who would like to become a cop.

  15. This talk about Beslan & Mumbai covers the hypothetical importation of tactics that worked only because these happened in countries with a disarmed citizenry. What is missing from the debate is the actual acts of terrorism that repeat with grave regularity in the USA at the hands of police who forget they’re public SERVANTS, sworn to uphold the Constitution.

    …Or has everyone forgotten Ruby Ridge, Waco & Katrina? What about the daily enforcement activity of America’s oldest remaining active terrorist organization, the IRS??

    Oh, and let’s not forget the BATFE – and the ‘Gunwalker’ scandal, and the massive DOJ coverup of the original scandal?

    And a buddy of mine in the US Marshal’s service told me on good authority that Oklahoma City was a federal op, which my dad – also an agent, God rest his soul – concurred; and that Lee Harvey McVeigh was simply the designated fallguy, which opens another can of worms regarding WTC’93 (failed false flag) and 9/11 (successful false flag?). Hmm… wonder if that’s what Dubya meant when he said, “If the American people knew what we have done, they would string us up from the lamp posts”.

    Latest polls show the overwhelming number of those polled believe that the US Gov’t represents the most immediate threat to their life, liberty, and property than al-CIA-da or some 3rd world tinpot like Chavez, Assad or Ahmadinejad. Of that percentage, more than half believed the threat our gubbint poses is an absolutely imminent threat!

    When cops brutally crush peaceful dissent (i.e. OWS) and the Congress floats a bill (S.1867) to replace the criminal justice system with martial law / indefinite detention / no habeas corpus, cops had better worry instead about what America will look like under a 2nd civil war:

    Read especially the part starting with the paragraph above the large hyperlinked line midway through the page. Know what a 3%’er is ( And most of all, if you see a fellow officer violating someone’s rights or otherwise just behaving like a jackbooted thug to someone who’s clearly not a street urchin, educate your colleague. When the feds finally step on their own d!@% for the last time, you’ll be thankful that you got to know the community you patrol, and that this community got to know the real you who’s just like them. Otherwise when TSHTF they may only see ‘another uniform’.