Modern Day First Responder


When I got into this line of work, I never really thought much medical skills. It wasn’t my job to patch people up…so I thought. I didn’t want to be a doctor or paramedic because I’d rather not deal with blood and gore. In the academy, the medical/first aid training that we received was in my opinion, inadequate when I think of it now. We got CPR dialed in but everything else, not so much.
A few years back, I decided to take a Shooter’s Aid course taught by Magpul Dynamics. I figured I should know how to save my own life or that of my partners’ of one of us got shot. That class was a wake-up call for me. In the academy, we were taught not to apply tourniquets, unless it was the last resort. What I learned was the exact opposite. Everything taught in that class was up to date with all the current medical knowledge that comes from our military’s experience in our current wars. You put that tourniquet on ASAP!
Emergency medicine is every first responders’ responsibility, especially Peace Officers because we are usually at the scene first and although our fellow first responder colleagues (Fire and EMS) have extremely fast response times, a victim bleeding out may not make it until they get to them-and that’s not counting for a hot zone, where they are not allowed to come in.
Looking back at why I chose this profession, I want to help people and make a difference, to save lives. I can only do that with me having knowledge of what to do when it needs to get done!

Duty Weapons

What you carry on duty is your preference, as long as you’re within your department’s guidelines and policy. Fortunately I’m allowed to choose what I carry, as long as I purchase the weapon and all of it’s accessories myself. Some departments do not allowed their officers to carry anything other than what they are issued. I’ve had 3 duty weapons in my career so far.

Glock 22 .40 cal.
This pistol was most likely the one that the infamous ATF agent used to accidentally (or negligently) shot himself in his foot with; there’s no such thing as a Glock 40 as he states in the video. The Glock 22 is the .40 caliber model that is almost identical to Gaston Block’s already famous Glock 17 chambered in 9mm. The 22 is my department’s current issued duty weapon, it replaced the dreaded SW99, Smith & Wesson’s version of the Walther P99. The SW99 has numerous issues; they would have parts break off during range sessions. So in came the the Glock 22. I was one of the first classes to get the new department issued Glocks. I could’ve carried whatever I wanted in the academy, but I didn’t want to stand out by being the only recruit with a different weapon. The Glock 22 is an excellent weapon system that is inexpensive and extremely reliable. I was shocked to learn from the armorers, that in order to take the gun apart, the trigger needed to be pulled. In order for the Glock to have the least amount of parts, this was the end result. Other than that issue, the weapon never failed me after thousands of rounds in the academy. I didn’t carry the Glock for long afterwards. Like I said at the beginning, it is all about preference.

Heckler and Koch USP .40 cal
When I turned 21, the legal age to possess a handgun, I went straight to the gunstore and purchased my H&K USP .40. With everything that I buy, when it comes to weapons and duty equipment, I do extensive research before I make up my mind. During my research for a pistol, it came down to the H&K USP .40 and the Sig Sauer P226 in .40. The H&K narrowly won that competition. I carried the USP for a few years and it worked great with no problems until I mounted a weapon mounted light on it. One drawback on the design is the proprietary H&K rail. In order for me to attach my Surefire X200b weapon mounted light onto it, I needed a rail adapter made by Surefire. The X200b also had a pressure switch that ran under the trigger guard and was activated by squeezing your middle finger. With a combination of the rail, light and pressure switch along with the placement of the magazine release, this led to a unique and deadly malfunction: whenever I shot a round with this setup, the magazine would be ejected-every time! Please note, I’m the only one who has had this malfunction with this setup. I have asked everyone who has my similar setup if they have had any issues and it seems like I’m the only one. As a result, I ran the gun without a light until I ran into problems with my magazines. My magazines wouldn’t lock the slide to the rear when they were empty. After that issue, I no longer wanted the USP as my duty weapon. Sure I could’ve replaced the magazine springs or replaced them, but I really wanted to have the capability of employing a WML. Having a WML greatly enhances your ability to identify your target in a low light or no light situation, while allowing you to fire your weapon with a standard two hand grip.

Sig Sauer P229R 9mm
This pistol was actually my off-duty weapon for a while until I went with a subcompact option. The Sig Sauer P229R is the compact version of the P226R. Sig Sauer pistols are known for their reliability and are used by the US Navy SEALs (MK25), US Secret Service (P229), US Air Marshals, FBI and many other agencies and departments. The ‘R’ after P229 indicates that it has a picatinny rail on it’s frame, which makes it easier to attach a WML or laser etc. to the weapon. My P229R is currently my duty weapon and it has the Surefire X200b WML attached. I have had no problems with the Sig, I’ve been drug through the dirt with it in my drop leg holster during a training class and it was just caked in sand and dirt. When I drew it to fire, it performed flawlessly. It lives true to one of Sig Sauer’s slogans, “to he’ll and back reliability.” For now it’ll be my duty weapon for the time being. Who knows what I might choose later on…

The Remorseless Bank Robber

This case was something that you’d think came out of a Hollywood movie. It involves bank robbery, kidnapping and guns; all meticulously planned by the defendant. However in the end, unlike the A-Team, where the plan all came together; the defendant is currently serving 2 life sentences plus 20+ years.
This case was my second jury trial during my bailiff training, it was also the longest case I’ve worked since.
All serious felony cases take around two years from the date of incident/arrest to make their way to a jury trial.
The actual robbery took place after many months of planning by the defendant. The defendant and his family were going through extreme financial difficulties. He had no criminal record prior to this case and decided to solve his financial problems with this elaborate criminal plan to rob a bank. The defendant found his target bank and spent weeks and months along with his accomplices staking it out. They all knew who every employee was, what they did and where they lived by following them all home. The defendant picked the assistant manager because she was the one with the keys and opened the bank every day.
On the day of the robbery the defendant was dropped off at the assistant bank manager’s home by his wife. He pretended to be a delivery man, delivering a box to her husband. At the door, he forced his way into her home with a silenced pistol. The assistant manager was 8 months pregnant that day, she cooperated with the defendant, who told her that he wasn’t there to hurt her and that there’s a gang who has his son hostage; that they were watching them from outside and if things didn’t go as he says, they will kill his son. He also mentioned that they knew where her husband worked, where all her employees lived with accurate details. Whether she believed his story or not, he was armed with a silenced pistol and told he that no one would hear her if he shot her. She wasn’t just protecting herself, but her unborn child as well; the only way to survive is to comply with his demands.
The defendant had her drive them both to the bank in her car. He then told her to have a coworker come out of the bank so he could have assurances that she would get what he wanted done: get all of the cash in the vault without the trackers or paint and come back to the car. She was able to convince her coworker to come out to the car. The defendant then held her at gun point and told her the same story. He held the bank employee in the car while the assistant manager went in to get the money. She told the manager her situation and that they knew where he lived as well. She then came back with the money. The defendant then told her to drive away from the bank along with her coworker and himself. Once they were several blocks away, he had her park and then told them both to go back to the bank and to wait 15 minutes, then call the police and FBI and repeat to them his story. He told them to face forward until he was gone then they were free to go. He left with the money and was in the wind, free and clear- so he thought.
The assistant bank manager, her coworker and manager were all treated as suspects. The investigators initially didn’t believe her story and all the victims went through a lot of scrutiny until they were cleared.
Many months later, the defendant was arrested. His plan had failed. DNA evidence was left behind at one of the crime scenes. The investigators had an idea that the defendant was involved and followed him and collected a DNA sample that he left behind while they were watching him. The DNA was a match and not long after, he and his accomplices were all in custody.
During the whole trial, the defendant showed absolutely no remorse. He was actually upbeat when he thought the case was going in his favor. The jurors found him guilty of all counts.
On his sentencing day, 30 days later, he faked a fall while walking up to the courtroom in the back tunnel. He was sent to the hospital with two deputies. An x-ray revealed that he had foreign objects kestered up his you know what. There were two handcuff keys made from staples, a shoelace with toothpaste packages tied on each end (to choke out one of us). He failed again, this time to escape custody.
At the rescheduled sentencing day, he requested not to be present, which was denied. He then choose to stay inside the cage and cowered in there, never showing his face to anyone.
The victims read their impact statements and they all were greatly affected because of the incident. They all live in fear every single day.
Of the hundreds of thousands that were stolen, some of it was recovered,  the rest unaccounted for.
One thing is for sure: the defendant will never see the outside of a prison for the rest of his days.


Everyone knows what a Bailiff is. If you’d seen Judge Judy, Bailiff Byrd is always standing by in her courtroom. What most people don’t know is what they do exactly, besides just being in the background.
The Bailiff is responsible for courtroom security, which includes themselves, the judge, clerks and everybody else in the courtroom. Multi tasking is a huge part of the job. Security and safety is the absolute priority, but it is just one of many tasks at hand. Different courtrooms have different calendars and cases that are split between civil and criminal. Each courtroom has a team that runs it either well or poorly. The team consists of the Judge, Clerk, and Bailiff. They do not have any dog in the fight, if you will. The Judge hears the case and makes a ruling based on the law, the Clerk makes sure everything is done correctly and is recorded, the Bailiff maintains order and in charge of movement in the courtroom.
What you normally see on TV and films are either civil trials and jury trials. It’s only a small glimpse of what really goes on in the justice system. I’ll go into the courts in depth on a later post.
Back to Bailiff’s. On a daily basis, depending on the courtroom assignment and calendar, they make sure the courtroom is free of any possible dangerous objects or hazards. They address members of the public, defendants, witnesses, jurors, attorneys, pretty much everybody who comes through the courtroom doors; where to sit and what to do, when to do it. They also are in charge of moving inmates into and out of the courtroom. They constantly enforce the law and court rules that are in place. Paperwork, yes that’s part of it too. Every defendant that has completed their case either by pleading guilty or are found guilty after trial gets a set of paperwork that has instructions on their sentence and probation.
Bailiffs are usually alone in their courtrooms and therefore have to be always ready to react to anything that happens in their courtroom, their partners’ courtroom or anywhere in and around the courthouse. They are at foremost, the first responders of the court system.
I am currently a Bailiff and I take my job seriously because the lives of others depends on me know what to do when things go sideways.
I may have a steady schedule, which is nice; but there’s nothing routine about what I do everyday. It’s just like there’s no such thing as a ‘routine car stop’. Some may think that this assignment is boring and yes, it could be. I however, enjoy it because I learn something new everyday. I get to see cases from the start to finish and how our justice system really works. Our system is far from perfect, but in my opinion, it’s far better than in most other nations.
A lot of stories will come my experience here in the court system and there’s plenty of them!



Members of the Thin Blue Line are all part of a vast team that defends citizens from those who choose to commit crimes. All are Peace Officers, sworn and not sworn. They have different titles: Police Officer, Deputy, Corrections Officer, Bailiff, Warden, Federal Agent, Park Ranger, Parole Officer, Probation Officer, Traffic Officer and the list goes on and on. They all have their specific areas of responsibility. Each are experts in their own fields and together, they keep law and order throughout our nation and in our communities. They all enforce laws, whether it is Federal, State, or Municipal and whether they agree or disagree with them.
No one Peace Officer can do everything themselves, that is why they are a part of something bigger: the Thin Blue Line.
For many of us, it is a calling. I know it was for me. I grew up knowing that I didn’t want an office job, I wanted to do more to give back to my community-to help and protect others. I want to make a difference, a positive one.
I consider all members of the Thin Blue Line my family. Like all families, not everybody gets along. You see in movies and TV shows all the time, the local cops and the feds fighting over jurisdiction and so forth. A lot of that does exist, some think that their job or title is more important than that of everyone else’s. Some departments don’t get along with others. Just because some don’t see eye to eye, they usually maintain their professionalism. You don’t see an all out brawl seen in the movie “Supertroopers” between the local PD and the Highway Patrol. Although there maybe differences that exist, all of that goes out the window when it matters- we all have each other’s backs.
We all support one another when in need. That is evident when we any of us fall in the line of duty. Memorials for Officers are attended by no less than hundreds of members of their department and many from outside agencies. I’ve been to more memorials than I can remember. I make every attempt to attend a service to pay my respect to the fallen officer, who paid the ultimate sacrifice for those they served. It is very important to me because I feel like I’ve lost a brother or sister, even though I may have never met them.
We are all one team, a family, with the same goal: keeping our country and communities safe, while making sure that we all go home to our own families.