Deadly Force

Since this is a huge topic today, thanks to our media, I will give you some insight into why the Deadly Force option to a Peace Officer is their last resort.
The media makes those who have the difficult, dangerous job of enforcing the law come out to be a group of lawless hitmen or assassins out to kill the innocent with impunity. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I am not here to talk about any particular case because I wasn’t there and neither were most of you. What I will say is that I don’t leave my home each day, head in to work to change into my uniform, badge and duty belt with the intention of using any force on anyone. That is true for the majority of my fellow brothers and sisters in blue, although I cannot speak for all of them.
In my almost eight years in my career, I have not had a Use Of Force incident yet. That is something pretty hard to do in my profession. Have I come close? You bet, numerous times.
A Peace Officer is reactionary by nature. Everyone in contact with an Officer are the ones that usually determine the outcome of that contact, whether it be positive or negative. I’ve had thousands of contacts with people and I can tell you from my own experience, it really is a “Split-Second decision” (a common term you hear all the time) that I’ve had to make many times throughout the years, and it is extremely stressful. In these types of encounters, most of them escalated in very few seconds and some of them took time to escalate.
It’s really easy to “Monday Night Quarterback” any incident, especially with Deadly Force incidents. The media, the average citizen, who have no knowledge or experience of what an officer goes through during these incidents think they know the correct way of handling that particular incident. Usually none of these experts were present during the incident.
I myself do my absolute best to de-escalate a situation if possible and it shows with my record so far. I am always prepared to defend my life and the lives of those I swore to protect and I cannot hesitate if it ever comes to that.
Why don’t I want to get into a UOF and especially a OIS (Officer Involved Shooting) incident? There are many reasons. First of all, I do not ever want to take another person’s life if it can be avoided. In any UOF, no matter how minor, I can be injured. Injuries can end my career and livelihood for me and my family. What most people don’t know is the level of scrutiny the involved Officer comes under from the investigation by the department, the District Attorney and nowadays the media and general public. I highly recommend that you watch the first two episodes of Flashpoint, a Canadian police show that focuses on their Strategic Response Unit. That show in my opinion, shows the process of what an Officer goes through after an OIS. Once a thorough investigation by all parties is over, you are either cleared or you will face criminal charges if you weren’t justified in your UOF, discipline by your department if you weren’t within policy. It definitely isn’t like what you hear from the pundits who think that the departments cover for their officers. If there was a mistake made, then there will be consequences for those actions. If you’re cleared by your department and the DA, you’ll still face civil action by family members of the person whose life was taken.
As you can see, this is why my Deadly Force Option is my absolute last resort to end a contact with any person.
This is why I constantly train myself physically and mentally, so that I will make the best possible decision whenever I need to make them. It is said, ” You do not rise to the occasion, you fall back on your training.”
With all the negativity and public outcry and scrutiny LEO’s come under nowadays, why do we keep going 10-8?
It’s because for many of us, it’s a calling and we take pride in what we do each day and night.

Heckler and Koch VP9


In this line of work, you have to adapt and adjust with the times. When it comes to your gear and equipment, you have to pick and choose each piece that works for you, because you are the end user.
With that said, I have chosen a new duty weapon: the Heckler and Koch VP9 with a Surefire X300U attached.


There’s plenty of reviews on the VP9. I’m just going to give you my own observations I’ve had with using this weapon system since I got it a few months ago and why I chose it over my Sig Sauer P229R.
When the VP9 first came out, I could’ve cared less about it, thinking it would be like another Glock. I wasn’t too fond of striker fired pistols because I never really liked the trigger. There are a lot of similarities to a Glock, however, there are many features that HK put into the VP9 that caught my attention. First of all the trigger is clean and crisp out of the box and feels a lot lighter than the 5.5 lb pull weight and it had a positive reset. The side panels and backstrap are adjustable, therefore improving the handling of the weapon. It is a fully ambidextrous pistol with the slide release lever on both sides. The magazine release is improved from the one on the USP, being a bit longer and easier to reach at the rear of the trigger guard. I didn’t get the Law Enforcement model with night sights because it wasn’t in stock at the time. I got the standard model with luminescent metal sights and they are extremely bright in the daytime and in low light, will glow brightly for several minutes. They can be recharged with a quick burst of light from a flashlight. This isn’t an issue for me since I have a WML attached. I plan on replacing the sights with Trijicon HD night sights in the future, but for now it works for me. Underneath the rear sights, there are unique plastic tabs that assist in racking the slide.
There is a loaded chamber and cocked striker indicators, which are nice features just to have.
I had a lot of dry fire practice with it and took it to the Falcon Ops Group LEO 1.5 Pistol Deployment Course, where I shot it for the first time. I shot over 500 rounds without fail. I did however run into an issue with my thumb placement on the slide release lever. I noticed that it wasn’t going to slide lock when it was empty. I quickly adjusted my where I placed my thumb and haven’t had an issue since.
So why go with the VP9? The biggest advantage the VP9 had over the P229 is the trigger. A striker fire system is much simpler to operate than a DA/SA hammer fired system. I no longer have to pull a 13 lb trigger or have to decock the hammer before I move or reholster, all I have to do it draw fire and reholster. I was used to the DA/SA but if it could be simpler, why not?
The VP9’s magazine capacity is 15 over the P229’s 13. The VP9 uses the same magazine as the P30 but let me tell you, they are like unicorns, extremely scarce. I was luckily able to grab a few more from RifleGear.


I had the Surefire X200b on my P229, which outputs 80-100 lumens. The new X300U on my VP9 outputs 300 lumens giving me over three times the power!
Since the VP9 was released late last year, Safariland was working on a duty holster solution for it. I was emailing Safariland back and forth to get them to make a duty holster that will also accommodate the Surefire X300U. They came through and I special ordered it from Tactical Pro Shop. The Safariland level 3 holster for the VP9 fits like a glove and is much more secure than the level 2 for the P229. The P229 had a tiny bit of wiggle room and would rattle with each step as I walked. The ALS on the VP9 keeps it snug and quiet.


The VP9 is significantly lighter in weight than P229. The moment I switched duty weapons, I could feel the difference.
Before you can carry any weapon, especially your duty weapon, you need to have it inspected by a department armorer. After being approved, you need to qualify with it right away. My VP9 was the armorer’s first one he had ever seen. He took his time going over it and was impressed with it after he took it apart. Qualifying was a breeze with it and I didn’t have to worry about that heavy first trigger pull or decocking the hammer.
As of right now, I am the first and only one in my department carrying the VP9 on duty.

Training & Experience

Training and experience are, in my opinion, the most important things to a Peace Officer. There are many things that officers go through that are similar like the academy. Not all academies are the same and all have their own standards, but every officer must graduate in order to start their careers. From there it’s an individual, independent journey that each officer goes on throughout their careers. Police Officers who work for a City will start their FTO program with their respective departments; Sheriff’s Deputies will either start their FTO program in the county jail or the courts.
Once an officer/deputy passes the FTO program, they are on probation for 12-18 months. After the probation period is passed there are many opportunities for them to choose their own paths. In the Law Enforcement field, there are endless assignments , depending on the size of the department.
Each officer usually have their goals in mind before they started the academy. I’m not going to list them, there’s too many. You can go to any department website and see all of the services they provide.
My training and experience is unique to me as it is with everyone else. I started in Law Enforcement when I was 16 years old as an Explorer. I moved up the ranks to Explorer Lieutenant, which in my department, I was the commander of my division. Our Explorer program was huge, we have a few hundred Explorers in multiple divisions across the county. I continued with the Explorers up to the point I was hired to become a sworn officer at 21.
I started to work at a minimum security jail, awaiting to attend the academy. It was an eye opener for me, I’ve never had any interactions with inmates or the criminal element while in uniform. At first, I was not very assertive because of my usual friendly personality. I didn’t start there with much of a command presence until one day, I was telling an inmate not to talk while walking back to my compound. He responded by laughing at me when he was out of my line of sight. I had a very good Sergeant who saw the entire interaction and pulled that inmate aside and with colorful language, asked him what was so funny and that if he ever disrespected anyone who has a badge and uniform like he did, that he’d be sent back to a more secure facility. There was an instant attitude adjustment and the inmate apologized to me right after.
I soon attended the academy, which was an experience that was rewarding because of how difficult it was to accomplish, as it should be. My academy was a high stress and four months long. There I learned how to be a peace officer. From physical training, arrest and control techniques, firearms, laws, ethics, report writing, interrogation techniques and more. We were trained by the best tactical officers and instructors, who had a passion for making us the best officers we can be. Not everyone of us who started graduated. Most dropped on request, some were injured and some failed academically. Nonetheless, each and every classmate that graduated with me all went through the difficult academy together as a team and we all share a bond that will always stay with each of us.
After graduation, I was assigned to the same facility I was at before I left for the academy, which was nice because I knew all of my partners and was familiar with the facility. I found that inmates for the most part, would try in every way to take advantage of any weakness you show. So I became extremely strict and to letter of the law. Any inmate that didn’t follow my instructions or violated any jail rule was most definitely written up. Let’s say there were a lot of write-ups. I learned after a few months that writing everyone up for every single rule was not very effective since it was very time consuming to do so. I learned to pick my battles and how to communicate more effectively, making me much more effective and efficient at my job. This didn’t mean I stopped writing inmates up, I just wrote up those that really deserved it. To sum up my experience in the jails in one sentence, it is like babysitting adults.
After four years at the jail, I put in a transfer to go to court operations. It was a totally different world was entering. At the jail, I had very little interaction with the public. The main types of interactions I had at the jails were with visitors. When I got to the courthouse, I wasn’t used to dealing with members of the public, out of custody defendants and court staff. It took me a few weeks to get used to it. At the jail, inmates know not to get close to you, you usually had an invisible force field that no inmate entered or they might be deemed a threat and put against the wall or on the ground. At the courthouse, however members of the public have absolutely no clue and do not respect your space, some will be inches from your face to talk to you or think it’s okay to tap you on the shoulder. You just have to do your best to keep your distance and not have a use of force incident every time someone gets in your space. At the courthouse, you are always in close proximity to people, whether it be in the courtroom, hallway or anywhere, all you can do is be extremely proactive and alert at all times.
On my down time, I try my best to stay current on events and new tactics and technologies to stay relevant and up to date as it changes daily and over the years. Whether it be firearms, medical, hand to hand combat, it is always evolving.
I love what I do for a living and I can’t see myself doing anything else. I can honestly say that through all of my training both on and off duty and my professional and personal life experience has made me the most effective Officer I can be.


The Safariland Group brand needs no introduction of you’re a LEO or service member. Their motto is “Innovation not imitation.” From my own experience with their products, that is a true statement.
They are mostly known for their duty holsters, however they make all sorts of duty and tactical gear. Whatever you can think of, they probably make it: Sam Brownes, web gear, soft body armor, hard armor plates, ballistic helmets, electronic hearing protection and many other products that help keep those that go into harm’s way safer.
Every single duty holster that I have ever gone 10-8 with was made by Safariland, whether it was issued or bought myself. In my opinion, with my experience with many different holsters, nothing comes close to the quality that comes from Safariland. I trust no other Iof holster to secure my duty weapon. I was familiar with holsters since I was 16, back then I was an Explorer and we were trained by our advisors utilizing web gear and red guns. Most of the equipment was surplus or donated. We weren’t worried about retention so most of the holsters were simple Uncle Mike’s snap holsters. There usually never enough equipment to go around so we had to share. We would be trained on scenarios that would involve car stops, felony car stops, search warrant service, active shooter and too many to list. They were meant to show us first hand what the job was all about and to prepare some of us for competitions. I was very motivated and earned my place to represent my post in many competitions. Since I was serious about competing and more importantly about making it my career, I knew I needed my own equipment. I bought my own web gear, red gun and holster. It was a Safariland snap holster, basket weave for a Sig Sauer P226, which I had a red gun of.
Fast forward to 2008, I was being issued my equipment for the academy. I would be one of the very first classes to be issued the Glock 22 along with the Safariland level 3 retention holster. My department was going away from the Smith & Wesson model 99, which were horrible according to everyone who carried one. I did my research before attending the academy so I expected the level 3 holster. When my classmates and I donned our Sam Brownes with our new holsters attached, the armorer instructed all of us to holster and snap down. Then he told us to draw, only a handful of us were able to get our weapons out while the rest were struggling to figure out why their weapon was stuck. They weren’t expecting the ALS or Auto Locking System.
A quick explanation into retention systems and levels:
Level 1: Friction from the holster holds the weapon in. It can be adjusted by the user.
Level 2: SLS system (Self Locking System) this refers to the rotating hood that cover the end of the weapon. It replaces the snap on the older holsters. Once pushed forward, it’s out of the way until reactivated. It’s designed to help the user obtain a perfect master grip while drawing.


Level 3: ALS (Auto Locking System) this locks the weapon in place by locking into the ejection port of the weapon. A small tab has to be pushed down with the thumb to deactivate it once the hood is cleared. It’s automatically locks the weapon upon being holstered. Even with the hood being forward.
Level 4: Sentry system. This optional attachment could be added to a level 2 or 3 holster, raising it up a level. It locks the SLS hood in place and is deactivated with the thumb.
A lot of officers complain about having too much retention and that it’s more important to get your weapon out when you need it than to have secure from a gun grab. That may be true, but if you train with your setup enough, you will be able to draw you weapon just as fast with a level 3 as you would with a level 2. I know so because I’ve used both.
I started carrying a Weapon Mounted Light in 2009. Back then Safariland only had level 2 holsters for weapons that had lights attached. They were not able to secure the weapon without the light attached. It is the current holster that I have on as I am writing this.
Safariland lives up to its motto, they a definitely innovators because they took care of that issue with the WML’s.


I recently special ordered a newly designed level 3 holster for my HK VP9 + Surefire X300U. I have been practicing with it since I got it and I am impressed! It has the ALS system in place along with a barrel plug, allowing the weapon to be secured with or without the light.
Hopefully sometime tomorrow, I’ll have the VP9 as a my duty weapon for foreseeable future.
The VP9 became available late 2014. Safariland was quick to make holsters for it soon after. I was waiting for them to make one to accommodate the X300U. I’ve sent them emails and they were working as fast as they could to make sure that it was done right and they came through.
I would estimate that at least 90% or more of all duty holsters that are on duty belts or on drop legs are made by Safariland and for a good reason: they’re simply the best in the business.


My Support System.

I am truly blessed to have my family and friends who support me every single day, especially my wife and for that I am grateful. This is dedicated to my wife, my family, friends and everyone who supports Law Enforcement.
My chosen profession is inherently dangerous as you may all know. I know it isn’t the most dangerous job compared to many other jobs. What separates LEO’s from all other dangerous professions is the fact that there are people out there who want to cause us harm or even kill us, just for wearing a uniform. The physical threat to our own lives is well known, therefore we have protective equipment and training to minimize those threats. Every morning, just before I leave for work, I always kiss my wife good bye and she always tells me to be safe. I take what she says to heart and let it sink in each time, never taking it for granted. It turns on a switch for me, to remind me that I’m important to her and that I need to do whatever it takes to come back home to her.
Not only do we have the physical danger to deal with, we have to deal with people at the worst times of their lives. Our emotional and mental health also takes a beating day to day by the things we see and hear. I fortunately haven’t seen things are too gnarly yet. I can’t say the same for a lot of my friends and partners who work patrol operations or investigations.
We are all human and I’d be lying to you if I said that I’m not affected by all of this. While I’m on duty, I need to be professional and do my job. Therefore I need to keep whatever I’m thinking, feeling to myself. It’s never good to hold something in and therefore you need an outlet. My wife is a great listener and she always is available to hear what I have to say about things that bother me or just how my day is going. Unlike the general public and the media, she listens to what I tell her and tries to see and understand where I’m coming from. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in life. I also have friends who are not members of Law Enforcement, that also give me additional outlets.
It’s been said many times over that this profession is a thankless one, we don’t do it for the thanks we get and that is definitely a true fact, however we do get many thanks from members of the community that we serve.
Despite all the negativity that is at an all-time high right now with the media and social media, there is a silent majority of citizens who support us in what we do.
It’s a hard job to do, especially today. I didn’t get into this way of life because it was easy, but because I feel to this day, that it is the right thing to do.
I cannot thank those who stand by us and speak out for us enough for your support. Thank You.

The Worst Father.

Some people shouldn’t be parents. There are some horrible parents out there who do terrible things and it is always their children that suffer, whether it be direct physical harm or being placed in dangerous situations.
I have heard many horrific cases here at work and on the news. They range from parents speeding or DUI with their children in the car, without car seats or unsecured to actually physically harming their children themselves.
Please note that some of what you’re about to read will be hard to do so.
Probably the hardest thing I had to do here at work was to stand by during a felony child abuse case where the defendant was testifying on his own behalf in front of a jury. My job was to make sure he didn’t escape and to protect him since he was in-custody. He was accused of purposely burning over 30% of his few-months old daughter’s body with scalding hot water. So I had to sit a few feet away from him and hear his whole testimony and I will tell you it was very hard to do, especially as being a father myself.
During direct questioning, he put on a show with full water works, crying on the stand claiming that he checked the water and didn’t know that it was that hot. He also said that he left her in it just for a few seconds. The burns were so bad that her some of her skin peeled away.
When the District Attorney cross examined him, he no longer was emotional as he was on direct. The DA pointed out some facts about what happened that contradicted his previous testimony and he didn’t have any reasonable explanations for any of it.
The defendant was watching his daughter for his girlfriend who had to go to work. His daughter was asleep, taking a nap when he got there. He decided to wake her up from her nap and she started to be fussy and cry. He couldn’t get her to stop crying and he was getting frustrated and decided to punish her with scalding hot water.
The jury found him guilty and convicted him for the crime. Thankfully I didn’t see the pictures of the victim. As hard as it was to sit there and listen to all of this, I had a job to do and I wasn’t going to let my emotions get in the way of that. All I could think of was that poor baby, she didn’t deserve to be scarred for the rest of her life.
I can’t imagine ever hurting my own child in any way. I understand that it can be extremely frustrating and  stressful to be a parent but we all made a choice to have children, our children do not have the option to choose who their parents are. It is our job to protect them and keep them safe. It is always hard to understand why people commit certain crimes, especially one’s that involve children.
At least this defendant will be behind bars, where he belongs for some years to come.

Personal Defense.

Having the knowledge and ability to defend your own life is absolutely vital in the field of Law Enforcement. It is however also vital for citizens to be able to defend themselves as well.
I know I focus a lot of firearms and the proficiency of their use in my posts. This one will focus more on different types and methods of self- defense skills that are in my opinion, necessary for everyone to at least know.
I am well versed and confident in my skills in self-defense, it is what do everyday 24/7. All of my skills combined are what gives me this confidence and it took many years of practice to get to where I’m at. The skills are all perishable and new methods are always being developed, therefore you are never done learning. Please note that this is not an end all posts to cover all self-defense situations, it’s merely a way to get you thinking.
Before I get any further, I’ll ask you a hard question: if you, whether it be by yourself or with your loved ones, are cornered by a person who is bent on causing harm to you or your loved ones, will you be able to protect yourself or your loved ones?
That’s a very hard question to ask and most people go on with their lives without any incidents like this. I’m all about being prepared for the worse case scenario, so I’ll never be surprised. It’s not living in fear of everything, that is not what I’m saying. All I’m saying is to know yourself, your own abilities and have a game plan.
The best way to win a fight is to avoid one. Situational awareness is key here: knowing what and who is around you, where your routes to escape are will assist you in identifying possible threats and how to get away from them.
When you find yourself cornered however, you will either have to comply or fight back. Depending on the situation, if your compliance will end the confrontation, well that’s your best option. If all they want is money or stuff, is it really worth your life to fight over? That changes when your life or person is being threatened; you now have two choices again, this time, compliance means giving up, being at the mercy of your attacker-or you can fight back and never give up.
Ideally, a pistol would be your best option against a imminent threat to your person. The fact is, most people are not familiar with firearms or live in areas that make it extremely difficult to carry a firearm concealed. With that option taken out of the equation, you will have to resort to other options.
Martial arts skills are very useful when you have to go hands free. I myself have practice TaeKwonDo for a few years back in high school (I wouldn’t recommend it as a base for practical self-defense skills) but it is better than nothing! I studied Kung Fu later on, it is much better than TKD because it is more well rounded in hand techniques, rather than being dependent on 80% on foot techniques. There’s a time and place for kicks. Kicking leaves you vulnerable for a takedown if your leg is captured and you also need a lot of room to kick, if you’re in a confined space, it’s not very practical. It doesn’t matter what you study, any martial arts system, including TKD will help your dexterity, coordination and keep you in some sort of shape. Don’t have time for a class? Go find a self-defense class that will teach you simple and effective techniques that, as long as you practice them, will give you the know how and ability to use them when you need them.
Muscle memory comes into here. No matter what skill involving your body, you will need to practice a movement thousands of times to build muscle memory so that it will become second nature to you so you no longer have to think about it. It is true for martial arts as well as shooting.
Self-defense weapons. There are many devices and tools out there for self-defense. Know your local, state and federal laws of what you plan on carrying!
Knives are great tools and could be used in a self-defense situation. I however, would use a knife as a last resort because I’m not a skilled knife fighter and chances of getting cut myself are high.
Pepper spray is another option. It can be useful to cause pain and temporarily blind your attacker, but keep in mind that it will not disable or incapacitated them.
Stun guns are not tasers and will only cause pain compliance and will not incapacitate your attacker either. They are not legal to carry everywhere.
Taser makes a civilian model, which I have myself. It isn’t legal everywhere to carry. It has a range of only 15 ft and if you get both probes to make contact with your attacker, they will be incapacitated for 30 seconds, allowing you enough time to leave the area. Taser will replace your taser device when you send them the police report of the incident.
Batons and kubatons are also not legal in most areas. They will make a greater impact on your attacker.
This doesn’t cover everything like I said. These are all things for you to think about in order to stay safe. It’s your life, don’t let others dictate how you live. Peace Officers are out there on the streets to protect you. They are increasingly under a lot of stress from being short staffed due to decreasing budgets and etc. When you are face to face with an imminent threat, you’re on your own for at least a few minutes in the best case scenario if you were able to make the 911 call. Officers are not everywhere so you should at least be able to defend your life until they arrive.
Probably the most effective take away from this is situational awareness, no matter where you are at. You can most likely avoid most incidents by being aware.
Stay safe and I hope I got you thinking!