As was tragically demonstrated in Boston on Monday, large sporting events are soft targets. This is not news to U.S. Law Enforcement. Even as we struggle to get a grip on the active shooter problem, another tactical challenge is about to overwhelm us.
You uniformed officers and sergeants are America’s front line and first defense. The Federal agencies have done a great job since 9/11 keeping terrorism at bay and I expect that will continue. However, this bombing in Boston and the trend of violent active shooters is unfortunately just the beginning of what’s to come.
Since 9/11, some law enforcement trainers have been attempting to bring a military mindset to the officers working the streets. We need to transform you college graduates into the mindset of us military veterans. This mindset is very complex; we must be professional cops but at a flip of the switch we need to transition to a combat soldier.
The good news is that men with a combat edge and educated from a university make for an incredible fighting machine. Our combat veterans have learned a lot fighting terrorist overseas.
The unfortunate reality is those battles will most likely start being waged in our cities. That leaves us uniformed officers with the awesome responsibility of combating terrorist on our lands to keep our women and children safe.
What to Know About IEDs
Improvised explosive devices are the use of a “homemade” bomb or destructive device which can destroy, incapacitate, harass, or distract, used by criminals, vandals, terrorists, and suicide bombers.
Because they are improvised, IEDs can come in many forms, ranging from a small pipe bomb to a sophisticated device capable of causing massive damage and loss of life. IEDs can be carried or delivered in a vehicle, put in place, or thrown by a person, delivered in a package or concealed on the street as we witnessed Monday.
IEDs come in many shapes and forms, only limited by the bombers imagination. Most share a common set of components that consist of the casing or package, initiating system, and a main charge. Packaging can be a vehicle, a pack of cigarettes, pop cans, back packs and vests.
Initiating systems set off the main charge to make it detonate. Items such as a cell phone or a toy car remote control are commonly used. The initiator almost always includes a blasting cap and batteries as a power source for the detonator. Any type of battery can be used such as a 9-volt, AA, or car batteries.
Initiating systems are triggered in three ways:
1. Over time: Timed I.E.Ds are designed to function after a preset delay, allowing the enemy to make his escape or to target his victims.
2. On command: Command initiated IEDs allow the bomber to choose the optimal moment of initiation. They are normally used against targets that are in transit, or where a routine pattern has been established. The most common types of command initiated methods are with wires or radio controlled devices, such as cordless telephones and remote car door openers.
3. Victim: Victim actuated IEDs are initiated by the actions of the victim(s).There are various types of initiation devices to include pull or trip, pressure, pressure release, movement-sensitive, light-sensitive, proximity, and electronic switches.