I really like John Farnam. He has a wealth of information in areas I will readily admit I have little or no experience in. I’m just glad I’m able to borrow his wisdom and share it with you.
10 June 09
With large departments, and with departments that are spread out over large
areas (like state police), fratricide is an sticky issue.
Within small departments, most members know each other personally, but when
department membership numbers in the thousands, it is not unusual for
officers to spend an entire thirty-year career and still meet other long-time
members of the department, for the first time, on their last day of work!
Fratricide rears its ugly head when members of the same department, or
other LEOs working in the same area, confront each other with weapons in hand,
and at least one is not in uniform. Under these circumstances, LEOs have
been mistakenly shot to death, and many others have been shot at.
It is a world-wide problem, but only in America do we look to technology,
rather than training.
NYPD, in the wake of several high-profile incidents of fratricide, has
asked a technology company to design a system whereby “radio-frequency tags”
(whatever that means) would be installed on police guns. In theory, these
tags would allow officers to know where other officers are.
Much is being made of this idea, even though the technology doesn’t
currently exist, and no officer with more than a week on the job would ever trust
such a system anyway. It is reminiscent of the ill-fated,
long-discredited “safe-gun” technology that was, under the Clinton Administration,
miraculously going to eliminate gun accidents. No such “safe guns” were ever
produced, nor marketed. The whole ridiculous idea fell into well-deserved
Then, as now, “safe guns” are little more than a wet-dream of leftist
techno-geeks, none of whom have ever so much as touched a real gun in their
sheltered lives! Time and effort spent on this fool’s errand has been, and
continues to be, a waste.
The correct way to address the issues of (1) negligent discharges, (2)
unintentional hits, and (3) fratricide is through reinvigorated training.
Officers need to be trained as Professional Gunmen who are not taught to be
afraid of guns. They need to spend lots of time on the range under the
tutelage of professional instructors who insist on sound tactics, suburb
marksmanship, and correct gun-handling.
Departments with a casual attitude toward training will continue to have
high incidents of gun accidents, even fratricide, until training is given the
attention it deserves. The public, and officers themselves, need to insist
No miracle-gadget will save them!