Serving search warrants and entering homes and businesses to search for killers, robbers, and thieves is risky to say the least. And before going in there’s a ton of necessary preparation, not to mention the hours of training and practice that goes hand-in-hand with being a member of an entry team. After all, the goal is to make a swift and safe entry and to bring out the bad guys with no one getting hurt, including the crooks.
But, after all those hours of grueling training in harsh conditions, repeating the same tactics over and over again until they come as naturally as taking a breath, is it possible to make mistakes? If so, what kind?
Let’s have a brief look at some tiny errors made by cops. Errors most people would never in a million years think could happen.
1. Officers knock and announce their presence and purpose. Bam! Bam! Bam! “Police! Search warrant!” Then the door-kicking starts (or battering ram) until the jamb and lock give way. Officers are then able to storm the house after a full minute of pounding away at a metal door. Or, and it’s happened, officers kick and kick and kick trying to get inside a crack house, but the door won’t budge. They’re frantic so one cop gets ready to break a window when he suddenly hears a voice calling out from inside… “Use the door knob dumbass. It’s unlocked.”
2. A baby is trapped inside a locked car. The motor’s running and the mother is hysterical. She accidentally hit the lock on the driver’s door as she was getting out. “Please hurry! My baby’s so scared, and it’s really hot inside. Hurry!”
The responding officer peeks through the glass and sees that all four doors are securely locked, so he uses a Slim Jim to try and pop open the latches. But it just won’t seem to work this time. Precious minutes tick by as the temperature climbs past 90. The baby seems to be okay and the ambulance and fire crews are on the way. Another five minutes of jabbing the metal unlocking-tool inside the door panel and a fire truck pulls up. Whew! They’ll have the right equipment to get the kid out safely.
The fire captain hops out of the truck and walks up to the car. He steps around to the passenger door and calmly reaches inside through the OPEN window. Then he gently scoops up the cooing baby and hands her to her sobbing mother.
3. The prison Emergency Response Team has been called to extricate a suicidal inmate from his cell. The prisoner is extremely violent and he’s well known for hurting staff members. He’s also built like a bulldozer and is as strong as twenty men.
The team assembles at the cell door waiting for the command to go in. The lead officer has been issued a prison mattress and is holding it in front of his body like a shield. The idea is to rush the guy and pin him to the rear cell wall with the soft mattress. Then the team can easily restrain the guy. No problem. They’ve used the tactic several times before with great success. Never had an injury, either. There’s the count. One. Two. Three. Go!
The door opens and the 6’4, 250 pound ox of a man that’s wielding the mattress makes his move, but he steps on the bottom corner of the mattress and tumbles inside the cell. The rest of the team fall on top of him while the inmate looks on. He slowly begins to laugh and then starts to chuckle uncontrollably as the heavily armored team begins to get to their feet. The prisoner is now laughing so hard he can’t stop.
4. The man inside the building is wanted for murdering a cop. The team is anxious. He’s already said he would kill anyone who tried to arrest him.
It’s now or never. The commander gives the order to go. The dangerous entry is underway.
The third officer on the team is new. It’s only his second high-risk entry. But he’ll be all right after he gets a few raids under his belt. Besides, he had his act together during training. The team moves forward. Number three’s heart is pounding. His gun hand is trembling, slightly. Another two steps. He places his hand on the officer’s back directly in front of him, just like they’d practiced. Then BANG! His Sig just went off. It just went off and he doesn’t know why. That’s what he told the folks from IA and the investigator’s from the state police. It just went off. He hopes Number two will make it.