When multiple officers respond to a call, there’s always the risk of friendly fire. In the First Responder column in the upcoming February 2014 issue of Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement, author Massad Ayoob discusses recent situations where cops have shot their own and details strategies to prevent these kinds of tragedies.
According to Ayoob, “Any of us could find ourselves on one side or the other of a confrontation such as this. We must always remember certain human factors.

Tunnel vision will, more likely than not, occur. Focused on the gun, we may not see the badge in a hand or on the belt. Your shield or other identifier must be held in a conspicuous position. If your free hand holds it high, slowly rotating it, officers approaching from the rear or the flank can better see it. More human factors: We turn toward startling sounds, and ‘where the head goes, the body follows.’ The unidentifiable officer needs to remember this, trying for discipline to keep that from happening, and expecting sudden police commands so that when they come, they won’t trigger that sudden turn.”

To read Ayoob’s full report and learn more lifesaving tactics, check out the February 2014 issue of Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement, available on newsstands and digitally November 26, 2013. To subscribe, go to

Up Next

Off-Duty Guardian Angels Watch Over Colorado Schools

"As law enforcement, we've gotten really good at responding to these incidents, but we've...