Officer Down: The Column

Published in:

Law Officer Magazine

 



Officer Down: The Book

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Officer Down: The Column

Purpose and objectives: The Officer Down column, which appears quarterly in Law Officer Magazine, offers the readers life-saving lessons gleaned from lethal police encounters. The column recounts actual officer involved shootings in detail, and then analyzes them for key learning points. In the process, readers learn not only what happened, but why. They gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics of armed encounters, how violent offenders think, how various kinds of training can affect an officer’s performance, and the important role of mental preparation in combat situations. Various common hazards, many of which are unfamiliar to most officers, are also indentified, and solid options are offered for effectively dealing with them. Perhaps even more important, however, the column also focuses on positive learning points related to such things as proper tactics, good training, effective threat assessment, and winning mindset. The ultimate objective of the column is to use lessons from the street -- many of which came at the terrible price of a fellow officer’s blood -- to make the streets safer for those who follow. With this in mind, Officer Down is dedicated to the officers whose stories it tells, and to all our brother and sister officers who have been injured or killed in the unselfish performance of their duties.

 

Officer Down appeared in Police Marksman Magazine, a top quality magazine written primarily for street cops and dedicated to officer safety, for over 22 years. When Police Marksman was discontinued in December 2007, the column was picked up by Law Officer Magazine, an equally fine magazine with growing reputation for serving police officers at all levels, and especially for its emphasis on officer safety.
As I look back over the 22 year history of Officer Down, I am amazed at how it has changed from its original concept. When it was first conceived, I envisioned it as a one page column that would highlight one or two tactical errors in each issue. The idea was to use real life incidents to drive home the hazards of the job in a way that would get the readers’ attention and help them avoid the mistakes that commonly cause officers to get hurt and killed. This basic concept has remained unchanged, but it has also evolved into much more. It has become an incredible learning experience that has taught me far more about lethal encounters than I could ever have expected. Almost immediately, I found that every issue drew me into an extensive investigation that dug deep into the heart of what officers undergo during lethal encounters, and what it takes to win. It has helped me understand the complexities of police combat, and has given me insight into the souls of the fine officers who willingly face that possibility every day.
In the process, I have been able to pass on lessons of immeasurable value to the readers in a way that has helped them perform their duties more safely and effectively (see Testimonials). It has also been an incredibly rewarding experience for me personally, and I intend to continue it far into the future with Law Officer Magazine.

 


Officer Down: The Book

NOW AVAILABLE!
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Total Cost- $28.30
Missouri residents pay $30.10 (includes MO sales tax & Shipping)

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Click here for Testimonials

 

Officer Down: Lessons from the Streets is a compilation of many of the best articles from Brian McKenna’s popular Officer Down column. Each chapter recounts a lethal police encounter in detail, and then analyzes it for key learning points. Readers will learn not only what happened in each of these incidents, but why. They will gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics of armed encounters, how violent offenders think, how various kinds of training can affect an officer’s performance, and the important role of mental preparation in combat situations. Various common hazards, many of which are unfamiliar to most officers, are also indentified, and solid options are offered for effectively dealing with them. Perhaps even more important, however, the book also focuses on positive learning points related to such things as proper tactics, good training, effective threat assessment, and winning mindset. In addition, Officer Down: Lessons from the Streets includes valuable material that police trainers can use to impart critical mental and tactical skills to their trainees.