In Street Fighter - Part One we discussed the first gun fighting pillar- Mindset. Street Fighter - Part Two will focus on the second gun fighting pillar-Skills.
Dispatch received a 911 call from an irate man, no physical description was provided. The responding officer makes a critical error when he drove past the location and parked. As he exited his patrol car, the officer was attacked from behind. The predator quickly overpowered the officer, yanked his pistol from the holster and shot him point blank in the head.
The back up officer arrived and the predator closed the distance on him, firing. The predator was shot seven times but remained on his feet. The officer then walked up to the predator and attempted to kick him to the ground. The predator physically attacked the officer, putting him in a bear hug and attempted to grab his pistol. The predator continued to violently attack the officer who was now exhausted and could no longer defend himself. The predator was able to wrench the pistol from the officer's weakened grasp, and fired the pistol once before it malfunctioned.
Despite having been shot nine times, the predator continued to beat the now defenseless officer. Finally several brave bystanders came to the officer's assistance and were able to restrain the predator.
Some might argue that the toxicology report from this incident showed large amounts of THC (marijuana) in the attackerb s system and that it would be highly unlikely that DEA agents would have to fight a potentially drug crazed predator. But isn't that exactly why we carry a DEA badge? Our job is to fight drug traffickers.
One dedicated officer gave his life in the line of duty that day because he lacked the physical strength and aerobic capacity to over-power his attacker. How about you? Will you need to rely on a physically fit bystander to save you? Do you have the fitness ability to survive a kill zone attack like the one described?
Thirty-five years ago I was a Group Leader in the Miami Office. The new DEA Administrator, Bud Mullen, was coming to Miami to speak to the agents. Previous administrators had enjoyed socializing at the Doral Country Club the evening prior to meeting with the agents. This was not Bud Mullenb s style. I received a frantic phone call from the Agent in Charge who explained that Bud Mullen had retired to his hotel room early. He had left instructions that at 0530 hours the next morning he wanted the Miami agents to accompany him on his daily run. My group had a reputation for attracting agents who were lean, mean fighting machines so I was to provide the agents for the run with Bud.
Mullen quizzed the early morning runners about their personal fitness routines. He was interested in the fitness big picture of DEA agents. A few weeks later Mullen initiated an agency wide physical fitness program. To jumpstart the program, Mullen distributed a video explaining his goals for implementing the program. True to his leadership style, Mullen then went a step further and demonstrated each of the recommended events and posted his personal score.
Jack Lawn took over the helm as Administrator after Bud Mullen retired. Lawn also emphasized agent safety. All agents were required to attend two weeks of training at Quantico within twenty-four months after graduation from the basic academy. I was assigned to provide oversight for the program. When the agents arrived at Quantico, we put them through the DEA physical fitness test. Shockingly, despite knowing months in advance about the PT test, and having ample time to prepare, two thirds of the new agents failed the test.
Despite lots of grumbling, DEA had a physical fitness program for fifteen years. The major downfall with the program is that it lacked teeth. While agents were required to be tested, there was no enforceable standard. The physical fitness program was eventually abolished. The Suits claimed it had never achieved any demonstrable results and it ate up too much of the operating budget.
We are constantly reminded via news articles of law enforcement officers killed and injured in the line of duty because of inadequate levels of physical fitness and combat ineffectiveness.
A study was conducted by the International Association Chief of Police (IACP) that showed that when compared with the general population, police officersb average physical fitness levels are below normal in the areas of aerobic fitness, body fat, abdominal strength, average upper body strength and lower back flexibility. The data showed that law enforcement officers are less fit in most areas than at least half of all U.S. citizens despite the fact that the physical demands of our profession require that we be more fit than the private sector.
The following is a clip of a female road patrol officer who responded to a 911 call involving a disorderly female bus passenger who was displaying bizarre behavior. The female road patrol officer is attacked. This six-minute video is shot by another passenger and captures the brutal thumping. Sadly the officer is so out of shape and totally lacking any semblance of fighting skills that after being beaten to the ground she laid helpless in the Kill Zone. She meekly surrendered to whatever fate her assailant decided to unleash on her. She obviously could not protect herself, so the conclusion we must draw is that we are better off protecting our own selves and family then to rely on law enforcement officers. Absolutely never choose this type of officer as a partner for they will take you to your grave. This road patrol officer's failure to prepare brought upon her heavy consequences. Never allow yourself to become this officer. Learn from her failure. Watch the video: Click Here
The body is your machine and it is incumbent on you and you alone to maintain your machine. Since DEA no longer has a formal physical fitness program, I urge you to become a Street Fighter and be an active participant in your own survival by taking the following proposed fitness test. These testing standards are neither gender based nor are they age based. In DEA, we all fight!
The fitness test requires one minute of pushups followed immediately by one minute of sit-ups immediately followed by a 1.5 mile run.
|Proposed DEA Physical Fitness Testing Standards|
|Fitness Activity||Tier One||Tier Two||Tier Three||1 Minute Push Up Total||86||41||22||1 Minute Sit-Up Total||55||45||35||1.5 Mile Run Time||8:50||10:38||13:58|
While I can't tell each individual how to meet these standards, I can urge you to invest your own dime and sign up for a membership at one of the fitness centers that are open 24/7. Motivation is what gets you starteddesire is what keeps you going. Clear your mind of can'tjust do it.
Someday, the life you save may be your own. Donb t become the next victim in a kill zone because you lack the physical stamina to survive. Pledge to join the ranks of the Street Fighters!
Frank E. White