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Old 02-02-2012, 10:56   #1
YtownGlock
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Building Searches

I went through OPOTA recently and we only spent EIGHT hours covering building searches.

Our instructors even said that two weeks would not have sufficed, they crammed as much as they could in an 8 hour block.

Thought? Opinions? Comments?

Any other academies out there (not opota) that spend more time on this? Less?
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Old 02-02-2012, 14:32   #2
Agent6-3/8
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My class received no formal training on building searches...

We did some during the officer survivability training portion of our time at the academy, but at no point were were formally shown how to stack up and enter a room, "slice the pie" or otherwise clear a structure. This was just one of many glaring shortcoming in training I saw during the academy.
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Old 02-02-2012, 14:38   #3
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Too many variables and personal preferences.

I spent a lifetime to some learning to do it and teach it.

Have a "SHARP FTO"spend some time with you using red or blue guns...

We have a 40 hour class we put on that has building clearing and Traffic/felony stops.. training uses sim guns.
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Old 02-02-2012, 14:46   #4
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Originally Posted by swatbwana View Post
Too many variables and personal preferences.

I spent a lifetime to some learning to do it and teach it.

Have a "SHARP FTO"spend some time with you using red or blue guns...

We have a 40 hour class we put on that has building clearing and Traffic/felony stops.. training uses sim guns.


+1 !!!!

I've spent years learning it. Put more top end teams through it than I can count. Seen military teams from a few nations do it. Rarely see it done without at least once of the "good guys" taking a hit. Often, a few of them.

Sometimes I think that God invented stairwells for the sole purpose of killing good guys.
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Old 02-02-2012, 16:48   #5
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Cop Talk

The Street Survival Trilogy, specifically "The Tactical Edge: Surviving High-Risk Patrol" addresses building searches. (And all of the books are fantastic!)

Save a few bucks and just buy the whole set- I made the mistake of buying them one at a time :-p

http://policeonebooks.com/the-comple...sberg-set.html
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Old 02-02-2012, 17:16   #6
YtownGlock
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We spent a lot of time on Traffic Stops though. Our instructors taught us using the S.T.O.P.S. (Strategies and Tactics Of Patrol Stops) program that was started by an officer that used to work in the area I live in.

When we did building searches, two SWAT Lieutenants (one retired) taught us. We learned how to stack up and walk up/down stairwells, how to enter a room, etc. We were put through a mock scenario.
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Old 02-02-2012, 18:21   #7
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In the academy? Maybe 4 hours. I got some more formal training when I went to Active Shooter Instructor Class. 3 days worth, including A LOT of hands-on scenarios and such. Good stuff, but definitely a perishable skill.
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Old 02-02-2012, 20:03   #8
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Much of that will change depending on the size of the building to be searched is, how your partner was trained, if they are soft, and if you even have a partner.

Don't get sloppy and soft, and remember usually time is on your side. Don't rush into things.
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Old 02-02-2012, 20:06   #9
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We spent a fair amount of time training for building searches at the Academy. However, they put us in groups of four to six. We were discouraged from doing two-man clearing. Most of the time, that's all we have available.

ALso, each group was taught by a diferent person. I don't think any two groups did it the same. The Academy had two SWAT/SRT teams come in to instruct and every group was taught by an individual from one of those teams.

Kind of funny, when the PD has to clear a school or large building, they ask for our assistanee and the assistance of the UPD. When we have a large building, we have the two or three of us take care of the whole thing.

My Dept. has done it a few times, but for somee reason, we always have a larger clearing element than midnight shift ever has people working (working, not necessarily available). I was also told by one of the instructors last time that he would never clear a building without a long gun. Well, Scooter, my long guns don't have lights and I'm not allowed to add one, so a pistol (with a light) and a flashlight, it is. Tried that long gun/flashlight/crawling over stuff/can't open the doors game before. I guess I could sling a long gun, just in case, but I never have (might start, though).

I guess they don't train for a two-man clearing element with no perimeter becuase it would reinforce just how screwed we are if someone inside really wants to do us harm.
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Old 02-02-2012, 20:12   #10
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I was also told by one of the instructors last time that he would never clear a building without a long gun.
Other schools of thought say refrain from bringing long arms into building because of the short distances involved, make it much easier for bad guys to take it away. This was back in the day when an 870 with a 20" barrel was the only option, and weapon light... what's a weapon light?

Not saying I agree with it 100% of the time, but yet another consideration.
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Old 02-02-2012, 23:43   #11
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...and weapon light... what's a weapon light?
DUH! It's that big heavy SL-20 or 4D (or even 6D) Maglite!
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Old 02-03-2012, 00:18   #12
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My 13 week state academy had 1 5 day week devoted to building clearing. Only trained with pistols though, no long gun training. It was done first with red guns, then with sim guns.

I learned alot when clearing buildings with the sim guns. I learned even more when playing the BG with the sim guns.

I personally hate building searches. You can do it by the book and still die, just the nature of the game.
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:45   #13
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which academy did you go through?

i went through Cleveland Heights back in 1997. We spent a few days on building searches. We got sim guns and went through an abandoned nutter home or something.

Your real building search education is going to be on the job anyway with your FTO and fellow officers.

Like others have said, rule one, weapon light! rule two, spare light on your belt. I don't care if you're on dayshift, buildings can be dark during the day.

edit---
long gun depending on what type of building. we just had a to search a house and our 14" Benelli shotguns and 16" rifles were a hindrance moving around the attic crawl spaces. I actually got stuck on broken furniture when I was trying to grab a suspect in the crawl space.

Last edited by Chowser; 02-03-2012 at 01:47.. Reason: shotgun/rifle
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:47   #14
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Originally Posted by razdog76 View Post
Other schools of thought say refrain from bringing long arms into building because of the short distances involved, make it much easier for bad guys to take it away. This was back in the day when an 870 with a 20" barrel was the only option, and weapon light... what's a weapon light?

Not saying I agree with it 100% of the time, but yet another consideration.
Part of the reason I opted for the 14.5" barrel AR. I can maneuver it easily, even in buildings, but without a mounted light, on midnights, it's use is limited.
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:40   #15
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Originally Posted by Agent6-3/8 View Post
My class received no formal training on building searches...

We did some during the officer survivability training portion of our time at the academy, but at no point were were formally shown how to stack up and enter a room, "slice the pie" or otherwise clear a structure. This was just one of many glaring shortcoming in training I saw during the academy.
Thats so suprising and sad. Especially considering the fact that in that agency you might be by yourself when you have to do it.
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