Thursday, January 28, 2010

More "good old days" action.

The team had been watching the dope house for days. One of the young officers had made several controlled "buys" and they had enough evidence for a search warrant.

The house was kept under surveillance while the team Sgt prepared the plan for the "home invasion" style raid. All the team officers were given their assignments both primary and contingency. The coppers were all experienced tactical officers who had raided many dope houses in the past. They knew every raid had to be precise yet fluid enough that any unknown obstacle could be overcome when necessary. The entry teams had to take the front and rear doors simultaneously as the support team created diversions at any windows. The take down team had to enter and secure any occupants upon entering. It all had to be done rapidly with the maximum effort to avoid casualties.

The undercover officer approached the house for one more "buy". This established the availability of narcotics in the house and increased the probability of a successful raid. The teams were staged and waiting for the "go" from the Sgt. The undercover officer was given a few minutes to leave the area then the signal was given.

The street and alley was suddenly filled with police cars as the teams rushed to their positions. The entry teams "knocked" on the doors with their sledge hammers and "chicago bars" (a pry bar used by police and fire personnel). The support teams smashed windows and announced their presence to discourage any escape attempts.

The front door team was having trouble. The door was solid and had a steel reinforced frame. The team leader radioed the problem. The copper assigned to the front basement window had gained entry. He jumped into the room and landed in front of a man who had been watching "Gomer Pyle" on TV. The shocked man jumped up from the couch and ran towards the rear of the basement. The copper heard the radio and realized he was the only copper in the house. All of the doors and windows had bars except for the one he had smashed open. He quickly radioed he was in and ran towards the rear with gun drawn and ready. The fleeing suspect was at the back of the basement trying to shove bags of dope out of the house through an opening in the wall. The copper challenged him, using the old ".45 held to the back of the head" method. The rest of the team had begun to come through the window and was rushing up the stairs to secure the remaining occupants. A large amount of dope was recovered. Several guns were stuffed into the couch cushions where three men had been seated. The ability to improvise and adapt resulted in a successful raid.

Numerous search warrants were served in this manner by the local district tactical teams. That was the old days. The big city police has since changed the way warrants are executed. The S.W.A.T. teams are full time dedicated positions and execute warrants on a daily basis. It's now definitely a young man's job.

It sure was fun though.


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