LESC Links August 2nd 2010

I have been off the Blog over the last month busy with both work and some vacation. Hope all has bee better than good with all of you. As I write this 101 police officers have been killed in the line of duty so far this year. this is a 28% increase over last year. Not a very good statistic and one we should be striving to decrease. Striving with all we have to become more effective on the street.

Again it takes more than knowledge but instead the ability to apply physically and cognitively what we know to the street, to the circumstances that unfold rapidly at times in front of us. It take the appropriate attitude do this along with applying this appropriate mindset to all we do. preparation takes training and training should be done on a daily basis. How do we do this? We assess or communities problems and potential threats and design tactical decision exercises. We take advantage of every lesson. we take advantage of every incident and learn from it. in the form of after action reviews. We swallow our EGO’S and realize we must constantly learn about our adversaries mindsets and motives and intent and the methods they use. This takes extra effort on the part of us all.

One way of doing this I have talked about in  the trainings we conduct is in looking at things from the adversarial point of view, also known as Red Teaming. A car stop, a domestic violence call, a suspicious person, a emotionally disturbed person, a seemingly normal person, any circumstances we handle are filled with conflict and have the potential to turn violent. All have tipping points where people can cross the line and all have certain indicators leading up to the tipping point of violence. These types of people and the types of calls we respond to all have certain signs and signals. Signs and signals we can observe and orient to if we have developed a superior situational awareness and ability to make decisions on the fly, under the pressure of real time conflict and violence. This is the focus of the LESC blog and newsletters as well as the trainings workshops we develop and present are designed to do.

Over the next weeks and months I am adapting the concept of Red Teaming on this Site in a new series “Do You See, What I See? Assessing The Situation From the Adversarial Point of View” in hopes that it will get us all to think and use the strategic and tactical  mindset and assess situations via the observation, orientation, decision and action cycle (The Boyd Cycle) and then apply tactics  and methods using sound operational art based on the unfolding conditions. This is far more effective than the emotional  one-sided approach to the way the vast majority of officers respond to calls now. I will look forward to posting and to your feedback which will help further the discussion and embolden our ability to walk the talk to safety and effectiveness on the streets, on our campuses and universities, in our schools and homes etc.

The first article I will post on the Red teaming topic  is from LT John Sullivan who is a senior research fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies on terrorism (CAST) and is a lieutenant with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and Adam Elkus who is a widely published analyst specializing in foreign policy and security. He is also currently associate editor at RED TEAM JOURNAL . Both have worked hard on developing these theories for law enforcement and security  in an effort to give police and security a better understanding of police operational art and develop more full spectrum officers.

“The essence of winning and losing is in learning how to shape or influence events so that we not only magnify our spirit and strength but also influence potential adversaries as well as the uncommitted so that they are drawn toward our philosophy and are empathetic towards our success.” ~Col. John Boyd

I look forward to hearing you all sound off on the topics as we post them. In the meantime…Stay Oriented!


Take A.I.M. and Prepare To Win Dynamic Encounters

I just had the honor of working together with a great group of cops (over 1,000 plus their families) at the FBI National Academy Associates 75TH Annual Training Conference here in Boston. The New England Chapter presented this conference which was chaired by Deputy Chief William Brooks of Wellesley P.D. and approximately 50 committee members.

The annual training conference had 14 separate training sessions throughout the 4 days. In this post I will discuss the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted presented by Charles E. Miller, Coordinator, FBI Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted Program, Criminal Justice Information Services Division which was Sponsored by the Peace Officer Safety Institute, Center for the Study of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted.

This was a great presentation that discussed three key ongoing studies conducted by the Department of Justice and the FBI from 1992 through 2006.

  • ·Killed in the Line of Duty
  • ·In the Line of Fire: Violence Against Law Enforcement
  • ·Violent Encounters

Continue Reading


Expeditionary Eagles: Outmaneuvering the Taliban by H. John Poole

Expeditionary Eagles Every time I get a copy of one of Johns books I get motivated to read. Motivated because every book of Johns (and I have read all, 11 of them) I learn something valuable. His insights are always very useful when looking into future conflict and how to deal with it.

John Poole’s  latest book Expeditionary Eagles: Outmaneuvering the Taliban is focused on the war in Afghanistan but the methods discussed,  l assure you can be applied here at home in dealing with the asymmetric threats we face such as, drug cartels who increase in violence has leaked over the border into he United States. Dangerous gangs and criminal organizations who use violence to complete their objectives. John’s methods are both humane and effective. John learns from history and applies those lessons skillfully.

“If U.S. military personnel still plan to win the war in Afghanistan, they better take a hard look at this book. Unhindered by any obligation to be “politically correct” its author has the perfect background for some helpful advice. That advice takes the form of an intelligence and tactical technique supplement. U.S. planners have yet to realize the power of the Taliban's grassroots approach. To do anything about it, U.S. troops will have to be widely dispersed into a myriad of tiny contingents. This author is totally familiar with the Asians “bottom-up” way of fighting and a recognized authority on squad tactics.

The threat is not only to the government of Afghanistan, but also to that of its eastern neighbor. Pakistan's internal struggle is also analyzed. There is evidence of al-Qaeda coordinating or assisting Jamaat-I-islami affilaites during the recent Swat valley envelopment of Islamabad. As such, all enemy affiliations on both sides of the border have been investigated.

While far more humane, the current U.S. strategy in Afghanistan is still too much like that of the Soviets to succeed. this region is so corrupt that no standard counterinsurgency plan will work. Its drug culture has first to be altered. until that happens, every Afghan police and army detachment in the towns and neighborhoods along major highways will have to be  collected with few American troops. that means allowing U.S. squads to operate outside of any supporting-arms umbrella. That's the only way to urn the tide of battle in a single year.”. ~General Anthony C. Zinni USMC (Ret.)

Expeditionary Eagles arrived today. I am opening it now…Review to follow.


This is not the subject we normally post here at LESC but Chet Richards is involved in the development and implementation of this program for Kennesaw State University. If Chet is involved I know it will be a top notch program that brings COL John Boyd's theories to the Business world.


Our Executive MBA for Families in Business was created to promote superior family business owners who can help their businesses – and the families behind them – survive and thrive for future generations.  Designed for working professionals involved in family businesses, the program provides family business owners with the concepts, tools and research that have proven to make a difference in fostering families and their businesses.

The Executive MBA for Families in Business is not your typical Executive MBA program.  With only 15 students per session, the program meets every other month for 6 days at a family business somewhere across the globe.  The program encompasses three major areas of business that are not taught in any other executive MBA program: family business, six levels of managerial finance, and the OODA-loop strategy created by the late US Air Force Colonel John R. Boyd and now used by a number of businesses and the US Marine Corps.

Through all of the highly-interactive coursework, students engage in challenges and share in the results of rigorous analytical thinking and live case studies, including the family businesses of the class members from across the globe.

Inter-student learning, including classroom discussions and on-site visits to students’ family businesses, is a critical part of the curriculum.  This means students learn from the faculty and one another.  Our classes serve as a microcosm of a family representing multiple generations.

Student Profile

  • Our students live and work in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America
  • Our students range in age from 26 to 65
  • Students have included CEOs, presidents, vice presidents, board members and young executives rising to leadership positions

The Cox Family Enterprise Center

Our Executive MBA for Families in Business was developed by professionals in the Cox Family Enterprise Center, a global leader in family business research and education and one of the most emulated academic programs in the world.   

We have posted copies of three research articles about family business written by our Executive Director, Dr. Joseph Astrachan.  You can access them here:

For more information, or just to talk about the program or about family business in general, please contact Georgia Bentley, Director of Recruiting, at +1 770.423.6042.


Don't Charge Police for Mistakes

I have often wonder during my 24 years as a cop how or why a officer in the performance of his duties could end up charged with a crime and end up doing time in jail for a mistake in judgment  under pressure while doing his job? I have often thought why is it that judges and prosecuting attorney’s get immunity from their decisions made in the chambers of a calm court room, with plenty of time to decide and very little risk involved. While at the same time cops are being punished for decisions made implicitly on the street in the heat of battle, on the fly with little time, and where risks are high. In circumstances where  life and death could be the outcome. Quite frankly, cops, just doing their jobs. A job that often involves uncertain, complex and rapidly changing, unpredictable  circumstances involving uncertain, complex, rapidly changing, unpredictable and adaptable people who would do them or others harm. It has never made sense to me.

Reasonableness is the standard set forth by the courts in use of force cases which in my view alludes to an officer making rapid decisions under pressure and that mistakes in judgment will be made due to the rapidly changing conditions. The court in their decision to set the reasonableness standard  seems to understand that this decision making under pressure is not an easy task and that there is not a right or wrong solution, that the action taken must be reasonable. So why the problem?

My view is there is a huge gap between the street and the aftermath, between what cops do in the implicit world of conflict and violence and the explicit world of review boards and courtrooms, juries and judges. The way we make decisions in these two environments is different , much, much different. Continue reading


What is a Threat?

A threat is an expression of intent to do harm or act out violently against someone or something. A threat can be:

    • Spoken
    • Written
    • Symbolic
      • For example, motioning with one's hands as though shooting at another person in the right context could be considered a threat.

Types of Threats

Direct threat identifies a specific act against a specific target and is delivered in a straightforward, clear, and explicit manner:

    • "I am going to place a bomb in the school's gym."

Indirect threat tends to be vague, unclear, and ambiguous. The plan, the intended victim, the motivation, and other aspects of the threat are masked or equivocal:

    • "If I wanted to, I could kill everyone at this school!" While violence is implied, the threat is phrased tentatively.
    • "If I wanted to“and suggests that a violent act COULD occur, not that it WILL occur.

Veiled threat is one that strongly implies but does not explicitly threaten violence.

    • We would be better off without you around anymore"
    • Clearly hints at a possible violent act, but leaves it to the potential victim to interpret the message and give a definite meaning to the threat.

Conditional threat is the type of threat often seen in extortion cases.

    • It warns that a violent act will happen unless certain demands or terms are met:
    • "If you don't pay me one million dollars, I will place a bomb in the school."

Continue reading


Law Enforcement and Security Consulting Programs of Instruction

The LESC programs of instruction utilize the method of experiential learning to build student experiences using the “recognition primed” decision making process. The program s of instruction consists of four primary pillars and includes the use of: (1) a case study learning method; (2) tactical decision games; (3) free play force on force exercises; and (4) feedback through the leader evaluation system.

The LESC programs of instruction unify the approaches above in accomplishing LESC learning objectives, which include:

  • Improving one’s ability to make decisions quickly and effectively;
  • Making sense of new situations, seeing patterns, and spotting opportunities and options that were not visible before;
  • Becoming more comfortable in a variety of situations;
  • Developing more advanced and ambitious tactics; and
  • Becoming more familiar with weapons capabilities, employment techniques, and other technical details.

For more information on the workshops please contact Fred@lesc.Net Remember in an effort to make training as convenient and cost effective as possible for you and your staff LESC will bring our workshops to your organization at a time beneficial to you.

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