LESC LINKS October 12th 2010

I will be heading out Thursday for the Boyd and Beyond Symposium taking place at Marine Corps Base Quantico.  I look forward to attending and participating in the conference. I hope to see some of you there! I will share the lessons learned (I am sure there will be plenty) upon my return. In the mean time stay oriented! ~Fred

Al-Qaeda's new strategy: Less apocalypse, more street fighting

The scene in Europe last week called to mind the heyday of the IRA in the 1970s or of Algerian terrorism in the 1990s: Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square were teeming with police, the Eiffel Tower was repeatedly evacuated, and everywhere, tourists were on edge. The threat, however, involved a newer brand of terrorist: The CIA and its European counterparts warned of an al-Qaeda plot to kill civilians in France, Germany and Britain, and alerted travelers, especially Americans, to be extra-vigilant.

Few operational details were released. But unlike many thwarted al-Qaeda operations of days gone by -- such as the 2006 Heathrow plot, in which several airliners bound from London to America were to be blown up at coordinated intervals -- it was clear from news reports that the European plan called for less spectacular, smaller-scale attacks, perhaps using machine guns to strafe clusters of tourists near public landmarks. Continue Reading

The threats continue to evolve and if our adversaries have their way we will be dealing with these types of attacks here at home. The time is now to develop more full spectrum cops who an observe, orient, decide and act on the fly. Cops who can adapt on the street and apply what they know operationally and tactically. Failure to do so will only enhance our adversaries ability to disrupt our response system and complete their mission to bring an atmosphere of  terror to the homeland. They have already made attempts and It is what they have been doing elsewhere for a long, long time. The time is NOW to prepare and ready ourselves. ~Fred


Lessons learned from the hostage incident at Discovery Channel

The first words the hostage negotiators heard were, "I have a bomb strapped to my chest and I’m ready to die!" What would you do?

On September 1, 2010 at approximately 1300 hours, James J. Lee entered the discovery building located in Silver Spring, Maryland and took three hostages at gunpoint. Lee also appeared to have a bomb strapped to his chest. The responsibility to resolve this matter fell upon the Montgomery County Police Department’s hostage negotiation and tactical teams. A source close to this incident told PoliceOne, “This was vastly different than a normal call out” and provided me with details that afforded lessons that each of us should be cognizant of in the event we are faced with a similar circumstance. continue reading

Outstanding job done here. That honorable attempts at persuasion went unheeded by the hostage taker lading to the hostages ability to adapt and flee because the circumstances presented the opportunity! This was due to negotiators ability to distract. This may not have been negotiations objective but when dealing with the complexity of humans in conflict opportunity presents itself in strange and unpredictable ways. Law enforcement in this incident adapted accordingly and ended the situation as the hostage taker dictated. All law enforcement participating in this incident and the victims should be commended for an outstanding job. ~Fred

Developing "Fingertip Feel" Shaping and Reshaping Dynamic Encounters and Gaining the Advantage

By Fred Leland

“When the fight starts you do not have time to stop and think about the fundamentals. ~Chet Richards, Certain to Win

Chet Richards wrote an interesting piece Developing the Touch, in which he asks the question, if Fingerspitzengefühl (fingertip feel) can be taught, why do so few people have it? He goes on to make two key points:

First, Fingerspitzengefühl is a skill, so although most people can get better at it, some are going to get a lot better.

Second, it’s a strange kind of skill, not for performing complicated or even dangerous tasks mystically well, but for sensing what is going on among groups of people in conflict and then influencing what happens.

Chet’s points got me to thinking about, why is it we in law enforcement often times have difficulty applying what we know to a given situation?  How do we get better at it? The answer lies in creating and nurturing our abilities in “Operational Art” taking what you know and being able to apply it to a given set of circumstances to affect your strategy and to bring an end to a potentially violent occurrence using appropriate tactics.

To do this takes awareness, discipline, adaptability, skill development and strength of character to focus our efforts on the task at hand to meet our overall intent. You cannot learn this by sitting in some training class listening to an instructor give you a checklist formula on how to solve a particular set of problems. As Chet states;

“The first problem in learning Fingerspitzengefühl is that you can’t learn it by yourself.  You have to have at least two groups of people to practice with — your team and some opponents.”

Our training must involve interaction with an adversary, red teaming comes to mind. Red Teaming is an approach to understanding our adversary and the methods they use. To develop a fingertip feel and maneuver we must possess numerous skills and be able to apply those skills individually and collectively if we are to be as effective as we need to be, to win.  Continue reading


Reducing Law Enforcement Misfortunes...What About the Street Officer?

By Fred Leland

“Criticism exists only to recognize the truth, not to act as judge” ~Carl von Clausewitz

Officers Walt Frago, Roger Gore, George Allan, and  James Pence all California Highway Patrolman who died on April 5th 1970 while conducting a traffic stop, all be it  one with known dangers. The report was at least one gun was brandished according to the victims statements after an altercation on the highway.  These officers responded to and died in the line of duty on this day in one of law enforcement tragic misfortunes. Numerous lessons were analyzed. What have we learned? More importantly what have we learned and applied that makes the street cop better, more effective at what they do today?

In reality it was several guns Davis and Twinning possessed, a sawed off shotgun, a Colt 1911 .45 pistol, revolvers and rifles. In reality Bobby Davis and Jack Twinning were actually out training with firearms in preparations for robberies they wanted to commit. This day the two men would kill in total 4 officers. Continue reading


Can technology suck your brain dry?

Man vs. Machine with Jim Donahue & John Demand

Jim Donahue and my good friend John Demand have put together a great series at Police One called Man vs. Machine. In their latest article Can technology suck your brain dry? In this article they explore  technology and whether or not the quest for more information can actually put you in a state of situational unawareness? There is a balance we must seek between Information Technology and the human capacity to gather, store and analyze and then focus our efforts on the task(s) at hand. In this balance we must seek to resist distractions and stay situationally aware!

There is a recent trend in the law enforcement and security community, evidenced by laptops in patrol cars and the proliferation of smart phones that provide internet and social networking website access (such as Twitter and Facebook) used by agencies to gather more relevant data to improve on the ground decision making. But is this a good way to go? Are we approaching a point in which there is simply too much data supplied to the front line operative to permit critical decision making? Are we approaching the clichéd ‘paralysis of analysis’?

Can too much information can cause our brains to shut down and fail to respond accordingly? Trying to answer, every possible question, until we find explicit understanding, and the optimum solution, in the complex world of violence, is not strategically or tactically sound, operational art. I know this goes against the grain of how we normally think, but we must remember what it is we do and its complex nature. Operational art required here is in our ability to gather information and mange it correctly on the fly and extract understanding that leads to effective action. Does too much info distract us to the point of actually being unaware? Continue reading


LESC Upcoming Workshops


Basic Firearms Safety Course: Holiday Inn Express North Attleboro Saturday October 23rd 2010 10:30AM-3:30PM

Course Description

This program of instruction is designed to give the student a basic knowledge of
the firearm, so it can be handled and stored safely. The Basic Firearms Safety
Course is designed for those seeking a License to carry firearms (LTC). This is a classroom only presentation with lecture and hands on dry fire and loading drills conducted to enhance learning. Safe Handling of firearms is the catalyst to your effective use of firearms be it your a sportsman or carrying for  defensive purposes. Learn and start developing these skills at this class.

Some of what this course covers is as follows:

  • “Firearms safety”
  • Safe condition check rule
  • Nomenclature
  • Mechanical operation
  • Firearms Licensing requirements
  • Firearm maintenance and cleaning
  • Hands on Loading and unloading
  • Locking devices and storage
  • Operational safety checks (hands on)
  • Unintentional discharge (cause and prevention)
  • Marksmanship discussion and demonstration (hands on Dry Fire practice)
  • Discussion on Range safety
  • Gun Laws

Continue reading


Enhance Your Training and Effectiveness on the Street

Remember LESC offers workshops that creates and nurtures adaptive leadership and officer performance on the street where the decision are made.  If you want to improve departmental morale, individual and organizational effectiveness in awareness, social skills, interaction and maneuver and decision making, tactics and operational art that help solve complex problems at the moral, mental and physical realms of conflict and violence these workshops are designed to do just that.

Remember for you convenience we bring these cost effective workshops to your department or organization. See the workshop we offer here

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.


Create and Nurture Decision Makers

Boyd and Beyond Symposium: Marine Corps Base, Quantico Virginia, October 15th &16th 2010

There will be a Boyd and Beyond Symposium at Marine Corps Base Quantico Virginia on October 15th and 16th 2010. The symposium will have numerous esteemed speakers from varying disciplines, discussing how the theories of COL John Boyd are applied  to the vast array of problems and threats we face.

This symposium goes beyond Boyd’s Work. His influence on other professions and individuals making efforts to more effective outcomes in their perspective fields will be the focus of the Boyd and Beyond symposium. Topics discussed will focus not only on important military issues but will, as well, take Boyd’s theories into the different professions and realms of conflict these professions deal with.  How Boyd’s theories apply and what they have done to make all more effective at solving problems via the observation. orientation, decision and action cycles.

Understanding the OODA Loop, and the effects; Interaction, Insight,  Imagination, and Initiative, Command and Influence (LEADERSHIP) have on the constant repetitive nature of the decision making cycle can when leveraged, lead to gaining the advantage or as COL John Boyd stated; the essence of winning and losing;

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.”

Law Enforcement, Homeland Security Professionals, Colleges and University Safety and Security, Hospital Security, Hotel Security and private business looking to keep their workplace safe, will benefit from the lessons learned and applied at this symposium. Developing better strategies, tactics and methods and operational art to make your organization more effective in all that it does, is the type of learning that will take place at the Boyd and Beyond Symposium. 

I have the honor of attending and speaking on Boyd's theories, translated and applied to street level decision making law enforcement and security must become more effective at . Adaptive Leadership, Recognizing the Signs and Signals of Crime and Danger and their relationship to Critical Decision Making Under Pressure and the training methodology necessary to reach this goal will be my focus. 


LESC WORKSHOP: Officer Created Jeopardy

Officer Created Jeopardy is failure to adapt to changing conditions, due to a false sense of urgency, complacency, emotions, habit, or attributes that stifle insight and innovation. Officer Created Jeopardy stems from lack of knowledge and/or the ability to apply knowledge in a strategic and tactical way to the changing conditions. Considering the factors of Time and Risk! Cops killed in the line of duty unnecessarily or improper use of force utilized are problems stemming form officer created jeopardy. 

Policies and procedures and checklist driven law enforcement organizations are teaching cops what to think, instead of how to think, and this is dangerous. Dangerous in the sense that the types of circumstances cops handle are dynamic, rapidly changing, complex situations that require walking, talking, thinking cops. To be effective on the street, one must be able to process information under pressure quickly and deliberately.

How to apply a strategic and tactical mindset and sound operational art and the training methodology that creates and nurtures this mindset is learned in this workshop.

Continue reading


LESC WORKSHOP: Critical Decision Making…Under Pressure

In Law Enforcement and Security direct experience in handling terrorist acts, ongoing deadly actions and other violent encounters is inherently too limited to form an adequate foundation for theory or for application. At the best it produces an atmosphere that is of value in drying and hardening the structure of thought. The greater value of indirect experience lies in its greater variety and extent. History is universal experience, the experience not of another, but of many others under manifold conditions.

Continue reading


LESC WORKSHOP: Workplace Violence Prevention Adaptive Strategies

Workshop: Workplace Violence Prevention Adaptive Strategies Most of us spend our lives in the solitude of peaceful work and social environments, the way American life should be. Yet every so often someone decides to take out their frustrations on the world and commit an act of violence that appears random and shocking. Our everyday norm puts us in a complacent mindset, unaware of our surroundings and ignoring the signs and signals of danger nearby.

Knowing what to look for and acting on what we see and feel is unusual behavior, that could lead to violence is a critical skill to posses in today’s world—We should not be paranoid about such events; a relaxed state of awareness, adaptability and good sound decision making is the answer to detecting, deterring, disrupting, resolving and preventing violence. Learn the adaptive strategies necessary at this workshop!

TRAIN TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE! - Fred Leland  Continue reading


To arrange for a workshop or to answer any questions:

Fred T. Leland Jr.
Founder and Principle Trainer
Law Enforcement & Security Consulting
Phone: 508-298-2023

Developing Fingertip Feel finaldraft.pdf37.85 KB
Reducing Law Enforcement Misfortunes final draft.pdf98.8 KB
Basic Firearms Safety Course.pdf144.06 KB
Officer Created Jeopardy.pdf65.37 KB
Critical Decision Making...Under Pressure.pdf196.29 KB
Workplace Violence Prevention Adaptive Strategies 2.pdf64.48 KB