The Spy who Came Home

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The CIA agent who became a rookie cop, from the New Yorker.

His comment on the hug, and the recruit officer being shocked that he would give up “tactical advantage” is telling.  At first blush, one might indeed say that he had placed himself at risk, that he trusts too much in his fellow man, or in his own assessment of others who could mean him harm. That he is complacent.

I dunno…

Certainly he comes from a wealth of experience that a rookie doesn’t have. I’m not so sure I’d advocate that young officer doing the same thing.  But sometimes you do hone instinct, and gain insight, with experience. I’ve more than once been in  situations in which I am sure less tactically experienced officers would think I did something “crazy” or let my guard down. I’ve told an officer to put his gun away, as he pulled up to cover me on a call and drew his firearm, and I said “put that away, dude. We aren’t at guns yet.” We weren’t. And he did.

Was I lucky?

While luck is always good to have, I love the saying that “luck favors the prepared.”

I’m a huge advocate of training, in terms of tactics, firearms, and combatives, mainly because it gives the practicing tactician room to work. Time to think, space in which to operate – because speed of mind (that is, of decision making) and ability to act decisively is honed to a greater degree when you are actively practicing than when you can’t remember the last time you practiced.

It’s why I will always say that MORE technical and tactical training, rather than less, is best practice. Competence is confidence is composure is comportment: and that is the surest route to de-escalation.


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