Policin' by Night: NVGs for LEOs

June 16, 2016  
Categories: Op-Eds

As our readers know, one of the places where we engage is Primary & Secondary. We read the forums when we’re not hungover, follow their Facebook thread when we’re not watching porn and often learn something — or take part in a brisk debate. Recently one of their contributors, a longtime LEO, wrote this piece about NVGs for LEOs. If you’re On The Job you might want to take a look. Mad Duo

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Intro (excerpt)We have come a long way since Balaclavas, Command Jac vests with K30 plates and MP5’s. A big reason for this growth and increase in skill is directly related to the GWOT. America’s heroes in foreign lands have discovered that technology, when used correctly, is a force safety multiplier unlike anything else. This is particularly true of night vision capabilities and supporting gear. It is far past the time that domestic LE catch up.


NVG use for warrant service (Excerpt) …to mitigate and manage risk as much as possible, the following recommendations should be considered when planning an NVG hit, especially when using dynamic tactics:

  1. You should absolutely Knock and Announce prior to forcing entry on the target. Get creative, I can knock and announce on the side of the house, breach two entry points simultaneously, hold one and enter the other. There is no legal requirement that I enter through the door I knocked on.
  2. Once action is placed on the target, consider having police vehicles activate overhead lights near the target AND use their PA system to continue to announce Police presence.
  3. Officers need to recognize that while they can see perfectly fine, occupants may not be able to see at all. In the case of armed resistance from criminals, get busy shooting. For fighters, get busy fighting. For complaint persons, make sure officers communicate to people in a calm voice that they are indeed the police, that they are going to be restrained temporarily, and THEN they put hands on people. If need be, they can take the extra step of closing the door to the room and then activating white light so the occupants can actually see.
  4. Be cautious about using NVG for EVERY service. This will likely take care of itself since missions occur at all times of the day, precluding the benefit of NVG. In addition, Surround and callout tactics may result in NVG use, but typically this would occur after occupants have complied and surrendered, robots have been introduced, K9 has been used and potentially OC/CS has been deployed. The likelihood of mounting the defense that they didn’t know we were cops after all that has occurred has been extremely diminished.

These things are suggestions that might help with civil action and possibly even criminal action against individual officers and organizations. They are not necessarily TTP’s.


Summary (Excerpt) Officers need to be able to do all the basic skills under NVG that they can do on a sunny range, breaching day, or combatives training. If they can’t, your team is not capable of clearing a structure under NVGs.

Read the rest of the article over on Primary & Secondary right here.

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1 Comment

  1. Barney Tarbush

    I’m confused by the above comment. Getting equipment that allows peace officers to obtain a tactical edge, however thin, should always be a positive.

    As far as the comments about hitting the wrong houses, and playing soldier with toys, that’s as true with law enforcement as it is the military.

    Law enforcement are using tactics and equipment more and knocking and asking less because the Bad Guys drive the narrative. Just like in the military, except when Green screws up, it’s dirt herders half way across the planet. When Blue screws up, it’s American Citizens most of the time.

    Wish that it were the fifties again, when you could speak softly and carry a big stick. In the 21st century, the person in that house could be some decent Americans, or it could be heavily armed illegal aliens that have no intention of riding the bus back to guatemala. Even with great preplan and intel, you never know for sure what’s behind that door until you kick it. Why not send people equipped and trained for the worst, if most of the time much less than the worst occurs? If it’s just a couple of joints, no harm no foul. If it’s some coocoo bird with an AK, people who are ready to deal with it are right there.

    We’re not so different, you and I.


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