Pubdate: Thu, 19 Jan 2012
Source: Standard-Examiner (UT)
Copyright: 2012 Ogden Publishing Corporation
Author: Richard L. Tretheway



I was a Los Angeles County deputy marshall from 1949 to 1952. I 
served documents, including warrants on Alameda Street and Central 
Avenue in Los Angeles County California. These are two of the 
toughest streets in L.A. County. If we were having trouble serving a 
document, we were trained never to approach the front door directly 
in front of it. Training the officers to do a frontal assault on a 
door involving narcotics is about as idiotic as it gets. 
Historically, narcotics equals guns, narcotics and cash from the 
criminal's standpoint, are worth shooting for. Otherwise, why the guns?

In addition to the foregoing, the police knew or should have known 
some of the background of the person they were having trouble trying 
to serve. If not, it's again a lack of training.

If the city cannot afford a door-busting robot, there is a cheaper 
and safer way than a frontal assault. Get a six-to-eight foot gnarly 
log. Drill two 1.5-inch holes, two feet or so from each end. Shove a 
1.5 diameter, eight-foot pipe through each end. When the four 
officers ram the door, they are to the side. Then, have an officer 
stand back on the left and one on the right with guns drawn. Ram the 
door as if facing gunfire. This is very effective and much safer. 
Frontal assaults may look good on TV, but they're stupid in real life.

Richard L. Tretheway

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