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A 10-step survival checklist for LEOs

Assaults on law enforcement are on the rise. Follow these steps to help increase your survival odds when faced with an aggressive or resistant suspect

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Photo/Warren Wilson

By Christophor Periatt

Law enforcement is a dangerous job, even more so today than in years past. Training is one of the key components to prevailing in a situation with a combative resistant subject. Here are some simple steps to add to your tactical toolbox to increase your odds of winning and overcoming these individuals.

1. Train in a well-rounded physical fitness program, including diet.

Police1 resource: How to maintain adequate LEO physical fitness

2. Train in a self-defense system like BJJ, Krav Maga, Muay Thai, etc.

Police1 resource: Rener Gracie on why every cop needs one hour of Jiu-Jitsu training a week

3. Become confident in your ability to handle yourself in a critical incident.

Police1 resource: Using the Four Cs – a critical incident response model for patrol

4. Train in de-escalation.

Police1 resource: Police de-escalation training project a team effort

5. Become well versed in recognizing verbal and nonverbal attack indicators.

Police1 resource: 10 non-verbal signs all officers should be able to recognize and interpret

6. Train with your firearm on a minimum of a weekly basis.

Police1 resource: Police firearms discussion, drills & demos

7. Go to as much training as you can, even if it’s on your own dime and own time.

Police1 resource: 3 things to consider when taking a private firearms class

8. Have a prevailing mindset and conduct mental rehearsal drills.

Police1 resource: Why mental rehearsal is crucial to officer survival

9. Don’t be afraid to call for backup.

Police1 resource: Calling for backup: Changing LE culture so officers are not afraid to ask for help

10. Train to look for cover at all times and seek it whenever possible.

Police1 resource: How to win a gunfight: 8 tips on proper use of cover

About the author

Christophor Periatt is an active 26-year law enforcement officer. He is the director of Criminal Justice Programs for Kirtland Community College, and the current Patrol Section Chair and adjunct instructor for the National Tactical Officers Association. Contact him at