Three Cs for perimeter overwatch

Article updated on October 15, 2017.

Cover, concealment and comfort. These, according to Police1 columnist Lt. Dan Marcou, are the three Cs for SWAT officers manning a long-term perimeter.

“One of the things I try to do when I’m setting up a long-term perimeter is to remember that there is no rule that prohibits you from being comfortable,” said Marcou.

In other words, get yourself into a position – from which you can fire and move – where half your body isn’t going to fall asleep.

“I don’t have to choose – if I’m setting up a static perimeter for a long period of time – to be uncomfortable. I can choose my location for cover, concealment and comfort. Quite often because we’re SWAT, we rule out comfort, or feel guilty for even thinking about it.  But tactically, if I’m going to be someplace for a long time I’m going to have to either rotate out on a regular basis if there are extreme weather conditions or find a spot that meets all three of those Cs.”

To his top three Cs, Marcou adds three more:

  • Containment;
  • Commanding view/position;
  • Cut-off considerations.

“I always mention comfort,” Marcou explains, “because you have to consider spending a long time on the perimeter on any standoff. So, for a long-term position you can continually improve your position by reinforcing your cover and ensuring you are comfortable (warm enough, liquids, sometimes food and breaks for bodily functions).

"The position you choose to be in should enhance the ability to move and react at any time. There should be a way in and a way out from your position so you are not cut off.”

Read more from Dan in this article, Why the action is on the perimeter.


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