The Cost of Collusion

 Warnings Unheeded: Twin Tragedies at Fairchild Air Force Base
by Andy Brown

Andy Brown has written a captivating account about a pair of tragedies that occurred at Fairchild Air Force Base in 1994, and within days of each other. One is an Active Killer story with mental health issue underpinnings, and the other is a story of denial, privilege, abuse of authority, and the good-ole-boys-network syndrome. Both stories have tragic endings, that left me unsettled and with too many questions. Both stories also offer great insights and information, and both offer great lessons to be studied and learned – if we’re strong enough and smart enough to do that.



Reading this book brought back a lot of (bad) memories, and frustrations that I’d experienced over an almost 9 year career working in a regional health-care facility as a Security Officer.

Andy interweaves the two stories throughout his text with ease. The first story captivated me as it was at times like reliving some of my past experiences in mental health. In this story you will learn something about mental health illness. You will also learn about ‘the system’, and how difficult it is to diagnose a mental health illness in the first place, but also how difficult it then becomes to treat something that hasn’t been clearly defined, nor clearly agreed upon by teams of mental health-care professionals.

You will also learn about how ‘the system’ can be and is manipulated – by both patient and provider.

Clearly we all lost in the end. The price was paid by too many, and that price is still being paid – by too many and for far too long. You will encounter many who stepped up and used their talents to save lives, including the author himself. You’ll experience the chaos that surrounds these events, as if you were there as it unfolded. Hopefully you’ll see and perhaps understand better, and likely for the first time, what price is paid by those we call hero. You’ll definitely feel like you’re in the story as it unfolds.

The second story unfolds simultaneously, but in what may seem like a totally different world. You’ll see and understand how power corrupts. How despite denials that the signs were there. Many, many others saw and reported their discomfort in what they’d seen and or experienced. How one man risked his career to stop the madness that ultimately cost the lives of more innocents. You’ll learn more about the inner workings of a government entity, how rank and idolization blinded too many (in postions to STOP the madness) for too long, and for the wrong reasons.

There is a lot to process in this book. The ending chapter pages were personally very disturbing to me. It made/makes me mad, and sad, but I hope that it opens the eyes of some, and starts new conversations – with new insights, and better information.

There are those among us that step up for all of the right reasons, and do what we can’t or won’t do. We owe it to them to either educate ourselves BEFORE we speak or to remain silent until we know better. Those very same people deserve our respect and our support, for they pay a cost we can’t comprehend and don’t necessarily see.

© Copyright 2018, tim boehlert

2011-2018 Review

Taking stock of the last year, and previous years opportunities leading up to today, and looking forward to new challenges and accomplishments in 2019.

Starting in 2011 I was fortunate through the wonders of serendipity to meet my teacher/trainer/sensei/friend, Avi Nardia. At that time I was still looking for better solutions to the problems that arise when you are required to address violence in some of it’s many forms.

I’d started my search in 2009, and was lucky to find other like-minded professionals that had already done the hard work, and come out on the other side with new-found knowledge. And here’s the kicker—they were all willing to share their knowledge.

In 2011 I’d started to venture a bit to share some of my knowledge and talents with some of those very same teachers.


I edited my first book by Peyton Quinn, after doing a read on another one of his novels. I was thrilled to be asked to help out, and the result is Musashi’s: Book of Five Rings, In Plain English.

In 2012 I ‘encouraged’ some would say, but I know the author would agree, I pushed Rory Miller to put out one book that became Talking Them Through: Crisis Communication with the Emotionally Disturbed and the Mentally Ill. I asked a few of my contacts to also help provide feedback and input. I am so very blessed to have been able to contribute to a book that is close to home, and thankful to have found Rory. His work was the start of a journey.


In 2017 A(well, really 2015.. wait, 2012… yeah, 2011) I was able to not only Edit, but contribute and co-write many of the stories found in 2017’s Sensei On The Road, with Avi Nardia Sensei. This book is a compilation of many of our published articles (Budo International and Conflict Research Group International) that we were lucky to have a chance to do, plus other material that Avi put together outlining just some of his travels around the world training.

In 2017, I was again sparked to get re-involved in doing research on Active Shooter events and subsequent training. I stepped up my professional credentials a notch and got re-involved in the community’s response. In January, I read a new book on the subject by Aaron Jannetti, and wrote a review for him on, which I think was received well by the author. Immersing yourself in these events is difficult at best. Reading his book brought out some of that difficulty, but in a very good way. His work and his efforts are to be applauded. To my knowledge his work is the first that I’ve seen that is truly on the right road to getting help out into the community that needs to read it, hear it, see it and experience it. Kudos Aaron.


In early summer 2018, I was asked by author
Alain Burrese if I’d help him with his forthcoming Surviving a Shooter book. As with Rory’s book, I added my two cents, did a lot of editing, and I think his book is another one that needs to see the light of day for those seeking answers to the AS event. Alain is a trainer in this area of expertise as well, and has come up with a good book that will surely help others.

In late fall (early winter?) I was asked by Loren W. Christensen if I’d help him with some editing for a new book that he’d been working on. Loren is also one of my early influences, and fluent and frequent resources that was able to keep me safe in a violent environment for many years through his writing and teaching output. He had been working on a book and started to send me chunks of it. I not only helped out, but learned at the same time. Loren really doesn’t need anything more than just another set of four-eyes like mine before he releases any of his work. Truly. Not only is he a great teacher, but a mentor as well, and a very prolific author – with over 60 published titles to date. A very humbling experience, for which I am grateful.

©Copyright 2018, tim boehlert

The Right Stuff.

Logically Emotional in Parkland: A Unique Perspective
Kevin Reichard


I’ve just finished a read of a soon-to-be-released book that tells one family’s story about  the mass killing of students and faculty on February 14th, 2018 at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.




The book kept me fully engaged because of how it was written as much as for why it was written. Within a few short hours I had consumed 3/4’s of it—in one sitting. It was that riveting.

I have studied Active Shooter events since that term/label came into general acceptance many years ago. I’ve done a lot of research on the subject since 2012, and have read a lot of the how-to books, attended some of the local AS training seminars as well as that training provided to the public by the DHS, and I’ve pondered many of the difficult issues surrounding these events for the ensuing years.

I have my personal thoughts, and have come to some of my own personal conclusions. I also have zero first-hand experience, like most of us.


What makes this book unique is partially because of who wrote it. That can also be split again into because of who wrote it. Confused? The author is the parent of 2 of the students that were in the school when the event happened, and the uncle of another one. He’s also easily more studied on AS events than most of us, which comes into play.

I hate to call this book a story but it really is. It’s a first-person’s view from the ground of what happened that day in a small community where too many believed that something like this could never happen.


I literally ran through most of this book because it was that captivating. It drew me in, and held onto me. I couldn’t stop, and I didn’t want to either.

Okay, so the core of this book is about the family. How this event changed lives, changed ideas, changed plans, changed perspectives, and changed kids that weren’t ever prepared for this. There is just such a great model here of what the American Family symbolizes to many of us. It’s a firsthand look into the atomic family—a dad that works hard to support his family, maybe with an un-conventional day-job, but I guess that depends on your outlook. A mother that gives back to the community in her own way and through her job. Two sisters that are on the verge of adulthood, but maybe just a few short years away.

Here’s the fallacy: The thing that will never happen here… does.


It all starts with a text message…

Through the first few minutes, then during the course of the ensuing  hours you will learn what it could be like for you, for your family.

One major difference from this point on is that you start to learn more about how this family functions—so many differences from the ‘norm’ that I’d guess most families adhere to. There is so much to learn from because of those differences though.

There truly is a lot to be gleaned here. Lessons that we need to pay attention to, and ultimately a conversation that needs to be had.

Having no expectations going in, I came out having my own at the end of the book, and here’s my hope:  I hope that you will purchase this book first and foremost for the best reason possible. Secondly, I hope that you’ll see it for what it has turned out to be—a call to all of us to come together to find workable solutions that will save lives. Thirdly, I hope that you’ll start to consider that we’re all in this together—even if and when we don’t agree on certain specific issues. We need to solve this together, there is no other alternative.


My thanks to the author, and to his family for sharing an event that had to be doubly difficult to re-live through this books birthing process. As tragic as the events were, it is uplifting to read and hear such a strong message from those who could have as easily turned away, and left us all with nothing more than speculation, and bad information that is all too often spoon-fed to us by the media—and with their agenda in mind, only.


©Copyright 2018, tim boehlert

Street Lessons, A Journey

I have been an avid reader of Loren’s materials for 10 years. I own about 40 pieces that he has published – books, e-books and DVD’s. For me, Loren is one of those interesting guys that you’re lucky to find – not only is he a martial artist, but he’s also a retired police officer, and veteran.


I had been looking for help with how to deal with violent people in my new profession, and Loren was one of the very first authors that I was able to find that could answer my many questions and provide helpful ideas and techniques. His materials were very helpful and rise to the top of the pile because of his background and experience dealing with violence.

This book, made me smile (his references to Robert Koga), made me laugh (too many stories to count), and had me learning some new ideas as well as techniques.

Loren shares some of his experiences as an MP in Saigon, during the Vietnam war. He also shares some hard-won wisdom from his 20+ years as a police officer in Portland, OR. His writing style is easy to read, thoroughly enjoyable, and you will learn something along the way.

There are very few authors that impress me as much as this one does. His knowledge, and his pay-it-forward style proved very helpful to me personally. I’ve often promoted his work, because he has been partially responsible for my safety for many years, no small feat. I’ve learned a lot along the way, and again, with this new book, gained new insights into some of the behind-the-scenes background that made this man who he is today – the good, along with the bad. The mistakes made, the lessons learned, and his work ethic.

BUY this book if you want a good read. Kudos to Mr. Christensen.

© Copyright 2018, tim boehlert

Knowledge to be Mined!

Knowledge to be Mined!
November 15, 2018


Loren is one of my favorite and most prolific authors in the world of martial arts, and policing. I’d found him many years ago while doing research on ways to keep myself safe in a violent environment. Thankfully, there were some rules in place, but sadly ZERO training options that addressed that violence in any meaningful manner. I decided to find my own helpful resources, and during that time found the multitude of items that Loren had already produced to that end, which include several books and DVD’s on how to control violent people.

Keep in mind that this information is not solely for law enforcement or martial artists, but is relevant to anyone that cares to come out of an encounter in the best possible manner. Violence is many things, and I can tell you that after years of dealing with the violent, that you want to seek out a teacher like Loren. I can also tell you that this is NOT a technique book, in the traditional sense, unless you are open-minded and understand that violence is not just a physical entity, but also a mental game.

Loren is good with both. And his years as a martial artist, and his service to his country in Vietnam, and then his 20+ years of policing, which included gangs and riots amongst his other every-day duties, more than qualifies him to teach and talk about those experiences.

This book covers a lot of ground. Each War Story has meaning and purpose. Each individual chapter has depth and tokens to be shared. Most of what is in here is knowledge to be gathered and pondered. Some of it you already know maybe, but a lot of it came at a cost. I am thankful for his journey, and more so that he chooses to pass on his knowledge to guys like me that can truly benefit from his triumphs and pitfalls.

There is just so much in here that had me smiling, or nodding my head – ‘uyup.’ You will get great insights on how to deal with everyday encounters. Perhaps you’ll be thankful for what he has provided to keep your community safe, even because he likely has no idea of how his experiences have benefitted guys like me, and that has benefitted your either directly or indirectly.

Be thankful that there are people in the world like Loren. Be thankful that he is one of the good guys. Be thankful that he can also pass on his knowledge in many forms so that you didn’t have to pay the price of admission, but got to see the show anyway, because he did. I am.

© Copyright 2018, tim boehlert

Another Page in the Book of Knowledge…

Another Page in the Book of Knowledge
© Copyright 2018, tim boehlert

When we discuss the many and varied aspects of violence dynamics, including preferences, techniques, styles and more, we should also keep a few key points in mind:

[01] Violence is different with every encounter. What worked once, may not work in a similar situation somewhere down the road, which effectively forces you to pick alternative responses, preferably before-hand, and no matter who you are or how good you give yourself credit for being. Don’t believe your own story, that’s the first thing that will get you in trouble.

[02] Limiting what you learn may be a great choice, but it could also cost you. For instance, if you choose to limit your exposure or your training for only specific types of encounters, you’ll come up empty when that doens’t happen, but ‘this’ does.

Perhaps you should consider reading more about the differences between possible and probable events, and change your training, or modify it to the most likely (probable) scenarios primarily, but not to entirely discount the other possibiltiies?

[03] Violence in the form that most of us will encounter is going to be social-based, and not asocial violence. Thus, your goals may be merely to set social status, or to protect property, or maybe even to send a message/threat, implicit or otherwise that “it would not be wise to cross this line” or some such similar reasoning.

[04] Having a weapon on your person at the time of any encounter may determine to a judge/jury an outcome that you didn’t expect, foresee or plan for. Think of how others will see your actions – “You planned it.” Thus, a pre-mediation factor creeps in by the other sides legal team. And again, you need to understand your laws, because I can guarantee you that the arriving officials may not, and/or do not understand the laws concerning the UOF and threat of UOF when displaying/brandishing as an example a ‘pocket knife.’

I will give you an example of how and why my path differs from yours. In one of my jobs in a Security force function, we had to follow policies (those of the institution – the employer.) We were never allowed to strike, kick or throw anyone. Now if you’d already learned your ‘art’, a lot of your go-to options have effectively been taken off the table. What now? You’ll spend a lot of time un-learning everything you know about your MA or your combatives training.

We were also limited in our responses and options by local, state and federal laws. Have you got any familiarity with any of the typical laws regarding the use of force in your community? If you do, that’s a good start. Now, throw in dealing with a vulnerable population – the homeless, those with substance abuse issues, those with mental health diagnoses, those showing altered mental status (AMS) symptoms – which could include some of the above, but also consider the autistic, those with dementia and those with alzheimers disease.

Now, add these restraining factors:

[a] You are being watched and recorded in almost every interaction – by the institution, and many times by the public. And while the institution may back you up in your response, the public likely won’t. Why? because violence is ugly, no matter who you are. And the only way that you can even approach ‘getting it’ is by studying it, doing it and learning from it all, good and bad.

[b] You could be reprimanded, suspended, fired, sued or some combination of all of these possible ‘disciplinary’ actions. And then there may be the media exposure…

[c] There’s also a toll you pay – with every, single transaction. With some, you may feel confident beyond a doubt that your use of force (violence) was justified. but with many events, you’re going to question what you did, how you did it and more, if not now, based on how your work develops and the amount of support or lack of support that you receive along the journey. Unfortunately, you still need to make your own choices with almost every encounter. The toll may be feeling guilty, or bad, but another cost is in your future performance factors – will you step up the next time, will you throttle back your response stance for better or worse? Again, these are personal choices based on several factors – the law, the policy, your moral compass, the views of your peers, the views of the public or other employees that surround you.

[d] There are also environmental factors that need to be considered, maybe specifically in my model, but I’d say likely in yours as well. As a much used training example: after hitting another combatant, he goes down, and hits his head on a curb. He dies as a result of his injuries, and your actions. Your life as you knew it ended when he died.

Now of course there are times when you may have no worries, but I can’t think of a specific one at the moment. Even as an employee, whose job description cites protecting property and the public in/around your facility, and even if he’d pulled a knife on you, and you may have legal grounds to justify your actions, it’s not over – not by a long shot. Knowing your environment may convince you to re-think the options you choose to deploy in all or most of your actions. Sometimes that’s not possible, but you may have to plan that into your ‘threat response kit.’

Violence is an ugly option, but it’s also a necessary one when dealing with violent people. The only outcome should be in your favor, and in conjunction with all of the legal and moral lines that we all typically follow and/or are held to. There are more mental aspects to dealing effectively with violence than there are physical aspects perhaps, but years of study has shown me that, and your experiences may be different. One quote that I learned early on was: “to stop a violent act, you need to be better at violence than they are.” For me, that set the tone of every encounter. It started the ‘conversation’, helped set my mindset when ‘the dance sequence’ began, and added confidence at the beginning of every dance.

I dealt with hundreds of acts of violence over the years that I was active, and I can honestly state that I never had a plan other than to end it in my favor. I never used more than a few go-to techniques. I transitioned into control after the ‘attack’ with no abuse, no ego issues, and no threat of retaliation or to punish. It was never about punishment. When it was over, it was over – not personal, just a business transaction between two parties that didn’t view the transaction in the same terms you might say.

I can also state that I dealt with a varied population – MH patients, family members, friends and acquaintances, but also substance abusers, those at risk, child molesters, murderers, rapists, thieves, juveniles, men, women, transgender ad all of it’s associated labels and children. They all had one thing in common – they were all violent. The one takeaway for me is that it was a great learning time, with either willing or unwilling participants that all had one thing in common: they knew how to use violence. It mattered just a little about why, but you need to let that go too. Rather than to reject their reasoning, or to argue about it, you just need to embrace the fact that you may not change their minds, and when it’s time, it’s time. You need to pick the when, where and how. Everything else is open for discussion, but perhaps afterwards.

I’ve even had to address other Martial Artists. I had one technique that I used under those circumstances. It never got physical, despite their sometimes impressive attempts to convince me that I was not going to be able to stop them because of their knowledge, which was scary during more than one encounter. Any Martial Artist has this knowledge, and knows what my solution was. There was of course a backup plan, and that was just too easy – it makes me smile to think about it, because might isn’t always right. And that is a technique too.

Give choices – it MAY work… A lot of social violence is about saving face – learn that. Respect goes a long, long way, even when it’s not deserved or earned.

Learn to actively listen without feeling the need to respond – immediately at a minimum. Most of us listen half-heartedly while we are formulating a response. STOP doing that! Be conscious of it when you are doing it, and work at getting better at not doing it in the future.

Expand your vocabulary, expand your training potential, expand your capacity for discovering that you’ll never know it all, you’ll never be the best, or undefeated even. Embrace the possibilities, educate yourself, and share.

This knowledge, my knowledge, is specific, to and for me, because I know what worked for me. I wasn’t ever the best, but I was never the worst. I was effective, and had only a few close calls where it could have gone the other way, but the social aspect of the struggle was on the table and in play, to my advantage. I was maybe the most studied. I continue to learn, and expand my horizons and educate others based on my knowledge and experience, because it can make a difference for someone, somewhere – you’ll never know.

The book of knowledge is deep, and it needs to be shared.

© Copyright 2018, tim boehlert

Street Survival II: An Updated Manual to Enhance Officer Survival

An Updated Manual to Enhance Officer Survival
© Copyright 2018, tim boehlert

Street Survival II: Tactics for Deadly Force Encounters
Charles Remsberg
Lt. Dan Marcou
Lt. Jim Glennon
© Copyright 2018


The original Street Survival series, Volume One, Tactics for Armed Encounters was published in 1980 by Calibre Press and was co-authored by Ronald J. Adams, Lt. Thomas M. McTernan and Charles Remsberg.

What made this book unique at the time, and to this day, was that it was written in ‘response’ to the increase of fatal Officer encounters and the subsequent debriefing that produced tangible results as to whythese officers may given their lives to keep the public safe.


During the 1980’s, this series had such an impact on Law Enforcement that it was required reading in many Academies for several years. Its uniqueness comes about because of the studies that were conducted to pinpoint exactly why each Officer’s life had been taken. What these authors/Officers found was to have profound repercussions that still haunt many today.

The studies pointed out the many flaws in modern policing methods of the time – some of which sadly have still not been corrected.

Training errors were found, and solutions were put in place and implemented that did and still do save lives – every day. Today training programs are far superior to what was then available, and yet we continue to see failures, and deaths resulting from some of the same problems that plagued agencies almost 40 years ago. Equipment and tactics have evolved, and yet…


Today’s Officers face more violence, better trained criminals, with better tools, access to better training and tactics, and can expect more survivable encounters due to advances not only in medicine and trauma care, but readily available and far superior equipment than those Officers of the 1980’s. So, why are we still seeing failures, and losing too many good Officers?

This book is a gift to Law Enforcement from Charles Remsberg (one of the original authors of the 1980’s Series) and two seasoned Officers, Lt. Dan Marcou and Lt. Jim Glennon. It’s a gift, because they cared enough to not only write a ‘new Officer manual,’ but they put in the time and research to update and include those aspects that they felt were still requiring more or continued attention.


So let’s start with just a few highlights:

“Money, time, lack of manpower, statistical probability”

These are just a few of the reasons submitted as to whyOfficers don’t train, or don’t continually train. Training should be on going, and evolving.

If an Officer truly expects to survive in today’s world, he/she needs to re-adjust their thinking. No agency will ever have enough money, time or manpower to keep themsafe. After a certain point (the Academy) most everything will be up to them – including on-going training, and also likely some gear. Is your life worth some out-of-pocket? If not now, it may be worth considering before you are forced to change your perspective on that.

Officers get complacent because a large part of their job is non-incident critical. Things become the ‘norm’, and Officers let their guard down. “Statistical Probability” data blinds them, or fools them into becoming so. Don’t let that happen, to you or your partners.

“Routine is a myth” – don’t get complacent just because routine has become your norm. You need to work at eliminating the complacency, remove the word ‘routine’ from your vocabulary, and continue to remind yourself that nothing is a given.


Communication Skills

Jim Glennon is an expert in communication skills, and here he continues to push home the value of acquiring great communication skills. As he points out, you will use your mouth more than you will ever use your gun (my words, not his.)

Every day and every encounter typically starts off with some form of communication, and a large percentage of that is done verbally. The very first aspect of any communication is accomplished through nob-verbal means however – body language, facial expressions. Every Officer should acquire, pursue and master the knowledge available to them through various resources, so that they may masterthe art of communication with their public.

Some of the points that Jim presents:

a) Paralinguistics – the use of the four cornerstones of vervalization (rate, tone, pitch and amplitude). He also goes on to state that the delivery method may be more important than the words used. It’s a spot on conclusion, and so simple that it should be obvious. One last point to consider: the words not The unspoken words can be more important than the actual words that are used in communication.

b) Body language – part of the non-verbal continuum. Tells. Learning this portion of the language can save your life, and may be more imortant than the words used. It will certainly enhance your abilities to communicate, for you will discover insights into so many aspects of the signs that you have missed for far too long.

c) Instinct – that gut feeling. We all get it, but do we listen? Since it wasn’t a specific reference, I will point you to Gavin deBecker’s best seller, The Gift of Fear as a starting point to more insights.

d) Confidence shows, even to criminals – a large part of your presentation (communication skillset) is your ‘command presence’, which ultimately displays your level of confidence. Yes, it’s a form of communication. We’ve all seen it, and experienced it. Some are better than others at it, have you ever wondered why?

e) Danger cues and pre-attack indicators are forms of communication. A lot of what happens here is non-verbal communication.

f) Behavior is dictated by emotions; emotions are affected/controlled by stress.

g) “Listen with your eyes.” How profound. Have you ever seen it stated so well?

h) “Cooperation is often the precursor to the experienced criminal’s attack.” Sometimes things aren’t what they appear to be – always be on guard.


Positive attitude, survival mindset, survival skills and tools, plus preparation.

A large part of what will keep you alive is your mental preparation. Some of that is your attitude. A portion of that is your will to survive. Another portion is your training, and most of that will be established in the preparation phase.

Criminals study you, and share their observations with their friends. Theystudy – you.

A criminal is unencumbered by the very things that constrain you:

Agency policies


Political pressure

Media treatment


Close Combat

 Defined here as assaults that occur in less than 10′ and where Officers die 69% of the time. You needskills that will work within this range. When you are attacked, you will typically respond with your training – that is unless you’re not training.

There are so many great training programs available to Officers today that will complement their acquired abilities to overcome and prevail in encounters.

Your skills are perishable – you need to keep learning, keep training. Nothing is more important to your career.


“To prepare for what will happen, look to what has happened.”Gordon Graham

“If” leaves doubt, “When” institutes a belief.

“Train beyond competent, qualified and proficient to a master level.”

“Success breeds a sense of competence that may not exist.”


In Conclusion:

This book belongs in your library. There is so much solid information and there are so many excellent examples and ideas within these pages to learn and grow from that it was hard to put down. Keep in mind that the knowledge between these covers came at the cost of the lives of too many Officers that didn’t have access to this knowledge.


The Success Triangle: Communication, Techniques, Tactics.

© Copyright 2018, tim boehlert

“It’s NOT Their Job!”

“It’s NOT Their Job!”

© Copyright 2018 tim boehlert

If you think/say “It’s not THEIR job!” when discussing Active Shooter events regarding possible training, you’re wrong. Please don’t take offense, but hear me out on this.

Until Law Enforcement and/or Medical Professionals arrive on-scene during and after an Active Shooter event, pretty much everything that would normally be ‘their’ job – is your job right now. These responsibilities can include threat denial (access/ability to start or continue the killing), notification (calling 911), wound treatment/victim care, stopping the threat through disarming or other physical methods (verbal de-escalation is off the table at this point), and evacuating or helping to rescue others and get them to a safe place.


It was mentioned to me that some people may be expected to undergo training on the new ‘Stop the Bleed’ program being rolled out to the public/schools/institutions – and then this quote comes into play: “that’s NOT their job!” You are absolutely right, but also very wrong at the same time.

Under ‘normal’ circumstances, most of us might agree with you, that it’s NOT their job. Your thought process is responding to the ‘normal’ aspect of what typically might happen during any other violent event where people are hurt or killed. But, even then, your ability to step up and perform some of these skills MIGHT be a contributing factor to saving those very same lives. You are also correct in thinking that that may be dangerous, and even crazy. Now consider that you MAY save a life, or not through your inaction. Can you live with the ‘or not’ option should you so choose when you could have chosen otherwise?

This isn’t about trying to turn anyone into a hero; it’s about doing the right thing IF you are capable of and willing to do so. Thinking “it’s not their job!” is normal, and expected, but we need to change the thought process and educate on WHY it IS their job if/when the opportunity presents itself.

Typical response times for most Law Enforcement agencies (FBI data, 2018) to an Active Shooter event is three minutes – nationally. If you’ve ever been in a fight, three minutes can seem like forever. Now, keep in mind that ‘arrive’ means that they appear on-scene – OUTSIDE. It may be quite awhile before they make their way to YOU. Now, your survival will depend on YOUR skills, and not theirs. Does that turn some dials for you?


We can agree that under normal circumstances teachers should NOT be expected to learn martial arts or gun disarms. They should not be expected to be triage practitioners or combat medics either.

It was in the not so recent past (1950’s) that a similar circumstance may have occurred – making it the responsibility of teachers to be Civil Defense Administrator’s for their schools – responsible for conducting and teaching bomb shelter drills. That shouldn’t have been their job either. By the 1960’s they were also expected to be Fire Marshals. Responsible for the lives of their children and being expected to set off fire alarms and evacuate their students to a pre-determined, safe location.

An Active Shooter event is this generation’s reality event. So yes, it’s NOT heir job, but denial is not going to change the realities of what can be expected to happen during such an event.

A lot of damage occurs during these events. The most egregious may be the long-term effects — the long-term/permanent psychological after-effects that can and will destroy individuals, families and communities. Living with the terror is one strong possibility. Living with the guilt of NOT doing something may be more detrimental. That guilt can extend out to those that say ‘it’s not their job.’ Because, only then will you see/experience the effects of the damage that that statement may have on another that MAY have been willing to do more than we should expect of each other.


I will agree that it should be a choice. I will also agree that certain skills belong only in responsible hands. How will we determine who is best, and who is truly capable? They may not be the same person.


In order to put this in proper perspective, we need to educate more extensively on how these events happen, and discuss in depth some of the personal choices we may have to make in order to survive or ensure that others survive. We need to also have an in-depth discussion about facts of what has happened to survivors of these events – including their emotional well-being. Better than most, they can tell us how they feel about the idea of training teachers/students/co-workers to be able to triage potential casualties during an event like this. They may be able to express why they think it may have been helpful or a necessary skill that they did or could have used during this stressful encounter. They may be the only ones besides the experts that can put teeth into the argument FOR such preparation and training.

For many years I did security at a hospital. We were never expected to provide and First-Aid, CPR, or even Psychological counseling to anyone in or around the facility -which included areas immediately adjacent to our property lines. We were always taught to ‘call it in’ to our Base operator, who would in turn notify the proper resources to advise/address the emergency situation. We were never taught nor expected to deal with emergent situations: sudden child-birth in a vehicle adjacent to property; heart-attacks; patients in emotional distress; drug overdoses; victim of vehicular accidents; gun-shot victims; stabbing/slashing victims; The public’s perception of our capabilities however was exactly the opposite! We were expected to do the right thing at the right place and right time, every time. We were never trained, and yet we may have been the first on-scene responders. The expectation is that you are there to do more than just to be there.


Do I feel differently because of all of those experiences? Absolutely. I did whatever was within my power to learn what and how to do many of the skills that ‘weren’t my job.’ I took all of the time and money out of my own pocket to get me closer to being able to do some or all of that. I attended seminars, read the material, watched the videos, got hands-on training. I educated myself. I did so because not only did I feel un-prepared, but also because I knew it was the right thing to do – for me as well as for others. I am different in that perhaps, but I’m not alone.


Maybe the argument to put forth is ‘is it the RIGHT thing to do’ vs. ‘it’s not THEIR job!’ We can only make our own personal choices. It may never become a mandatory commitment, or expectation, but inter-personal dynamics could become the determining factor in some instances. Peer-pressure to get involved, to get educated could be a strong factor to get you to go along with the program. That may be forgivable if you factor this in: we’re all in this together. If the SHTF, I may expect you to know how to care for a gunshot wound or knife laceration; I may expect you to know something about how to properly attack the guy with the gun if that opportunity presents itself; I may expect you to simply stop freaking out long enough to dial 911. The difference will be – you tried, or you didn’t.


Choices need to be made – now. Sometimes the ability to make those choices can and will change. Life changes, and your abilities will change, your attitude will change, and your thought process and experiences will change. Change is hard sometimes. This should only be about someone’s ability and willingness to take charge, do what they are able to until the experts arrive on-scene. Three minutes, or several hours – it all depends on the threat presented/present, the size of the venue, and the resources available to address all of that. It now becomes a choice, your choice. Under these circumstances it’s not an un-reasonable expectation. That choice, your choice, will affect your life, and the lives of others.


Act or defray? It will affect more than just one life, and it will likely have a long lasting after affect on yours, either way. It won’t ever be about success or defeat, only about trying – or not.

“It’s not THEIR job!” – my two cents.


© Copyright 2018 tim boehlert

What’s The Point?

Here’s a short presentation that I’d put together a few years back (2014) to try to educate other officers on what possible damage a ‘pocket knife’ might do in capable hands. It was in response to allowing these restricted items into a ‘secured’ facility. To conclude the presentation, I’ve included a graphic image at the end that depicts the point of what an innocent item (a pencil) is capable of doing::


Thoughts on Violence Dynamics and more…