Cops e-mail each other advice. I suppose every profession does, but I don’t get professional advice from anyone else.
We e-mail advice on SOPs, warnings and alternative tactics. The biggest thing I see coming through my Inbox each day, though, is safety advice for non-cops.
This is, I suppose, logical — Goddess only knows how many of the General Public have walked up to me and asked my advice for keeping safe, so I would imagine the same thing has happened to every other officer out there.
Some of the advice, though, is definitely regional.
Case in point: the latest Advice For The General Public.
If you have a car alarm, get a spare alarm fob and leave it next to the bed.
If someone attempts to break into your house, punch the panic button on the fob. A car alarm going off in the neighborhood tends to grab people’s attention.
Especially grouchy people who are trying to sleep at three in the morning, but maybe that’s the point.
Anyhoo, the premise is that your basic critter hates anything which will draw attention to him or his activities, and if the car in the driveway of the home he is breaking into is honking the horn, flashing the lights and yodelling up-and-down the alarm scale, he’s probably going to go look for a softer target.
I can see the logic behind this.
How-some-ever, I feel that if a car alarm going off in the driveway is attention-getting, the shotgun blast that punts the critter into his next incarnation is even more attention-getting — with the added feature of removing that particular critter from the predator pool of your area.
It’s not a bad idea, and can be a wonderful addition to a layered defence — punch car alarm button, call 911, gather all family in master bedroom, point shotgun at door — but unless I was living in one of those socialist dystopias popping up on the coasts like mushrooms in a midden I wouldn’t rely solely upon it for protection.
There are others who may feel differently — particularly those who (for whatever reason) don’t feel comfortable around guns, or don’t feel comfortable with the idea of High Velocity Critter Control as a Social Service.
In those cases, you might want to take a look at this use of the car alarm.