The Element of Surprise

470636_85894802If you are ever the victim of a crime, I can make this prediction with some certainty: Whatever happens will catch you off-guard. You will be taken by surprise, and you will have to move through the reaction loop before you can respond to it.

This news is probably not a surprise, but there are implications to this that bear thinking about. But first, we need to talk about why you won’t be ready for the criminal assault.

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Survival = Distance + Movement + Cover

The Graveyard Shift is a super-interesting blog by retired police officer, author and novelist Lee Lofland. It’s targeted primarily to mystery novelists, and since I also write mystery novels, it’s a blog I’ve followed for some time. Lee also posts lots of good information about criminal behavior, law enforcement and the like, and his blog is worth a look if you’re into that sort of thing.

Lee had a post today that got me thinking. The post was contributed by law enforcement trainer Jerry Cooper, and it dealt with the circumstances in which police officers are killed in the line of duty.  In particular, Mr. Cooper talked about those officers who are ambushed, often by offenders with criminal records and armed with high-power rifles.

Mr. Cooper talked about things officers can do to increase their survival in an ambush, and I wanted to talk about one of them here because predators who attack private citizens also use ambush-like tactics sometimes.

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