Sound Bites

In past years I have been interviewed across local and national radio, TV news, various newspapers and such. These venues of modern communications are constantly searching for the one ubiquitous sound bite that will sum up a lifetime of experience or knowledge. It’s not uncommon for a twenty minute interview to be reduced to a 5 second “on camera” appearance. Believe it or not it can be difficult sometimes to arrive at that one, seminal distilled sentence. Hemingway purportedly arrived at a one sentence novel; “For sale, baby shoes – never worn.” Now that is brilliant.
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Looking Back: Simpler Times

Since my father was a U.S. Navy Captain for 27 years I’ve moved around quite a bit in my life. From Washington D.C. to Hospital Point, Hawaii to Levittown, New Jersey to Naples, Italy to Chelsea, Massachusetts to Bowie, Maryland to Portsmouth, Rhode Island to Marshfield, Massachusetts then on to the University of New Mexico and finally here to Los Angeles. The upside is that one is exposed to many differing cultures, mores’ and individuals.
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Breaching – Training for any Obstacle

Not everyone willingly opens their doors for the police…especially those given towards a bent of the entrepreneurial persuasion when purveying in goods which are not entirely “above board.” This leads us to the subject of “breaching,” which essentially is gaining access when access is denied.

When first in SWAT in the early ‘80’s, we would utilize handheld rams and sledgehammers to open standard doors. Steel security doors were then employed and we resorted to window entries. Then, bars were put over windows and we adapted by using hooks attached to heavy rope and vehicles to pull down the window bars or doors or both depending on the fortifications. The bad guys, not to be outdone, utilized a two stage cage system on the doors. This ingenious design utilized a steel door on the outside…a steel enclosed caged hallway of sorts leading to a secondary door deeper in the house. We went to the infamous “Battering Ram,” which utilized a long steel pole, affixed to an armored military surplus V-100 to defeat this. They went to second story structures. We responded by building a “SWAT in the Box,” which was a hydraulic ramp affixed to a dual rear tire, heavy-duty truck which elevated the entry team to the second story of our budding business professionals.

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Perception Matters

Juries are not always sympathetic to an officer’s actions in the field. In some cases this is justified and in others it is not. One should be circumspect in what one says and the manner in which one comports themselves post deadly force application. This holds true for non-law enforcement individuals as well.

Words can and do have an impact in jury perception. The world does not view your actions through the same lens as you might. What might seem quaint or humorous to one individual might seem indefensibly offensive to another. When I read articles in magazines or those posted on social media I oftentimes wince. These statements or postings are all discoverable during judicial proceedings. What one chooses to share on social media and how they choose to reflect themselves can be of critical importance down the line. There are documented cases where this has been detrimental to one’s defense. There is also a level of professionalism which much be maintained in “after action” statements.

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The ITTS Family!

Brett and I never realized some of the ancillary results of ITTS when we started some 27 plus years ago. The best one is, of course, saving lives and keeping you out of bad situations. One side effect we are very proud of is the concept of creating a family amongst our students. We are selective and we attract a different clientele. Yes, we landed on the moon. No, the earth is not flat. Yes we believe in science. Yes – common sense should still be… common sense.
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Looking Back: Growing up “Claming”

All of us have events which shape us into who we are today. Events both large and small lead us to various points in life. The following is one example of a bygone era in my personal history which I still have fond memories of.

If you grow up in New England for a large portion of your life you eat seafood, lots of it. If you grow up along the coastal waters and estuaries you most definitely eat seafood. There are foods out there that many on the west coast and perhaps mid and southwest sectors are unaware of. Indigenous food groups are often appreciated only by those who are indigenous to a specific location. The ubiquitous soft shelled clam (Mya arenaria) is such an example. Called Long Island Pissers (pronounced pissssaaars) or New England Steamers (Steeeemaaarrrs) or simply longnecks or steamers, they are soft shelled bivalves which bury into the soft sediment of estuaries and the like, adjacent to oceanic waters.
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July 2017 Class Photos

Check out our class photos from the past month!

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Throwback Article: Training GIGN in France (and Facing a Most Unique Challenge) By Scott Reitz

I want to share an article I wrote back in 2008 when I had the great pleasure of training with the highest caliber operators France has to offer. In addition to the training we provided, they had something very special (and challenging) in store for me! I hope you enjoy reading about my unique experience…

July 2008

Brett and I just returned from France where we combined training and vacation. This year we trained the members of G.I.G.N. We are the first trainers to have ever been brought in from the outside to do so and this only after considerable vetting.
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May 2017 Class Photos

Check out the photos from our May classes!

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“The Mad Woman of Cimarroncita”

Not everything ‘Uncle Scotty’ has done in the past has anything to do with either police work, tactics, deadly force or other activities along such lines. The following is a case in point. The year, if I’m not mistaken, was 1974. It was the summer break from my sophomore year the University of New Mexico. Somehow and in some way (much to their chagrin) after many others at UNM were interviewed, I was chosen as a camp counselor for a very exclusive boys and girls camp way up in the northern area of Cimarron, New Mexico. The accompanying photo depicts my charges in the cabin known as ‘Coyote Cabin.’ Most of the young men were between the ages of 11 – 13.
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