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Strengths and Weaknesses of Sniper Teams

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2 Comments

Blue 6

Mel-

Great article. In my team SOP back in the day, we had a short “Commander’s Guide” annex to help make sure we were used effectively (and not mis-used)… wish I’d had this article to hand out as well.

As a military team that also had many law enforcement-like mission responsibilities, I’d point out a couple recommended additions for the LE sniper point of view:

1) LE snipers are also primarily intel gatherers. I’d argue that although an LE sniper’s “no-fail” job is to take a precision CNS shot to stop a deadly criminal act, they are also trained observers paired with a powerful combination of radio comms and good optics… and therefore a key source of information to support SWAT team tactical planning and inform the crisis negotiations team. The ability to read facial expressions and body language and feed that back to negotiators has saved many lives: officers, innocents, AND suspects. In addition, should negotiations fail, they may provide key information to an entry team to minimize the chances of deadly force being necessary. Finally, no matter the outcome, something is going to wind up in court, and the accuracy of a sniper’s observations may be key to ensuring the legal outcome is based in truth.

2) Importance of camouflage for the LE sniper. Not just a military requirement. LE snipers are the eyes of the tactical and negotiating teams, but suspects/hostage takers who become aware of snipers will take measures to block their line of sight, or may take that LE sniper team under fire. Blocked sight means the sniper can no longer be a good source of information to planning an entry or supporting hostage negotiations. LE sniper hides, especially in urban areas, often do not have the ballistic range advantage over the bad guys’ weapons that military snipers have, so return fire can be much more dangerous. Stay hidden, cop brothers!

Just my 2 cents. Again… great article.

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mele-02

@Blue, Hey, thanks for the comments! Those are some great points and I will update the article in the next day or two to reflect them. Really appreciate it

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