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Old September 21, 2011, 08:33 PM   #122
federali
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 1, 2011
Location: Nassau County NY
Posts: 378
Complacency

I don't recall seeing this word in this thread but in essence, it's what made the shootout go south. The FBI was on a stakeout or surveillance and each of them subconsciously thought that it would never happen to them.

The FBI has been in many shootouts and approximately 50 agents have been killed in the line of duty since its inception. You'll recall that at one time, people signed on to the FBI mainly to enhance their resumes. They had no thought of staying there. Also, the agency favored guys with accounting and law degrees--Harvey Milktoast types largely without a kill-or-be-killed mentality. You'll also recall that Hoover was so envious of S/A Melvin Purvis, the guy would got Dillinger, that Hoover quite literally drove that fine agent to ultimately committ suicide. Such was the roots of the FBI.

I was the senior firearms instructor for a federal law enforcement agency. We had 10% buffs, 10% bolos and a bunch of agents in the middle who never once came to me for their allotment of free practice ammo. Early on, we had guys go on raids with revolvers tucked in their waistband, without holsters. We had guys on operations without any spare ammunition and with unloaded guns. But before that, The Manhattan office had but one revolver kept in the SAC's safe. If he deemed it necessary, he issued the revolver to an agent with one round of ammunition. Guys, I'm not making this up. It wasn't until the early 1960s, just before I got there, that each agent was issued his own revolver. We even had a few managers that warned us to never shoot anyone for fear of public embarrassment and the resulting paperwork.

I'm glad to report that a core of dedicated firearms instructors, gradually transformed the agency into a decent tactical force though it took many years and the retirements of the agency brass who were largely prohibition era accountants. Had our agency attempted the Platt/Mattix bust in 1986, they would have completely wiped us out. The agency now has 12 gauge semi-autos and both the president and pope doesn't have to sign off on their deployment. They also carry .40 cal. Glocks.
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