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Old April 27, 2009, 04:15 PM   #1
GJeffB
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How To Let The Police In?

Posted elswhere as well,
I've long been thinking about a defensive scenario in the home:
Middle of the night, an intruder has apparently gained entrance to the house. I agree completely that the wife and I (no children or pets in the home) are going to hole up in the bedroom, armed, and call 911. No "house clearing" for me. Law enforcement shows up.

Now the question: how does law enforcement gain entry to check the house? To get to the front door to let them in, I'd have to go through the intruder zone. I've often thought, have a set of keys to toss outside to LE. That might be problematic in the winter with a foot of snow on the ground. It also might compromise the LEO's approach and/or safety. I guess the only other alternative is let LE kick in the door? In that scenario, if there really is *no* intruder, I've just cost myself a lot of damage, and perhaps caused the LEO to injure him/herself. Is there a better strategy that I'm missing?

-jb
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Old April 27, 2009, 04:30 PM   #2
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On another post, there was input to keep an extra "front door key" chained on to a glow stick device. Then it could be tossed out into the yard and retrieved/used.

Once, from a second story bedroom, I used a large mag lite to "spotlight" the officers car and I tossed him our condo key because they needed to clear the first floor.

Hopefully, door won't have to get destoyed. But that's better than anyone getting hurt.
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Old April 27, 2009, 04:58 PM   #3
quinn2187
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i am a cop and have run into this scenario several times. best way so far is with the caller on the line giving feedback to our call takers. when they believed that bad guys were still inside the boot the door method is best. yes it does damage the door and door frame, but it is the quickest and surest way for us to get in. we have actualy caught the bad guys inside doing this several times. if your window is directly above the door, or close, i suppose dropping the key might work, during daylight, over concrete.
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Old April 27, 2009, 05:58 PM   #4
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I'm not a cop, I'm coming from an EMS view. If we need to get in and you cant unlock the door then damage must be done. I suppose keys could be tossed, but I imagine a cop would rather have a quick, surprising entry. Keys turning a lock could alert BG to the incoming po-po.
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Old April 27, 2009, 09:14 PM   #5
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+1 quinn2187, has it right.
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Old April 27, 2009, 09:20 PM   #6
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Boot the door, I can fix it later!
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Old April 28, 2009, 07:38 AM   #7
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The intruder has already gained entry,I assume the police will use that point of entry also...
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Old April 28, 2009, 07:45 AM   #8
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Boot the door, I can fix it later!
I'm down with that!
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Old April 28, 2009, 08:09 AM   #9
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Not to high-jack the thread

GJeffB
So far, you have beeen given the correct answer. Let the cops kick the door. Safest for you and for them.
Now, everything after that will depend on the information you have given to the diaspatcher with your original phone call.
Bye the way, they will probably be keeping you on the line to fill them in as to what is going on.
As i said, everything is going to depend on what you told them originally. You MUST tell them exactly where in the house you are taking shelter. (Like second door on the right at the top of the stairs.) Tell them who is with you, and repeat at least twice that you are armed. You really want the cops making entry to know this before they find you with a gun in your hand.
Once the Officers have made entry, listen to what is going on. Keep dispatch, who is still on the phone with you advised. Most importantly, DO NOT open the door to anyone until dispatch has advised you it is safe to do so. Believe me, the responding Officers will advise their HQ as soon as the matter is resolved. Before opening the door, put the gun down and stand well away from it with your hands in plain sight. Cops tend to be a bit nervous at times like these, and you don't want to be mistaken for another "Skell".
Just thought that I should add this, although I truly pray that you will never need to act on it.
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Old April 28, 2009, 09:32 AM   #10
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"The intruder has already gained entry,I assume the police will use that point of entry also..."

Given the various options for criminal entry, that is not a reasonable assumption.
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Old April 28, 2009, 09:41 AM   #11
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If the police need to get in to effect apprehension on a violent criminal trespasser on your property, at your request, the door should be the least of you concernes.
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Old April 28, 2009, 12:03 PM   #12
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I can't recall seeing this addressed before. Very good question with very good answers.

A lot of folks (myself included) have a garage door with an exterior keypad remote. Give dispatch the access code and entry's gained, no muss, no fuss.

Downside: Garage doors tend to open slowly, giving intruders time to react. Not good.

No one wants a damaged door, but the actual method and point of entry will be determined by responding officers.
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Old April 28, 2009, 01:36 PM   #13
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usin the bad guys point of entry isn't always the best way. bad guys use windows, somethimes high windows. not a tactical point of entry usualy. i have actualy arrived on scene with the dispatcher telling us the caller is telling us to kick the door, the bad guys were in the bedroom the occupants were hiding in. they were very happy we kicked the door, and the fight they had front row seats for immediatly following. if you can stay on the line and give updates that is the best thing for us arriving on scene.
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Old April 28, 2009, 02:29 PM   #14
GJeffB
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Just to Recap

Many very good suggestions, thanks to all.
To clarify a couple of points:
Whether or not it is an actual event, the wife and I have talked about staying with dispatch every moment, giving *good* descriptions of ourselves so the LEOs know who the good guys are, and the need to identify and confirm with dispatch the responders.

Concerning the "don't care about a damaged door," I fully agree. If it is a real event, property damage/theft/loss is of course the least of my concerns. My hesitancy was if it were *not* a real event. Lightly heard breaking glass, and turns out to be a tree branch on a window. Maybe somebody *did* try to gain entry, and because of noise is now long gone. A drinking glass shifts in the dish rack. That sort of thing. I choose to stay and protect the wife rather than investigating, but if it's a false alarm I don't want to be replacing doors, OR feeling bad about a LEO's broken ankle from my door.

Looks like the key-on-a-light stick is the best resolution, so far. Many thanks

-jb
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Old April 29, 2009, 03:03 AM   #15
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Quote:
Concerning the "don't care about a damaged door," I fully agree. If it is a real event, property damage/theft/loss is of course the least of my concerns. My hesitancy was if it were *not* a real event. Lightly heard breaking glass, and turns out to be a tree branch on a window. Maybe somebody *did* try to gain entry, and because of noise is now long gone. A drinking glass shifts in the dish rack. That sort of thing. I choose to stay and protect the wife rather than investigating, but if it's a false alarm I don't want to be replacing doors, OR feeling bad about a LEO's broken ankle from my door.

Looks like the key-on-a-light stick is the best resolution, so far.
Not really... The best solution would probably be to install a quality alarm system. That way, you would definately know if that bump in the night was just your imagination or the real deal. If the alarm ain't blarin' you're okay. At the very least, it's comforting to know that someone is monitoring it 24/7 and knows when something's up (i.e. alarm after windo breaks open) whereas the police only know something's wrong when (if you phisically can) you call. What if you can't get to the phone??? It's good to know someone suspects reasonable suspicions and will dispatch appropriate agencies.


A guard dog would help in identifying threats as well...
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Old April 29, 2009, 03:31 AM   #16
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A guard dog would help in identifying threats as well...
My 100lb female German shepherd can wake me up pretty darn easy if somethings up.

If the key-on-a-lightstick method is feasable then do it. If not, then boot the door.
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Old April 30, 2009, 04:16 PM   #17
GJeffB
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jgcoastie said
Quote:
Not really... The best solution would probably be to install a quality alarm system
Great minds must think alike. Earlier today, before reading your reply, I had scheduled an appointment with the alarm company to give me a quote.

Thanks all, good to hear the suggestions and the good discussion.

-jb
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Old May 3, 2009, 06:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Not really... The best solution would probably be to install a quality alarm system. That way, you would definately know if that bump in the night was just your imagination or the real deal.
Right. OK cops, to how many thousands or tens of thousands of false alarms from quality alarm systems do you respond each year?

The alarm company doesn't know if its a false alarm or not until the cops or home owners tell them. Up to that point, it's just an open window (or bad sensor)... or motion (or bad sensor) ...or power outage (or bad sensor).
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Old May 3, 2009, 06:42 PM   #19
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An alarm system still goes off a lot less than you will hear a noise. My alarm system will occasionally go off if I drop an object and it activates the glass-breaking alarm. However, that doesn't really happen when you aren't awake.
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Old May 5, 2009, 02:52 PM   #20
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we do respond to a lot of false alarms. and the problem is we usualy don't get notified by the alarm company until they took the time to call the listed keyholders. by then its a little late for us to get there with the bad guys still onscene. the only times i have shown up is when the bad guys were still onscene is when the occupants were able to call us. if we get notified when it is happening the chance is pretty good we can get there with criminals still onscene. bottom line, alarm companies are slow in notifying the police. you are responsible for protecting yourself and your families till we get there. we will be coming as soon as we get notified, but until then you have to have the means and mentality to protect your own.
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