Jack Davidson at RWA-SD Part 2

Note: This is late because I overschedule myself. Add it to the list below.

I have never been good at a few things. One is traveling light. Another is telling a story without a lot of back story. And this one, being able to write concise reports about meetings I attend. In any event, here are the rest of my notes on Jack Davidson, retired policeman, and manager of his own security company. (Part 1 is here)

Jack mentioned Intreguard, a group of managers of security firms who meet with police, FBI, and other groups. This keeps them up to date on all changes in their line of work plus gives them an opportunity to network.

032419 Jack Davidson

Corporate Security — This is a specialty of his company. Some government contractors, like Boeing, use civilian security officers. Their jobs are filled through Allied Universal and Centurion.

If you are writing a character who is a millionaire or better, be sure to make him smart enough to have some hired toughs. Or as we like to call them, Bodyguards and Personal Security Assistants.


040719 bodyguards
Bodyguards are very important for famous people


In case of an earthquake, flood, or fire, know your sources of assistance. Emergency Services can be accessed at state and federal levels. A Command Center will be established like San Diego County did in past wildfire situations. Carl’s JR owned a water tower that overflowed, cracked, and flooded a neighborhood, floated an entire fire engine into a park. Now the company provides hamburgers for victims and first responders during emergencies. This is all part of your SEMP or state emergency plan. I worked at a Local Access emergency center when I was employed by San Diego County. Some workers had issues with the rules for replacing food lost in the fire. We didn’t need proof, we took the customer’s word for it. Some had to grit their teeth and hand over the benefits.

040719 disaster

At the federal level, once a disaster area is declared, authorities deal with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) so they encounter more problems than at the state level. A Big City usually has a folder full of contractors that are willing to step in during an emergency and worry about billing later.

Remember the San Diego PSA airplane crash? I do, I had friends living nearby. The courts ruled pilot error. Basically, the small Cessna had been observed by the tower but the commercial plane didn’t see it or lost sight of it. The area became a disaster scene while these details were being worked out.

040719 plane crash

The term DRT means dead right there. Jack shared a couple of scenarios with us for people who did heinous things for stupid reasons. For instance, a navy man was stopped for a DUI and was too ashamed to return to his unit. He went AWOL and ended up stealing a car, shooting the couple who owned the car, shooting himself in the leg, and finally surrendering to custody.

040719 prisoner

Jack himself experienced some of the worse things life can throw at a person. He was hit by a drunk driver at 75 MPH, died at the scene of the accident. Two teenagers pulled him out of the car and did CPR, got him breathing again. One of the kids’ dad was a trauma surgeon. Lucky for Jack.

He spent months recovering, learning to walk again. The doctors didn’t tell him he had died. They let his boss do that when he returned to work.

The two victims of the car thief? They were in the business of suing people for a living. So maybe the universe is going to balance everything out.

Police officers hired these days have never been in a fistfight. They try to solve things with words. Body cams don’t change your focus, it changes your approach. You pay more attention to procedure.

040719 plastic gun

We discussed a case where a person in El Cajon with mental issues faked having a gun when he had a vape thing. He was shot and the officer is not in the wrong. You do not have time to evaluate the situation beyond the surface appearance if you want to live.

Someone asked if amnesia is a real condition. Yes, it is. Adrenalin and cortisol can cause a person to blank out. The condition can last hours, months, or years.

Fight or flight is an honest reflexive action. Gotta train the biology out of the troops. Jack mentioned Captain Phillips, the one who was taken hostage on a lifeboat with the pirates. He was saved by SEAL Team Six on the USS Bainbridge. They lived by the saying, take your shot. Snipers on the aircraft carrier shooting the pirates on the lifeboat. They had to make headshots because the pirates held an AK-47 to the captain’s head.

Captain Richard Phillips returns home

We talked a little bit more about police firing in the line of duty and trauma support. Also that cadets are not told you may use your gun, but that you will use your gun and you will be shot at. Then we watched some crazy videos of actual chase scenes, one at night using Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) thermal imaging from a helicopter. Too cool. (Caution: The perp uses a shotgun to kill himself at the end. It’s not graphic but it can be disturbing)

I hope that answers most of your questions about police and security for writers. If not, be sure to send an email to Jack Davidson. You won’t find him on Facebook. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.

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