DEA War Story # 346 (my family has heard these so often, I just refer them to the number & they don't have to listen to them again!)
Raid Planning & Execution
Copied from DEA's Homepage (DEA early Training History)
In the absence of the realistic Hogan's Alley, a life-sized, simulated neighborhood of today, training practicals were conducted on public streets. The DEA had leased a 20-acre farm near Dulles Airport in rural Virginia, as well as a house in Oxen Hill, Maryland, to practice raids and field exercises. Basic Agent training lasted 10 weeks, and the Training Institute supported three classes, with 53 students per class, in session at all times. Graduations occurred every three weeks. Coordinators were from the headquarters staff, and counselors were brought in from the field for temporary training duty. In addition to training basic agents, the DEA also offered training programs for compliance investigators, intelligence analysts, chemists, supervisors, mid-level managers, executives, technical personnel, state and local police officers, and international law enforcement personnel.
We used the farm in Virginia mainly for raid training & practicals. Prior to a raid, we would do a classroom, chalkboard session for about an hour planning the raid. (Each agent trainee got to plan & lead a number of raids during the Basic Agent course) At these chalkboard sessions, the agent assigned to lead the raid would assign various agent-trainees to different raid teams. ie (Perimeter team- assigned to seal of the area & prevent unwanted entry & exit from it; Entry Team- Those agents assigned to force entry (if need be) into the dwelling; Arrest Team-Agents assigned to make the arrests, search & handle the arresstees/detainees; Search Team-Agents assigned to actually search the premises when secured) Then we would get our Raid Jackets & Kevlar vests to wear for the raid. The NTI (National Training Institute) had just acquired portable video cameras (huge,expensive & rare in 1974) with which they videotaped all of our exercise for classroom replay & critique the next day) In addition, they always had a refereee (dressed in white) at each exercise who would decide who had been shot, dead, etc.....(When he wasn't around, we would always get into heated argumnets with the instuctor/bad guys as to the outcome of our gunfights!'.......A bunch of adults yelling things like: " I got you!!"....or "You missed me!!"......right back to kids playing cops & robbers in the neighborhood!
As far as the training itself was concerned though, it was all very methodical & well planned.........In Training!
When I got out to the "Real World" in Boston, my 2nd day back from training, our Group Supervisor Dick O'Connor had set up a real raid for that afternoon. ( I think it was the result of a "Courtesy Investigation".....from another DEA field office requesting assistance on information they had gotten at their location) Our entire group (We had about 12 agents in my group, Group 1) piled into our cars & drove to an apartment building in Brighten (about a mile or 2 west but still part of Boston) where we met up with a few uniformed Boston cops who's job would merely be to stay out of the way & "keep the peace". (we always had a few "uniforms" with us just so the bad guys would know we were really cops (& not other dealers trying to rip them off) & to prevent possibly deadly misunderstandings as to who we were & what we were doing in their (Boston cops) turf.)
Anyway, I'm the new guy, right out of training, expecting to be handed a Raid Jacket & Kevlar vest & to have a tactical breifing as to what "Team" I was to be assigned too, & what our tactics would be, etc. Standing in a parking lot, around the corner from the raid site, O'Connor points at a few of us & says: " You guys go around to the back door & we'll go in the front!"........PERIOD!!
(No Raid Jacket, no kevlar vest, no plans.........No music!! I think any of you who have any militay or US Government training of any kind will relate to this: Training & real life bare very little resemblance to eachother.....DEA was a new agency in 1974 & all the Raid Jackets & Kevlar vests were given to the NTI!!....We had none in the field where they were really needed!
Anyway,.....We kicked down the doors, made a few arrests, found some drugs & alot of cash & that was it!!
Nothing at all like the careful planning we had been taught in Virginia!
Welcome to the real world SA Jacobs!
Edit: It is understandable how complacient you got doing these raids (executing search & arrest warrants) in the DEA. While most other federal law enforcement agencies perform an "occassional" raid.........We did them almost every day! ....at least 5-6 times a week. It's very easy to become lackadaisical & consider them routine & that's where the real danger lies!
(I dont think IRS Special Agents (glorrified accountants that they are) ever perform a raid & most others do very few. I think ATF is probably closest to DEA in number of raids, but I may be wrong)
You may have caught a bit of inter-service rivalry here Truth is, most federal law enforcemnent agencies don't work well with their "brothers" in other agencies & everyone hates the FBI! (at least when I was in the government.) The FBI always had an "attitude" about them & were always looking for information from you, but never willing to give you any!