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View Full Version : I have a question of police procedure with home invasions.



ironpony
05-03-2016, 01:09 PM
If the police are responding to a home invasion, and they could see that there may be an intruder inside, by flashing their lights and searching the windows, the police are going to want to get into the house, especially if the threat to the owner is immediate, and they know the owner is home.

So the main cop has no time to wait for a swat team or anything like that and will have to break down the locked door, to get in and save the owner in time. However, how do they break through the locks in a home invasion case, if the front door is locked?

Do they use door breaching rounds, which are fired from a shotgun or something else?

Thanks for the input. I really appreciate it.

jclarkdawe
05-03-2016, 06:05 PM
Most likely the cop would use the same entry at the bad guy.

Doors vary. If it's steel deadbolt, he's not going through it short of a battering ram. Make the door whatever your story needs.

You'll need someone more into police tactics, but a shoot out in the house is risky. Bullets easily go through walls.

Jim Clark-Dawe

cornflake
05-03-2016, 07:59 PM
If the police are responding to a home invasion, and they could see that there may be an intruder inside, by flashing their lights and searching the windows, the police are going to want to get into the house, especially if the threat to the owner is immediate, and they know the owner is home.

So the main cop has no time to wait for a swat team or anything like that and will have to break down the locked door, to get in and save the owner in time. However, how do they break through the locks in a home invasion case, if the front door is locked?

Do they use door breaching rounds, which are fired from a shotgun or something else?

Thanks for the input. I really appreciate it.

These are the world's dumbest cops - again.

If they're called out to a home invasion, they're not about to go flashing lights into the house to announce their presence before they know wtf is going on.

How do they know there's an immediate danger that'd require busting down the door, and how would busting down the door help?

WeaselFire
05-03-2016, 08:47 PM
Okay, you are asking for a lot of details that vary greatly on situations. No police officers use breaching rounds, they use a ram. And that's a SWAT or response team tactic, it's not a piece of equipment they carry in every patrol vehicle.

Now, if they know there is someone inside in imminent danger, they will enter. Normally a pair or more, rarely would a single officer enter. Often a canine would be on scene before entry. If the bad guys "invaded" then there will be an opening they can enter through. From there they will follow a standard building clearing process unless they know the situation.

Now, what do you need for your story? If you need someone to enter alone, it has to be a damned good reason. Like building on fire reason. If the bad guys haven't killed the occupant before the officers responded, then they won't likely kill them just because officers have arrived. Run, hold hostage or make a stand, yes. Kill someone, no. Just knowing bad guys are inside and someone else might be is not enough reason for officers to risk their lives, let alone their careers. Happens in movies, not in real life. Haste is not a common trait drilled into cops during training.

Jeff

ironpony
05-03-2016, 09:09 PM
Well busting down the door would help, because they can get to the owner, before the owner could be killed. And cop's are suppose to announce their presence in a situation like that, so the owner knows that it's the police and not some intruder. So isn't it okay for the officer to announce his presence? I read that that is what they are suppose to do, when entering a house to protect someone.

And yes normally a single officer will not enter, but this particular character, is compelled to not let the owner die because of his character, so is compelled not to wait for back up, if the owner is in immediate danger, and he can see it in the windows.

But if the cop can see an intruder with a mask and a gun, through the dark window, by shining a light on the window, and the owner is in another room, is that not enough to enter? It is for him, since he is that type of character.

Now he could go all the way around to the back entrance of the house, where the intruder entered, but that would take more time. He feels he has to get in immediately, so if he doesn't have time to go all the way around to the back to where the back door was broken into, wouldn't he try to get in the front some way?

As for firing door breaching rounds into the locks, door breaching rounds are specifically designed to break into metal powder and not go through the other side of the door. They bust locks only and if someone else one the other side, the person will not be hit, or so the round is designed for. So after announcing that he is the police and to move, could he fire through the door then legally?

Plus I was told by a cop before, that the police have to announce their presence when going into someone's house to stop an intruder, so wouldn't he?

cornflake
05-03-2016, 09:19 PM
Well busting down the door would help, because they can get to the owner, before the owner could be killed. Why does he think the owner will be killed? And cop's are suppose to announce their presence in a situation like that, so the owner knows that it's the police and not some intruder. So isn't it okay for the officer to announce his presence? I read that that is what they are suppose to do, when entering a house to protect someone. See above.

And yes normally a single officer will not enter, but this particular character, is compelled to not let the owner die because of his character, so is compelled not to wait for back up, if the owner is in immediate danger, and he can see it in the windows. How can he see someone is in immediate danger? How does he think going in himself is going to save someone and not make it worse?

But if the cop can see an intruder with a mask and a gun, through the dark window, by shining a light on the window, World's dumbest cop. and the owner is in another room, is that not enough to enter? It is for him, since he is that type of character. What type of character? Dopey and ill-trained?

Now he could go all the way around to the back entrance of the house, where the intruder entered, but that would take more time. He feels he has to get in immediately, so if he doesn't have time to go all the way around to the back to where the back door was broken into, wouldn't he try to get in the front some way? WHY is this his plan, and if he hasn't even walked around the whole house, he's even dumber.

As for firing door breaching rounds into the locks, door breaching rounds are specifically designed to break into metal powder and not go through the other side of the door. They bust locks only and if someone else one the other side, the person will not be hit, or so the round is designed for. So after announcing that he is the police and to move, could he fire through the door then legally? He's run out of his car, shined a light through the front windows, said he's the cops and now magically has those rounds on him, knows the formation of the door, magically, and does this?

Plus I was told by a cop before, that the police have to announce their presence when going into someone's house to stop an intruder, so wouldn't he?

This is situation-dependent.

GeorgeK
05-03-2016, 09:21 PM
A fence post pounder. Use the back end..why do patrol cars not stock these? can easily demolish the trim that actually closes a standard door. One whack to the knob and the door is open, not closeable again until repaired, but open.

ironpony
05-03-2016, 09:42 PM
Okay then. If the cops do not carry those in their car then, then what would he use to get in though?

He does walk around the house first, then sees the attacker in the window. I didn't write out everything he does exactly, sorry about that. But after seeing the attacker, wouldn't he then want to enter to save the owner, by entering the nearest door? I feel that reader will think this is stupid on the cop's part because he just saw a masked man with a gun in the window, and now he chooses to check all around the house, go all the way to the back door, and take more time to get in, to save the owner, who he knows is in there likely. The reader will think that the cop putting the owner in more danger, just to see if he can find a different door to get in, which will take more time.

As for the cop not announcing his presence, why is this situation the exception to the rule, since police have to announce when coming onto private property in emergency situations?

cornflake
05-03-2016, 09:47 PM
For the nth time, why does he think the person is in imminent danger?

Some people might not think that he's an idiot. I would; I doubt I'm the only one.

You can, as we've said multiple times, write whatever you want. If you don't care if it makes real-world sense, fine.

ironpony
05-03-2016, 09:51 PM
Well there is an intruder in the window with a gun, gloves and a mask. Is that enough?

cornflake
05-03-2016, 09:54 PM
No.

ironpony
05-03-2016, 10:04 PM
But the intruder could not know the police have been called. What if he kills the owner, while the MC, and the arriving back up, choose to wait outside, and not announce their presence. What then?

cornflake
05-03-2016, 10:10 PM
But the intruder could not know the police have been called. What if he kills the owner, while the MC, and the arriving back up, choose to wait outside, and not announce their presence. What then?

What if busting in to the house makes the guy shoot everyone? What if it was the person's ex? What if it's a hostage situation? What if it's eight other things? Cops don't go up to a house which may have an intruder and a resident and flash lights in the windows, then shoot at a fucking door. It's not rational behaviour. If they also have no backup, it's especially irrational.

ironpony
05-03-2016, 10:16 PM
Yes that's true, it could be any of those things. I don't see what if it was the owner's ex, having anything to do with it though. If someone breaks into a house with a gun, and can be seen with one, why should the be given special consideration if they had a prior relationship with the owner?

And yes it could cause him to start shooting or something. So what would the cop do. The cop knows he cannot wait around cause the owner can be killed real soon. He knows this cause the owner was alread taken hostage previously in the story, by likely the same intruder, who got away before. So he has to do something. Maybe not enter and announce that he is the police, but for this story, this guy is going to kill the owner in a few seconds and the cop has to act. So what would he do then, if not entering and announcing his presence?

cornflake
05-03-2016, 10:22 PM
Because a domestic violence situation is different than a random intruder situation.

Why does the cop think he can't wait to figure out what's going on and get backup? This is circular. How would the cop know the intruder is going to kill the person? There's NO REASON TO THINK THAT based on what you've said.

If you want him to bust into the house like an idiot, fine. Write whatever you want. It makes no logical sense, but you can write it.

ironpony
05-03-2016, 10:28 PM
Well earlier in the story, the owner of the house was saved from being kidnapped by the villain's, by the police. The villains got away, accept for one who was arrested, but the police rescued the hostage.

The owner is then going to testify in court towards the person who is arrested. The rest of the gang are after her and break into her house, to threaten her, possibly kill her to stop her from testifying. The cop knows this, as he was familiar on the case before, and knows the house to be that of the former kidnap victim specifically. So he knows that it's likely the gang who has come to silence her, and possibly kill her. He doesn't want to take that chance, so he wants to act, in the assumption that it's them, since she is do to testify against one of her captures.

So this is the reason he is compelled to believe she is in more danger, especially if he can see the intruders in the window, and knows her to be likely home since she was the one who made the call.

What if the owner screamed really loud for the cop to hear from outside? Would a cop let the screaming continue and wait?

Trebor1415
05-04-2016, 05:18 AM
You can keep asking the same question different ways, but the "real life" answer is going to be the same. I can't see any officer who is by himself breaking into the house instead of waiting for backup the way you described the situation.

You want to make your scenario a bit more believable give the officer a SOLID reason to think the homeowner is actively getting murdered, right this minute. Then, even if it against policy and common sense, at least the reader would buy the cop breaking in even just by himself.

I'm talking about: The officer pulls up, he sees a masked man enter the home through a window as he pulls up. The officer opens his door and starts to call in on the radio for backup. As he does that, he hears the homeowner SCREAMING through the now open window. The officer runs up, kicks the front door open, and goes toward the screaming. That would at least work in the story.

As for getting into the house, officers don't routinely carry rams and they especially do NOT have shotguns withe breaching rounds. That is specialized SWAT type stuff not in the typical patrol car.

However, you don't need it and neither does the officer in your story. In real life many if not most front doors are actually pretty easy to kick in. Seriously, it's easier than you think, unless the person specifically upgraded the door.

Just have the officer run up to the front door, kick it once, it starts to give, and then kick it again and the door breaks at the lock (still locked) and he partially knocks if off the frame and he goes in.

That's all it takes in many cases. Add in the fact he'd be amped up with the adreline going and it's not only realistic, it's believable. Much more so than using breeching rounds, a ram, or shooting the lock with his pistol.

jclarkdawe
05-04-2016, 05:27 AM
Ironpony -- Some people write stories that stick with reality. Others don't. Many movies, TV shows, and books have been successful with no likelihood in reality. But this forum is designed to give real world answers. You might be able to create the exception to the rule, but if that's where you're aiming to go, you need to understand what is the correct procedure.

Police officers want to go home at night. They're not going to rush in to see what's going to happen.

And your bad guy isn't believable either. This victim is a witness. He or she can get the bad guy convicted. And so the bad guy sits around, maybe drinking a cup of tea, while he threatens this witness. Presuming the bad guy doesn't like to send threats by mail or phone, it only takes less than a minute to deliver a good threat and leave. Or shoot the witness and solve the problem.

You also need to understand how light works. If it is daytime, it's next to impossible to shine a flashlight through a window and see anything, unless you put your face right next to the window. You need a searchlight to generate enough light to overcome the outside sunlight. And if it is nighttime, you don't need a flashlight. You can see a long way away through the window. It's only when it's dark outside and inside that a flashlight would work, and that's only if the police officer thought no one was inside. It's very easy to be a target in the dark by holding a flashlight.

Jim Clark-Dawe

Helix
05-04-2016, 06:05 AM
I'd suggest that PC Targetty McTargetface is going to be dead within a minute, along with the witness.

ironpony
05-04-2016, 12:33 PM
Okay thanks. I am rethinking the scenario. What if the door of the house was clearly already broken into and open? What would the cop do in that situation, if he sees what looks like to be a masked intruder in the window, and the door is already open with the locks broken? What would be the procedure then?

Also, you say the villain is not believable? But you saw that the villain should deliver a good threat and then leave. Is that not what the villain is doing though? What is my villain doing that is not believable? Who says he is sitting around, drinking tea?

Helix
05-04-2016, 12:56 PM
Who called the cops? If it's the witness, why didn't she leg it first and then make the call?

All three of these characters sound as if they deserve each other.

ironpony
05-04-2016, 01:08 PM
And yes she would have called, unless that doesn't work, and I need to rework the scenario. If it's better that she calls though, she will report a break in, and not a domestic violence situation, so the cop will not know that it will be a domestic violence case, that is being dispatched to him. She didn't leg it cause the intruders broke in, and she cannot leg it, without having to get past them, and I guess she is not up to taking them on, to attempt to get away, before calling 911 from where she is in the house.

jclarkdawe
05-04-2016, 04:02 PM
Ironpony -- Your bad guy kicks in the door, slams your victim against the wall, and says, "Testify and die." Bad guy then leaves. There's absolutely no reason for the bad guy to hang around any longer. Alternative is bad guy kicks in door, looks through house and can't find victim. Bad guy leaves.

One minute. That's it.

How fast do you think the cops can get there? Call to 9-1-1 takes about 20 seconds. Unless the cop is next door when the call comes in, the bad guy is going to be long gone before the cop shows up.

Unless the bad guy is sitting around drinking tea.

And that's assuming a bad guy dumb enough to show up in person.

I have a scene in my current work where my protagonist threatens someone. Scene runs for maybe a minute. That's it. And the threat is very effectively delivered.

Jim Clark-Dawe

Bing Z
05-04-2016, 05:05 PM
Ironpony, with that many police procedural questions, I really suggest you call up your local police station and ask for a ride-along. Many police jurisdictions offer this service to local civilians interested in understanding what cops do. It's a PR thing.

ironpony
05-04-2016, 09:47 PM
Okay thanks for the input. I also found a cop to talk to about it in person, but he said something else. I was told on here before that if a witness in a crime refuses to give a statement, does not cooperate and remain silent, if the prosecutor wants her, he can still subpoena her, if she's needed to find out more about the case.

I was told before though, that if a witness is subpoenaed but does not cooperate with the police at all, and does not give any statements, that she would get any police protection. She would only get protection, if she cooperated.

This is why I wrote it so that the witness is at home with no one watching her. But now I am told by the cop I talked to, that a witness who does not cooperate would still get police protection, even if she didn't cooperate, cause if they do not give it to her, then it legally counts as coercion to compel her to testify I was told. So does anyone know if this is true, based on the circumstances?

Helix
05-05-2016, 02:58 AM
You've asked a copper for advice and they've told you the procedure.

Stand back from your story and have a look at the plot. You've got a woman who's been kidnapped by a gang of serial rapists*, who can identify members of the gang but won't testify, and who is then left in her own home without police protection or, indeed, the minimum of security. Once you break it down like that, it sounds as if all players are completely inept.

* If your more recent thread is related to this story.

ironpony
05-05-2016, 12:35 PM
Okay thanks. But I was told before, that she wouldn't get protection, if she is not willing to cooperate. I do not know what would actually happen now.

Helix
05-05-2016, 12:45 PM
Maybe the bit that's causing problems is way in which the crims threaten her. Does it have to be in the house? If it does, there are ways to do it without breaking in. If not...well....there are all sorts of ways in which they can get their message across.

ironpony
05-05-2016, 01:00 PM
Well aside from threatening her only, the villains fear that she may have spilled the beans to the police already and given a statement, even though she hasn't. So they still want to find out what she already told them, which means coercing the information out of her. When it comes to making her talk, it would be easier to do it in person, rather than trying to make her talk on the phone or something, wouldn't it? Plus if she did give a statement, the police give her a copy, and they want to get to copy of the statement to see what she said.

Helix
05-05-2016, 01:12 PM
Wouldn't they just assume the worst?

ironpony
05-05-2016, 01:16 PM
What would the worst be, that she talked? What would they do then, if she gave a statement already, if that's the worst?

Helix
05-05-2016, 01:38 PM
I'm not going to think out your plot for you, but surely the crims' goal is to avoid gaol. They could threaten her so that she withdraws her statement and/or goes into hiding. They could kill her. They could run away. One of them could tip a bucket on his mates.

I mean, what if she tells them that she hasn't made a statement?

ironpony
05-05-2016, 02:09 PM
Sorry, I didn't mean to ask you to write it for me, I was just asking what you had in mind, since I thought maybe you thought they would do something different.

Yep, anyway one of those things could happen. They're plan is to find out what she told the police exactly, but then the cop is suppose to arrive and scare them off, before they can do anything, after breaking in. So it never gets as far as the gang actually confronting her, cause I planned on the cop scaring them off before they find her in the house.

I am very confused now though. I was told before on here, a few months ago, that the police would not give her protection if she is not cooperating, and therefore has to be subpoenaed. The police would just tell her to go stay at a friend or family member's place in the mean time I was told. Now I am told she would get protection. What changed or what is different now, that I have gotten a different assessment of what would happen?

Helix
05-05-2016, 02:18 PM
I can't answer that, of course!

But what might be useful is to decide what purpose that scene has in the plot and then brainstorm alternatives to it. It might be that there's a better way of moving through the plot: something that surprises and intrigues the audience.

ironpony
05-05-2016, 02:36 PM
Well what the police do not know is, is that she is a villain too. After she is subpoenaed to testify, she commits further crimes before, her court date. But if the police are suppose to be watching her as protection, and that is how the law would really work, then she cannot commit further crimes, cause she is being watched. So I would like her to be subpoenaed to testify, but at the same time, not be watched by the police before her court date, if it's possible to write that as an alternative. I wouldn't know where to begin brainstorming though, since I do not know how the law works at all, to brainstorm within it.

Helix
05-05-2016, 02:51 PM
You've got a whole load of good conflict there: she and the cops and the gang are all tangled up together, but all have their own goals. The cops want to keep her alive and catch the gang. She wants to stay alive and the cops are her best hope (or are they?), but she needs to find a way to give them the slip, while also avoiding the gang. The gang have to find her, but avoid the cops. There's a gazillion ways that can play out and none of it has to happen in the house.