Three Letters Re: No Law Enforcement in TEOTWAWKI

Sir, I would like to thank Ron M. for his posting on the potential future scarcity of Law Enforcement officers in future large-scale TEOTWAWKI events. It was one of the few writings that reflects what I’ve witnessed here in my area as well. My brother, and many of my friends are LEOs, and after having discussed some of these things with them I was made quite aware of the accuracy of Ron’s assessment. Most urban departments are issued periodic ‘alerts’ and ‘warnings’ of potential future threats from Homeland Security and other agencies. They are requested to draft up plans to manage various different potential threat contingencies, and are often given lists of ‘recommended’ equipment their departments should purchase. The sad truth is that most of the time these potential threats, contingencies, and any recommended planning is largely ignored across the US. Municipalities, Counties, and local government budgets have always operated Law Enforcement on shoe-string budgets while much of the administrative workers and politicians enjoy being overpaid for ‘performing’ a bare minimum level of service / work.

Prior to these tough economic times, and prior to 9/11/2001, many departments were still having a difficult time merely purchasing a bare minimum of ammunition for their officers to utilize in practice, training, and barely met qualification requirements. Typically this is the case for more rural departments, while some urban or suburban departments are provided with a few more resources and funding. The sad truth is that these officers usually do not receive any additional training for contingency threats; they do not receive any of the ‘recommended’ equipment which many of their departments cannot possibly afford, and they do not get paid nearly enough to endanger the lives of their families in such a large-scale event in order to care for those who likewise chose to ignore warnings from various governmental agencies.

Most of the friends I’ve talked with told me with no uncertainty that in the event of such a large-scale TEOTWAWKI event they would immediately see to the safety and protection of their families first. Urban / Suburban officers have informed me that to stick around might be suicide, and most would bug out as soon as possible. Rural officers, and some SWAT people have informed me that they would stay put, but they haven’t done much to plan or prepare for any threat contingencies. Many are quite heavily armed, but do not have a significant supply of ammunition on hand, and most have not made any effort to store any food or other emergency supplies. Two of them have gone so far as to tell me that they would harshly control the populace, put them on ‘lock down’ (or whatever their delusional version of that might be), and that the people would be so thankful for them having ‘restored order’ that him and his family will be graciously and handsomely rewarded and showered with food and goods to provide for their basic living needs. Seriously, some of them are downright delusional in their assessments of potential future TEOTWAWKI events.

Considering current economic problems, Department budgets cut even further, and LEOs often being required to purchase their own ammunition and protective equipment with little or no reimbursement (only a tax deduction), most officers are woefully unprepared for long-term serious emergencies. Some Departments have passed on grant money or other funding to help officers purchase some of the ‘recommended’ equipment (gas masks, riot gear, other tools for civil unrest and NBC threats, etc.) – the officers on an individual level are not being educated in specifically what equipment they should purchase, how to use it, store it, and carry it on hand in the event that it’s needed. Many departments will make uneducated purchases of equipment that often isn’t effective, doesn’t fit their officers, and doesn’t bother to train them with the use of that equipment. This solely for the purpose of then showing the DPS or other agencies how good of a job they’re doing in response to these ever-changing threats and contingency plans. Often the equipment is then stored improperly, doesn’t fit (gas masks, NBC Suits, etc.) and they are either ruined, unfit for use, or are returned to their suppliers shortly thereafter. As such, I’ve been shopping at local Law Enforcement Supply stores to purchase many of my Emergency supply goods. Often I find $250 NBC gas masks on sale for $50 because a Department or Officer ordered the wrong size. Simply purchase new, freshly sealed replacement filters, follow the cleaning and storage instructions, test the equipment, and then put it away in a convenient and properly prepared storage location. Make sure it’s organized, labeled, and quickly accessible. It’s a good place to find some decent clearance deals.

One must always have the tools, training, and preparations necessary to hand any potential threat in life, and you cannot depend upon emergency services to provide for your immediate rescue from harm. Only God, yourself, and your family can be relied upon to get you through potentially life-threatening emergencies. EMS / Police / Fire are secondary. God Bless! – Mathew L.

Ron M.’s recent advice to not count on law enforcement is sound, and many of us have personal experiences that back that up.

However, his statement that “Only states like Louisiana that have passed emergency disaster laws protecting guns from police seizure will maintain any sort of civility or order in a disaster” overlooks the Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act of 2006. The law isn’t perfect, but after Katrina is was passed to prohibit the confiscation of personal firearms in a disaster. It does not apply to everyone, but it very clearly applies to “officer or employee of the United States (including any member of the uniformed services), or person operating pursuant to or under color of Federal law, or receiving Federal funds, or under control of any Federal official, or providing services to such an officer, employee, or other person, while acting in support of relief from a major disaster or emergency”. It’s hard to imagine any law enforcement agency today that does not receive federal funds for one thing or another, so this law should actually help.

You can read the full text online. It might even be worth printing out and keeping a copy in your G.O.O.D. gear. – Todd in Virginia


Mr. JWR,
I would like to congratulate you on what I believe is one of the most righteous and informative survival blogs on the net. You are my main go-to information source before I make a decision on a prep, you and your bloggers have amassed a wealth of information. I have enjoyed your books as well and I am eagerly awaiting the sequels.

In response to Ron’s article, I have been a cop for 30+ years now. I started in a rural Sheriffs Office, got bored and after a year went on to become a big city cop (BCC). After I retired I swore another oath as a Deputy Sheriff in larger more rural county. I believe Ron is correct in his synopsis , there will not be much LE if there is a TEOTWAWKI situation via a NBC attack, meteor strike, volcano et cetera.

Over the years I too have inquired my brother/sister leo’s mindset on this topic. Amongst the BCC the largest percentage will go and take care/be with their families in their time of need. A few, mostly the young ones with no families yet said they would stay on as long as they felt they could make a difference. The senior cops know the futility of the law enforcement situation with the Golden Horde and would bug out/in with their families, BTW these are the ones that are most prepared and think like us.

Most BCC cops are not gun enthusiasts, they’ll have a handgun or two, maybe a shotgun and minimal ammo supplies, no kit or MBR. Now keep in mind there are exceptions. Now that I have been in a rural peace officer setting I can tell you that there is a mindset difference between most rural cops and most BCC, naturally there are exceptions. Rural deputies have to be somewhat more self sufficient, some nights my backup is 45 minutes away at 120 m.p.h., versus 2-3 minutes when I was a BCC. Most of us carry at least a AR-15, I carry a SOCOM 16 as well with plenty of ammo for each. My trunk kit has everything I need to survive/manage most of the situations I would encounter.

I believe in a TEOTWAWKI situation the deputies in the more rural areas would continue to function longer because:
1.) more tend to have the “Country boy can survive mentality”
2) their families are more extended and they can pull their resources together better than some city families.
3) most country folk are armed, many armed better than you can imagine, “an armed society is a polite society”
4) will not have the hordes of people to deal with like in the cities.
5) A strong Sheriff, a sworn Constitutional officer, can be a great influence if he has the leadership ability. He can unite his deputies to best assist the populace that needs the most help.

You know I am more concerned about the law enforcement role in a non TEOTWAWKI event, such as government austerity enforcement role or say a monetary collapse. Always remember: “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer ” – Psalm 18:2

Best Wishes, – LawDawg