Fox2Detroit – Two undercover officers from Detroit’s 12 precinct, posing as drug dealers, were approached by two undercover officers from the 11th precinct, posing as drug buyers, and the fight was on.
This happened last year but I received several requests to cover this in a blog so HERE WE GO!
Evidently, the 12th precinct squad had a “jump out” or arrest team hidden in the house that their undercover drug dealers were standing in front of. The purpose of the “jump out” team is to literally jump out of the house and arrest individuals that are dumb enough to buy drugs from the undercover officers. Obviously, the 11th precinct squad had a mobile “jump out” team that would jump out of cars to cuff up the drug dealers that sell drugs to their undercover officers and then secure and search the house they’re working from.
So, in this instance, one jump out team ran into the other jump out team and that’s not good for anyone. Except the neighbors. They got a hell of a show. In police circles, we call this a “Blue on Blue Incident”. That’s when cops unknowingly face other cops, and each side thinks the other are the bad guys. It’s a nightmare situation because everyone has a gun out and it’s pointed at someone. And that someone is a friendly. Even worse. That someone is a brother.
So, how does shit like this happen? Its pretty simple really. You have multiple units within the same agency, doing basically the same job and they’re not sharing information with one another or reporting what they’re doing to a central repository that checks for things like this. This is called deconfliction. Larger agencies have a system for this in-house.
Before you perform an operation like this, you’re supposed to prepare an Operations Plan that outlines what you are doing, who is participating and where it is happening. This Ops Plan gets approved by a commander and then gets forwarded to an Intelligence Center that checks against other Ops Plans submitted by other units. If two Ops Plans are occurring at the same location, or even near each other, and on the same date/time…the commander is immediately notified so he can contact each unit’s supervisor of the conflict. Crisis averted.
Smaller agencies submit these Ops Plans to Federally-supported Deconfliction Centers. The same course of action is taken. Bottom line is you don’t jump until your Ops Plan is 100% cleared. I don’t know where the ball was dropped here. Was it at the command level or unit level? My guess is the unit level, just based on my 21 years in the game.
Cops don’t like to share information. They’re very territorial and untrusting. Sometimes for good reason. There are some dirty cops out there, but usually leaks come from cops that talk too much. They tell everyone at work and home and all those people tell everyone they know and before you know it, someone that knows the bad guys catches wind of it. But when it comes to operations where you know guns are going to be drawn, you have to take every precaution to ensure it goes down as safely as possible.
I’ve never been party to this exact situation but I did participate in a raid where, unbeknownst to us, another agency showed up at the same time to raid the same house. We were assisting the ATF with an arrest warrant for an individual that was inside the house and the other agency was a drug unit there to serve a search warrant on the house.
As we dumped out of our vehicles and approached the house on foot, we were met by a bunch of other cops in raid vests that had just dumped out of their cars to do the same thing. While each side went through the “What the fuck are your guys doing here?” routine, the guy we were looking for ran out the back door and hauled ass through the alley. A 12 block foot pursuit ensued with like a hundred cops trying to catch, what seemed to be, the fastest human being on the planet. It ended well enough, meaning he was eventually captured thanks to a canine unit, and no one on our side was injured. Sure we looked like a bunch of dumbasses, but as long as no one gets hurt and the bad guy goes to jail…it’s a win. #BehindTheBadge