The Protectors® Podcast

#459 | BC Sanders | A Dive into Proactive Policing and Post-retirement Life

October 15, 2023 Dr. Jason Piccolo Episode 459
The Protectors® Podcast
#459 | BC Sanders | A Dive into Proactive Policing and Post-retirement Life
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Ready to redefine your perception of proactive policing and criminal investigation? Step into the intriguing world of BC Sanders, a retired supervisor with a wealth of knowledge from his days in the field. The conversation traverses his journey of consulting for law enforcement officers, designing specialized courses to navigate the decline in proactive policing, and addressing the unique challenges faced when implementing progressive work strategies. BC stresses the importance of comprehensive training on gang strategies and criminal networks, highlighting a void particularly in smaller departments that need to stay ahead of the evolving criminal landscape.

BC lends his voice to the discussion on how retired law enforcement professionals can leverage their unique skills to serve the community in new ways. From insights on situational awareness and body language to tips on vehicle protection, BC shines a light on the untapped potential that retired professionals possess. 

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Make sure to check out Jason on IG @drjasonpiccolo


Speaker 1:

You know what we're just going to hit record. Hey, welcome to the Protectors podcast. We are live in location in Wilmington. I was going to say Wilmington, delaware and I don't know where in Wilmington, north Carolina brother.

Speaker 2:

What's going on, man? I don't, I don't remain. Don't confuse us with Delaware, oh whoa, whoa, bro.

Speaker 1:

I used to be. I used to be a supervisor down in Delaware.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I've never been, so I would be speaking ignorant. I just know that where we are right now is beautiful, sunny, nice and enjoying life.

Speaker 1:

Well, there's like like 2000 people in all of Delaware, but hey, here we are in Wilmington, North Carolina. Hey brother, we're here with BC Sanders and we're like, live in location. We're at Port City, java, and what we didn't know, this was basically a chain, so we're going to get some feedback for that. It's almost like hitting a Starbucks. Yeah, so you're retired now, brother. How's that figure?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's amazing, absolutely amazing. Most days I spend writing and doing a little bit of consulting here and there, designing some classes that I'll be able to push out and teach over like a string yard or any kind of virtual platform like that, now that I kind of have the time to do that. So some people have reached out and just been like, hey, I'll pay you for your time, let's sit down. These are the things that I would want to learn. That's what they would say. So, okay, everything from gangs, developing informants, body language, how to do surveillance, street level surveillance, proactive patrol management, how to actually develop gang units and gang strategies, like all this stuff that I've kind of learned over two decades that I just assumed everybody else knew. But now we're seeing the void in the last five to probably seven years lack of proactive policing. So those skills have been lost and now the officers who've now become supervisors don't have those skills either. So it's like now it's basically a tailor made. Whatever people need, I'll design something for them and have a discussion.

Speaker 1:

Well, the crazy thing is the assumption like me, coming from the criminal investigative world, you know. So everybody out there who doesn't realize in the federal government, if you're in 1811, that means you're a criminal investigator. But all different agencies have different criminal investigators DEA, atf, fbi, all the three letters plus all these small agencies. But everybody always assumes that because you're a special agent, you all have the same skill set and after a while, and after you do it for so long, you forget that all the skills that you've picked up, not everybody has them. So you, with your 20 plus years, you're like huh, it would be, it would be ideal for you to go around to these departments, especially smaller departments who are inundated with gang activity or inundated with crime in general, who don't have, let's say they don't have a full time detective, they don't have someone on task force to go and do a training seminar for them or training course.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that, and also some of the larger cities that I just assumed are good to go yeah. And what they did was, under different leadership, just disbanded a lot of their proactive units. And so the more departments I talked to with that they're now trying to stand up a proactive unit or a gang unit, you know, and so their higher ups don't have that background, so they don't know how to design it, and then they're kind of fearful of it. And then once they try to set it in motion, it's like they want instant results. So if the team is set up like I was talking to one guy the other day he's like they have to produce. That's the mindset of their higher ups is like every day they have to produce, whereas they're looking at it and saying we have a longer you know like a longer process going on. So it's like we may not make an arrest today or we may not have a gun on the table, so to speak, but what we can do is show you that in three or four days we can actually make a strategic arrest. It's just stuff like that, like that mindset of not always living day-to-day mode with their department to actually have an overall strategy. And some of the higher-ups just, sadly, are missing that because that was not their background. So now these officers who are really motivated. That's what they want to learn and it's like this gap where they're having trouble trying to explain to their higher-ups. Hey, we want to do things a little bit differently based on what this guy is telling us.

Speaker 1:

What's the big thing is you have a lot of proactive police out there who want to be proactive, but then you have the leniency like oh you know, if we do that something bad might happen, let's stick to our bread and butter, like the homicides, the robberies, the assaults. But when you start getting into the gang territory, when the crimes may not be defined as easily, as narcotics. Where, hey, you arrest someone. They got the drugs in their hand. Well, they're probably guilty.

Speaker 2:

Well, you know nine times out of 10,.

Speaker 1:

The drugs aren't theirs, the pants aren't theirs, or I don't know where that came from, but when it comes to gangs and other types of proactive investigations, especially when it comes to not just gangs but criminal networks. That would be a great training idea to get out there. Because you know it's talking to one of my LEO friends and they're like, look, we're just patrol, we don't have a detective. And you're like, huh, well, who does your investigations? They're like, well, we have to do them ourselves.

Speaker 2:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

So you know, when you really go from like the macro level of like an NYPD who has 50 million detectives, or you know even like a midsize, or even you know anybody who has like 15 or 20 or even 30 cops, they're going to have detective. But there's so many different training ideas out there for people who don't have a detective.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's also the agencies that will that are smaller, like that, if they'll get on board and actually identify their problems early on and be part of an like an ongoing network. So really what should be happening is the larger cities should have like Intel meetings, like we would always set up gang Intel meetings, where all these jurisdictions we get in one room and talk and then after COVID we actually made it virtual where a patrol officer be sitting in their car, log on and be part of the meeting and just you know, interject and they can see it visually and so we would teach, like for an hour in the block of meeting and so the officers and agents are getting some information, like learning everything about hand signs, whatever, and then we go into the crosstalk. But those things, if all these cities would do that well you know you brought up a great point.

Speaker 1:

You brought up a great point, too, about being proactive. So let's say, you're going to do a training course for someone in Florida Florida has a different gang culture than someone in East LA. You know what I mean. So you can go in there and you can be like okay, I'm going to be teaching you guys this, even if it's virtual, and you can still teach them what they need to know based on your subject matter expertise, but you're also your ability to reach out and find out what you need to be able to instruct.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, even like somewhere like Florida. A lot of times I can just ask simple questions like what, what identified sets do you have? So Florida may say, yes, we've got a lot of blood, blood sets that flow out of UBN, which is all New York based Perfect. Then we can all be on the same shoe music with the signs, the symbols, the. You know all of that. Someone else may say, maybe Georgia, you know somewhere in Georgia and they say, hey, we've got a lot of gangster cycles out of Chicago Perfect. A lot of the nationally recognized gangs are all over these cities. So that part we're all good, we're used on the same shoe music. It's those strategies that a lot of agencies are missing, and even the larger agencies too. So that's the big thing is like just trying to be able to set that stuff up, and now I mean based. I've had people reach out to me on Instagram and send me pictures of graffiti or they'll even say, hey, I've got this person I want to approach, to develop them into a source or an informant. What should I do? You know how should I pitch it, so that I can just message them and we can talk back and forth. Okay, if you know specifically what gang, then you could try this approach. Or if you know what their motive is for being in the gang be it money, they're a true believer, that sort of thing then you might have to try a different approach.

Speaker 1:

Well, I think the other approach too is because it's so factored towards the agency you're going to go to, or the department you're going to go to, or the jurisdiction or wherever the thing is. When you you can go online, you can go to a blank, blank, blank website and you could take a course on gangs. It's great. But if you're not having that interaction or having that set for your specific district or your area, a lot of times you're going to be like I'm not really getting a lot out of this. But if you have a virtual and VES is in person, we know that. But even if you're doing virtually, people feel vested in it because it's their area, they want to know, exactly what they could do for their area.

Speaker 2:

Yes, and then also with virtual, I can pull multiple people from across the US, being a small group, maybe like six of us on there talking and actually have a dialogue. So someone could be in, say, nebraska, and then another person be wherever Wisconsin. But while we're talking they may ask very specific questions and instead of it being straightforward PowerPoint, you know, click, click, click it's also like more of a discussion of someone saying hey, this is the problem. We have Multiple gunshots every night in an apartment complex. We're told we got to do something about it and I have no clue what to do. I'm just a patrol officer so I can kind of walk them through like okay, very specific problems, even though we're talking about gangs. They ask a question like that. Being virtual like that allows me to have more one-on-one with them and I can answer directly and go okay, check this out, what's your RMS or what is your report writing database? Does it look like this Can you pull calls for service? If you can pull your calls for service, narrow down your shots fired. If it's every Friday night, then guess what? Now you can start to develop a proactive approach with you and a couple of buddies. You know what I mean Like it starts to kind of take their problems and then just go. Okay, these are very specific to what you're asking me, as opposed to going in this block of instruction we're going to talk about. You know, I just I can do that and sometimes those are larger briefings and I presented to two or 300 people at a time on larger overall strategies for one group or one gang at a time and we just break everything down. But what I found is like I really enjoy getting one-on-one and doing consulting, and I do it with even citizens too. Citizens have reached out and we've done the same thing. I send them a link in stream yard and we're plugged right in the open up the laptop, click on a link and then we're talking.

Speaker 1:

I can see him face to face and well, that's the other thing about your background too is being able to do like site surveys, doing, you know, pre-operational planning, where you can look at an area and say, oh, you know these areas. It's like when we're in a military, you know, when you, when you look at an area, you do a map reconnaissance, you can. It's so easy to do reconnaissance now with with the virtual landscape we have, that before you go to these areas, you could already have it scoped out, you could bring them out there, you could be with them, you could have such a one-on-one interaction. And that's the greatest thing about being retired, you know, is now you have the opportunity to go out there and affect change, but at a different level yeah, and it's.

Speaker 2:

It's nice too, because not everybody wants to sit in the classroom and have to raise their hand and ask a question that they're scared somebody's gonna, you know, like fragile ego, they're worried. Oh well, I'm a captain or I'm a lieutenant and I don't ask this dumb question and and one of my subordinates or someone else from another agency sees that I'm from, you know, a large agency. I have all this rank. I need to just be quiet, as opposed like maybe one-on-one or a smaller group like that, and it's virtual. So then people feel more relaxed and they may ask that question like look, I'm a captain, you know I've been running and gunning, or or my whole you know time I've done admin. Now I really want to get in a fight and I've got great units under me, but I have no idea how to help them, and so then it can be that discussion what up.

Speaker 1:

A good point, too, is being at such a certain level where you're fluid, mm-hmm, you don't have to worry about overhead yeah, you don't worry about, like let's say, you're gonna travel point a to point B, part Dm the other thing, too, is, if you want to have one-on-one virtual conversations with leadership, are with the task force leader who maybe want to stand up this thing. That's another great selling point right there and this is for the people out here who are thinking about retiring we're thinking about doing something else. You don't have to have brick and mortar anymore. You don't have to have certain logistics around it. You can do so much virtual and also offer something that's tailor-made, and when you brought up the tailor-made thing, that's absolutely perfect mm-hmm and it's.

Speaker 2:

It's one of those two where the like. I did one presentation and an FBI agent pulled me a sign. He was like hey, I'm on a task force. We have really motivated TFOs or task force officers, we've got motivated FBI agents and in the office in their region. He's like, but we don't have an overall strategy. He's like, and that's the problem is like, right now I want like a small portion. I did a three-hour presentation. He really was looking, I think, at like about 30 minutes of kind of removing what I call the hive. Like hey, how can we do this so long story short, it's like we were able to have that side dialogue of that and I'm like cool because him, being an agent, could look at me and go you're just this city cop, you know, I'm an FBI agent that's where everybody thinks it's like you know that agents have these big egos and stuff. That was never been my experience. I've worked with several FBI agents, atf agents and always have really good for you, brother, that's my that's my perspective and my encounters okay, now, that could be completely different for other people, other, other jurisdictions, and that's just a gang world, you know.

Speaker 1:

So if FBI agents in the gang world that may be why they were like the FBI agent. Like I just remember one guy named Scott out in San Diego and he was like they stuck him on a regional autofest task force. He was like HRT, he was seal team six dev group and because he was such a like an operator type he wouldn't deal with bullshit too much with them so they they threw him off on his task force and his drug network I was looking at was going with a lot of stolen vehicles. So I was like, hey, scott, you want to be honest, is a kid man and he rolls around. It's a beat-up for tourists because he wasn't like one of them you know the golden boys yeah, but the thing is too, is not a switch subjects a little bit? is you know, right, when you retired, before you retired or anywhere, you started working with civilians too, because I don't like to. Just, you know, there's so much out, so many people out there who want to know what's going on in their areas, is it so it's not just gonna be leo's, it's not just gonna be this and that people wear a badge, but every day people want to know what's going on in their neighborhoods so it was like you could be your own little Intel shop. You could be your own little.

Speaker 2:

You know you're raised your level of awareness by just conversation, so let's talk about that yeah, I had a father reach out to me yes, three dollars, and they're all you know, right around college age, whatever, 17 to about 20 and he was honest and just said, hey, I'm not prior military, I'm not prior law enforcement. I really just want my family to be aware of the information that you talk about situational awareness, body language and he had heard me on another podcast reached out to me and my co-host, ski on the Disruptors podcast. We did a couple hours of you know, just dialogue with him and his daughters and his wife and it was cool. It was like it made us feel better because we were able to help somebody. But they were asking very specific questions and we were talking about even things like how to harden your vehicle for break-ins, how to research certain databases to find the crimes that are being reported in your area. So when you watch the news and you think everything's blowing up, you know in the cities and you're sending your loved ones out because one of the daughters was moving out of state and where she was moving, they were really worried. So it was one of those things. We could sit there and talk about it and I didn't have to feel guarded because there's a certain level of information citizens should know, and so it's not like I'm giving away tradecraft and all this stuff because they don't really care. They don't care whether we're sitting in a dumpster doing surveillance or if we're using technology. They were more concerned about individual behavior or when we're out in public. What are we looking for If we're visiting another city? Should we go with a cheap motel or should we spend a little extra money? It's just small things like that.

Speaker 1:

Well, you brought up a good point, because everybody who's um, who's daughters thinking about going to college and Philly and. I'm like Philly, two blocks away, could be like a gang haven, could be like you know apocalypse now, and then two blocks the other way is like a rich neighborhood. But you know you have to know where to navigate a city in order to avoid. So if you tell them the red flags before they go there, like okay, well, my GPS says I could park here, you know? Or my GPS what I know if I look on there that you know I need to stay away.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, and it's. It's simple things like that. It's looking for graffiti, obviously, of any kind, any kind of wear and tear on buildings. I also tell people, like just take a second to survey what everyone else is doing. And if everybody's walking around me mugging one another, then you're like okay. Or if people are just po what we call posted up, they're just standing in front of like right now someone's just standing here in front of this coffee shop. We're going to wonder what they're doing. And if we sit in the car for more in about a minute, we'll see that most people don't like just standing still. They're going to mess with their phone, they're going to go meet with a friend, they're going to move, but people just stand there for a while. They're either waiting to meet somebody, or posted up. Yeah, sometimes we're just looking for that victim who's late for the crime scene.

Speaker 1:

Okay, Last topic for today is this is one I really enjoy because it's like I'm going through it myself. March 31st is when I retired and I went through like four. It's almost like the stages of grief, but it's different. You're like, oh shit, what am I going to do now? And then you're like the. Then you're excited, and then the lol. And then you're like okay, I found a rhythm. So now that you're yeah, how long you went to it now.

Speaker 2:

Like two months month. Yeah, this I'm entering the second full month. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

What was the biggest piece of advice you give for someone right when I get out?

Speaker 2:

Have a plan. I mean, that's the that's the main thing is, and when I say have a plan, at least have something that you are moving towards. So some people will will retire, and this is for any job. But when they retired, all it's all indicative of what age they are and what else they're doing. So when we retire from the military, that could be 38 years old and they got to go into a whole another career For me. I have people that were very concerned. Look, you're so motivated, you love police work, all this, and you're just gonna now like go cold Turkey, like right, this Simon I was coming out of was really, really great. I worked with the best units in our department and the best units in the East Coast on violent crimes, homicide units, robbery units, aggravated assault units. So when I switch gears, it's like one day I'm coming to work, they're solving bank robberies, they're solving murders, you know all these multiple units, and then I'm done. And then I'm editing manuscripts and working on trying to get novels, you know, published, working on consulting stuff, doing multiple guest spots on podcasts. So when I made that transition, it's like I have this plan in place and I'm loving it. I do know some people that have retired and they kind of went into like this state of like lethargy if that's even a word for some reason that popped in my head. But they just kind of go into like autopilot and some people will say, well, I'm going to take a few months and just relax and I think the older we get, you know it's kind of body in motion. You take those few months off and you just relax, and maybe you go fishing, you go hunting, and then it's like, okay, well, now you got to jump start back into something.

Speaker 1:

So the thing is like when you say, relax, you don't have to go in lethargy or whatever. You know that big college word, you could still hustle, you could still do things. And hustle doesn't have to have monetary faction on it. You know you could build to that goal, but the thing is to keep your mind flowing.

Speaker 2:

It's almost like like I had guys that were saying to me you are retiring and you're going to walk away from all this money that could be made. And I'm like you look at it that way. I look at it as I now have the opportunity to make money. You know what I'm saying. Like now my time is free, I can move into some more. If I want to do full time eight to five kind of job or whatever nine to five, I can do that. I can keep pursuing what I want and see if it's going to be lucrative. I can keep researching companies and investing in buying stocks, like I do. I can work the merchandise in and go into full speed. Like, okay, I want to take my disruptors merchandise and keep pumping out more and more shirts. I want to do coffees or coffee mugs. You know I want to do hats. You know we want to get into doing some live concerts and promoting. It's like I can't do that stuff if I'm doing a nine to five or especially if I'm still working on the job and on call and that sort of thing. So it's kind of like just opening up to similar to what it felt like getting out of the army when I started college. It was like, okay, now I love the army, but now I'm going full speed into this other thing and I'm going to give a hundred percent into it, and so that's what I'm doing now and the best part about it is I've got a good exercise routine, a good sleep pattern.

Speaker 1:

You know like my life is my quality life is yeah, yeah, it feels like you're like 20 something years.

Speaker 2:

You know, you get to be in that zombie mode. And now it's like, while other people get out of the job and they're like, I don't like this, I need people to know, I'm the police. It's like I never wanted people to know. I was like when I'm off duty and I don't like. Now it's like, no, I like to walk around, enjoy myself, you know and be. I mean, I'm still on guard, obviously, but not in the sense that I was so hyper vigilant before.

Speaker 1:

I love it, brother. So we have the disruptors podcast, and what else can we find?

Speaker 2:

So the podcast Instagrams, the underscore disruptors underscore podcast, so I'm on there a lot just doing posts, personal Instagrams, bcsanders, and you could do email. Even some people will email us at the disruptorsbcskigmail. But yeah, that's the thing doing guest spots on other podcasts and, like I said, pushing some more merchandise out here pretty soon.

Speaker 1:

I'm wearing a shirt.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's pretty impressive. I've seen quite a few people eyeballing it.

Speaker 1:

They walk by.

Speaker 2:

No, but in full disclosure, I don't do the art, I just kind of get an idea. And then I find artists like Rizart and some other people.

Speaker 1:

I always tell people Mike, you know, don't ask for shit for free, support your friends.

Speaker 2:

So, brother, I appreciate you coming on the show man. Thank you, buddy.

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