By Massad Ayoob
The slaughter of four young California Highway Patrol Officers at Newhall, in 1970,
was a watershed experience in the history of American law enforcement. It was the
slap in the face that awoke the profession to the fact that its training, collectively,
had stagnated. Newhall became the dawn of officer survival training for modern
Many lessons were learned in the sacrifice of those four brave men at the hands of
two classic examples of feral homo sapiens. Lessons of risk assessment and tactics.
The realization that there is a time to approach and a time to fall back and contain.
The importance of adequate weapons and of reality-based training and policy.
CHP’s honest self-assessment led to sweeping changes in the way police were
equipped and in the ways high-risk policing was accomplished. We will never know
how many police lives have since been saved by the lessons that grew from the
martyrdom of Patrolmen Alleyn, Frago, Gore, and Pence...
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