I work in counter human traffic (CHT), running street operations in “the Q,” Albuquerque, New Mexico. Here, the season on traffickers is open all year long, and there is no bag limit. Just don’t step up to the line dry (1).

My current self-preservation posture is best described in my statement to my boss, words to the effect of, “Boss, I’m going to spend some money. I want to put as many things between my fists and my gat (2) as possible on the street.” I said that much to the delight of my boss and our task force founder, as shootouts could prove to be fatal to the longevity of his CHT task force.

My current carry loadout

  • Dagger: personal protection, Benchmade. This is used for close-in fighting when fisticuffs just won’t answer the mail. It is sharp, sturdy, easy to conceal, and very easy to hold on to. Not effective against crank tweakers (3).


  • A stun gun: 50,000 volts output, used to temporarily render an opponent incoherent and stupid unless the opponent arrived already stupid, then he will simply remain stupid, the stun gun notwithstanding. Not effective against crank tweakers.
Stun gun seen here mounted upside down to the dash with Velcro strips
  • A telescoping combat baton: Formerly termed the “NBC stick,” I prefer my own variant, the BBC (Better Be Cool) stick. It provides just a little more standoff than the dagger or stun gun; it issues out a proper ass-whipping. Not effective against crank tweakers.
Telescoping BBC stick, partially deployed.
  • A whole can of whoop ass: The wicked ickiest pepper spray on the face of the planet. Aerosol spray, hatefully nasty. Provides ~15 feet of standoff. Not effective against crank tweakers.
Pepper spray with Velcro, where it mounts to the dash and is close at hand.
  • Glock 17, chambered in 9 x 19mm Parabellum, and ~50 rounds. Pretty effective against crank tweakers.


  • Spikes Tactical ST-15 and ~120 rds of 5.56 x 45mm ammunition. Very effective
    against crank tweakers.


  • Truck: Ford F-150 pickup moving at high speed on a calculated collision course. Very, very effective against crank tweakers.
  • Screaming like a girl. Not really effective against anyone or anything. Mostly an
    unintentional reactive irritant on my part. Most crank tweakers are already doing this when encountered.


  • Patience. I am in no hurry to escalate an altercation and transition begrudgingly from one defense medium to the next. Except for pepper spray, my favorite. I blow through a can of wicked nasty in less than a day sometimes. It’s just way too handy and convenient. I’m actually pretty much an out-of-control ass when I carry it.

Them: “Yo, yo, yo…bro, why you be hangin’ ‘round here? You a cop?”

Me: “Not a cop, but I am doing this. PSHHHHHHHHHHT! (Sound of pepper spray
firing.)” They get a nose-full right away.