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Jon F. Skaehill

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Jon F. Skaehill has a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice Administration and over twelve years of law enforcement experience. Jon Skaehill is a member of the Frisco Police Department.  He is an eight-year veteran of his police department's SWAT team. He has drawn from his own tactical experiences and imagination in writing The Lion's Den. He is currently assigned as a patrol sergeant and SWAT team leader.  Jon Skaehill is the author of The Lion’s Den.

 

According to the book description of the Lion’s Den, “Whether it's drug raids, high-risk apprehensions or hostage rescue takedowns, Lieutenant William Peterson and his SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) officers have done it all. In the face of any threat, they're ready to risk their lives to serve and protect. When citizens have a problem, they call the police. When the police have a problem, they call in Peterson and his SWAT team.

Peterson loves his assignment as SWAT Commander and is in charge of one of the best tactical units in the country. But, for unknown reasons, his immediate supervisor is determined to see him fail. Peterson soon finds himself under fire from the police department. He is forced to defend his credibility, fight for his career and battle for the every existence of the SWAT team.”

 

One reader of the Lion’s Den said, “This book is riveting! It was hard to put down. I had to - the book is simply too long for me to read in one night - 385 pages of virtually non-stop action. This book is a fictionalized account of the workings of a suburban police SWAT team. I believe the professional critics would call it a "Police Procedural".

There are a lot of well written works about infantry tactics, mostly designed for circumstances where there are no innocent non-combatants and where everyone not in the same uniform is an enemy in a free fire zone. SWAT teams operate in a very different climate - typically, an urban or suburban setting with innocent and unarmed citizens all around and a few baddies, who must be presumed to be quite willing to kill anyone in their way. Clearly, the tactical problems a Police SWAT team must deal with are far different from traditional infantry combat.

This work fascinates in covering the planning and real craftsmanship a well trained SWAT team uses in pursuit of their goal - neutralization with minimal force of the baddie and most certainly with minimum danger to lives and property. Tactics are carefully developed and practiced to reduce risk to the team and to innocent bystanders to the absolute minimum while leaving the baddy no options for escape or the opportunity to inflict further damage.

The novel deftly develops, setting the stage by giving the reader an insight into the regular training the team goes through, exploring the politics of a suburban police department in a city always looking for ways to cut costs, and with a police department member intent on sabotaging the SWAT team for his personal gain. The last third of the novel plays out a desperate confrontation with an enraged ex-Marine who has nothing to lose and is intent on avenging himself on society with the largest possible bang. And to his credit the author gives us considerable insight into the mind of the villain, and in doing so we gain understanding, sympathy and respect for the baddy as well.

In sum this is a remarkable first novel. The polish and development, while not perfect, leave the reader with much satisfaction, and a very real hope that the police or sheriff in his or her area are as well trained and prepared for emergencies. The novel ends well, with all loose ends neatly tied. This is a most satisfying book. A last note: our military might do very well to consider engaging Mr. Skaehill as an advisor for developing similar teams for duty in Iraq.


The Lion's Den
Jon F. Skaehill  More Info

About the Frisco Police Department

The two largest divisions in the Frisco Police Department are the Patrol Division and the Criminal Investigation Division.  The Frisco Police Department Patrol Division is the largest and most visible aspect of the department with 58 dedicated officers. Two Lieutenants -- who report to the Operations Bureau Captain -- head the Patrol Division, which also includes eight Sergeants; eight Corporals; and 40 patrol officers. The division is responsible for the preliminary investigation of calls for service and crime, as well as answering general calls for service.

 

The Criminal Investigations Division (CID) provides support to the Patrol Division. This is mostly accomplished by conducting follow up investigations to offenses and incidents initiated by the Patrol Division. Detectives assigned to CID are responsible for carrying out complete and thorough investigations. There are numerous responsibilities including, but not limited to, the following: Interviewing witnesses and suspects; Surveillance; Preparation and execution of search and arrest warrants; Processing crime scenes; Submitting evidence to crime labs; Proficiency training; Registered Sex Offender compliance checks; Preparation of case reports for submission to the District Attorney’s Office; Court and Grand Jury testimony; Crime analysis; Networking with other agencies

 

The Frisco Police Department also has a Traffic Unit which consists of one Sergeant, and seven Officers, including three assigned to motorcycle detail. The primary function of the Traffic Unit is to enforce state traffic laws; investigate traffic accidents; educate the public about traffic issues; and assist with complaints of aggressive driving. Motorcycle officers also lead parades and attend special events. Four of the Officers are Accident Reconstructionists, who investigate fatality crashes and file any criminal charges associated with the crash with the district attorney's office. The Officers also investigate and prepare cases for “hit and run” accidents.

 

Source:

frisco.tx.us/departments/police

 

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