During his 30-year career with the LASD, Charles “Sid” Heal served two tours at the Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB), one as a SWAT team leader, and the other as the bureau’s captain and commanding officer, where he developed a broad perspective on overseeing tactical operations. He also served as a lieutenant at the department’s Emergency Operations Bureau (EOB), where he gained significant experience in emergency management during large-scale crisis events like earthquakes, civil disorder incidents and wildland fires. During that time, EOB also served as the home of the Los Angeles Terrorism Early Warning Group, predecessor to what is now the Joint Regional Terrorism Task Force. There, Sid became acquainted with domestic intelligence operations. In his final sheriff’s department role, Sid was commander of the department’s Technology Exploration Project, giving him oversight of department-wide development, testing and evaluation of new technologies. This assignment intentionally dovetailed with his extensive military experience and connectivity to the development of less-lethal weapons systems. Sid retired from the LASD in 2008 at the executive rank of commander.

 

Sid Heal possessed a brilliant and unfailingly inquisitive mind fed by substantial formal education and incessant reading. It was honed by a lifetime of military and law enforcement service that included combat experience and extensive, specific expertise in tactics, emergency management, intelligence gathering and technology development. We are all the beneficiaries of Sid’s gifted and untiring nature, as well as his uncanny ability and desire to share his knowledge and experience with others. Sid was extremely active in professional associations, serving as a director and then as president of the California Association of Tactical Officers (CATO) and as chair of the NTOA’s Strategy Development Section. He was instrumental in advancing the productive relationship between CATO and the NTOA as they worked together to raise the professional bar for law enforcement tactical operations at both the state and national levels. Sid was a prolific writer who authored many groundbreaking publications, including “Sound Doctrine, A Tactical Primer” and his exceptional textbook, “Field Command.” He penned over 160 articles addressing aspects of tactical science. Since 1989, more than 130 of Sid’s articles have appeared in The Tactical Edge. He was a mainstay of the publication and his impact on our collective professional learning is unparalleled. On May 24, 2022, the tactical community lost a national treasure with the passing of Sid Heal. Sid died peacefully at home with his family.

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