Are you confident in your defensive skills? If so, then don't take them for granted, but rather keep training. If you're lacking in these skills, then make them strengths by practicing.
Being overly emotionally committed to your agency only leads to heartbreak. Unrequited love is one of the toughest emotional hits a human can face and therefore I ask you to rethink your relationship with your agency and those who work with you.
I can’t have you hesitating in an armed confrontation because of some deep-seated guilt that makes you believe you deserve to lose or should be punished.
I know a lot of crime fighters who begin to wax philosophical after their fifth beer and one of the common axioms I hear is: "I would rather be lucky than good."
Over the years I have seen many variations on "deadly errors" officers make to get themselves hurt but the version that is still my favorite is the first one I learned, and I think it is time to do a quick review.
Here is the conundrum: When bad things happen it appears Officer Nobody has failed again to do what needs to be done, and when things turn out good, Dep. Somebody is taking all the credit. Something needs to be done.
Ah, but the healing is a wonderful thing to see. Daily, each of you earn more and more and more honor for us all. Your courage, your actions, your compassion, is an hourly ratcheting up of our honor.
Cops should be most concerned about flaws in studies involving PTSD. Post-traumatic stress wasn't even recognized as a disorder until 1980, and then suddenly it was everywhere, caused by everything and happening to everyone.
Panic has little place in the modern world, and for a crime fighter it can be a killer; action is our mantra, and preparation is our antidote.
I have discovered that a trainer has an incredibly powerful role to play in imbuing the trainee with either positive or negative expectations. And our profession demands that we hone skills essential for victory in confrontations.
One of the first things that becomes apparent when I review dash cam footage of incidents is how much vulgarity spurts out of our little brains under stress. It has long been said the last two words on the black box recorder from crashed aircraft are "Oh shit!"
One of the things that never fails to amaze me is how often some precious belief I have turns out to just be a myth. Well, myth is a tough word because some of the meanings of "myth" are important, like: A legend or story that explains or demonstrates a virtue or message.
Everyone is well aware that humans are visual creatures. It is far and away our most dominant sense and that is one of the reasons I get so frustrated that we have so many distracters in our modern patrol vehicles.
Code three is lights and siren, and man is it fun. You are lord of the road, racing here and there to accidents, crimes in progress, officer needs assistance, and whatever crisis needs a uniformed hero ASAP.
Some trainers say it takes 5,000 reps or five years to master a weapon or a skill, but that doesn't match the research. The research says we don't know how many reps or how long it will take YOU to master a skill.
While in fiction Sherlock Holmes' magnificent intuitive leaps lead to remarkable arrests, we would make a huge number of mental errors if we tried the same tricks. Worse, we might make assumptions that would get us or someone else hurt.
Even though we now have these marvelous tools, the key to winning confrontations is still what is happening behind our eyes, not in our hands. Yes, great weapons help us win, but we have to have our minds right, before and during a life-and-death confrontation.
When you're a young officer, moderation seems likely to leave you missing more than a few good times. I think back to the "choir practices" I participated in as a young Tucson cop only to awaken in the afternoon looking for the train that hit me.
Real optimism isn't just expecting good things to happen; it is how you internally explain to yourself the bad things that happen and what you do about them. Everyone is going to suffer bad events.
In his book, "Play," Stuart Brown, M.D., explains how play doesn't just reduce our stress and open our minds, it also exercises and grows our brains. Yep, to grow some brain, play a game.