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Feedback can come from the officer watching himself on a dashcam or a sergeant telling him he turns his back on a violator every time he keys his mic. This is a lot better than spitting teeth out in the back of an ambulance or worse.
The nature of police work is one of great adventure, great crisis, great horror. You will see more and experience more, both good and bad, in five years on the job than the average person will in 70, so don't fear it; embrace it, accept it. It is your path.
I had the strangest dream the other night. I was a detective on my way to a homicide and my partner was that big guy from "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" who knows everything about everything.
I have always been touched by certain images, sounds, and words, and the older I get the more things trigger my emotional reflexes. At the same time I find I am less and less embarrassed by my tears. Now I know the tears are not from weakness but from respect, from the heart.
When I took over firearms instruction in the academy the first thing I did was try to imbue everyone with the ideas that shooting was fun, anyone can do it, and if there is a problem it is only the technique, and not the person.
Over the years I have had so many "if only" moments; most of them have been about debt and its related stresses. When I was developing officer safety programs at the academy, I was stunned to find the number one cause of divorce among law enforcement officers was not dispatchers, but financial stress.
Experts say when we interact with others we are always "leaking" with our face or body what we are thinking or feeling. My wife, the Sarge, has a way of refusing to acknowledge what I am saying and demanding to know what I am actually "thinking," since I'm apparently a pretty bad "leaker."
What the heck happened to us? Cro-Magnons were big, athletic, and healthy until they died (mostly young), and had bigger brains than we do.
We have to decide not to carry garbage around ourselves and not to accept it from others.
One of the great challenges of turning civilians into crime fighters is developing their sense of being initiated into a unique group of people who will share high-risk adventures and protect not only each other physically, but morally as well, preserving that collective honor we each hold so dear.
Life's unfair. Get over it. If you understand this point you will have a long and healthy career and make it to retirement without hating everyone around you.
The funny thing is most Americans can't even name the time zone they live in much less understand why they are changing their clocks twice a year, and they have to ask the flight attendant what time it is wherever they've just landed.
My friend pointed to his weird five-toed footwear and said since wearing them his body had found new vigor and was pain-free.
The scary part is when we ourselves are confidently wrong we're completely oblivious to it.
Nothing focuses the mind during a search warrant like discovering a diamondback rattlesnake in a dresser drawer.
We put high sensation-seeking folks like you in a highly structured bureaucracy and are shocked when it stresses the heck out of you.
Kids, lawnmowers, dogs, court, phone calls, worry, sunlight, spouses, chores, side jobs, storms. Everything seems to conspire to deny us our rest.
You can always tell the veterans because they don't wear hats or fake mustaches anymore.
Crime fighters have a unique problem. Our meals are part of our socialization, our warrior bread-breaking ritual.
Routine doesn't just make us comfortable, it actually "detrains" us, robs us of our edge, and can even steal our lives.