In order to survive our complex environment, we must have a complete understanding and thorough working knowledge of what I call the "seven essential components" of a successful law enforcement career.
The end of your report is merely the start of a process that involves many gatekeepers. The keys to getting past the gatekeepers are found within your agency's records section.
Reacting is guided primarily by emotion and responding is influenced by logic. In this context, it's not hard to see which one of the two is more beneficial to law enforcement officers.
Every profession espouses the virtues of leadership. But what about followers, which are the flip side of the equation? You can't have good leadership without good followership.
If you're not sure what your supervisor expects of you, here are some universal truths that should help you make sure you pass muster, no matter how long you've been on the job.
One of the biggest things you can do to correct confirmation bias is to try to disprove your theories instead of trying to prove them. It seems it is human nature to stop working once you have proven your theory to your own satisfaction.
If you are a "cup is half full" person, then having the right perspective, attitude, and imagination can conquer the frustration of an ever-shrinking budget. It is possible to still make things happen.
I have found there are three essential characteristics that are common to all outstanding LEOs: having curiosity, maintaining a sense of urgency, and having a thirst for knowledge. It's easy to remember the three if you use the acronym "CUT."
It only makes sense that local law enforcement should help find ways to help motorcycle enthusiasts, even veteran riders, ride more safely. The only viable option most law enforcement agencies can help with outside of traffic enforcement is rider education.
My agency recently presented an in-service training program on how to handle vehicle ambushes. We tackled the issue by focusing on the only three possible options available when attacked in your vehicle: retreat, run the suspect over, or get out and fight.
If you don't work to maintain a healthy mind, you will lose a running battle with things like memory, stress, and empathy, which are all important for a law enforcement officer's daily routine.
Can we ever stop law enforcement officers from being killed? I don't think so, but we don't have to make it any easier for it to happen either. There are things we should be doing that are well within our reach, but we don't.
I work with some highly recognized homicide detectives who have provided tips that could help detectives and patrol officers alike. The following bits of wisdom apply to all investigations, regardless of the nature of the crime or who is investigating.
For us, the purpose of MTC is stop the threat, deny the suspect movement, deny an advantageous tactical position, or collect information to be used in critical next-step decision-making.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes it very clear that hearing impaired people are entitled to the same level of service from law enforcement officers as anyone else. So it's your job to accommodate people with hearing loss.
The reactionary gap is the distance you must keep between you and the suspect in order for you to respond to any sudden threat. That distance tends to be six to nine feet if you can see the suspect's hands, and 25 feet if you can't. The danger zone is anywhere inside the reactionary gap.
There is an old saying that says in order to receive, you must first give. Giving back to the community is critical if you want its help. The key to getting the community to help you revolves around your getting involved with the community.
I have created a list of items that I've found useful over the years. I recommend you use it to start or perhaps update your own list. Then make sure you carry everything you've decided you need in your squad.
As for responding officers, the question for us becomes twofold. First, do we appreciate the importance of CSI's role and, second (oftentimes more important), do we appreciate the importance of our own role in crime scene handling and processing?