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On Easter Sunday 1998, I was injured when a suspect ambushed another deputy and myself with an AK-47. In the shooting's aftermath, I considered how I owed my survival to formal and informal training that others had given me.
You know how to respond to a deadly human threat, but you're much more likely to get sick on the job than you are to be shot. Many officers are unaware of these risks. Awareness is the key to prevention. When you know the danger, you can take precautions.
The first year after your academy graduation is critical in building the foundation for the remainder of your career. A great deal of it starts with the personal relationships you build with your peers during your first year on the street.
Although it's often called a bulletproof vest, ballistic armor can't make you invincible. It can, however, save your life should you be shot in the vest. And this is no small thing. Just ask anyone who's lived to tell the tale.
They may seem disorganized, they may act stupid, they may look really young, but they are deadly and cunning as sharks.
Sometimes you can use finesse to gain compliance and stop a situation from escalating into violence.
During this critical period, your agency and your fellow cops are checking you out; make sure they like what they see.