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Dave Smith: Who is That?

Dave Smith: Who is That?

If you don't recognize the out-of-shape version of yourself in the mirror, it's time to make some changes to improve your health.

March 30, 2020

Fire Nobody!

Fire Nobody!

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.

August 4, 2013

You Said What?

You Said What?

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!"

March 12, 2013

Myths Die Hard

Myths Die Hard

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.

February 8, 2013

The Dose Makes the Poison

The Dose Makes the Poison

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.

August 22, 2012

Realistic Optimism

Realistic Optimism

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.

July 10, 2012

Take Time to Play

Take Time to Play

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.

June 8, 2012

Trapped on an Escalator

Trapped on an Escalator

Your "locus of control" is your sense of controlling your own future, your own happiness, your own life. Too often people blame the commander, the sergeant, the department, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a husband, a wife, or a partner, maybe even all eight of them for their unhappiness or unfilled dreams.

May 8, 2012

The Checklist

The Checklist

I was recently reading how more and more professions are turning to checklists to improve safety. I have been advocating just this kind of practice for law enforcement for decades.

March 12, 2012

The Rest Stop

The Rest Stop

I'd like to take a minute to ponder one of the issues that remains an unspoken truth about our natures and at the same time can dominate our attention with great urgency. That is the need for the human body to process waste.

January 13, 2012

Your Just Deserts

Your Just Deserts

As a student of human performance I am always amazed at the way we pay lip service to the winning mindset. It seems we think that if we just say this or that to ourselves, or visualize ourselves doing this or that, we will become winners. Simple, right? Wrong.

December 6, 2011

Responding to a Code Z

Responding to a Code Z

A plethora of TV shows, movies, and novels explore all types of the undead or living dead. Future generations will no doubt attribute this fixation to one or another of our social ills, and one certainly has to admit that there must be some strange social collective fear that has made these critters the subject of so much attention.

November 14, 2011

DVR Dreams

DVR Dreams

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.

August 16, 2011

Stay Refreshed

Stay Refreshed

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.

June 9, 2011

The Hole

The Hole

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.

May 4, 2011

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