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Cops and Psychology

Cops and Psychology

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.

June 12, 2013

The P-Word

The P-Word

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.

May 14, 2013

Instilling Positive Expectations

Instilling Positive Expectations

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.

April 3, 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

Code Three Syndrome

Code Three Syndrome

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.

December 18, 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

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

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

Illusion of Confidence

Illusion of Confidence

The scary part is when we ourselves are confidently wrong we're completely oblivious to it.

October 31, 2010

Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive Dissonance

I focused on several likely hiding places: a container of Comet cleanser, filled with just cleanser; a PVC piece of pipe—only a bomb; a box of "SOS" pads....wait a minute!

March 11, 2010

Bad Habits

Bad Habits

Every time someone tries to kick our butts and we have him fully subdued and cuffed and searched we should look deeply into his eyes and say, "Thanks, I needed that!"

October 14, 2009

The Marathon

The Marathon

An elderly woman passed us rather crisply and we were aghast to read the back of her shirt: "I'm 65 and a grandmother, but I'm ahead of YOU!"

May 1, 2009

You Bet Your Badge

You Bet Your Badge

One of the strangest things we do in our crime fighting career is play a strange game I like to call, "You Bet Your Badge." Having the thrill of that badge being pinned to your chest instantly enters you in the game where things you do and say can cause that wonderfully important piece of metal to be removed.

March 1, 2009

Going the Wrong Way

Going the Wrong Way

The really great thing about a career in law enforcement is all the exciting and wonderful experiences we get to have. Using Oscar Wilde's definition of "experience" as the name we give our mistakes, I have had a lot of "experiences."

March 1, 2008

Generation What?

OK, I confess. I used to teach how to train the "new generation." You older cops know who I’m talking about: frankly, the generation not as good as ours.

October 1, 2006