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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

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

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

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 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

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