Why other States need to be like California 

Okay first of all, I never thought I would ever say anything like that, let alone put it in writing. After conducting research into the topic however, I realized it no longer applied either. The title should be more accurately called, “Why other States need to be like California USED to be.” Why would other states ever want to emulate the People’s Republic of California? Let me elaborate. Continue reading “Why other States need to be like California “

How NOT to Make Friends and Influence Dispatch 

Have you ever read the Book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie? If you haven’t, I STRONGLY recommend that you do. Not because it will make you a better cop (though of course it will), but because it will make you a better human being.

Despite having read this book a few times and considering myself a pretty good communicator, I’m going to relay a story about how to NOT win friends or influence people.. Especially with your dispatcher. Continue reading “How NOT to Make Friends and Influence Dispatch “

The #1 Stress in Law Enforcement and How to Mitigate It

Nobody will argue that criminal justice professionals face unique challenges and stress associated with the job.  Things like shift work, missing holidays and family events, the physical effects of the hypervigilance rollercoaster, the danger of being assaulted, killed in a car accident, being forced to utilize force (and the resulting political fallout), and of course the possibility of being murdered just for wearing a uniform and many many more, are obvious realities.  I previously wrote about some of the things that can be done to combat stress in law enforcement, but right now, I want to focus on what I feel is the number one stress in law enforcement: Continue reading “The #1 Stress in Law Enforcement and How to Mitigate It”

Fear, Anger & Animals Wearing People Costumes

Fear is an understandable human emotion when faced with danger. Of course there are different forms of danger out there.  Unfortunately our bodies tend to be wired for the imminent danger of being gobbled up by a Sabertooth Tiger and biologically we are predisposed to the “Fight, Flight or Freeze” response.  This flooding of chemicals and hormones into our system is great when we need to run away from a predator or fight off a fellow caveman for scarce resources.  It isn’t great when this biological response causes us to literally become dumber.  There is lots of research out there regarding the effects of stress hormones and adrenaline on cognitive functions.  What does this mean for law enforcement? Continue reading “Fear, Anger & Animals Wearing People Costumes”

Five Post Officer Involved Shooting Considerations

According to a study cited by Law Officer Magazine, more than 80% of the population believes the average officer has been involved in at least one shooting in their career. In reality, the true number is roughly 27% of officers have EVER fired their weapon outside of the range. Without seeing the raw data, I don’t know if that covers having to put down injured animals. I know I have probably killed more deer than most hunters.

Regardless of the numbers, all law enforcement officers have to live by the adage, “Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.” Continue reading “Five Post Officer Involved Shooting Considerations”

Responding to Police Use of Force Misinformation

A few months ago, I read the article: What Ever Happened to the Police Baton? The author contends it is unreasonable for police officer’s to use lethal force against suspects armed with knives. Instead he feels when faced with a knife wielding suspect, law enforcement should instead attempt to subdue the suspect using nothing more than a baton. This is something I have a serious problem with and wrote a detailed reply to the post and copied it here: Continue reading “Responding to Police Use of Force Misinformation”

The New Officer’s Guide to Handling Stress

Handling stress in law enforcement is critical. There is no quicker way to achieve burnout and get fired or sued than by failing to manage stress. Here are some of the tips, I give new officers for dealing with the stress associated with working the road.

First is that you should already have an innate ability to handle stress. High strung people who don’t handle stress well don’t make good cops and they rarely last long. The repetitive crushing weight of the horrors seen day in and day out wear them out quicker than those who already come to the table with excellent coping skills. Be honest in your self assessment of how you handle stress. If you feel your coping skills may need a boost, don’t worry! There are lots of things you can do to help.

Continue reading “The New Officer’s Guide to Handling Stress”

Patrol Rifle: Personal or Dept Issued?

There is no quicker way to drop a small nuke among a group of law enforcement officers than to bring up the “best” patrol rifle. It is like asking a bodybuilding forum what protein powder is best. Scroll through any law enforcement forum or magazine and you will see a wide variety of discussions on law enforcement patrol rifles. “Gun guys” will discuss at nauseum what caliber, brand or configuration is best. I’m not going to attempt to recreate these discussions. Instead I want to focus on a decision that many new officer’s will face upon leaving the academy and starting their career on the road. Whether to carry a department issued or personally owned patrol rifle? Continue reading “Patrol Rifle: Personal or Dept Issued?”

Midget Ninja Strippers & Improvised Weapons (Part 2)

In part 1 of the Midget Ninja stripper tale, I described the amazing domestic disturbance between 6’3″ Cameron and “Desarae,” his unusually violent, diminutive, stripper girlfriend. My rider and I were greatly amused by the unusual situation and the mishmash of stereotypes. Usually the tale would end there and these two amazing individuals would be relegated to a funny story and a report sent to the Prosecutor’s office for charges. The “fire and forget” report was not to happening that night however. Desarae was not done with her short, but powerful reign of terror! Continue reading “Midget Ninja Strippers & Improvised Weapons (Part 2)”

Midget Ninja Strippers & Improvised Weapons (Part 1)

Working patrol almost guarantees an officer will eventually become jaded. Calls that amuse, annoy or amaze you as a new officer simply become “Tuesday” after a few years on the job. The bar gets higher and higher before it becomes something that stands out in your mind. One of the quickest ways to realize this is to have a Ride along with you during your shift. Riders are like having children. Sometimes Riders can remind you just how amazing and hilarious the job is when seen from an outside perspective. One of my riders learned two very valuable lessons during one of these forays… Continue reading “Midget Ninja Strippers & Improvised Weapons (Part 1)”