New graduates from the police academy are very well equipped to handle a masked criminal climbing out a bedroom window with a pillowcase full of loot over his shoulder or a felony stop of a stolen vehicle. Graduates can usually recite the elements of a crime and are up to date on all the latest case law and patrol tactics. What the academy does NOT prepare a new officer for is also one of the most frequently dealt with incidents…the infamous civil problem.
FTO can be an extremely stressful time in a young officer’s career. Most law enforcement academies could easily be twice as long as they are and still only begin to scratch the surface of what an officer should know. After the Academy the FNG is supposed to be able to seamlessly recite off the elements of a crime, know the best tactical way to handle a situation, have excellent radio traffic, know where you are at all times and be able to provide a detailed description of a suspect or vehicle. Continue reading “The commute game: A powerful tool for passing FTO”
Are you looking for a career in law enforcement, but aren’t sure whether it’s a good fit for you? Maybe you have always wanted to be a cop, but were one of those people who were smart enough to get a good paying job and now can’t afford the pay cut? Or maybe you are looking to find a way to get hired at your dream department and want to get an inside edge? Luckily for you, there is a little known solution for all of these. The Police Reserve Officer. Continue reading “Reserve Officers: The best kept secret in law enforcement”
Allegations of excessive force and “police brutality” are at an all time high in America right now. This leads many officers to fall into a trap that makes it MORE likely they will receive an excessive force complaint. As a Defensive Tactics and Use of Force instructor for my department, I see a lot of use of force reports. I feel there are three factors that will greatly affect the outcome of an officer’s use of force complaints. Continue reading “Three Tactics to Avoid Excessive Force Complaints”
Did you know law enforcement vehicles have amazing magical powers? Read on to find out about the previously unknown mystical powers of cop cars.
I was having a discussion with a mutual friend recently when the topic of speeding came up. I was asked about my take on how fast she could go before getting pulled over. Like most law enforcement questions, it’s all about the adult diapers… You know… ‘Depends?’
While the answer to how fast you are able to go depends, there is one factor that never changes. Continue reading “The Magical Power of Cop Cars… “
Yesterday, I was reading an excellent post by Donut County Cop regarding Police Body Cams. This led me to think about my department’s use of body cameras…or our lack of use of them. There are many factors about the body cam that most people don’t think about. Citizens seem to believe the body cam is some sort of mythical piece of equipment that will solve all the world’s problems. As Donut County Cop showed in his post, this is not the case. In addition…what do you know about who gets to access to police body cams footage? Continue reading “Police Body Cams and Privacy”
Field Training Officer training (FTO) is an extremely stressful and difficult time in a young officer’s career. FTO is typically where department’s will weed out those who may not be cut out for a career in law enforcement. Following these simple white belt tips can increase your chance of success while on FTO…and life!
Nobody has ever accused me of being the smartest or strongest guy out there. Physically, I am not gifted with the superior genes of an athlete. Nor am I the most talented at the things I undertake. Regardless of these unfortunate facts, I tend to be extremely successful when I train, attend education, perform physical feats or perform at work. If it isn’t because of any natural talent, how do I do it? I have learned one very important skill in life…How to be a Lifelong White Belt. Continue reading “Be a White Belt: The Secret to Success for FTO and Life”
I was recently having a discussion with a friend from high school who did not know I had gone into law enforcement. He commented that he was glad to hear it did not seem like I had a “Power Trip” the way many cops do. This got me thinking. As a law enforcement officer, do I feel there are many cops who are on a power trip? After thinking about it, I realized the answer is…No. Of course there is the rare, “You will respect my authority” type people…every department has that one guy who makes everyone else roll their eyes. No…Cops, do not have a power trip, but it is very easy to understand why people would feel that way. Let me explain… Continue reading “Cops and the Power Trip: Facts and Fallacies”
I previously wrote two posts about the importance of defensive tactics training for law enforcement and providing my opinion regarding the best martial art for police to offset their defensive tactics training. There are many factors to consider when seeking training outside of department approved defensive tactics. Some of these factors include reducing training scars from sport related or traditional martial arts that may not be well suited to law enforcement duties. Regardless of what style you choose (and something is better than nothing), the one thing you absolutely cannot neglect is ground fighting. I personally feel any personal martial arts training or law enforcement defensive tactics training that fails to include ground work is negligent. It is just THAT important for police. Continue reading “Ground Fighting Training and Law Enforcement”
One of the most commonly asked questions is, “What should I go to school for? Do I need a degree in criminal justice?” On the surface the answer is, “No.” But…it can also be yes. Let me explain what education really means when pursuing that career in corrections or law enforcement! Many criminal justice programs make it sound like not only do you need a degree in CJ to be hired, but that getting said degree somehow mystically bestows upon you the knowledge and experience to instantly fight crime and leap buildings in a single bound. Continue reading “Law Enforcement and the Criminal Justice Degree”