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”

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”

The commute game: A powerful tool for passing FTO

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”

Be a White Belt: The Secret to Success for FTO and Life

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”

Cops and the Power Trip: Facts and Fallacies

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”

Ground Fighting Training and Law Enforcement

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”

Law Enforcement and the Criminal Justice Degree

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”

Naked guy and the Transderivational, say what??

Have you ever seen a cop performing a pat search of a suspect and heard them asking crazy or stupid questions about whether the person being searched has any rocket propelled grenades, nuclear submarines or kilos of crack cocaine? The term for it is a mouthful…the Transderivational search. The point is to basically dazzle the subject with your babbling bullshit, so they are too busy thinking about what you are saying and are NOT thinking about punching you in your favorite face. This is the story of one such time… Continue reading “Naked guy and the Transderivational, say what??”

Your secret weapon: The Two most effective tools in Policing!

So you have applied to be an officer. Are you feeling overwhelmed yet? There is so much information out there…and worse, misinformation. With all this talk about martial arts, defensive tactics, guns, batons, what to say, what not to say…it can be overwhelming! Fear not, I am about to reveal never before heard secrets of the most powerful tools in policing! Okay maybe not never before heard, but at least underappreciated. Continue reading “Your secret weapon: The Two most effective tools in Policing!”

Q&A: What is the best Martial Art for Law Enforcement?

I received a message from a reader stating, What form of martial art would you recommend for Police? I go to the academy in about 6 months. Being a total DT Dork who has practiced martial arts off and on my entire life, this is a topic I LOVE to talk about! Over the years I have picked up FOUR very important facts as they relate to martial arts and Law Enforcement. Continue reading “Q&A: What is the best Martial Art for Law Enforcement?”