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”

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”

Christmas on Patrol: Carving turkey and stabbing boyfriends

This is a post, I intended to write before Christmas. After visiting family, eating my bodyweight in holiday pie and slipping in and out of a tryptophan induced coma, it has been somewhat delayed. You know what they say…better late than never!

The Christmas holiday season is a time of giving thanks and spending time with your family. It means meeting with family you only see once or twice a year and enjoying a turkey drumstick, stockings full of goodies and the magical twinkle of Christmas tree lights…and maybe using the serving fork to stab your boyfriend during a Christmas domestic! Continue reading “Christmas on Patrol: Carving turkey and stabbing boyfriends”

The civil problem: What to do when it isn’t criminal

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.

Continue reading “The civil problem: What to do when it isn’t criminal”

Three Tactics to Avoid Excessive Force Complaints

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”

The Magical Power of Cop Cars… 

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… “

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”

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”

Q&A: Academic Failures in the Police Academy

Recently, I was contacted by Frank who wanted to know about any tips I had on passing the Police Academy. Frank said:

I saw your post on officer.com and it seemed to somewhat relate to what I’m going through to an extent. I was in the academy for about 3 months. Continue reading “Q&A: Academic Failures in the Police Academy”