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”

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)”

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”

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”

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”