I initially started this blog for the purpose of discussing all things police: the impossible positions officers are put in daily, the compromising positions they often put themselves in, and the giant black cloud that a few give to many. I admit that while police topics have been on the forefront while finishing my master’s degree in Justice Administration, I continue to provide workplace violence prevention techniques and safety tips. I have also written about active-shooter incidents through personal encounters as a police officer. Surviving incidents such as these are more common than not and few can understand that other than police who have been shot directly. It has happened to me three times in the line of duty within the City of McKinney. One time while on the swat team near the soccer fields, one time on patrol during New Years Eve, and the other while responding to the active-shooter at the police department. So much for the “third times a charm” theory… The frequency of these events get little media coverage because most survive because of quality training and the calculation of risk necessary to get through the day.
I continue to read, watch, and hear about the public corruption that fills the news waves and articles regarding officers who seem to self inflict this image on others. Sometimes the cause is lazy investigative procedures and others poor personal choices. The worst of them all however are the ones where no other choice but the one made by an individual police officer triggering a critical incident in split second. These are the worst because normally, they are unpreventable and no matter the decision, the end never comes out with a positive effect of the police. Less the officer themselves and the trauma the news puts on top of their shoulders and the agencies as well. It tends to reflect poorly on all police for what seems like forever. There will be several incidents I include in the next edition of this very type of no win situation as well as self-inflicted problems by individual police officers.
The obvious reason for the last one ranking in first place is because there are so many times officers finding themselves in near impossible situations. As stated before, no matter the outcome, the officer’s actions will be viewed as inappropriate. Sometimes one side will look favorably and then the door for debate opens up. The fact is far too often, the door is opened because neither side can see a positive from one officer’s actions.
The arbitration of civil disputes is not something an officer can learn in the police academy. It is the same principle that criminals don’t walk around with signs of intent. These lessons come from tried and true practices and self-moral compass direction. The dynamics of an individual officers psyche is difficult to determine how they will be once they become “hardened” by the streets. It is street learned hard lessons that build an officers knowledge base of how to handle situations while attempting to survive daily.
For this edition, I will leave you considering what some of these types of lessons and attributes could come from the line of work…
As always, thank you for reading and check back soon for the continuation of this topic.