When someone does something extraordinary or ‘above and beyond,’ they like to be acknowledged for that accomplishment. I guess it’s human nature. Having said that, there are times when it goes too far.
If you have been in law enforcement long enough, you have probably been in the news for something. It may be for solving a case or volunteer work in your community. You may have been promoted and the department has the local news do a story on your promotion.
I don’t see anything wrong with that. It’s great PR for the department and will, most likely, help with community relations. Stories of officers volunteering in their communities can certainly bridge gaps which may exist within their area.
Unfortunately, all too often, people get caught-up in their own perceived celebrity.
Their head swells and being the center of attention becomes their drug. Like an addict needs a needle, the show-off needs an audience. They love to see their own name in print. They may be in a position to put themselves out there as well (like the chief, for example).
I call them, ‘Camera-Hogs.’
The Camera-Hog will take advantage of every opportunity to put their face or name out on social media or in a press release. I’m not including the department’s public information officer (PIO); that is their job.
The ones I refer to are those who go out of their way to make sure they are noticed. They will make every effort to put themselves right in front of the cameras. These attention seekers are doing the job for the wrong reasons.
You shouldn’t be doing this job for fortune and fame.
If some notoriety comes your way then take it graciously. Be professional – ‘run the bases, but don’t watch the ball leave the park.’ Stay humble and carry on with the mission at hand. You and your family can be proud of that.
In this day and age, cameras and video are EVERYWHERE.
There is an above-average chance you will eventually make the news – good or bad. The internet probably has more information on you than you realize. I can search my name and numerous articles will appear for things I have been involved in during my career.
When you get recognized, stay grounded. Don’t let your ‘15 minutes’ turn you into a prima-donna. Stop looking over your shoulder for a pat on the back. You are missing what’s right in front of you: reality.
Now, don’t get me wrong.
Be proud if you did something amazing. You deserve it. But, don’t chase the headlines. Always do the right thing, even when nobody is looking. That’s called integrity, my friends.
You don’t need to see your name on the marquee to know you are a star.
“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “
We couldn’t agree more.
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