Any cop who has ever worked for me knows the two core concepts that make up my fundamental philosophy on policing. I make sure and express this philosophy to every new cop who has ever come to my shift since I became a supervisor over 15 years ago.
My philosophy is simple: use common sense and good faith when doing the job.
In my experience, using a common sense approach to making decisions and problem-solving is always a good thing. And as far as good faith is concerned, well, it should go without saying that making a genuine effort to obtain a fair and just outcome is undoubtedly the right thing to do.
When integrated into any legitimate policing philosophy, applying common sense and good faith will invariably lead to the best possible result. How could it not?
USING COMMON SENSE and good faith when on the job will, at the very least, guarantee a reasonable response to problems and challenges faced by cops every day. And in this job, sometimes that’s the best you can do. A good cop is fair, uses sound judgment, and acts sensibly, which is to say a good cop is reasonable.
By handling the day to day business of policing reasonably, cops earn credibility with the public. Credibility is one of those qualities that is hard to earn and easy to lose. On a side note, I also believe credibility goes hand-in-hand with leadership, but that is another story altogether.
It is important to understand that we have no control over what the public thinks or says about our credibility, and now more than ever, cops are being painted with a very broad brush. We could do the job impeccably for 20 years, and then some cop in a little town that most people never knew existed makes a wrong decision, and we all feel the public’s perceived sense of indignation.
Still, we do have control over how we conduct ourselves when dealing with the public. Regardless of what is happening around the world, if we carry ourselves as reasonable law enforcement professionals, the public will ultimately come to the decision that we are credible.
Cops are human, and like all humans, we make mistakes.
Cops have to make decisions every day. Some of those decisions have to be made in a split second, while others allow for more time. Mistakes will be made. That is an inescapable part of the job, and an unavoidable part of life.
However, doing the job reasonably, with common sense and good faith at the helm of our thought process, will ensure that we fulfill our duty to uphold the law while maintaining professionalism. We owe this to the public and ourselves as law enforcement professionals.
Our badge is a symbol of public trust, and we should never allow ourselves to forget that.
“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “
We couldn’t agree more.
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To our BROTHERS and SISTERS in BLUE: We have now arrived at the time in the ELECTION SEASON when each of us MUST pay close attention to what candidates are saying. Every person we elect in November can affect our lives as cops. Will we THRIVE, just get by or will we DIE?
- Consider the disaster created in New York by Mayor Bill DiBlasio.
- Look at the number of cops who have been critically injured by the Portland District Attorney, Mike Schmidt.
- We cannot ignore how cops have been blamed for the problems in places like Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Baltimore and other cities where civilization has damned near crumbled.
- Don’t think that school boards are immune. Last Saturday, Steven Lysenko of Spencerport High School, went on a tirade against police officers for targeting protesters in Rochester by yelling, “Fuck the Police!”
- Last, but most important, is the top job: the Presidency. Electing Joe Biden would have a horribly deep, permanent and (in some cases) fatal effect on every cop in the nation.
EVERY ONE OF US MUST PAY ATTENTION AND GET INVOLVED.
OUR LIVES DEPEND ON IT.
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