COP CONSCIENCE

Policing and Trauma: Changing the Culture

Imagine one day you’re at work when, out of nowhere, someone shoots at you. You’re not hit, but the round impacts a filing cabinet behind you with a deafening bang. Now imagine your boss just claps you on the shoulder and says, “Glad you’re okay. Now, shake it off and...

Let’s All Be Firefighters

I watch and like Chicago Fire.   9-1-1 is ok.   Station 19, not so much.   My radio partners are firefighters. One on the job now, one retired. My brother-in-law is a firefighter. And, I even like him. I’ve attended a few trainings with firefighters. Most of them are...

When a Lack of Focus Can Kill Us

Officers are human. Humans make mistakes. Officers must remember to work on themselves. Unfortunately, sometimes we learn the hard way through humiliation. The good news is through humiliation we learn humility. Something I know very well. My story starts as a Chicago...

A Contact Lens for Your Navel

Thinking back to my earlier years, when commenting on a buddy’s screwed-up thinking, I might say something like, “Your head is so far up your butt that you need a contact lens on your navel.” Another classic from the past is, “You are so full of poop that your eyes...

THE BROTHERHOOD: How Much are the Dues for This Club?

I preach this to every academy class of recruits: “You’re joining a Brotherhood.   You have probably received your last traffic ticket.   Most times, when you eat at a restaurant, you won’t pay full price – if anything at all.”  This is always greeted with grins and a...

THE BROTHERHOOD: Have We Lost Our Way?

The word “PATRIOTISM” stirs up deep feelings among some, while eliciting little reaction from others. From Webster’s Dictionary:  PATRIOTISM is a noun, love and loyal or zealous support of one’s own country. This was my dad’s story.  In 1941, at the age of 19 as a...

THE BROTHERHOOD: I Don’t Give a Damn

“The Brotherhood is not like it used to be,” laments one of your buddies over a beer. “We used to get together after the shift for a beer.  We played softball together.  We partied together.  When someone had a big project at home, we all pitched in and helped get it...

Identity Crisis: Are you More Than a Job Title?

When I resigned as a police officer, the most difficult aspects of leaving the job were not the calls or the pay. It wasn’t the driving fast or carrying a gun (I still do both). It sure as hell wasn’t the politics and paperwork. No, the toughest aspects of leaving...

Suicide by Mouse

CAREER SUICIDE, THAT IS  It was in the news. Not national headlines, mind you. But a headline in my world about an agency just down the street from me: Daytona Beach Shores. A cop, a kid by my standards. A 24-year-old cop was fired for being “insensitive” on social...

Cops in Alpharetta, Georgia must be MORONS

HOW DOES SOMEONE BECOME A COP? When agencies are ready for new hires, they work real hard to pick the very best candidate(s) from the available group of applicants. In years past, it was common to have a hundred (or more) applicants for every opening. Sadly, that is...