The Winning Mindset
The Ways of the Warrior
Attitude, not aptitude, will determine altitude.
There are countless examples about the critical role that our mindset and attitudes play in our ultimate success or failure. We have learned how an officer with a driving will to live will survive a critical shooting while others, lacking such mental determination, have died from gunshot wounds that would normally be considered non-life threatening.
It is all about our attitude and our will to win.
So What Is The Problem?
In my earlier days, I worked with a county sheriff where there were also small agencies in a few cities and towns. There was also a state police post. On countless occasions, while handling a situation, the state boys would ride up in a cloud of dust, emerge from their cruisers and act as though they were society's ultimate saviors.
Their attitudes were demeaning to other LEOs who were already on scene.
From our point of view, they looked real pretty in their spiffy, neatly-pressed, color-coordinated uniforms. But, if the media and cameras were not present, the state boys quickly evaporated, leaving the mop-up and report writing to us lesser road-toads.
The unfortunate part (if this was not already bad enough) was that the general public - and yes, the bad guys - picked up on this and used it to taunt us.
Yup, we had knuckleheads in our ranks, too. I remember one time when one of our deputies talked down to a city cop because our authority extended far beyond his. What nonsense. Worse, what a needless whack at the attitudes of two otherwise good officers.
Reserve and auxiliary officers were often treated with egregious disrespect. Too often, career officers treated members of the volunteer ranks as idiots. That often became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
As for security guards - too many cops view them as wannabes. They often get little or no respect. Some cops even treat them with a disdain similar to that handed out to bad guys under arrest.
Frequently, individual officers exude an attitude that says to cops in other agencies, You are OK, but you are not as good as me. Their attitudes about reserves, auxiliaries and security guards are so flagrantly bad that they cannot be printed here.
A scant two years ago, Nicholas Pekearo and Eugene Marshalik were hunted down on the streets of Manhattan and killed in cold blood by an animal whose soul should rot in hell. These two brave men were unarmed NYPD Auxiliary Officers. They were making their contribution to better their community and our country. While I seriously question the notion of wearing a uniform without a gun, that's an issue for another article.
Little more than a month ago, Stephen Johns was gunned down by an 88 year old man. He was providing security for the visitors to the national Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. A friend of mine (who will start the police academy shortly) was Johns' partner, standing just twenty feet away as this brave young man gave his life protecting others.
Law Enforcement Officers across our great land put their lives on the line every day to protect people they don’t even know.
A law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty every 57 hours.
God bless them all.
When we diminish other law enforcement officers - no matter their capacity or assigned task - we empower and embolden those who want to hurt and kill us.
What do these officers have in common?
All of us share a willingness to put our own safety in jeopardy in the protection and defense of others. In most cases, we will be defending people whom we don’t even know.
Aahhh yes: labels. They permeate the world of law enforcement, e.g. chief, captain, lieutenant, sergeant, officer/deputy, reserve and others. Labels can be so very misleading giving status to those who don't deserve it and stealing respect from those who do.