Like so much in LE today, agencies don't want (to paraphrase Churchill) rough men ready in the night to visit violence on those that would do us harm. Some agencies don't want aggressive cops (heck they screen out aggression in candidates), they write 22 page policies on use of force that only seek to restrict and micromanage force applications. Some administrators second guess, assume something went wrong and then circle the wagons when a good cop uses his firearm and stops an evildoer from killing. Other agencies approach the training of their own cops as a mandated nuisance instead of the means by which their officers, who they are responsible for, will use to stop violent criminal actions against themselves or the public they serve. Chief, exactly how much would it cost to bury one of your officers or incarcerate a cop killer for life?
And you, what of your preparations for the battle? There's evil out there and evil people you may encounter. What have you done to prepare? Thrown a punch in training lately? Practiced your baton swing or pistol presentation from the holster outside of official in-service training lately? I will tell you that you will do on the street: as you have trained to do - period. The rule is then to train like your life depends on it... because it does.
I don't give a rat's derriere what motivates men like Thompson and Van der Sloot; that's for some shrink to guess. It's enough for me that we caught and prosecuted and will hopefully one day execute them for their actions. I can be relatively sure that while awaiting the short walk to the death chamber that they will not kill again (corrections officers watch your butts). I can't do anything about the evil in men's hearts or their capacity to commit evil acts. I can only remember to keep my white hat looking sharp as well as my skills and capacity to use violence to stop and control them. Yeah, I'll call it evil and train to defeat it.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, comfort me.
Because Praise be to the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. Psalm 144
This column is dedicated to Officer Joshua Miktarian, Badge #45 of the Twinsburg Police Department his family, friends and fellow Officers and all our fallen Brothers and Sisters before and since.