This Is What Loyalty Is Not:
Loyalty is does not include turning a blind eye to really bad behavior.
Loyalty does not include condoning (whether expressly or tacitly) a fellow officer's actions when he dishonors his country, his family or the badge.
Loyalty does not include lying. OK, there can be a fine line between putting a positive spin on the facts and stretching that into a lie. I suspect you were taught the difference between right and wrong as a kid. Rely on your instincts. Too often, some grunt cop is caught up in a lie during an IA investigation. It costs him his career. The action in question would have only resulted in discipline; lying brought an untimely end to the career.
Giving a fellow cop a pass when he should have gotten a rap in the back of the head is being disloyal (in this humble writer's opinion). When we commit to care for each other, that commitment includes compassionate correction - or counsel, when the situation calls for it.
Let's get this out of the way right now. Many of us (I'm one) often think and acts as though LOVE is synonymous with sex or romance. Negative. Consider how you feel about your mother, your sister or your daughter. There. Now you've got it. With this issue is out of the way, I will move on.
I learned this many years ago from a very wise man: "LOVE IS A DECISION."
Love is an action. Love is a verb. Love causes me to put the needs of another person ahead of my own.
These next words come from a cop with great insight and wisdom: We (referring to cops) often scrap and fight. Often, we don't even like one another. Yet, we love each other so deeply that any one of us would give his life for a brother cop without a moment's hesitation. Amen.
Love can only be directed at a person. Love shows itself in an ongoing display of compassion and concern for one another. Love is the action that is based upon the philosophical commitment to be loyal.
Recently, I called a buddy with whom I went through the academy. In response to my first inquiry about how he was doing, he replied: "just so-so." I knew something was wrong right out-of-the-chute. I turned out that one of the senior guys he works with had just committed suicide. The guy's wife told him she wanted a divorce. He went off the deep-end and was gone within a few hours.
Though busy with my own stuff, I gave my pal what he needed: a quiet ear (or two). Oh, how I wanted to talk. I wanted to interrupt and try to fix it. But, with great effort, I held my tongue. He needed someone to LISTEN. I provided it.
I recently completed training about 60 cops in a rural Michigan county on the subject of improving officer safety in conjunction with using technology. I told some very personal stories that were self-revealing during the class. I shared a letter from a 13 year old girl to her fallen Dad - it was left at The Wall during Police Week.
At the end of the class, a few of these tough cops were in tears. Two hugged me as they left the room.
Giving your partner a pat on the back for a job well done will not diminish the shine on your own star. If anything, your gloss will be greater than before. There will be two winners out of the experience.
Make the decision to love. Let your partner pick the lunch spot. When you know he is facing a big project at home on your days off, offer to help. When you finish a shift, pick out something that he did particularly well and compliment him on it.
The message is simple: It is the little stuff that counts. The big events will probably take care of themselves. Show your love through your actions every day. It costs nothing, yet means the world to those who receive it.
Can you remember when one of the guys on your crew was in a financial squeeze? Maybe it was nothing terribly serious, but having enough money for lunch might have been difficult. Suppose, just suppose that somehow that officer discovered a forgotten $20 bill in his jacket pocket or inside his clipboard? He does not ever need to know where it came from.