Because I know the value of a dollar. I know what it means to lose investors' retirement money, or the money for their children's education, and I will never let that happen again."
As he said this, his body didn't shift and he looked her steadily in the eye. He also got the job.
Street credibility may not equal courtroom credibility.
In street confrontations, officers often need:
- Command presence
- Quick decisiveness
- Warrior mind and spirit
But warriors also know the power of humility. Humility is freedom from pride and arrogance. It's an understanding that you are not above or more important than anyone else. Robert Peele, the father of modern policing, understood this power when he said:
The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
Officers sometimes mistakenly think being decisive means they can't admit mistakes or uncertainty. In the courtroom arena, there is power in looking a jury in the eyes and admitting,
- I made a mistake,
- I don't know, or
- I don't think I'm qualified to answer that.”
Discover what you need to be in court.
Officers need to be flexible and innovative in response to the unpredictable and varying challenges of street confrontations. The same is true of the courtroom arena.
A firm, commanding, authoritarian presence that is effective on the street may not be nearly as credible in court as an open, thoughtful, considerate, humble one.
Life requires a spectrum of self-expressions. So does policing. Think ahead about what 3 words a jury might use in describing you as a credible witness - or not.