Officers need to realize there's more to training than simply showing up and going through the motions. Too often, officers arrive at training without the proper frame of mind. Even before they've finished their coffee, they're wondering (either internally or aloud) when the class will break for lunch. After returning from lunch, these officers start looking at the clock and hoping the training will conclude before the designated time.
Remember how exciting it was to be a new officer and actually get paid to participate in firearms or defensive tactics training? I bet most of us would have done it for free! What happened?
The next time you're training in defensive tactics, envision being in a fight with a suspect. Don't hold back! Deliver each strike with the intent of stopping a suspect who is assaulting you. If you're training with this kind of intensity, it will be apparent to you and anyone else present. Even if you're in good shape, It won't take long to work up a good sweat and become short of breath.
I challenge you to learn or improve upon at least one technique or concept from each training session. Even if the material presented is something that you've been taught dozens of times before, there is always room for improvement. A seemingly minor detail could be critical to the successful application of a particular technique.
On the street, treat each alarm call or 9-1-1 call as if it were the "real deal." You know as well as I do there's a good chance the alarm was activated unintentionally by an employee, and that the 9-1-1 call was the result of a child playing with the phone. However, by treating each call as if it could be your last, you are reinforcing appropriate officer safety practices. Then when you respond to the 9-1-1 call that was (unbeknownst to you) made in reference to a man with a gun; you will simply approach the situation as you would any other--safely!
As you're strapping on your vest and duty belt in preparation for your next shift, remind yourself that today could be the day that your skills are put to the ultimate test. If you're not involved in a critical incident during this shift, be grateful that you've been given one more day to prepare!
Train hard. Stay safe!