Nowhere in your oath of office did it say, “I will recklessly endanger myself and expose myself to unnecessary risk possibly getting myself killed or seriously injured for the citizens of my city.”
Or promising yourself – hey, Hey, HEY!, “Let’s me careful out there” as the old Sarge used to say in Hill Street Blues. Then leaving the safety of the station, letting your adrenalin fueled lizard brain make stupid tactical decisions, drive too fast, ignore danger signs, foolishly rush in to dangerous situations and expose your butt or other law enforcement officers to unnecessary risk.
Promise Me and Yourself
That you’ll train hard, equip the best you can, operate tactically, drive safely and go home at the end of your shift. Promise me if you’re knocked down you’ll fight your way back up. If you see the danger signs – you’ll act decisively and aggressively to control the suspect. If you’re shot you’ll keep fighting. That you’ll always fight back and never, ever give in.
If you’re a supervisor promise me you’ll look out for your troops, hold them to a high standard to ensure their safety and survival, support and defend them when they’re in the right. Show them the way. Lead by example by being tactically sound and proficient in your skills.
Don’t be like millions of dieters who make a promise to themselves to lose weight and lack the discipline to maintain. Knuckle down and do it, I know you can!
Oaths, promises or vows are only words if the person saying them has no honor and integrity. Officer survival oaths and promises must be made and maintained through a lifetime in law enforcement. You must promise and keep your word; your life depends on it.
Here’s my promise to you if you take such an oath you’ll immediately benefit and if your officer survival oath leads to saving your life and we meet in person, let me know and I’ll buy you a cup of coffee and a donut – that’s a promise I’ll gladly make.
About The Author:
Kevin Davis is a full-time officer assigned to the training bureau where he specializes in use of force, firearms and tactical training. With over 23 years in law enforcement, his previous experience includes patrol, corrections, narcotics and he is a former team leader and lead instructor for his agency's SWAT team with over 500 call-outs in tactical operations.