Review with Experts
When policy, SOP’s or whatever collides with officer safety or tactics, there should be a full review with all of the subject matter experts. Call the defensive tactics, firearms and/or academy instructors in to the meeting. Explain the situation fully and allow all views on the topic to be brought to light. Once it can be determined what is the proper response, be sure to educate all there so the truth will come forth. The administrator who was slightly confused could now explain to the community leader why we carry equipment or justify it. It is hard to refute logic.
Some policy and ideals need a logical review as well. I was speaking with a state officer one day and he told me the cold weather story. This agency prides itself in its image, especially their trooper hat. It is what they wear even in frigid cold weather. I asked what about a watch knit cap (skully), my department issues these too. Nope, if the headquarters staff got frostbite on their noggins in the past, we are destined to do it as well. A professional image is one thing we all desire to achieve. But safety and comfort under extreme conditions should be the focus here, not just looking good.
I know that there are some worse horror stories of SOP’s gone wild. Additionally, if you want to write me hate mail, be nice and fully think about what you supporting here. To all administrators, sheriffs, and chiefs; stop and think what is on the books. If you are jeopardizing your officers safety with some silly regulation, recall you are the one that has to go to hospital or give the folded American flag to a weeping family member. Now, explain your rule to a sobbing widow or child who lost a parent. If the rule is that important, I am sure they will understand through their tears of grief.
About The Author:
William L. "Bill" Harvey is a native Virginian. He served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army Military Police Corps. He has a BA in criminology from St. Leo University and is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute of the University of Louisville (103rd AOC). Harvey served for over 23 years with the Savannah (GA) Police Department. He served in field operations, investigations and support services, and completed his career there as the director of training. He has published several articles in professional periodicals and has lectured nationwide. He is serving as a chief of police in central Pennsylvania area; a duty he’s performed for the past nine years. He is on the advisory board of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association and other professional associations.