Are You Ready for Summer?

For most people, getting ready for summer means sprucing up the back yard, planning a family vacation, firing up the grill, and getting ready for some outdoor fun! But for the average crimefighter summer means so much more than fun in the sun. Right now...

Keep up on local, national and international news and politics.  Read those crime analysis reports and bulletins.  Get out of your car and into your neighborhoods; talk to people. Cultivate informants, share information with your co-workers and other agencies.  Recognize and accept that this summer may be like no other in our recent history, and cops are going to be right in the middle of it all.  Prepare mentally to truly walk the warrior’s path.

Preparing Tactically:

Temperature fluctuations, sweat and humidity can negatively impact your gear.  This is a good time to inspect ALL of your duty (and off duty) equipment.  Make sure everything fits and replace anything that’s worn beyond repair.  Pay special attention to your body armor; make sure you have good fit and coverage, and don’t be tempted to take out your trauma plate just because it’s hot outside.  Remember that when you go from air conditioning to the outdoor heat not only do you sweat, but so does metal.  Condensation can wreak havoc on your tools, especially on your firearms, so give them a little extra attention. 

Your most important tactical skill is your mindset. Spend some time thinking about how your work day (or night) may change in the summer.  You may be transitioning from a cruiser to a police bike; maybe you spent nine months as a school resource officer and now you’re back in a patrol car.  Depending on where you live you may have tourists, part time officers, or staff shortages to deal with.  Whatever changes await you during the summer, visualize and mentally rehearse for those changes; don’t be caught off guard.

Summer is a great time to be a crimefighter.  Be prepared mentally, physically and tactical to enjoy the adventure, and stay safe!

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About The Author:

Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith is a 29-year veteran of a large suburban Chicago police department. Recently retired as a patrol supervisor, she has held positions in patrol, investigations, narcotics, juvenile, crime prevention and field training. As a sergeant, she supervised her department's K-9 Unit, served as a field training sergeant, recruitment team sergeant, bike patrol coordinator, the Crowd Control Bike Team supervisor, and supervisor of the Community Education/Crime Prevention Unit.

As a patrol sergeant, Betsy served on the Elderly Services Team, the Crisis Intervention Team, and was a supervisory member of the Honor Guard Unit. From 1999 - 2003 Betsy hosted various programs for the Law Enforcement Television Network and served as a content expert.

A graduate of the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety's School of Staff and Command, Betsy writes for numerous law enforcement and government publications including and is a regular columnist for many police websites including Police Link. A content expert and instructor for the Calibre Press "Street Survival" seminar since 2003, Betsy also serves as an on-air commentator and advisor for Police One TV and was a featured character in the Biography Channel’s “Female Forces” reality show. Betsy has been a law enforcement trainer for over 20 years and is a popular keynote speaker at conferences throughout the United States and Canada and beyond.

Betsy is the lead instructor for the Calibre Press “Street Survival for Women” seminar and manages Dave Smith & Associates. Together, Betsy and Dave teach courses through “Winning Mind Seminars,” an Illinois based company. She can be reached through her website at

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