Community: Our Brothers. Our Sisters. And our Citizens.

Due to the vagaries of print production for a magazine, quite often what you read has been prepared / written as much as six to ten weeks before it gets delivered to you. In the case of this column, as I sit to type it, we’re in the last third of April and some states are just beginning to discuss how they are going to lift restrictions that were put into effect to fight the spread of the Novel Coronavirus. Events have been cancelled for months to come and the one that impacts us most is Police Week. 

While the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund, which runs the memorial and the museum and hosts the Candlelight Vigil each year, obviously made what they felt to be the most responsible decision, that’s of little comfort to those who look forward to the event each year. Some go to visit with law enforcement brothers and sisters that they only see during that week. Some make their first pilgrimage to the Memorial and to Tent City. Some haven’t been in a while and would be making up lost time. All show up to mourn the fallen, offer our condolences and emotional support to the surviving family members and to recharge the emotional batteries that fuel us as we serve our communities. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a criticism of the Memorial fund. It’s meant to remind you that we all remain together in spirit, even if we couldn’t be together in person. We remain one family and the surviving family members of the fallen are our family. Most especially for those of you local to the survivors, make it a point to reach out to them; insure they feel the emotional support that we all draw from one another. Remember the fallen; honor them. Do so by training harder, being mindful of your tactics and going home at the end of your shift. (Editor’s Note: the Candlelight Vigil was streamed online the evening of May 13.)

In the LET June/July 2020 issue

We dedicated a page in this issue to the immediate responder as related to active shooter / active killer response. These articles focus on the person in the room at the time the attack started; the person who had the courage to counter attack, to defend others and to seek an immediate end to the threat. While we, as first responders, often think about ourselves as the first into harm’s way, we’ve come to realize that we’re not. Those in the room - the potential victims - they are the first on scene because they’re part of it. They are the immediate responders. We’ve seen how they can quickly and decisively end an attack (one shot to the head in a church in Texas worked pretty well), or how they can at least interrupt / distract the attacker long enough for law enforcement to intervene. Kudos to the teacher at Great Mills High School.

In a lot of what we do as law enforcement professionals, we tend to think about our job as “us and them.” No, the “them” isn’t everyone else, but is usually the criminal element. I mean, we don’t have to protect ourselves from the law abiding citizen. They are not a threat to us or anyone else. The only thing we have to be careful of with the law-abiding is miscommunication. Words have meaning. Inflection. Tone. Body language. As with everything else we do, we need to pay attention and work to ensure our messages to our community are received as they are meant.

But the “them,” the criminal element, we need to make it a point to team with everyone else NOT “them” to defeat “them.” We need to embrace the good people in the communities we serve and work together on communication and response skills. We need to empower our community to defend itself and assure all that we will not pursue needless prosecutions. Wearing a uniform, adorned with a badge, and backed by the oath we all took makes us (or should) leaders in the “good guy” community. One of the leader’s primary functions is clear communication. To communicate, first we have to open the door to the conversation. Have we done that? Have you?

Stay safe, brothers and sisters. Until next issue.   

About the Author

Lt. Frank Borelli (ret), Editorial Director | Editorial Director

Lt. Frank Borelli is the Editorial Director for the Officer Media Group. Frank brings 20+ years of writing and editing experience in addition to 40 years of law enforcement operations, administration and training experience to the team.

Frank has had numerous books published which are available on,, and other major retail outlets.

If you have any comments or questions, you can contact him via email at [email protected].

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