Law Enforcement News

Law Enforcement and the Survivor’s Mindset


 

My PT instructor at the academy once told us a story about a trainee who was having a moral issue with the idea of shooting another individual, even if that person posed a threat to him. His rationale was that he didn’t “believe his life was worth more than someone else’s.” No joke. Why anyone who thinks this way would apply for a career in law enforcement is beyond me.

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Best ways for LEOs to stay in shape


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One of the most difficult aspects of a career in law enforcement is trying to remain in peak physical condition while also enduring long, exhausting work hours. Shift work itself is often difficult to adjust to. You never know when you might have to work an overnight shift, stay late because your relief isn’t there, or work a double because you caught a significant case at the end of your shift. Combine this with lack of sleep, poor diet, and trying to balance your family or personal life, and it’s easy to see why some officers start getting out of shape over the years.

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Ten things you should know about getting O.C. sprayed


 

Unless you have to be tased at your academy, getting pepper sprayed is probably the worst thing you’ll have to go through. I won’t sugarcoat it. It’s just not a fun experience. Even if you’ve already gone through something like this or CS gas because you’re prior military, there’s just no getting used to it.

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The details of your spray day will vary depending on which agency or department you’re with. Aspects that may vary include the type of substance used, how much is sprayed on your face, what distance they spray from, whether you’re allowed to close your eyes or wear goggles, and whether you have two fight a role player after being sprayed.

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5 Ways to Get Into the LEO State of Mind


 

If you’re an aspiring law enforcement officer (LEO), there are a number of mindset shifts you’ll probably have to go through. One of the main goals of your academy will be to break down your old ways of thinking and start getting you to think more like an LEO. Here are five ways you can get a jumpstart on that transition:

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Don’t carry things on your strong side. Which hand will you be using to draw and fire your service weapon? That’s what I mean when I refer to your strong side. If I refer to your support side, I’m talking about your other hand. Get used to having nothing in your strong side hand. This means books and notepads, water bottles or canteens, your hat (or “cover”), or even a pen. This is something my academy drilled into our heads every moment of the day. By getting used to it ahead of time, you’ll be making things easier on yourself.

The reasoning behind this should be fairly obvious. It’s the same reason I’ve carried my wallet in left pocket for years. My weak side hand is for trapping someone’s sneaky little mitt and my strong side hand is for pounding. Whether using it to draw your firearm, your baton, your O.C., or just for hand-to-hand combat, you want that hand free at all times. When someone surprises you by pointing a pistol at your chest, that isn’t exactly the time to be fumbling with your Big Gulp.

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Top Mistakes Trainees Make at the Academy


 

This is by no means intended to be an exhaustive list. We work with some interesting characters who come up with all sorts of creative ways to get themselves in a jam. Just when you think you’ve seen all the mistakes that can be made (either at the academy or at your station), someone will always be there to show you otherwise.

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With this list, I’m just trying to alert you to some of the more common issues you could run into at the academy in hopes that you won’t make some of the mistakes either I or my classmates made. Here goes:

 

Hanging out to watch the new trainees arrive.

Ok… I’m not going to act like this one isn’t fun to do. You’ve already been through it on your first day. You know they’re entering a world of pain and are about to be screamed at like never before in their lives. The difference is this time it’s not you, so it’s hilarious. Just don’t get caught watching the show or you’ll be dressed down in front of the new class.

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Are You Making These Common Mistakes in Preparation for Your Academy? (Part II)


 

Here are some common mistakes that I hope to help you avoid (read part I here):

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Two mile jogs. If you’re looking at your physical fitness requirements, chances are you saw that you’ll have to pass a mile and a half run in a set amount of time. Don’t let this fool you! Just because you have to pass the mile and a half by the end of the Academy, doesn’t mean that’s all you should be training for.

If you’ve gotten into a habit of running a mile and a half or two miles and stopping, now is the time to break that habit. If you get a PT instructor like I had, who absolutely loves to run, 5 to 8 mile runs will be commonplace, often without warning. He may tell you you’ll be running to the 2 mile marker, but what he doesn’t tell you is that you’ll be running to it 4 times!

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Are You Making These Common Mistakes in Preparation for Your Academy? (Part I)


 

Congratulations on getting your selection letter and confirmation that you now have an academy date. There are lots of important decisions and adjustments you now need to make before it’s time to enter on duty. Here are some common mistakes that I hope to help you avoid:

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Eating a junk diet. Take note of what you’re putting into your body. Do you make lots of pit stops at McDonald’s? Are you heating up Stouffer’s mac n’ cheese at 10:00 PM? Now is a good time, before you leave for the academy, to clean up these habits. If you want to get serious about this, it will require extra effort when you get to the academy. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that what they’re serving you in the mess hall is grade A material. That’s all the more reason to take your nutrition into your own hands by supplementing outside of your regular meals.

If you start fueling your body with a clean, healthy diet months before leaving for the academy, you’re going to notice a huge difference both physically and mentally. You’ll be more alert, have more energy, and it won’t feel like such a struggle to remember the things you’re learning. You want to be operating at the top of your game, and this is arguably the most important step of all.
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10 Ways Not To Make A Name For Yourself On Your First Day At The Academy (Part II)


 

So it’s your first day at the academy. You’re laughing, joking, and meeting new classmates. You’ve all talked about your past experiences and what you’re expecting to come your way. If you’re like me, you might be listening to something like Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson to keep your mind occupied. As you roll up to the academy site, you can see your instructor waiting to address your class. This is where first impressions can be a really big deal. Here’s how to not make a name for yourself on the first day:

(See tips 1-5 here)

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Show up looking like a professional. Don’t roll in there looking like you slept in your clothes. If you’ve passed your interview, hopefully you’ve already figured this out. An untucked, wrinkled polo with khakis that don’t fit is no way to make a first impression. I’ve seen it more than once. Most often, you’ll be instructed to dress in business attire or business casual attire. Always err on the side of being over-dressed. If you’re unsure how to dress, take a few minutes to do a little research. It will be well worth your time.

Don’t try to be the class comedian. There’s only one Bill Murray and this isn’t Stripes. There’s going to be a class clown and you’re all going to love him or her. But not just because they make you laugh; it’s because they take the attention off the rest of you. If you want to be the one who gets all the attention from the instructors, then go for it. Just be ready to run a few extra miles and do about a thousand extra flutter kicks.

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10 Ways Not To Make A Name For Yourself On Your First Day At The Academy (Part I)


 

So it’s your first day at the academy. You’re laughing, joking, and meeting new classmates. You’ve all talked about your past experiences and what you’re expecting to come your way. If you’re like me, you might be listening to something like Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson to keep your mind occupied. As you roll up to the academy site, you can see your instructor waiting to address your class. This is where first impressions can be a really big deal. Here’s how to not make a name for yourself on the first day:

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When they ask if anyone has any questions, they’re seeing who’s dumb enough to ask one. Remember when you were told in school that there are no stupid questions? You were being set up for failure. No, questions in general are not a bad thing. Asking questions will be an important part of your development as an officer. But in this situation, they’ll more than likely hurt you. Unless it’s absolutely essential, try to figure things out on your own or ask your classmates at the appropriate time.

Don’t be the guy who asks about sidearm specs on the first day. This almost falls under rule number 1, except it deserves its own attention. There’s always one guy who asks a question without really looking for an answer. He may ask something like, “Didn’t you used to carry a Glock before switching to H&K?” He already knows the answer and is trying to show the instructor and his class that he’s done a little research. The instructor is aware of this. Don’t be that guy.

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