Are you dangerous?
Are you hyper-vigilant? Are you over-aggressive?
These words are used to describe traits considered by some to be undesirable in police officers.
Whenever a particular officer “aggressively” pursues criminals at a rate significantly above and beyond the norm, the term over-aggressive becomes the career kiss of death even though all those officer’s arrests withstand the scrutiny of the court.
Often, pressures are brought to bear on these officers to slow them down so they do not appear to be “over-aggressive” for doing what they are paid to do too often and too well.
There was even a time police administrators had long guns placed in the trunks of squad cars “out of sight.” They insisted black and whites be painted toasted meringue, azure or honey suckle so that police would “appear more people-friendly.”
They would unabashedly proclaim, “Black and whites and shotguns up front make us appear over-aggressive.”
In today’s world, law enforcement should embrace the word aggressive. That should have been made abundantly clear by the recently-resolved Christopher Dorner saga. Officers must aggressively pursue criminals and the stalkers of innocents. They must aggressively embrace the constitution, while aggressively seeking justice.
The fine line of justification is drawn between a justifiable use of force and a battery. Even so, a Justifiable use of force will appear aggressive and in fact often must be so for officers to prevail.
Aggressive is good. Aggressive officers make a positive difference in their communities.
Look out in the hiring process if you have served multiple tours in a war zone. Some psychologist, who has never been shot at, or had his buddies blown up, during what appeared to have been an uneventful drive through a war zone may attach the label, “hyper-vigilant,” to you as a candidate.
The veteran will be told, “Sorry sir/ma’am, we can’t use you. We are looking for a little less vigilant model for our police officers.”
As someone, who has been training officers in survival for 35 years I have yet to meet the officer who is too vigilant.
In 2013, when hyper-paroled criminals and hyper-released psychopaths are walking unfettered in communities around the countries stalking innocents, street officers need to be at the very least ever-vigilant.
Vigilance is not a neurosis; it is an absolutely necessary trait possessed by the sheep dog.
The Exquisite, Highly-Trained, Good-Hearted Killer with People Skills
Are you a highly-trained killer? Are your hands and feet weapons? Are you dangerous?
If those questions were asked in an interview and the candidate honestly answered “Yes,” that candidate would (tragically in most cases) not be hired.
It says protect and serve on the side of nearly every squad car in the nation. If those are not just words and it is a fact that police officers protect the people they serve it stands to reason officers must be dangerous to those that would do harm to innocents. When the murky patina of political correctness is cleared away, officers must be honorable, but still highly-trained killers.
To protect, officers should train so that their empty hand skills are not only effective, but also exquisite.
“Exquisite?” you ask?
An officer must not only know how to control suspects effectively, but their technique should be so professional that it survives the scrutiny of 14 million hits on YouTube, while leaving viewers thinking, “That was cool.”
Winning ugly is OK, though, if that’s what it takes.
The 21st century police officer should be a person who is aggressive, ever vigilant and possessing exquisite empty hand skills, while being a highly trained good-hearted killer with people skills.
Now to the question, “Are you dangerous?”
You should be.
You need to be dangerous in a Native American Warrior sort of way.
The Native Americans had a unique view of their police officers. Now they did not have police officers per se. They called them warriors, but make no mistake about it their warriors did what police officers do today.
Warriors often did battle around their camp fires with families holding tightly to each other near the fight, praying for a righteous outcome.
Have you ever been in a fight with an abuser in a living room with the family screaming and crying just a few feet away?
I rest my case.
Native American Warriors were police officers of their day and our police officers are modern day warriors.
As the Native Warrior looked to the impending battle, he would shout to the heavens, “Hoka Hey!” This meant, “Today is a good day to die.” This was not said in hopes that they would lose the fight and die, but quite the opposite.
It was said to free their heart from the fear of death while in the fight. Native American Warriors believed without the constraints of such a fear they could fight to their greatest potential and hence defeat their enemy.
The Native Americans also thought it was important for their warriors to be of good heart, while possessing great skills. To the Native American, who protected, their women, children, holy places and their way of life it was a deeply sacred thing for a warrior to be dangerous. So here is the question one more time:
“Are you dangerous?” If the answer to that is “no,” train hard and train well to become so.
If the answer to that is “yes,” live long and well while knowing that it’s sacred to be dangerous.