A 'Top 10' list of dangerous assumptions

March 02, 2011

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Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief 10-43: Be Advised...
with Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief

Tip: A 'Top 10' list of dangerous assumptions

We all know the saying about assuming stuff.  Well, here is another take on that you might appreciate.  With the help of some great friends I have in law enforcement, I have created a Letterman-style Top 10 List of dangerous assumptions to avoid. Take a moment to read the following list and then consider posting this in your locker or keeping a copy in your unit to review before each shift. I have to assume (yeah, I went there!) that you have a great one to add to the list, so post that in the comments field below

10.) Don’t assume that a suicidal subject is only intent on killing himself/herself.

9.) Don’t assume that the only reason a suspect is threatening you with his bare hands is because he doesn’t have another weapon to use.

8.) Don’t assume that broken bottles, screwdrivers, razor blades, sticks, etc. can’t cause serious injury or be deadly.

7.) Don’t assume that you’ll be OK if you skip wearing your vest “just this once.”

6.) Don’t assume that just because they’re criminals, they’re stupid.

5.) Don’t assume that your next traffic stop will be just like the others.

4.) Don’t assume that the only training you need is that which is mandated and provided by your agency.

3.) Don’t assume that cops are supposed to be emotionally superhuman and there is no place for emotion in law enforcement.

2.) Don’t assume that just because you’ve found one weapon on a suspect you’ve found them all.

And the number one assumption to avoid...

1.) Don’t assume that you’re not making a difference out there, because you make a huge difference every single day!

Add to the list — post your comments below. Stay safe!
~ dw


About the author

Doug Wyllie is Editor in Chief of PoliceOne, responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website and managing the planned editorial features by our roster of expert writers. An award-winning columnist — he is the 2014 Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" winner in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column — Doug has authored more than 800 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA). Even in his "spare" time, he is active in his support for the law enforcement community, contributing his time and talents toward police-related charitable events as well as participating in force-on-force training, search-and-rescue training, and other scenario-based training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

Read more articles by PoliceOne Editor in Chief Doug Wyllie by clicking here.

Contact Doug Wyllie

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