P1 First Person: Increasing your situational awareness

Part one of a four-part series entitled 'Think first!' addressing a critical element of officer safety

By Kevin Jeffries (with Lance Nickell)

Legendary Alabama Football Coach Bear Bryant said, “The will to win compares little with the will to prepare to win.” This axiom can relate to many worthy pursuits, including the topic of this article: the knowledge and mental preparation necessary for officer safety. Over the years, I have instructed thousands of officers in physical skills involving a wide range of defensive tactics techniques and safety-related tools such as OC spray, impact weapons, TASERs and firearms. I will always be an advocate for agencies to provide training on physical skills and safety-related tools to protect their officers. However, all officers should understand that, regardless of the types of training afforded you, your age or fitness level, officer safety begins with the mind. The focus of this article will be on what you should know, and how you can mentally prepare to be safe on the job.

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