Leave your wallet in your locker


I was speaking with a friend of mine from San Francisco Police Department last week, and during our discussion we came up with a great — albeit somewhat simple — tactical tip worthy of contemplation here. “Pat” and I began to talk about an incident a few years ago — neither of us could quite put our finger on the specific event, so if you remember it, please drop me an email — in which an officer who had been killed in the line of duty happened to be carrying his wallet. The murderer took the cop’s wallet, which contained as one might expect, his home address and other personal information. This gave the violator potential access to the cop’s home and family.

One solution commonly considered is to place your department address on all those DMV and credit card forms, so everything traces back to the department. For the most part agencies are very receptive to this idea, but it does present some potential issues should you need to relocate or whatnot.

Here’s an even simpler idea: leave your wallet in your locker back at the PD. All you’re really going to need is your company ID and some walking around money for lunch and whatever else you might need to pick up during your shift. My friend joked that he’s pretty much always got a lottery ticket in there too (in humor, there is truth, because true to his word, there it was!). If you have just those items — okay, maybe add a credit card which doesn’t have your home address either — in a small billfold, you’re taking just one small, simple step to ensure that your personal information stays out of the hands of the bad guys.

Oh, and you won’t have to sit on that fat, uncomfortable wallet all shift long!

Stay safe.

About the author

Doug Wyllie is Editor at Large for PoliceOne, responsible for providing police training content and expert analysis on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. 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 900 feature articles and tactical tips. Doug is also responsible for planning and recording the PoliceOne Podcast, Policing Matters, as well as being the on-air host for PoliceOne Video interviews. Doug also works closely with the PoliceOne Academy to develop training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

Doug regularly represents PoliceOne as a public speaker in a variety of forums and is available for media interviews — he has appeared on numerous local and national radio and television news programs, and has been quoted in a host of print publications. 

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).

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