Personal Responsibility in Training
By Stephen Dukes
If you need something…I mean really need it, do you wait for the government to get it for you? What if something needs to be done…do you wait for the government to do it? I hope the answer is no. So, why do we law enforcement officers expect the government to do everything for us?
When I say government I am not talking about the federal government. I am referring to the governments that we work for, our own departments. Since I’ve became involved with training I’ve noticed a disturbing trend among fellow officers. Men and women who were once independent and self-reliant seem to be unable or unwilling to do things for themselves. They become dependent upon their departments for everything. They place their well being, even their very lives, in the hands of their departments…this has got to stop!
The Department’s Role
Now, I’m not saying that none of those things will happen. To be completely fair many departments do try to equip their officers with the best equipment their budgets will allow. And some departments even go the extra mile and train certain officers to very high levels. However I do not personally know of any department that trains all of its officers to a high level and then retrains them often enough to maintain that same high level of proficiency.
Why not? The reason most departments don’t do more training is because they can’t. For either logistical or budgetary reasons, it is simply not possible. Should some departments do more than they do at present? YES, they most certainly should. However, departmental responsibility is a completely separate issue—this is about you!
Then I came to the realization. The department is not going to be in that dark alley at 2 am checking on a suspicious person. Nor will the department be on that lonely rural road pulling over a reported stolen car. It will be me. Guess what? You need to realize it too and do something about it.
What Can I Do?
Another example is defensive tactics. Don’t get bogged down with the idea that you have to go to the gym, get the mat and the simulation gear out to practice defensive tactics. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go to the range as often as possible, you should. I’m not suggesting that you don’t get geared up for some dynamic defensive tactics training either. I am just telling you that you don’t have to do those things to improve your skills.
Decide what you need or what is important to you and work on it. If you are unsure of how to practice in order to improve a particular skill, seek instruction. When you begin looking for knowledgeable instruction take the time to look within your own department. Chances are there is an instructor in your department, or a neighboring department, that would gladly assist you. If not, find some officers in your department that are interested in improving in the same areas and figure out a way to get the help you need. While personal instruction is without a doubt the best way to learn a physical skill, it is not the only option. Countless Instructional DVD’s are available for a variety of topics and are a practical alternative.
Take Full Advantage
Calling All Instructors
Finally let me say that I do not stand in judgment of anyone. I am one of you. I have had the same thoughts of what the department should be doing for me. However, I finally realized what I should be doing for myself. Have You?
About the Author
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