05/11/2009

National Police Week: The greatest tribute is to learn from their loss

By Chuck Remsberg
PoliceOne Senior Contributor

As we enter National Police Week and commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice behind the badge, let us honor them by remembering all we have gained from their tragic loss.

Unwittingly, they have become our greatest trainers, our greatest motivators; for it is from them that we have learned the precious lessons of survival. Unable to save themselves, they have saved countless others.

The tactical insights gained from their deaths and reported in books, articles, videos, seminars, lesson plans, training conferences, research studies, roll-call briefings, stress-fire scenarios, and patrol car conversations have changed the methods and content of police training. This legacy propels a movement that continues to evolve and strengthen as it doggedly pursues an elusive but enduring goal: “No more names on the Wall.”

This week is an opportunity for sober reflection and self-assessment. Those we pause to remember deserve more than the mournful wail of bagpipes, the laying of flowers, and the shedding of tears, however heartfelt those touching gestures are.

These rituals are important and should not be diminished. But the men and women to whom we pay respect this week are teachers. And teachers are honored best when their lessons are practiced and passed down.

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