Dedicate yourself to the job, regardless of backlash

Submitted by:
PoliceOne Staff


01/11/2010

Two words for Officer Joel Babbs, who was ordered out of a high school for arresting an alleged gang member without first "consulting the principal" — Nice work.

Regardless of what the principal in this situation says, Officer Babbs showed wise tactical thinking when he chose to remove this suspected gang member from school quickly and in cuffs. His understanding of the revenge mentality of gang members and his recognition that the recipe for a potential school shooting situation that could put countless students and teachers at risk was in place is admirable.

This incident, as with others we’ve spotlighted recently, is yet another example of making sure that regardless of the potential “backlash” of your actions and the outcry of the tactically uneducated, you must dedicate yourself to doing what you have been trained to do and what you know is right and necessary given the situation.

Perhaps one of the most troubling elements of this situation is the fact that the principal was upset that Office Babbs cuffed this suspect “in public.” What?! Again, you have got to do what you know is right and necessary. If you’ve got a gang member who’s suspected as an accomplice in a double homicide and it’s your job to bring him in, you’re going to cuff him…here and now. Period.

To possibly help avoid a powerplay situation like this in the future—or at least to give you a heads that you might have a problem with a school administrator—consider touching base with the top people at your local school(s) now and use this incident as an example of a scenario you and they could end up facing at some point, particularly if you’ve got a strong gang presence in your area. Clue them in to the reasons why the approach Officer Babbs took was in the best interest of the students and faculty at that school and assure them that you, being concerned for and dedicated to protecting others’ safety as well, would take the same steps.




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