Recommitting yourself to being a 5%er in 2011
We’re closing in on 160 line-of-duty deaths for 2010,well above the 128 figure posted for line-of-duty deaths for 2009
Back in 1995, Chuck Remsberg coined the term 5%er... kind of a takeoff on the old biker 1%er thing. Outlaw bikers use that 1%er term to define themselves as the chosen few motorcycle club members who take pride in being on the wrong side of the law. Police officers use the term 5%er to define themselves as the exceptional minority committed to outstanding performance on the street.
As we near the end of the year, we’re closing in on 160 line-of-duty deaths for 2010, 55 of whom were shot and killed by assailants. It’s anybody’s guess what the LEOKA stats will show come January 2011, but regardless, we are well above the 128 figure posted for line-of-duty deaths (48 of which were feloniously KIAs) for 2009. So, here’s a New Year’s challenge I want to make to all of our PoliceOne.com and Calibre Press Newsline readers. Re-commit yourself to being in that elite group of 5%er cops for 2011.
I had the honor of speaking at the inaugural PoliceOne Members Event the evening before the final 2010 Street Survival Seminar in Las Vegas earlier this month. My address highlighted some of the latest findings culled from the 3-part FBI study of police officer assaults/murders that covered the 15-year period 1992-2006. While time and space do not allow me to address all the material presented, three police officer descriptors or characteristics showed up consistently during that FBI study. The researchers — FBI Special Agent Ed Davis and his associate Dr. Tony Pinizotto — found that officers who get killed on the job were often described by their peers as out-going, “friendly” officers who feel that they have the ability to “read people and situations” and who also frequently “dropped their guard” as a result of this perceived ability.
However, the number one characteristic that was identified in each of the three studies that comprised that 15-year compilation of police officer murders was this: they failed to wait for a back up before committing.
That FBI study didn’t stop at just examining the officers. It also profiled the offenders. It found that without exception, the bad guys practice with their equipment (weapons) more than we do, have a higher hit rate with those weapons than we do, are consistently younger than we are and are less worried about the legal implications of their using deadly force than we are. Not a pretty picture. But, there is room for hope.
Old timers on the job will probably remember the Survival Triangle introduced in the first Street Survival text book and which eventually morphed into the Survival Star in the early Street Survival Seminars. That five-pointed star identified the most important traits of officer survival:
Most trainers agree that with effort, officers can have some influence on every aspect of that star; and while some cops might think that because their agency chooses their equipment, there’s no limit to how proficient or expert you can become with that equipment. If you have any doubt about that statement, pick up a copy of Las Vegas-based police trainer Bob Hindi’s DVD, “The Hindi Duty Belt Safety System.” So, with that five-pointed icon in your mind and the knowledge of those fatal errors that consistently get more of us killed every year, let’s recap a few of those 5%er traits.
Take care, and here’s wishing all of you a safe and prosperous 2011!
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