Are you an approachable officer?

Submitted by:
PoliceOne Senior Editor Doug Wyllie


01/17/2011

The recent mass shooting in Arizona is a good example of how valuable it can be to interact with members of the community. You want to foster an environment in which those close to people like Jared Loughner will share intelligence with cops before this kind of violent behavior takes place.

There is absolutely no guarantee you’ll get the information you need, but take a moment to consider whether you’re facilitating that kind of open communication with the citizens of your community. If someone had a concern about a particular individual — possibly a person they consider a friend or even a family member — are you viewed as an officer who is approachable and likely to help out? Do you come across as an officer who cares about the people you’re sworn to protect?

Or do you constantly project a hard, unapproachable, don’t-mess-with-me demeanor? Is it possible that you’re perceived as curt and unfriendly in the community?

Admittedly, it can be tough to maintain a positive, “officer friendly” image, especially during particularly challenging shifts. Sometimes “officer friendly” is NOT what you should even strive to be. With that said, projecting an approachable appearance can pay off big time when it comes to pursuing leads in the community and addressing trouble early in the game.


Doug Wyllie is Editor in Chief of PoliceOne, responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website and managing the planned editorial features by our roster of expert writers. 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 750 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community.

On a daily basis, Doug is in close personal contact with some of the top subject-matter experts in law enforcement, regularly tapping into the world-class knowledge of officers and trainers from around the United States, and working to help spread that information and insight to the hundreds of thousands of officers who visit PoliceOne every month.

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).

Even in his "spare" time, he is active in his support for the law enforcement community, contributing his time and talents toward police-related charitable events as well as participating in force-on-force training, search-and-rescue training, and other scenario-based training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

Contact Doug Wyllie



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