12 tips to help you see 'everything'
Looking for 'something' can lead you to readily see evidence of your preference-crime, but may encourage you to press on without noticing indicators that might take you in another direction
“On patrol you are not looking for something, you are looking for everything.”
A long-time Field Training Officer told this to every recruit he ever trained.
He hoped to encourage them to be proactive and maintain a wide-open mind, during every contact. He did this because experience had taught him that one good cop can make a difference.
Looking for Something
Officers with an expertise are often looking for “something.”
They will get very good at finding the “something” they are looking for be it drugs, alcohol violations or “something” else.
Looking For Everything
The act of looking for “everything” allows for limitless enforcement opportunities. Looking for “everything” will often carry you far beyond your preference-bust while expanding your expertise.
Looking for Nothing
This can happen, because they have become under-whelmed by their career, or just overwhelmed by their call volume. The act of looking for nothing can create a survival issue, because of the tendency to develop a sort of psychological tunnel vision where you believe “It is whatever the dispatcher says it is; nothing else and certainly nothing more.”
This attitude can be dangerous, because even the innocuous barking dog complaint can actually be a dog barking at a killer. Remember O. J. Simpson?
Look for Cues
Suspects will exhibit the same nervous mannerisms with a stolen safe in the trunk as they would with a spare tire filled with cocaine.
Here are a few:
1.) The “no-look look”
These are but a few. Please feel free to share your personal favorites in the comments below.
Some signs will be visible, whether the suspect is a drug mule on his/her way to a delivery, or a terrorist on his/her way to a target.
The intoxicated driver will possess the same signs of impairment, leaving a favorite watering hole as they will, driving away from a homicide scene. Remember, a drunk is not always just a drunk.
Searching, Searching, Searching
Never forget (not even for one moment) that this is dangerous business. While making contacts, account for the hands, count the hands, and control the hands as you watch the hands.
Do not be shy about asking for backup. Do not be hesitant in giving backup. Be prepared beforehand physically and tactically to win every confrontation your type of policing draws you inevitably toward. Whether you are a looking for nothing, something, or everything, confrontations come to all. In looking for everything, however you will rarely be surprised, when they happen.
Keep a mind open for “everything” while staying alert throughout every contact, whether you patrol a small town or big city.
Remember “everything” happens everywhere, just in varying degrees.
Parting Words of the FTO
That FTO would also challenge officers he released from field training in this way.
“Police work is fun. I challenge you to aggressively remember that every day of your career and I dare you to love this career half as much as I do. Now be careful out there and always, always, always, stay safe, stay strong and stay positive!”
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