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P1 First Person: Complacency, confidence, and our conclusions

Part four of a four-part series entitled 'Think first!' addressing a critical element of officer safety

By Kevin Jeffries, Probation Safety Specialist, Arizona Supreme Court
and Lance Nickell, Probation Safety Specialist, Arizona Supreme Court

The American Heritage College Dictionary defines complacency as “...an unawareness of danger or trouble.” It has been my experience that we can place complacent officers in two broad categories: those who deny that the job holds danger, and those who see the dangers of the job but still become complacent. The former group is still complacent, as their denial shows an “unawareness of danger,” and they are hard to convince otherwise. Sadly, it will likely take a 9/11 moment for them to realize what other officers already know. In fact, they are not too likely to read this article past the first paragraph. Even though they recognize that they work with convicted felons in high-crime neighborhoods, they are still blind to the danger. Does a fish know that it is wet? Due to their constant denial and unconscious incompetence, these folks should not work in the criminal justice arena. Their lack of awareness could be a safety hazard to other officers.

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