Make your own 'luck' in cracking cases


By Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Senior Editor
— From an interview with NYPD Lieutenant (ret.) Tom Joyce

“Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

We often talk about the fact that it’s important to “train like you fight.” A variation on that theme comes into play when you’re doing some of the more mundane tasks in police work. Every incident report, every single investigation an officer does — no matter how seemingly small or futile — is excellent practice for the “big case” you’ll inevitably one day face.

“I had a friend in NYPD who would meticulously dig deep on every case for the tiniest piece of information,” explains Tom Joyce, a retired NYPD Lieutenant. “Exhausting? Sure, but in addition to the fact that he frequently came up with stuff that could be used by other investigators, he was always refining his ability to dig, think, search, find, and ultimately, solve cases.”

Even when you’re tired, or when you ‘just know’ that the case you’re working on will be closed without a conviction, take the opportunity to find out something new about the investigative tools you’re using, or the way you do your business.

“It will pay off,” Joyce concludes.


 



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About the author

Doug Wyllie is Editor at Large for PoliceOne, providing police training content on a wide range of topics and trends affecting the law enforcement community. Doug is the 2014 Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column, and has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips. Doug hosts the PoliceOne Podcast, Policing Matters, and is the host for PoliceOne Video interviews. 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).

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