National Police Week: Reflecting on our vulnerabilities

It’s National Police Week. Thousands of officers in our nation’s Capitol are joined, at least in spirit, by countless law enforcers around the country as respects are paid to those who have served and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Those who know the honorable men and women who live the oath that the badge represents take a moment to pay our respects to those who have fallen.

As someone who manages a police academy, I remind our folks that this is also a time to cement our resolve to improve our knowledge to maximize our chance of keeping our names off of the wall by tackling our vulnerabilities head on. We must reflect and make an honest assessment of our individual strengths and weaknesses as law enforcement professionals. Everything from our diet and exercise to shooting and legal knowledge should be fair game for scrutiny.

While varying degrees and luck of destiny can claim even the most proficient of officers and deputy sheriffs, the quest for performance excellence does help to tip the scales in our favor. During this somber time frame, ponder the enhancements that you can make to keep you and your colleagues safe. The bad guys are lifting weights, comparing legal notes, and studying law enforcement’s methods and tactics. We all need to cement our resolve to do the same if we are to keep new names from being added to that wall.

About the author

Dr. Richard Weinblatt is a criminal justice educator, former police chief, police media commentator and an instructor in multiple disciplines. He has earned Florida Criminal Justice Standards certifications in general law enforcement topics, firearms, defensive tactics, and vehicle operations, as well as instructor certifications for Taser, pepper spray, and expandable baton. He holds the Certified Law Enforcement Trainer (CLET) designation from the American Society for Law Enforcement Training (ASLET) and is a certified AFAA Personal Fitness Trainer. Dr. Weinblatt is Dean of the School of Public and Social Services & Education/Assoc. Professor of Criminal Justice at Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis, IN.  He previously served as Director of the Institute for Public Safety at Central Ohio Technical College near Columbus, OH, Professor and Program Manager for the Criminal Justice Institute at Seminole Community College near Orlando, FL, and Chairman of the Public Services Dept./Criminal Justice Instructor at South Piedmont Community College near Charlotte, NC. Dr. Weinblatt has worked in several regions of the country in reserve and full-time sworn positions ranging from auxiliary police lieutenant in New Jersey to patrol division deputy sheriff in New Mexico to reserve deputy sheriff in Florida and police chief in North Carolina. Dr. Weinblatt has written extensively on law enforcement topics since 1989. He had a regular column in Law and Order Magazine for a decade and he has also written for Police, Sheriff, American Police Beat, Narc Officer, and others. Dr. Weinblatt has provided media commentary on police matters for local and national media including CBS Evening News, CNN, MSNBC, HLN, and The Washington Post. Dr. Weinblatt earned a Bachelor’s degree in Administration of Justice, a Master of Public Administration in Criminal Justice, an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in Educational Leadership and a Doctorate of Education. Weinblatt may be reached through

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