Below 100 Initiative
» Wear Your Seatbelt
» Watch Your Speed
» Wear Your Vest
» WIN - What's Important Now?
FEATURED IN LIFELINE TRAINING
They’re at fault. They’re the ones in charge. They make all the decisions. They’re the ones ultimately responsible. They’re the ones screwing everything up. They’re the ones who won’t let us succeed. It’s they who should be doing more.
They’re killing cops. And since it’s they, well, then we can’t really do much about it. So, it’s they who we all have long used as a collective and easy excuse for not doing more—for being victims. After all, we can’t do anything about it.
“They really should do something about this.” How often have we said that and used it as an excuse?
Well, much to my surprise, I met some genuine “theys”about a year ago, and you know what? They’re doing something about it.
Their names are Dale Stockton, Travis Yates, Brian Willis and Jeff Chudwin. Together, they’re doing something—the Below 100 Initiative. Through this initiative, they’re promoting officer safety and saving the lives of law enforcement officers.
Below 100 at a Glance
Below 100? At first, it was just another training session at the 2011 ILEETA conference. The program didn’t make sense to me. Not even grammatically. Shouldn’t it be “Under 100”? (Dale later explained that, “You’re under a thing, you’re below a number.”) And why 100? Why that number? Does that mean we’re satisfied with 100 law enforcement line-of-duty deaths annually?
Those were the questions floating around my confused cranium as I walked into the first Below 100 Trainer presented at the ILEETA conference in April 2011. By the time I left, I was a believer because these four men took the responsibility of saving officers' lives out of the hands of they and put it directly into the hands of us.
The numbers of officers killed was something we law enforcement professionals all too often viewed as something out of our control. It was something they should do something about. But “Not acceptable” was the view of the four presenters. The reality: We can do something by embracing the tenets of Below 100.
“1944 was the last time we had less than 100 officers killed in the line of duty—96,” thundered Capt. Travis Yates. We can change that now; we can get that number below 100! All we have to do is change some habits. Change our perspective. Take responsibility. (You mean remove those theys from the equation? Can we even do that? What would they say?)
I’m a huge fan and advocate of the Officer Down Memorial Page
and the stats are readily available. I’d been teaching officer safety issues, tactics and techniques since 1991, and while I was passionate about officer safety, I never looked at the issue from a wholesale perspective. But this group of theys
Dale Stockton sold the message loud and clear: The time is now and we, those in the profession, need to attack the problem at the source and do what we can do now to affect change and lower those appalling numbers. No more ignoring the science and the stats, the reality and the reasons. We’re going to use what we know to save lives.
Brian Willis hammered home his concept that forces individuals to decide—What’s Important Now (W.I.N.)—and act accordingly. “What’s important now is putting on my seat belt, wearing my armor, slowing down and avoiding complacency handling this call.”
Jeff Chudwin demanded action. He talked about preparing both mentally and physically. He urged those in attendance to take responsibility and understand that many of the dangers we face are manageable. He made a statement about complacency that said it all: “Complacency is among the most dangerous and insidious threats we face because it lays us open to all the others.”
Spread the Word
I went back to the ILEETA 2012 Below 100 session and marveled at what had been accomplished since I had seen the presentation in 2011. During the past year, Below 100 trainer sessions have been presented more than a dozen times and empowered more than a thousand LE professionals with the knowledge and materials to carry the message forward. I have to give credit where it’s due—Below 100 is working!
This is only the beginning. But the collective they is now us—that much is crystal clear. If we, as a profession, don’t believe this and act accordingly, we’ll continue to be victims of our own behaviors and more than 150 dead police officers will be our annual destiny.
Us is now truly all. From the officers who watch their speeds, to the sergeants who buckle up. From the FTOs who set the tone for their trainees, to the commanders that wear their body armor. We must become they.
I’m absolutely convinced and I became a Below 100 advocate after that first class. The Below 100 message is integrated in every training class that I present. No more excuses. No more waiting for someone else to decide—act and make the necessary changes. I know that we can do this and I’m proud to be a part of it!
The time is now! Below 100 has huge momentum. It’s no longer a concept; it’s a truth, an actuality. It’s becoming a functional aspect of our professional psyches. It’s not something we just teach, attend or write about; it’s something that we live.
See Jim Glennon during police week on May 14 presenting on both Below 100 training and The Ultimate Encounter.
Below 100 Initiative
It’s been more than 65 years since the annual number of line-of-duty police deaths was fewer than 100. Law Officer's Below 100 initiative will change that by concentrating on areas that can most effectively save officers' lives. An awareness campaign, combined with a training program, Below 100 will provide a commonsense solution to driving down a number that has remained too high for too long. It begins with five simple tenets:
1. Wear Your Seatbelt | 2. Watch Your Speed | 3. Wear Your Vest
4. WIN-What's Important Now? | 5. Remember: Complacency Kills!