You spend countless hours dishing out advice to LEOs, near and far. Although sometimes you can be a bit abrasive and hurt a rookie’s feelings, your wisdom is appreciated. You give and give. In many ways you’re like Santa Claus, only less rotund and more … metal-jacketed. I’m writing because I’d like to give something back to you. So I ask not only on behalf of myself, but on behalf of all police officers: What does Bullethead want for Christmas?
How thoughtful of you to think of me during the holiday season. Ol’ Bullethead is always excited to run my mouth about what I want! My list is pretty simple.
Drop the Bad Attitudes
The first thing I want is for every cop to go out and do their best on every shift they work. This means no more bringing bad attitudes and pointing fingers at whom or what is wrong. This present should be wrapped up in nice uniforms with shined boots, brass and leather, looking ready for a parade. I want cops to come to work and talk about what’s positive in their departments and community. They’d focus on the great job they have and how fun it is to solve problems, investigate crimes and throw scumbags in jail. They wouldn’t dwell on the negative aspects of work. Rather, they’d focus on the positive: Not only do they get to do this, but they get paid to be a cop.
Show Up With Solutions
When it comes to pointing out faults, I’d like every cop to stop coming to work with nothing but problems, and start showing up with solutions. This is really just part of the big present above. When a cop has a gripe about how something is screwed up, they should bring with them a solution as to how to fix it. Their solution should be workable and financially sound. Hey, we get that there aren’t enough cars to go around. But instead of just pointing out the obvious, how about you bring along a few suggestions for how to fix it?
It would also be nice if management pitched in and stopped thinking about their own careers and instead do what’s right. I know many police managers already do this, but I want them all to do it. Managers need to think about the effect their decisions will have on the troops. We know every decision won’t make the troops happy, but what makes them angrier is when the brass makes those decisions and then claims it’s for the good of agency when we know it’s about protecting their own career. The cops see right through this. It tanks morale and makes good cops hotter than the business end of a Taser.
If you can’t provide the gifts laid out above, then how about if every cop follows the Below 100 plan to significantly reduce LODDs. Truth be told, this is the only thing I really want.
We all know that even though crime is low compared to the 70s and 80s, assaults on officers are way up. We don’t have time for the smart people to study this from their ivory university towers and bring us another idea that may be great and work when looked at over 20 years. We’re in the trenches now and our only help will come from ourselves and our partners. Below 100 is simple.
1. Wear your belt! I was riding double with a guy awhile back who has a ton of tactical experience. He jumped in riding shotgun with me and didn’t put his belt on. He told me it scratched his holster. Are you kidding me? I beat him like a heavy bag in a boxing gym until he put it on.
2. Wear your vest! I shouldn’t have to say anything about this. Got me?
3. Watch your speed! This is mostly for the youngsters because us old timers have already gone through the transformation where our brains outgrew our intestinal fortitude.
4. Think W.I.N.—What’s Important Now? Be situationally aware—always.
5. Remember: Complacency kills! Treat every call as if the rest of your life depends on you finishing that assignment. My favorite old saying: “Treat everyone with respect and kindness, but always have a plan to kill them.”
Bottom line: Your best holiday gift to Ol’ Bullethead is to go home at the end of every shift!