Law Enforcement Technology

NOV 2016

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42 LAW ENFORCEMENT TECHNOLOGY NOVEMBER 2016 O N Y O U R WAT C H A FRESH APPROACH TO MANAGEMENT Carole Moore A 12-year veteran of police work, Carole Moore has ser ved in patrol, forensics, crime prevention and criminal investigations, and has extensive training in many law enforcement disciplines. She is the author of "The Last Place You'd Look: True Stories of Missing Persons and the People Who Search for Them" (Rowman & Littlefield, Spring 2011). She welcomes comments at carolemoore_ biz Keep up with Moore online: w w Amazon: w w .com/-/e/B004APO40S " L et me tell you a little about myself. I'm awake when you're deep in sleep. I'm the silent shadow that cruises by your home, your business, and your school assuring that all is well. I venture into dark buildings and alleys, not knowing what awaits me around the next corner. When you cry for help, I'm the one who comes to your aid. I don't think about my own safety as much as I should. Sure, I'm vigilant. I'm essentially no different from you where I, too, want to go home to my family at the end of my shift. I willingly put my personal well-being second to yours—it's both my job and my calling. I'm proud of this badge and uniform. I worked many long hours for them. I didn't simply walk in off the street, fill out an appli- cation and get hired. Instead, I underwent a thorough background investigation, an inter- view board and months and months of train- ing at the academy to get here. Once I had my badge, the training didn't stop. I was with a field training officer until I was ready to be on my own. I work with a partner or solo, depending on the agency. Either way, I'm expected to back-up my fel- low officers. See that officer over there? I don't care much for them but if they needed me to I'd gladly put myself between them and what- ever danger they're facing. Here's something you may not understand: I'd do the same for you. Even as you stand in front of me, call- ing me names, spitting at me, telling me how much you hate me. Your well-being is my first concern. I know. You don't believe me. You want to buy into the Fox/MSNBC/CNN mythology that all cops are heartless killing machines who go hunting black men for sport. We're not like that. We're well-trained in ways NOT to kill you. We've learned how and when to fire our weapons, methods to avoid collateral damage, marksmanship, evasive action, take- down techniques and other approaches to defuse bad situations. And most of the time they work. Sometimes I'm forced to make life or death decisions in a split-second—I hope and pray I always make the right one. And lately, making the right decision isn't enough. Taking down a clearly perceived threat as I've been taught attracts criticism and second-guessing and news media bias. I am the criminal, even if the person I neu- tralize was clearly prepared to kill me. I am dragged through the mud and branded, although what I did saved a life, be that my own and/or someone else's. What you don't know is that I take no joy in causing harm. It's not why I got into this profession. When I do cause harm, my actions are placed under a microscope and examined by an outside agency or two and they work my case as diligently as they work any other case—maybe even more. Being a cop does not give me a pass. It also doesn't make me a bloodthirsty gunslinger. Sure, there are officers who do the wrong thing and some who make mistakes. Most are like me. We're your friends, your neighbors, your protectors. Most of all, we're fellow human beings. Heaping hatred and abuse upon us accomplishes nothing, but it does discourage us from continuing in a pro- fession we love. If we leave this—the hardest profession we've ever loved—who will step in?" A letter to this country's civilians …From your local law enforcement officer

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