Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Damned Youngins...

Dear young and impressionable officer, If a more senior officer takes you aside after an incident and tells you what you were doing was unsafe, gives you alternatives, and suggests you don't do it the way you did it, that does not qualify as failing to treat you with respect.

On the contrary. That officer is showing you great respect by talking to you as an adult, and doing it out of earshot of others. That senior officer could front your stupidity out in front of everybody, but chose not to because he felt you could learn from your mistake rather than learning from being shamed by your peers.

The fact that I don't have chevrons on my upper sleeve or bars on my collar does not mean the hash marks on my cuff mean nothing. Those marks represent experience. They mean I have been there and done that.

The FTO pin on my shirt means the department trusts me to be able to train new officers, but it also means I have shown the good judgement not to put myself and others into unnecessary peril.

The next time you decide to run ahead of me into the forest, which by the way contains ample ambush sites, in pursuit of a violent felony suspect who is at least five minutes ahead of you, and in a car to boot, and you don't listen when I tell you to slow down and watch out, I will not "disrespect" you by taking you aside and speaking to you privately. Instead, I will let your sergeant deal with your carelessness.



P.S. You don't get respect by demanding it. That's a gang banger tactic. We have to earn it.


Bright Blue Line said...

Officer "Smith" - You are my kind of Cop. FTO any of my officers because its advise like this that keeps them alive.
Respect is earned!!

Stay Blue, Brother

Cooper Sanders said...

Great advice. I love watching the show Rookie Blue and seeing how the rookies screw up and learn from their mistakes. Makes me want to go and get my online criminal justice degree and join the force!

Jay said...

He knows you're on the same side right??

Expatriate Owl said...

I started out with Uncle Sam as a GS-5 target 7, and the lifer to whom I was assigned for training really, really put me through the drill. The very first thing "Doug" told me was that I would not enjoy the training, but that when I got my promotion to a GS-9 I would come up to him and thank him.

Yes, "Doug" really put my toochas through a ringer, but whenever the Section Chief or Branch Chief made inquiry about my progress, "Doug" assured them that I was doing just fine. I came to realize that "Doug" was making a point of keeping his stern admonitions and chastisements to me a private matter. And his experiences were certainly not written in any procedure manual or training materials.

I did go to personally thank Doug when I got my GS-9, and I thanked him again when I got promoted to a supervisory GS-11. In that latter position, I found that, without exception, those of my subordinates who had been trained by "Doug" were among my top performers.

Your private talks "at the woodshed" are doing a world of good for not only the rookies, but for the force itself. But if this ungrateful rookie doesn't appreciate it, he does have some alternatives, which he can easily recognize by the chevrons and the bars.

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