Developing Smarter, Safer, More Successful Law Enforcement Officers

Posts by Crawford Coates:

Keyboard Commandos

Aug 07, 2019 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Training
By: Crawford Coates

While the internet can be a great resource of information, it's also a great source of misinformation. We have a declining public education system that continually waters down curriculum and deems once-essential classes like civics and United States history nonessential. Or, it only skims the surface of these courses that provide a foundation of knowledge of why our country was formed, the source of some of our laws, and what became of our countr... Full Article »

The Next 9/11 Is Now

Aug 05, 2019 in Defensive Tactics & Law Enforcement Today & Officer Safety & Survival & Patrol & Training
By: Crawford Coates

On April 20, 1999, a mass shooting event at Columbine High School in Colorado shocked our nation. Although far from the first school shooting in history, the Columbine shooting became instantly important to the American people. It was the catalyst which changed the law enforcement response methodology and tactics for a mass shooting event. Fast forward a few years to September 11, 2001. This is arguably the most significant tragic event in U.S. ... Full Article »

Do I Have a Problem?

Aug 05, 2019 in Fitness & Health & Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival
By: Crawford Coates

Would you know if you had a substance use problem? If a co-worker had a drinking problem, what would you say? Would you know how to ask for assistance or where to get it? Questions like these all too-often go unanswered as a result of either lack of support, resources, punitive administrative stances, or a reduced willingness to reach out and ask for assistance when it is truly needed. Enter Alcohol Despite the increased focus on officer wellne... Full Article »

4 Tips for Fighting Suicide

Aug 01, 2019 in Fitness & Health & Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Training
By: Crawford Coates

As a law enforcement officer you must wear many different hats. At different times these extraordinary men and women have to juggle between being a first responder, protector, social worker, crisis intervener, family counselor, youth mentor, and peacemaker just to name a few of the tasks that are incumbent upon them in the performance of their duties. Sleep deprivation and exposure to critical incidents—murder, suicides, rape, child abuse, an... Full Article »

Do You Really Want the Truth?

Jul 30, 2019 in Fitness & Health & Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival
By: Crawford Coates

Sometimes people are okay with believing a “lie.” Sometimes, just going with the lie is just easier than facing the “truth.” The lie comes in many forms: white lies, broken promises, fabrication, the bald-faced, exaggeration, deception, plagiarism, and compulsive lying (McAllister). The lie can make you feel better in the moment. But long-term it can have serious implications, and even deadly consequences. When discussing police suicide,... Full Article »

Your Agency Doesn’t Love You

Jul 30, 2019 in Fitness & Health & Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Patrol & Training
By: Crawford Coates

It is all I ever wanted to do. And like so many other law enforcement professionals, I have spent my entire adult life serving and protecting. I remember it all, which is to say, this is a meaningful profession to me. There are few other occupations which have similar attributes of dedication and sacrifice. Certainly our military and our other first responder family members immediately come to mind. The calling of a law enforcement officer is st... Full Article »

The Gorilla in the Room

Jul 22, 2019 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Training
By: Crawford Coates

Recently, Calibre Press published a thought-provoking article by Chief David Magnusson titled, Lies: Where do you stand? What place do untruths have in our profession? I highly recommend reading it if you haven’t. It will provide context for this article. If you would rather keep reading, here are the highlights. The primary questions the article poses are, What should the top administrator do with the officer who does not tell the trut... Full Article »

The Dangers We Control

Jul 15, 2019 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Patrol & Training
By: Crawford Coates

To me, the best part of being a police officer was being a beat cop. A lot of people look down on long-tenured patrol officers, but we never tell stories about that one day on a cushy assignment when got to go home early. No, the best cop stories happen on night shifts, or insanely busy weekends, or running to a hot call, lights flashing, sirens blaring, half your squad at your back as you all roll towards danger. That’s patrol for me. My curr... Full Article »

The Dissatisfied Officer

Jul 03, 2019 in Fitness & Health & Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Training
By: Crawford Coates

Job satisfaction, or lack thereof, ranks among one of the most commonly discussed topics in law enforcement. If an officer is unhappy on the job, the key question is why? Certainly there are plenty of academic studies on this topic, most of which cite issues that can have an impact on an officer’s state of mind such as work/life balance, the inherent stress of the job, emotional and physical challenges, their level of ability to navigate “off... Full Article »

The Wounded Blue: Never Forgotten, Never Alone

Jul 03, 2019 in Fitness & Health & Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Patrol
By: Crawford Coates

“My foremost goal as a filmmaker is to continue to tell impactful stories that shed a positive light on the law enforcement community,” says filmmaker Jason Harney. He’s been a movie buff for as long as he can remember. But that didn’t stop him from enjoying a full career at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department—as an FTO, detective, field training sergeant, among many roles there. In the 1990s he started, as he puts it, “han... Full Article »

The Asher Model

Jun 25, 2019 in Fitness & Health & Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Training
By: Crawford Coates

It’s the early morning hours of May 2nd, 1993 and I was awoken by the jarring sound of the phone ringing; on the other end was a friend of mine and fellow squad member. Sounding distraught he declared “Asher is dead!” referring to another squad member of ours and an academy classmate and friend of mine. Immediately my thoughts turned to Asher being shot and killed in the line of duty. Police Suicide never crossed my mind, why would it? This... Full Article »

Back to School in 21 Seconds

Jun 05, 2019 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Training
By: Crawford Coates

One minute I was an officer, 21 seconds later, after being shot twice, I knew my career was over due to the damage the 12-gauge slugs did to my left arm. As a former paramedic, I saw the damage and fully expected to lose the arm. I didn’t care. I just wanted to survive. I put the tourniquet on with some assistance and obviously survived the night. Eighteen surgeries and three years later I was medically retired. Yes, I had a pension but it onl... Full Article »

The M Word

May 30, 2019 in Fitness & Health & Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Training
By: Crawford Coates

Most first responders run from the idea of meditation nearly as fast as they would run toward the proverbial flames and gunshots of their training. And I get that impulse. The first time I tried meditation I just about lost my mind. The stillness and quiet—beyond oppressive. What was the point of it all? I had better things to be doing! What had I gotten myself into? But thankfully and luckily I worked past those reactions. My point: As a bu... Full Article »

Instilling Purpose

May 30, 2019 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Patrol & Training
By: Crawford Coates

Since my assignment to the training division of our department, I am involved with much of the training conducted, both in-service and new hire. We, like many departments, are hiring at a rate much greater than in the past to fill vacancies. What we have seen, especially in the last three or four years, is a need to increase the amount of training before we release our officers to the FTO program and then academy.  The state requires a pre-basi... Full Article »

Mindfulness … & First Responders???

May 06, 2019 in Fitness & Health & Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Patrol & Training
By: Crawford Coates

Mindfulness is, at this point, an almost meaningless concept for many. It reeks of an attractive middle-age woman sitting cross-legged in a field of grass with OK signs planted on each knee. She’s ridden a bike here, it seems, and eats lots of salad, and doesn’t do much more than that. How many times, furthermore, have I heard it suggested that we “mindfully” brush our teeth? Do the dishes? Clean house? And if you were to put the adverb ... Full Article »

Answer the Why, Motivate the Team

May 01, 2019 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Patrol & Training
By: Crawford Coates

The law enforcement profession is fluid and constantly changing. As officers train and adjust their tactics in an effort to keep their communities safe, so do the criminal element. Law enforcement professionals across the United States must ensure that they also stay abreast of new laws that are passed at each legislative session. As if these challenges were not demanding enough leaders in law enforcement must be cognizant of the cultural challen... Full Article »

FTO: Lead from Where You Are

Apr 18, 2019 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Training
By: Crawford Coates

It's 0300 on a Tuesday. It’s been a relatively slow shift which is set to end at 0600. You’re serving as a Field Training Officer (FTO). It’s Day 17 of the FTO period. You and the new officer have started to find your rhythm. Amid a slow night of catching up on reports and completing mandatory policy reviews, a storm begins to enter your area. In the back of your mind you think to yourself, "Great. Another storm. That means I’ll be sent t... Full Article »

Retraction

Apr 12, 2019 in Uncategorized
By: Crawford Coates

Notice: As the publisher at Calibre Press, I like to be able to stand by all that we do and say. Unfortunately, sometimes I get it wrong, as was the case for the article entitled "In a World of Active Shooters: A Personal Experience."  After reviewing the article with the Aurora, Ill., PD, some of the facts provided to our author by a third party didn't add up. I regret the error and wish to apologize to the Aurora PD and community for publishi... Full Article »

Fit For Duty

Apr 12, 2019 in Uncategorized
By: Crawford Coates

[Publisher's Note: The following is an excerpt from Calibre Press' latest book, Mindful Responder. It is available now on Kindle and will be out in print in the next few weeks.] Some call us ‘occupational athletes.’ That word, athlete, others will say involves competition, and so they claim that’s not part of first response. But that’s not true, I think. You’re always up against the clock as a first responder. We’re competing for our... Full Article »

The Go-Bag

Mar 19, 2019 in Fitness & Health & Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Patrol & Training
By: Crawford Coates

[Publisher's note: The following post was first published by Lexipol and is reprinted here with permission. For more about Lexipol--and more exclusive content--visit www.Lexipol.com.] From the academy to retirement, most public safety careers impact the lives of those closest to the employee—friends, parents, siblings, a spouse, children. Everyone in the extended family, at some point, will experience unique challenges as part of a public saf... Full Article »