Developing Smarter, Safer, More Successful Law Enforcement Officers

Posts by Crawford Coates:

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 »

Sovereign Threats

Feb 21, 2019 in Defensive Tactics & Law Enforcement Today & Officer Safety & Survival & Training
By: Crawford Coates

A subculture that exists in most communities around the United States, whose followers believe in bizarre, complex antigovernment sentiments. It has been growing at a fast pace since the late 2000s. Sovereign Citizens, as they are commonly referred, believe that they—not judges, juries, law enforcement, or elected officials—get to decide which laws to obey and which to ignore. They don't think government has any business inside their lives. T... Full Article »

The Right Stuff

Feb 11, 2019 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Training
By: Crawford Coates

In 2016, John Glenn left this Earth for his third and last time. As a kid growing up, I was fascinated by our country’s original seven Mercury astronauts who rocketed into the skies. Glenn was a major player before, during and after his first space mission. Some years after his historic orbital flight, he returned to the vastness on the space shuttle. To this day, one of my favorite movies is The Right Stuff. It tells the story of eight men: ... Full Article »

The Power of One Time

Feb 11, 2019 in Fitness & Health & Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Patrol & Training
By: Crawford Coates

2019 marks the 30th year I’ve been involved in Japanese martial arts. During my 30 years, I’ve been fortunate to have trained with a number of Japanese Masters. I’ve found many parallels from the martial arts context to the law enforcement profession. None of the wonderful teachings I have received seem to be as timely or as profound as the Japanese idiom “Ichi-Go Ichi-E,” which translates to “One time, one meeting.” In Japanese, ... Full Article »

Taking Care of the Human Behind the Badge

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

[Editor’s Note: This article is from the Cordico Law Enforcement Wellness App, which also provides audio content from Chief Tejada to help law enforcement develop a strong mindfulness practice.] Unlike most other professions, law enforcement is an emotionally challenging and often physically dangerous career. The nature of policing places law enforcement officers in situations where trauma is unavoidable, chronic stress and post-traumatic st... Full Article »

Straining The Line

Dec 06, 2018 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Training
By: Crawford Coates

The thin blue line is strained. The strain is getting worse by the day. But what if the thin blue line breaks? What I mean by this is: Where will society be when no one wants to do the job anymore? Law enforcement agencies across the country are facing increasing shortages due to retirements, transfers, and a major decrease in applicants trying to get into the academy. The retiring generation often bought into the job at a time when major narco... Full Article »

To Serve & Protect

Dec 04, 2018 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Patrol & Training
By: Crawford Coates

“Not all men are created equal, but only the finest become police officers.” This anonymous quote is embroidered in thick, black letters on an oval shaped slab of concrete resting in the center of my backyard garden. My hero may not have a cape or a mask, but he does have a badge. My dad, Officer Wierenga, is my Michigan hero. My dad is a police officer, if you haven't figured that out yet. Everyday he is a hero. It's his job. Everyday, as s... Full Article »

Tactical Paraphrasing

Nov 30, 2018 in Defensive Tactics & Fitness & Health & Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Patrol & Training
By: Crawford Coates

‘Active Listening’ dominates discourse on ‘deescalation,’ at least as far as classes and training seminars go. As for using it in the field, however, that’s another story. The Problem You are in a situation where you are trying to calm down an agitated individual. In classic form of active listening, the officer is told to use stilted language like: “What I hear you saying is …” or “What you are sharing with me is …” The ... Full Article »

GRAPHIC: Officers Shoot Man in Restaurant

Nov 15, 2018 in Law Enforcement Today & Video
By: Crawford Coates

As reported by newson6.com: Muskogee (Okla.) Police Department has released body cam video of the officer-involved shooting that left a suspect dead earlier this week. Andrew Kana was shot and killed November 12 while being arrested on felony warrants, according to MPD.  Three officers were taking Kana into custody at the I Don't Care Bar and Grill on West Shawnee Street Monday afternoon. They had a tip from a 911 caller that Kana was at the ... Full Article »

Even Cops Get Depressed

Oct 30, 2018 in Fitness & Health & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival
By: Crawford Coates

I was a police officer for 30 years, I’ve taught Criminal Justice for 14 years, and I’ve dealt with Major Depression Disorder for 20 years. The purpose of this article is to describe my experience with Major Depression, which may assist police officers who are experiencing symptoms of depression or know someone with depression. What Happened As Charles Dickens wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” I loved my wif... Full Article »

Crash Reconstruction & Drones: The Gateway Drug

Oct 23, 2018 in Defensive Tactics & Driving & Roadway & Law Enforcement Today & Officer Safety & Survival & Patrol & Training
By: Crawford Coates

If you were a child of the '80s and grew up during the "War on Drugs" era of Nancy Reagan "Just say no" slogans and Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) programs spreading through schools in the U.S., then you’re no stranger to what a gateway drug is. In case you aren’t familiar with the definition of a gateway drug I will save you the Google search: It’s a habit-forming drug that, while not itself addictive, may lead to the use of ot... Full Article »

Leadership Without Title

Oct 09, 2018 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Patrol & Training
By: Crawford Coates

Leadership is a vital component to any given organization and it can be argued that leadership or the lack thereof can lead to the success or demise of an organization. Throughout the years in my law enforcement career I have noticed a couple of key takeaways about leadership. One thing that’s become evident to me is that not everyone understands the true meaning of leadership. There are many who believe that leaders have to possess a title i... Full Article »