Developing Smarter, Safer, More Successful Law Enforcement Officers

Posts by Sam DiGiovanna:

Are You Ready?

Jul 09, 2019 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Training
By: Sam DiGiovanna

You’re at the station or on patrol and suddenly the building or ground begins to shake. You duck, cover, and hold (hopefully). After what seems to be an eternity (actually just 5 seconds), the shaking finally subsides. The pre-alert tones activate, and dispatch advises we are in “earthquake mode.” Are you prepared?  Just as we train and follow policy for fire suppression and life safety duties, we train for disasters, both natural and man... Full Article »

Becoming Comfortable in Your Own Skin!  

Jun 11, 2019 in Fitness & Health & Law Enforcement Today & Officer Safety & Survival & Training
By: Sam DiGiovanna

There’s a beauty about getting older—you become more comfortable in your own skin. The need for approval diminishes, you’re more confident in life and you can speak your mind without the fear of rejection. But if you want to stay comfortable in your own skin as you age, you need to protecting it properly! Consider this scenario: You put your gear in your unit and ready to hit the streets. Before the day gets rolling, the commander rev... Full Article »

A Clean Sweep

May 09, 2019 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Training
By: Sam DiGiovanna

I love the story of Ray Sidejas, operations manager of custodial guest services at Disneyland. Ray spent 46 years keeping the “happiest place on Earth” clean.  Ray didn’t originally think he’d work at Disneyland for long. He held down two jobs while attending college to earn a degree in Police Science. When he graduated in 1969, however, he had an opportunity to apply for a management position in janitorial services at Disneyland. He di... Full Article »

What’s in Your Cup?  

Dec 19, 2018 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Training
By: Sam DiGiovanna

Nothing beats a good cup of coffee at the station, sharing stories with the members of your department during shift change.  But the other day I read an anecdote on social media that made me think a little more deeply about this tradition.   You’re holding your cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you or shakes your arm, making you spill your coffee everywhere.  Why did you spill the coffee? “Well, because someone b... Full Article »

Flu Season & Fire Season!

Nov 05, 2018 in Fitness & Health & Law Enforcement Today
By: Sam DiGiovanna

This is the time of year we remind communities in the wildland/urban interface of the dangers of wildland fires. In truth, fire season is year-round, but when the deadly Santa Ana winds kick up here in Southern California where I work, the risk skyrockets. So we use the fall season as a reminder to residents to follow the "Ready, Set, Go" model of wildfire preparation. But there's another dangerous season out there we need to be aware of. Virus... Full Article »

Making Criticism Constructive

Sep 20, 2018 in Education & Leadership & Training
By: Sam DiGiovanna

Police officers are typically a straightforward, direct bunch. They’ll tell you when they think you’re doing something wrong, or when you could be doing it better. And mostly that’s good—we can’t afford to be dancing around one another’s feelings when we’re  in a foot pursuit or working to keep an unruly crowd in control. What we so freely dish out, however, we first responders aren't always so good at accepting. Being at the rece... Full Article »

Is Your Department Drifting?

Aug 22, 2018 in Education & Law Enforcement Today & Leadership
By: Sam DiGiovanna

I recently read a story about two teenage boys who came upon an abandoned boat floating in the river. The paddles were broken, but that didn't deter them. They jumped in the boat without much thought. We shoved off and drifted downstream talking, joking and carrying on. I'm not sure how much time passed as we floated aimlessly along, but we knew we were in trouble when a loud roar reached our ears. Up ahead, water was rushing over the dam. P... Full Article »

Do Your Policies Need a Spring Cleaning?

Jul 17, 2018 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Patrol & Training
By: Sam DiGiovanna

It’s that time of year when many of us air out the house, clear out the clutter, and do a top-to-bottom cleaning. Spring cleaning probably dates to the ancient Jewish practice of thoroughly cleaning one’s home before Passover, although the tradition is found in many cultures. Iranians call it “shaking the house” and they do it on the first day of spring. Regardless of how it started, the idea behind spring cleaning has applicability far ... Full Article »

MAYDAY! I’m Caught in the Comparison Trap!

Jul 05, 2018 in Fitness & Health & Training
By: Sam DiGiovanna

"The only person you should try to be better than is who you were yesterday." – Unknown Firefighters are some of the most competitive people I know. For the most part, that sense of competition is connected closely with camaraderie, and it serves us well: We push ourselves to run faster, perform better, learn more. And when one of us achieves something, we all benefit. But sometimes competition takes a negative turn. Sometimes we look at w... Full Article »