Developing Smarter, Safer, More Successful Law Enforcement Officers

Posts by Scott Hughes:

Don’t Be That Person!

Sep 19, 2016 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Patrol
By: Scott Hughes

We all know them. The officer that nobody wants to be around. The most disgruntled person (for reasons often unknown) in the organization. The officer who has the “countdown to retirement” app on his phone and finds it necessary to show it to everybody at roll call! Guess what? Nobody cares! Most officers are excited about coming to work every day and trying to make a difference. Despite the nonsense going on in the world currently, most pe... Full Article »

The Truth about Violence

Aug 16, 2016 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Officer Safety & Survival & Patrol & Training
By: Scott Hughes

As I watch the senseless violence unfold in Milwaukee I think to myself, “We’re screwed!” No matter what we do we, the police, are critiqued, criticized, abused, demonized, assaulted, and even killed. For the most part mainstream media refuses to support the police and they seize every opportunity to turn a tragedy into a “police problem.” As I watch residents burn down their own town I ask myself, Why? What does burning down a gas sta... Full Article »

Keeping The Focus

Jul 21, 2016 in Law Enforcement Today & Officer Safety & Survival
By: Scott Hughes

The recent tragedies in Dallas, Baton Rouge, and Kansas, to name a few, have no doubt left a bad taste in the mouths of American law enforcement officers. Coupled with the lack of support from “leaders” around the country, it's obvious officers might not be excited about going to work. The evidence suggests that's the case. How long will this continue is anybody’s guess. But I’ll offer some advice in the meantime: Stay focused! Now, mor... Full Article »

On This Solemn Day: Remember Where You Came From!

Jul 08, 2016 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Patrol
By: Scott Hughes

As the news came in regarding the events in Dallas I began to cry. I have a great friend and mentor who works for Dallas PD and I immediately thought of him and his family. My heart goes out to every employee of the Dallas Police Department and their families. After pausing to reflect on the tragic events my next emotion was anger. Frankly, I’m pissed. I’m pissed off at the shooters, I’m pissed off at the media, and most importantly I’m ... Full Article »

The Fundamentals of Supervision: It Comes Down to Basics

May 11, 2016 in Education & Leadership & Patrol
By: Scott Hughes

Last month I wrote an article entitled “Remember Where You Came From.” Not to brag, but that article generated more than 75,000 views on Facebook and dozens of comments from readers. After reading the comments and emails I decided to create a snapshot of what I believe makes an effective supervisor. While this is certainly not an all-inclusive list, I hope it will serve as a reminder to those in supervision ranks (or those with aspirations of... Full Article »

Remember Where You Came From!

Apr 19, 2016 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership
By: Scott Hughes

How many times in your career—regardless of how long you’ve been in law enforcement—have you made or overhead somebody say the following? “My [insert rank, sergeant to chief] forgot where they came from!” Yep, we’ve all either said it or thought it at some point. The Temptation to Generalize [caption id="attachment_8268" align="alignright" width="262"] WATCH THE VIDEO.[/caption] I recently had the opportunity to view a bo... Full Article »

High-Risk Stops: 4 Tips for Better Tactics

Feb 08, 2016 in Defensive Tactics & Driving & Roadway & Patrol
By: Scott Hughes

They're called “high-risk” or “felony” stops for a reason—they are inherently dangerous and potentially deadly if not handled properly! (For more on this, see my previous article “Traffic Stop Survival.”) Remember how you felt the first time you typed that license plate into the computer and it came back STOLEN?! Woo-hoo! GO TIME! Unfortunately many law enforcement agencies don’t practice felony stops nearly enough, and when the... Full Article »

Your Choice

Jan 22, 2016 in Fitness & Health & Leadership & Patrol & Training
By: Scott Hughes

“We can’t change the past … It's water under the bridge.” Ever heard something to that effect? Well, guess what? It's true! And those of us in law enforcement need to abide the wisdom those words impart, especially now. There's nothing we can do to change how we were portrayed in 2015: The media pundits who looked for every opportunity to demonize us; the political figureheads who were trying to make a name for themselves by jumping on ... Full Article »

Prepared vs. Paranoid

Aug 27, 2015 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Patrol & Training
By: Scott Hughes

“At any time or place, by anyone, and for any reason.” What does that mean to you? How often have you thought to yourself: This could be the one? Officers need to be prepared—not paranoid—but prepared, to properly respond to ever-changing dynamic situations. This is no easy task. Balance, context, discretion—officers must are arrive at the appropriate response—neither over- nor under-reaction—in mere moments. They must operate... Full Article »

Night Moves

Jul 17, 2015 in Law Enforcement Today & Officer Safety & Survival & Training
By: Scott Hughes

It's a given that tactics change with conditions. Well, we all know that working nights is a different—and more dangerous—beast. Check your call logs and I'm sure it will confirm that the night shift accounts for more requests for service involving domestic violence, intoxication and, in general, mayhem than your day shift. Add to this the challenges of low light and you see what I mean: Your tactics need to be solid going into your shift. ... Full Article »


Jul 07, 2015 in Leadership & Training & Video
By: Scott Hughes stress

Former-Cpl. Mark Magness of Federal Heights, Colo., police department is captured on bodycam viciously assaulting a prisoner. Would a better understanding of stress have prevented this? “… 10 seconds of poor judgment can lead to: discipline, career derailment, depression, prison, and/or SUICIDE …” We show this on a PowerPoint slide during our Street Survival Seminar and ask officers to reflect on it momentarily. We follow up with this q... Full Article »

Motorcycle Traffic Stops

May 07, 2015 in Driving & Roadway & Patrol
By: Scott Hughes

Spring is here and the flowers are blooming in many parts of the country and the highways are once again abuzz with motorcycle enthusiasts. After the chill of winter, a day of sunshine on the open road is just what many of us need. With increased motorcycle traffic come increased motorcycle infractions. Although motorcycles present unique challenges to police officers, when initiating a traffic stop on a motorcycle, officers should use the same ... Full Article »

Perception & Reality: Bodycams

Apr 19, 2015 in Law Enforcement Today & Officer Safety & Survival & Patrol & Training
By: Scott Hughes

[Editor’s Note: In an exclusive interview with Calibre Press Instructor Scott Hughes, Officer Jesse Kidder recounts coming face-to-face with a double homicide suspect near Cincinnati.] At approximately 8pm on Thursday, April 16, 2015, Officer Jesse Kidder of the New Richmond, Ohio, police department was alerted by his dispatch center of a homicide suspect who had fled in a vehicle from investigators moments earlier in an adjacent county. Off... Full Article »

Alarm Drops & Building Searches

Apr 02, 2015 in Patrol & Training
By: Scott Hughes

Police officers search buildings for a number of reasons while on patrol. One of the most common times you’ll search a building is upon discovering an open window or unlocked door while checking on an alarm drop. Answering alarms pose significant challenges with inherent dangers. Too often officers approach alarm drops with a lackadaisical attitude, especially when returning to a house or business with a history of false alarms. If you find ... Full Article »

At What Convenience

Mar 09, 2015 in Patrol & Training
By: Scott Hughes

One of my favorite websites for stats,, lists the number of gas stations in the U.S. at more than 121,000 in 2014. Of these gas stations over 82% are also convenience stores. In some areas they’re on every corner, while in other parts of the country they’re miles apart. Regardless of how many stores there are in your jurisdiction, we all have a “favorite.” How do we pick our favorite? For some of us the choice is... Full Article »

Traffic Stop Survival

Feb 16, 2015 in Driving & Roadway & Law Enforcement Today
By: Scott Hughes

Nov. 11, 2013, started out as a typical third shift for Officer Dave Leighty of the Westerville, Ohio, Police Department. He observed a 2004 Ford Taurus failing to display a license plate light shortly after 1:00 a.m. Leighty followed the car, ran the license plate, and learned that the registered owner had a suspended driver’s license. Leighty notified dispatch and activated his overhead lights. The violator pulled over on Polaris Parkway n... Full Article »

Take Care of Your People

Feb 09, 2015 in Leadership & Patrol
By: Scott Hughes

Whether you are a new supervisor, or a seasoned leader looking for a few reminders, we can all use a reminder from time to time: appreciate your people. They may fall below you on the organizational chart, but they are the reason your role exists. Be Seen, Be Effective It’s difficult to effectively supervise if you sit in your office all shift completing administrative tasks handed down to you from your boss. There are certainly going to be... Full Article »

Resolutions Revisited

Jan 26, 2015 in Education & Leadership
By: Scott Hughes

We’re a few weeks into 2015 and I suspect some of us are already losing sight of our New Year Resolutions. The five most common, according to, are: 1) lose weight, 2) get organized, 3) spend less (save more), 4) enjoy life to the fullest, and 5) stay fit and healthy. The harsh reality: we almost always fail to realize these lofty goals. What about you? What did you want to do different in 2015? What are your professional ... Full Article »

Inside the Fishbowl

Jan 06, 2015 in Driving & Roadway & Patrol
By: Scott Hughes

Being inside a marked police car is often compared to a fish bowl: we’re behind glass in the public eye. This visibility makes police officers in their patrol vehicles easy targets for those wishing to cause us harm. 2014 was another tragic year for American law enforcement, with 118 officers killed in the line of duty and many more injured. Some of these attacks were launched on unsuspecting officers who were simply sitting in their police car... Full Article »

Traffic Stop Survival

Nov 12, 2014 in Officer Safety & Survival & Training
By: Scott Hughes

Traffic stops are undoubtedly the most common task performed by police officers. Unfortunately, because these encounters are frequently uneventful, officers become that infamous c-word: complacent! Despite telling officers that there’s no such thing as routine, we find ourselves treating traffic stops as just that. And, again, there is no such thing as routine! During my Tactics in Traffic (TNT) Course I stress several things with the hopes ... Full Article »