Reality works kind of like ripples on a lake, branches on a tree, or echoes through a canyon. See, history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does echo. There is an up and down vacillation throughout time. A pendulum swinging, if you will. What this means is that certain aspects of human nature will always be constant even as the world changes.
When it comes to filling hard-to-fill positions, say, police for example, there are many things which follow the swing of the pendulum. Policies come and go, as do supervisory personnel. Offices move, and community involvement shifts. Sometimes the changes are good, sometimes they aren’t; but you can always bet the cycle will come full circle.
Right now, just such a thing has happened. It is developing that public perception of law enforcement isn’t always accurate. While no organization is absolutely perfect, the local policemen in your neighborhood do a lot more good than harm.
Working in command, you get to see the domino-effect result of multiple officers safeguarding extended communities. Following are three lessons to take away from having experience with police command.
One: Blue Lives Matter More Than You Realize
There are many reasons police matter, but one of the most important is the role they play in keeping people from falling through the cracks. What many aspiring officers don’t realize is that protecting and serving, in its truest form, doesn’t always look like they may have considered. It’s not always chasing the bad guys, guns blazing and engines roaring.
Sometimes people have nobody else to call, and so they get in touch with their local police when troubles arise. There are many impoverished and elderly who aren’t on the streets, but likely would be there if it weren’t for the intervention of local officers.
Communally, and expansively, a network of officers working this way constitutes a very real net maintaining society. Sometimes protecting and serving means being there to check in on the old lady who calls dispatch neurotically.
Two: Attitude Is Integral
One reason many people have problems with those in law enforcement is that there is an attitude clash. It may be on behalf of the individual an officer must deal with, or it may be the fault of the officer. Working in law enforcement is difficult. You see the best and worst of society—and sometimes that can really get ugly.
If you’ve worked a desk job you understand, though you may not realize it. At the desk job, you begin to despise clients who just waste your time—even though your time dealing with them is the core of your job. It’s just human nature. In police command, over time, the job will get to certain officers in a certain way which taints their attitude.
What’s important to remember is how integral a police force truly concerned with protecting communities and society is. Part of keeping officer attitudes in check involves giving them recognition for that which is commendable—this is one reason challenge coins are often presented if there is cause for ceremony.
If you’re unfamiliar with challenge coins, you can find how they look like and how different they can be by visiting manufacturer websites, such as the one from the company Embleholics.
Three: People Change
There is a pervasive delusion today that says individuals become set in their ways and are incapable of change. This isn’t true, period. Officers come in young and wet behind the years, spend fifty years on the force, and are an entirely different person by the end of it. Those with the right attitudes and understanding of the bigger picture are better for their time. Those who’ve been unable to keep the job from getting to them may not be.
Criminals do become rehabilitated. People change. They change for the good and for the bad. A lot of what pushes them one way or another has to do with how they’re treated over time. But treating people good has a positive domino effect in the overall community, and can lead to a communal change which is good for everybody. A solid police force properly managed is integral to this.