General Forums >> Introductions >> 3. New Members: Read this before proceeding


3. New Members: Read this before proceeding

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Posted about 9 years ago


Welcome to Read, heed, relax and enjoy our forums. This user guideline for the discussion forums in general is meant as not only words of welcome, but also as a baseline for what is expected of you as guests in this online community.

 Most of this is common sense, but all of it is still worth saying. Remember that these are open forums, so PERSEC and OPSEC must be observed at all times (PERSEC is personal security / OPSEC is operational security). Unless you are comfortable with it; do not give names, units or locations of self or others, and keep your personal info to a minimum. You never know who is reading.

To all you newbies, welcome aboard! This post was created with the purpose of giving you some advice and guidance before you jump into the world of the discussion forums. This is a pretty long post, but be patient and read it through – it will help you avoid embarrassment and give you some very helpful background information.

STARTING OUT - READ the Terms of Use / User Agreement. Let me say that again: READ THE TOU. When you are on the website, you will find a number of blue, underlined links at the very bottom of every page. The “Terms of Use” is among them. - Read the boards. Don’t just jump right in and start a new thread or subject, because it may already exist. Visit other threads, view the opinions expressed, and get a feel for the flow of discussion that goes on around here.

Introduce yourself – tell us a little about who you are and what you’re all about. You don’t have to put anything out that you don’t want, just give us some background. -

Your Profile – it’s not mandatory that you put personal information in your profile, but anonymous posters tend to be less trusted than those who are honest in their profile. A big tip for your profile: List your ACTUAL status. If you are a spouse or enthusiast, just say so. Do NOT list your spouse’s rank or service status as your own.

HOW TO BEHAVE – Do’s and Don’ts - Argue all you want, but be respectful. This forum is provided to you for free, and is a public forum, but that does not give you the right to be disrespectful. - This forum supports the Law Enforcement community. That doesn’t mean that non-Law Enforcement personnel are not welcome, but it DOES mean that certain beliefs and traditions are held in higher regard. Among these are: - Respect for the uniform, if not the man (or woman) in spite of inter-service rivalry. All of us like to tease the others about our respective services, but keep it light. - Don’t question the service of another member. Nothing gives you the right to disparage anyone who served honorably. - Those that have direct law enforcement experience in a given topic have a higher level of regard than others here (within their area of expertise).

If you jump in offering your opinions on a particular subject, your level of experience comes into play.

Sensitive information. Certain information, while not strictly confidential, is still not appropriate for discussion on a forum that is open to a world wide audience. If in doubt, don’t talk about it. - Don’t rant and rave –Try to use reasoned debate, logic, credible sources, etc. In time you will be listened to with respect and you’ll enjoy your time here. - Keep a thick skin and a sense of humor. You are in amongst a number of folks who may or may not be ‘PC’. Understand that most of it is in fun. - Agree to disagree – don’t keep hammering away with a point that another member refuses to acknowledge. Just agree to have a different viewpoint; otherwise the resentment builds.

Name Calling is discouraged and not seen as a way to “win” a debate. Resorting to name calling generally results in disruptive posts by all parties involved, and will lead to suspension of posting privileges.

“Calling Out” of a member is not allowed because it disrupts the normal flow of debate on these forums. These are discussion forums. Not a place to air personal grudges.

Posting “Incendiary” Threads. Members who post extremely controversial thread topics for the sole purpose of aggravating large “groups” of members will have their threads moved and will face disciplinary action by the Moderators.

Respect the Moderators. The Moderators are those individuals who monitor the forums, assist the members, and ensure that the TOU are adhered to. On this site, the Mods are the all-knowing, all-powerful gods of your little universe. If they give you a warning, HEED IT – the next warning will be your banishment. Moderators enjoy some flexibility in applying discipline on these Forums. Members, who calm down, and comply with Moderator warnings will fair better than those who do not.

Checking profiles: Look at a member’s profile before you get into it with them. Simply click on their screen name and you can find out more about the poster. This is very useful, and will keep you from making mistakes like: referring to a woman as “he”, debating tactical issues with a Master SWAT Officer when you are not. It also lets you find out more about your fellow members.

Groups: If you wish to connect with someone and your commentary may be deemed inappropriate, create a group…public or private. This is considered an appropriate use of the group feature.

There you go, newbie – a bit of wisdom to get you started.

Read, heed, and Welcome Aboard!