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Our Highest Values & Traditions

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Posted over 4 years ago

 

6-16-10


A few years ago, we had a lengthy discussion about 'The Warrior' mindset as it pertains to law enforcement. Many many people commented on it. It turned out to be an enlightening and thoughtful forum. It was actually considered by many to be a landmark and cornerstone discussion in the early days of PoliceLink.


I was looking at one of my albums yesterday, titled "Navy SEALs". In it are motivational posters but of a unique genre. I was hugely surprised to see this particular album had over 3,000 page views. That alone told me people were quietly interested.


Some words of depth appear in that album:


Courage: policelink.monster.com/albums/101073-navy-seals/photos/461640-courage


Vigilance: policelink.monster.com/photos/461675-vigilance


Adaptability: policelink.monster.com/photos/461705-adaptability


Knowledge: policelink.monster.com/photos/461721-knowledge


Perseverance: policelink.monster.com/photos/461740-perseverance


Discipline: policelink.monster.com/photos/461745-discipline


Take a word(s) of your choosing and comment on it as it applies to law enforcement.


If you are not a LEO, please qualify your comment in how you think the word  might apply to law enforcement. LEO's just post up what you think.


My concern is this. These six words seem to be in diminishing supply. Some people in our new generation of LEO professionals may not be quite in touch with the deep ideals that have been carried forward by brave men and women to today's law enforcement landscape.


It just seems to me when we wrap ourselves in these ideals AND The Law Enforcement Code of Ethics, we do our jobs better. And our communities appreciate our work a little more, if even slightly.


Thoughts?


 


The Guy !
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Thanks BSL.


I have some real concerns about our nation.


And if we have to start somewhere, it might as well be in our own LEO backyard.


If we can instill and embed some of these bedrock ideals, they will indeed flesh themselves out in communities across our land. And THAT can make a difference.


And I think there are people here on our site that are looking for direction and leadership. They seem to be a quiet majority but they are here.


I am convinced of this.


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I might be a little too deep into my "disinfranchised" mindset right now to post on these things with a positive attitude.  Maybe seeing some fresh prospectives will remotivate me.  My Dad told me when I got in the business, "Son, now you can't hold people to the same standards you hold yourself, anymore". 


 


  Fantastic idea.


What was just posted was probably a poor attempt at humor, wit, or sarcasm. It;s called breakin balls, get used to it.

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COURAGE:


Courage is putting on the badge everyday and kissing your family goodbye before every shift starts not knowing whether it will be your last. It is a mindset that no matter what situation is before you, you will do what is necessary to complete the task. Courage is standing up for what is right and protecting the sheep when the wolves are on the prowl. Every LEO should exhibit courage while in their duties and if they don’t find another career…


(Do not misconstrue what I said above. Every situation is different so don’t run into every situation b@lls to the wall without thinking tactically about the incident. Blind courage can be deadly…)


"The will to win is meaningless without the will to prepare!" -- Joe Gibbs

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Rekked, ... disenfranchised indeed. I clearly understand what you mean.


Sometimes standing alone to 'do the right thing' is a lonely place. Even among peers. But allowing ourselves to be reduced to paychecks, seniority and just getting by with the minimums doesn't feel right either. Swimming against the current, getting burned by going through the fire instead of around it and maybe paying a price that is maybe feeling downright criminal is sometimes what our 'assignment' is. It's easy to identify the bad guy in street work. It is more difficult to live among the bad buys who would use us and are perhaps wearing the same uniform.


As mentioned by GEA212, it takes courage just to crawl into a uniform. However, I dismissed the idea of 'not knowing if I was coming home' a long time ago. I figured if my number was up, it wouldn't matter anyway. And my family and I all lived with that understanding. But I was expected to come home. There wasn't an option in this. And, fortunate for me, I did come home everyday.


I guess what I want to stay is this: Shake off whatever the accelerant is that could cause disenfranchisement and disappointment. Lift up a guidon of these ideals and move ahead. You'd be surprised when you look back and see a wave of followers.


They just want a real deal leader.


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I think this is a very good topic, and I'm glad it came up. All of these words are keywords when you do what we do. I think I would like to address a few of the words in so much as a word can be addressed. This is my take on some of the terms listed.


Courage- In the definition, as I learned it, you have a vital keypoint to LE. It takes something special inside a person to throw away the self preservation instinct, and run into a hellstorm head first. We are the ones who run into the building the bullets are coming from. We go into the house where the burglars are. we go into the burning building. If you want an example of courage, imagine looking up at a pair of the worlds tallest buildings, as black smoke, flames, and bodies billowed out, and without hesitation or forethought about your own safety, you run in to save others. That, my friends, is courage.


Vigilance- Ever watchful. The averted gaze of an abused wife. The pain in the eyes of an abused child who's been brainwashed into thi nking it's "Our little secret". The way the suspects eyes go up and to the left when you ask him where he was when the Old lady was beaten within an inch of her life. It's the things we see that the average joe doesn't. It's also knowing when a sitiaution is about to get bad, and being a second set of eyes for your partner. WE are charged with the safety of the community, and we don't have the luxury of walking around with blinders on.


Knowledge- This is just common sense. If you don't know your job, you are setting yourself up for failure. Liability, pure and simple. I can't even imagine.


Discipline- We test these waters every day. We all do it, but we may not realize it. It could be as simple as "Will my wife notice if I don't put my coffee cup in the dishwasher". The fact is we are held to a higher standard, and to me, that is what makes me go the extra mile. If I screw up a report, I will rewrite it. I will not take the easy wrong over ther hard right. It's way to easy to slip, and let laziness take over sometimes. I'm not saying we don't all deserve a lazy day every now and then, but remember, our job, and the way we do it could have a tremendous impact on other peoples lives, and the way the scales of Justice Balanace.


That is My take on a few of the terms addressed, and how i feel they apply in LE.

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Perseverance is probably the most important one in my (Non LEO) eyes as it encompasses many of the other aspects of the warrior mindset. I think it takes a certain individual to be an officer. That officer must overcome hardship, adversity, fear and tribulation and be happy about it. An officer stands out above the rest but gets little or no credit for doing so and he/she must be happy about it. An officer is faced with all manner of suituations of which no two are alike, and that officer must handle each one with confidence. An officer's life and the lives of others depend on the officer coming out on top in any given task. Officers are not superhuman, they are ordinary people with extraordinary hearts and minds. They keep pushing when others give up, they keep pushing you even when you have given up on yourself. They push themselves to be the best they can be when others are satisfied with coasting along. They hammer away at problems that may never be solved and they do it with a passion when other would have given up in frustration. These few situation show perseverance and IMO, it takes courage, adaptability, dicipline and knowledge to persevere.


These are qualities all you guys/gals have and qualities I value among many others.

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What was just posted was probably a poor attempt at humor, wit, or sarcasm. It;s called breakin balls, get used to it.

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Great topic Sarge.


A few of us at work were discussing the views that the public has on "younger generation" cops in my community. They think we are all out to get them and that we want to beat up every citizen we come into contact with. This statement is simply not true for me..


Now moving on to the topic, I will focus on the Discipline.


As a young Reserve that is preparing for the Academy discipline means holding myself to a higher standard than my friends an peers.  Staying focused on my goals and going forward with everything that I have to do to become an Officer.  Discipline will mean listening to my FTO's and Senior Officers when they give me advice.  Discipline will mean that I strive to become the best Officer I can so that my co-workers can say "Hey I trust that guy with my life" or "I want him to back me up".  Discipline will mean putting my vest on everyday even though its NOT required and its 93 degrees outside.  Discipline means setting an example for my little girl and my community and representing my department to the best of my ability.


There is not much else I can say about it, I hope what I did say makes sense to everyone and BSL GREAT post sir.

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I don’t want to hijack this important thread, but I would like to add a word to the list that I feel is very important to LEO’s.
 
RESPECT:
 
I think many new officers lack respect (my opinion from what I see locally). They lack respect in regard to authority and for senior officers. Respect the men who have been there and done it. Take what they have to say and gain knowledge from it. It may save your life one day.
 
Also respect the citizen we have sworn to protect. We have all had bad days, but don’t take it out on the public. They deserve the same respect we expect from them. We are not above them just because we wear a badge. 


"The will to win is meaningless without the will to prepare!" -- Joe Gibbs

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I am not a LEO, but am trying to become one after I graduate. I feel that the topic is a little vague, but I suppose it was meant to to be that way.


Discipline-.


Just as BSL1123 said, " the way [officers] do it could have a tremendous impact on other peoples lives, and the way the scales of Justice Balance." I believe following a code of conduct in the line of law enforcement is critical. Without it, officers might lose the trust of the public and may be seen as abusers rathers than defenders. If faced with an unclear situation, a LEO should try to see the other perspective or put themselves in the other's shoes. A LEO's job is stressful, hard, and many times draining (from what I have seen), but they must not falter when it comes to discipline. An officer should always maintain both the standards of the public as well as their morals.


The reason I chose this word was because of something that I witnessed. I won't go into details, but basically I was at a crime scene (I intern at the coroner's office) with a body. While we were examining everything, a few officers were with us to make sure the scene was secured. The victim's family was there, but further away. Anyways, during this time, the officers were joking and being very immature. I was not sure if the family could hear, but it was still nonetheless an uncomfortable situation to be in for me. I was worried that the family could hear, but at the same time I did not want to comment on the behavior of those officers.


While I understand everyone has their own method of coping with stress, I strongly believe that a LEO should always keep in mind that they are constantly being watched by not only fellow officers, but also the public that they protect. To me, discipline is not only important for training and facing adversity, but also for behaving in accordance with the rules of conduct.


"A lot of people quit looking for work as soon as they find a job."
Zig Ziglar

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GEA212 says ...


 I don’t want to hijack this important thread, but I would like to add a word to the list that I feel is very important to LEO’s.


et al... 


+++++++++++++++

This is an open discussion. You're not hijacking anything. You and anyone else can come back as often as you want to continue in the discussion. I don't know of any cop who has only ONE opinion !


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toutvabien says ...



(See above)


++++++++++++++

Glad you dropped in to this discussion.


I guarantee you if stick and stay with this forum, you will hear from people who's souls are defined by these 6 words.


Stick around and post again.


Great to hear from you.


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BSL1123 says ...



Knowledge- This is just common sense. If you don't know your job, you are setting yourself up for failure. Liability, pure and simple. I can't even imagine.


That is My take on a few of the terms addressed, and how i feel they apply in LE.


(see above)


++++++++++++++++++++++++

Common sense. There is a weak area right there. To have common sense means to have common knowledge and/or a common experience. There are a lot of folks that don't have either. They can download software but they can't correrctly off-load a pistol. Don't know a thug from a plug, a gasket from a basket or a Glock from a rock.


 


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I agree 100% Sarge.


Maybe I didn't fully explain my point of view about possibly not coming home.  You should never have the mindset, "Im not coming home"  I have been to too many officer's funerals, and cry everytime for my fallen brother/sister... It is just a reality that not coming home is a possiblity.


I guess that is where PERSEVERENCE comes in.  When your fighting the guy on the side of the road, waiting for backup to arrive, you have to have the perseverence to say, "Im making it home to see my family".  You have to persevere through all the B.S. we put up with on a daily basis and make it a point to go home. 


"The will to win is meaningless without the will to prepare!" -- Joe Gibbs

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OK, I will take Knowledge -


  There are many aspects of Law Enforcement that anybody could do.  See car with headlight out, pull it over, write a ticket.  Some people can do a lot of that and look like great officers because of their volume of tickets.  But it has to be more than that.  You have to be armed with the knowledge to handle dozens of situations, and of those dozens, each one can and will be different.  You can have reasonable suspicion for a stop, probable cause for a DUI arrest, then not know to have them sign the implied consent form, or wait the 20 minutes observation period for the intoximeter, or sign the officer's return on your warrant.  Then, you have to write every last possible thing in your report, so when you are on the stand, you are armed with that knowledge. 


  You have to have the knowledge to assess a scene and act apropriately.  You enter a domestic, and all you know is, someone is the agressor, and someone is going to jail.  You then find that instead of diffusing the situation, you have added to the agression, and become part of the arguement.  All because on the last ten domestics you worked, you never sat back afterwards and reflected and studied the situation, your mistakes, and how to avoid them next time.


  Knowledge does not come from the classroom.  It comes from life experience.  The classroom can give you tools to access and identify that knowledge, but you need to learn to apply it. 


  Knowledge and adaptability is the difference between doing your job, and doing it well.  But remember, you could be the smartest officer who always does things correct and righteous, and the guy with three hundred seatbelt tickets wrote will get the glory and praise. 


What was just posted was probably a poor attempt at humor, wit, or sarcasm. It;s called breakin balls, get used to it.

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GEA212 says ...



 


I don’t want to hijack this important thread, but I would like to add a word to the list that I feel is very important to LEO’s.
 
RESPECT:
 
I think many new officers lack respect (my opinion from what I see locally). They lack respect in regard to authority and for senior officers. Respect the men who have been there and done it. Take what they have to say and gain knowledge from it. It may save your life one day.
 
Also respect the citizen we have sworn to protect. We have all had bad days, but don’t take it out on the public. They deserve the same respect we expect from them. We are not above them just because we wear a badge. 
 
 
"....I have been to too many officer's funerals, and cry everytime for my fallen brother/sister..."

Well said brother...


"TheSarge": This is an Extremely important Topic. Moreover, the option to allow Civilians in, to share their opinion from a non-LEO viewpoint. I will try to share my modest opinion later. Meanwhile... Thumbs up on this thread.

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Rekked says ...



  Knowledge and adaptability is the difference between doing your job, and doing it well.  But remember, you could be the smartest officer who always does things correct and righteous, and the guy with three hundred seatbelt tickets wrote will get the glory and praise. 


++++++++++++++

E-x-a-c-t-l-y. This is where staying steady on your principles, ideals and mission to ignore the misdirected appreciation.


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Good topic, would love to see more of this here on PL.


In regards to the SEALs, law enforcement officers will always look up to the elite warriors of the military....titles like SEAL, Ranger, Green Beret, Delta...etc etc. The military is the father of the paramilitary police profession. When you see those types of warriors you think of courage, courage when its not humanly normal to be courageous. Everyone in this line of work would like to think he would face the worst that can be thrown at him.


In our division, we have the Army NCO creed hanging on our wall, the American flag, the Warrior Ethos, SWAT posters from the TTPOA conferences, and a bumper sticker that reads "God bless our Marines, especially our snipers."


I think all are a reminder of the mindset you need to have to face what we may run into.

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As a civilian, my perspective on these qualities in our law enforcement officers.


COURAGE


I see courage at the everyday crossroads where the well-met duty to serve and protect prevails over the shrill, chaotic dictates of a society that lionizes and damns.


VIGILANCE


I see the public trust embodied - even through crushing banality and tedium - valiant and true. 


ADAPTABILITY


I see fierce drive toward uncompromising self-investigation.  I see humility and transformation.  I see spirit.


PERSERVERANCE


I see grit and humor as the stalwart's chief weapon.


DISCIPLINE


I see The Way, sought.  I see sacrifice.


 


"Before enlightenment, fetching a pail of water.  After enlightenment, fetching a pail of water."


Zen Proverb

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I was skimming the boards looking for Officers ideas on what motivates them to do what they do.  I came across this post and looked at the words over and over again.  I carefully contemplated each one separately and then as a group.  What I discovered was that each of these words on their own means little to me. They are poster words, thrown around lightly and without any depth in their meaning. Put them all together though and apply all the concepts as a whole and there is a recipe for motivation to self improve and stay on top of the game.

 I will try to explain my concept


Courage: The bravery we show daily, be it to face adversity, a hostile subject, a moral dilema or whatever else the job throw our way. In order to be courageous we must have an insight or knowledge into why we are doing this job and what the badge and uniform represent. We must maintain the idea that others have paid the ultimate price representing the very thing we are to represent. We must have the discipline needed to act rational when facing the things that would turn most peoples stomach's. We must maintain a vigilance over ourselves and daily activities to ensure we don't fall into the traps and pitfalls that corrupt both morally and criminally. We must have the adaptability to change our mindset at a moments notice to perform in the methods most likely to produce the best results. We need to be able to adapt to the changes in the field from administrative policy to the changes that come from the technology and methods that are presented to us through the evolution of the job.  Through all the adversity we face, from the strained home life, to the infants death, the OIS to the traffic stop we continue on with unabated perseverance. We are willing to take that extra step, go the extra mile. We sacrifice all we have for an idea that can not be put into words.  In the end there is no thank you, job well done, medal or ticker tape parade. The only thing we can grasp is our inner knowledge that we have done our best to make the world a better place.


I have come to the realization that I can not apply what motivates others to my daily life.  What I can do is look to the 6 words the Sarge has put on this post then look within to find the answers, follow the concepts of the words with an honest evaluation of self. I do not believe there is a true definition of any of these words that can be applied to Law Enforcement. All have abstract concepts that each of us needs to mold into our being.  I can not define what each of these words means to me in terms. I only know what I feel about each of them, and how my daily life is impacted by each of them.


Just my nonsensical ramblings.


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For me, all those traits work together to form one thing…..Integrity.
I think integrity is the cornerstone and essence of what makes a police officer.  
And a police officer without it is nothing….

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I agree with MN108.  For me the word that encompasses it all is honor. Without honor you do not/cannot have integrity - they are interchangable for me.  That one word encompasses so many traits that makes up it's whole.  To have one part removed makes it no more. An honorable person has integrity.  An honorable person will perservere, is diligant, has courage, is respected and disciplined. 


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Excellent topic,


Courage and perseverance are dear because if we look at our communities after disaster its when everyone gathers the strength and courage to bury their differences and band together and stand up to disaster and rebuild a great nation.


We look at the veterans returning with missing limbs.  In Military.Com you read articles daily of the vets past and present that return and continue with their lives.  The most notable are those vets that have no physical injury or handicap and then have to deal with the mental stress of PTSD. 


The most couragous are the spouses and children of the fallen our brothers and sisters and the veterans that have to endure a tragic loss and still stand up for the causes those losses represent.  At an officers funeral,  I observed a little six to eight year old stand up with his mom and take a hold of his fathers flag and amonst the tears he managed to maintain his composure, reach over and tell his mom everything will be alright I'm here and so is daddy!


I agree this nation appears to be losing site of those values and in the fast pace society we live in a lot gets compromised, but 9-11 showed the nations resolve to unite.  I see many things going on and everytime I think the nation has lost it, something happens to strengthen my resolve and pride in the country.


Despite a lack of leadership or strained leadership and an overwhelming sense of  the need for political correctness I feel that the country is still standing strong regarding its virtues and values.  They are strained and very stressed at times.  This is perseverance.


 


Perseverance is staying the course and believing in a solid foundation.  After all that is why we all do what we do despite the courts failure to keep certain people locked up or hand out soft sentences.  We still persevere to do our job and complete the paperwork and investigation because we haqve pride and a solid work ethic.  Our injured officers and their spouses persevere to cope with injury, loss and maintain a normal lifestyle.  The aforementioned traits are what this nation and the vast majority of us are built on and stand for.  The fog of distrust often warps things and causes a societal stigmatism, but clear it all away and ask any American, you find those traits are booming loud an clear.


I know, I sound like a crusader, but I guess thats not so bad.  I've been called worse by my fellow countrymen and the nations I have gone over to rescue from tyranny, so I'll be a crusader, there are worse things...

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DonnaLynn says ...



I agree with MN108.  For me the word that encompasses it all is honor. Without honor you do not/cannot have integrity - they are interchangable for me.  That one word encompasses so many traits that makes up it's whole.  To have one part removed makes it no more. An honorable person has integrity.  An honorable person will perservere, is diligant, has courage, is respected and disciplined. 


I'm BUMPING what Donna and MN say in regards to integrity.  Its definitely the cornerstone of law enforcement.  I'll be back for additional comments :-)



The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head
- Proverbs 20:29

Nemo me impune lacessit

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COURAGE:  There are several synonyms for this word, which are bravery, valor, fearlessness, nerve, guts


I truly believe that law enforcement is the world's most demanding job and one of the most dangerous.  When a man or woman becomes a cop, his/her greatest act of bravery has been accomplished.  Unfortunately, there will be some cops that will be killed in their line of duty.  When they join a department, they face that fact.  Bravery is believing in yourself.  It's something that no one can ever teach you. 


The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head
- Proverbs 20:29

Nemo me impune lacessit

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Thank you for this topic.


I am going to have to go with courage right now, and I hope to add more thoughts later.  When I think of any LEO, courage is the first word that comes to mind.


Before getting to know a few LEOs and going on a few ride-alongs the word felt different. Courage meant things like facing the boss when you made a mistake or telling someone you don't like something they had done or said. I used to toss the word 'coward' around like it meant nothing. Now the word means so much more.


Courage is standing up for people who can not do it on their own, helping someone who may not even like you, doing what no one else will do because someone has to do it, willingly risking your own safety to make the world safe for others, standing up for what is right no matter what, and doing it all over and over again.


Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.- C.S. Lewis

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Perseverance


My story:



I joined the Navy. I have a tattoo of  an Angel on my inner left forearm. The angel was nude. I was waivered at MEPS, sent to boot camp. My third day in boot camp they said they couldn't honor the waiver and had to send me home. I spent a month in a half in a compartment with other females getting kicked out until I finally got home. I then with lots of shame had to start over again. I got the tattoo covered and then worked on getting back in. My paperwork got sent to a senior chief who promised to do everything possible to get me in. he told me three days, three days turned into 3 months. I was about ready to throw it all away. I finally started questioning- it was the military's fault in the first place they told me YES and then NO. I found out that it was the Senior Chief who got in trouble for all the mess that happened to me.


The Commander of the MEPS ( after I called him and notified him of my problem) then investigated. the Senior Chief hadf hid my paperwork in his desk, and was aiting for me to quit. That Commander had me back in the Navy within 24hrs.

Without Perseverance I would be nothing, have nothing and amount to nothing.



After that experience I learned how much perseverance means in my job as well. Sometimes even when you want to quit, you don't think you can make it, there is no way that you are going to make it through. You have to keep pushing. YOU HAVE TO KEEP FIGHTING. Because if you quit, there are families and victims counting on you to be there, ALWAYS.

 

Just_passin__thru_max50

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Good thoughts and posts so far.


Keep the conversation going.


Remember, you're not necessarily talking to me. You're talking to the world. You have the ultimate soapbox right here.


And, you might want to expand on a comment made by another person. It's all in good communication.


Outstanding, folks.


The Guy !
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Honoring the Fallen

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TheSarge says ...



(see above)


+++++++++++++++++++++++++ 


I will try and answer those - not being a LEO but I have a question  that seems to indicate a lack of respect for LEO's (and , frankly, the protection of the tax payers.) I don;t know if this is  a new  trend in NY or in the USA but, why are LEO's told to just shoot a perp in the leg or give the perps a little booboo fleshwound ? I don;t understand that at all- the perps aren't going to be doing the same and I think it's important to STOP them , in any way, can some one enlighten me?


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