Mental preparation gives you the inner strengths and capabilities to have the confidence in your abilities, and to over come the uncertainties and fears that often arise in serious and deadly confrontations.
Build and maintain an “I will get you, I will survive” attitude. A positive attitude will show, even to the suspect. Control your fear. Allow it to do its job, but control the results of it. Don’t let it control you. If you control the fear, you can control the situation.
- Always expect the unexpected. One of the main things I have learned in law enforcement is that things are often not as they appear. People are deceptive and often cunning. They can be extremely dangerous and intent on assaulting you while at the same time approaching you in a friendly manner. Do not take anything at face value until you have had a chance to assess your situation.
- Never take on a tasking you or your dog are not fully capable of handling. To do so is to put yourself, your dog and your fellow officers in jeopardy.
- Just as mental preparation helps you to keep your confi dence up during serious confrontations, physical fitness is also vital. Keeping yourself in good physical condition will also help you with your confidence level, and has a heavy role in your mental conditioning.
- High risk times are what you work most. Hours of darkness between 2000 hours and 0400 hours. As a K9 Officer you will work most high risk crimes. You are more prone to attack than most other officers.
- In preparing to start a track, ensure you have a backup officer you know you can depend on. While on the track, ensure that you know where your backup is at all times. Do not allow your backup to return to his car until you are finished. Take someone who is physically capable of keeping up. REMEMBER IT IS YOUR LIFE ON THE LINE…YOU CHOOSE THE BACKUP, THE BACKUP DOESN’T CHOOSE YOU.
Note: More advanced information on this subject during sessions instructed at the International Police K9 Conferences held annually in various locations throughout North America.