Police One Column: 13 questions to answer in 2013: What has 2012 taught you about officer safety and effectiveness?

As this is the last week of the year, many of us are understandably looking back at the past 12 months and discussing what we consider to be the significant events of 2012.

In most cases, such discussions tend to focus on the numerous challenges and upheavals we’ve either watched from afar or witnessed firsthand — from police response to crisis to police officers being ambushed and killed in the line of duty.

There’s no question this year as well as years past has brought about much adversity and numerous lessons we can learn from. As cops we are no strangers to adversity. Crime fighting has taken its toll. Since the first recorded police death in 1791, there have been more than 19,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

Let’s also not forget that on average almost, 60,000 cops are assaulted each year, with over half of these assaults leading to serious life-threatening injuries.

Learning from Experience

General of the Army Omar N. Bradley once said, “I learned that good judgment comes from experience and that experience grows out of mistakes.”
Adversity in and of itself is not necessarily a positive or negative thing. Rather, it’s what we do, and whether or not we’re open to learning from it that should decide whether adversity has been of benefit or harmful to us.

Is it not time we, each and every one of us cops, start making a conscious effort in learning from experience and applying the lessons learned from the street, and focus our efforts on being more safe and effective?

At this writing, law enforcement officer’s killed in the line of duty numbers are down 21 percent and any time these numbers are going downward is a good thing.

However, one loss of a cop's life is tragic most especially when it could have been prevented through the utilization of sound tactics and decision making learned from the lessons of, the over 19,000 cops, who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Continue reading article at Police One