Where Have All the Warriors Gone? A Spot On Article, Every Cop Should Read

Police-Badges-1 This article Where have all the warriors gone? by Valerie Van Brocklin, is spot on. I agree with it fully. If we are to win on the street and in the aftermath we have to challenge one another in a candid, honest and respectful manner in accord with our ethos! We must never lose sight of the fact that we as peace/law enforcement officers must WIN in the moral, mental and physical dimensions, if we wish to continually honor our profession.

All the talk of cops and our warrior mindset is great to prepare for that time when someone will attempt to take a law enforcement officers life is good but it must be balanced with the warrior code or ethos and in accord with our overall intent to protect and serve. This is the difficult job we have chosen and it is like no other job. Therefore our ethos must be maintained with discipline and harnessed emotions.

In her great book (I highly recommend) “The Code of the Warrior: Exploring Warrior Values Past and Present” Shannon French states:

" Warrior codes can be construed in a wide variety of ways to reflect the core values of diverse cultures. Why warriors need a code, I argue that the purpose of a code is to restrain warriors, for their own good as much for the good of others. Therefore the essential element of a warrior code is that it must set definite limits on what warriors can and cannot do if they want to continue to be regarded as warriors, not murders or cowards. For the warrior who has such a code, certain actions remain unthinkable, even in the most dire or extreme circumstances.”

With the media and its 24/7 cycle of news, one event reported leads to public perceptions that we cops are abusing our powers. This despite the fact that we as a profession utilize force in about 1% of all our contacts. This is a national statistic but one that goes very much unnoticed as the as the news plays over and over again an event that is either misunderstood due to the non-linear give and take of conflict law enforcement officers respond to or in the rare occurrence a cop tarnishes the badge. Either way the self sustaining chain of events, which often time starts with media reports help create this public perception and an emotional reaction that becomes even a greater concern.  This cascade of emotion and reaction has a drastic effect on how we police and the support we get or do not get. Our ethos should mean something to every cop who wears a badge in honor of all those we serve and those who have worn them before us.

We must never lose sight of what it is we do and why we do it.

Check out Valerie Van Brocklin’s article and give it some deep thought as you place that badge on your chest and follow your calling. 

Stay Oriented!


Where have all the warriors gone?

Last month I wrote about how all too common, profane, vile, bigoted comments posted anonymously by cops on the Internet violate the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics and are firing offenses.

More compelling, these commenter's and those who consider themselves brothers and sisters of a noble profession but sit silently by should be ashamed. Where are all those who claim to live by a Warrior Code of Ethics? Where is their righteous indignation at this sullying of the shield and the profession? 

There’s a Whole Lot of Warrior-ing Going On

Law enforcement these days pays a lot of homage to warrior-ing. There is sanctioned training on warrior mindsets, warrior readiness, warrior emotions, warrior mentoring, warrior leadership, even how-to-age-like-a-warrior.

Here’s a sample of training sessions from the 2012 ILEETA (International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association) Conference:

  • Becoming Knights: Training Warrior Mindset to the Non-Warrior
  • The Path of the Warrior Mentor
  • Filling the Tank – Warriors and Leaders
  • Always the Warrior at Every Age
  • Emotional Warrior Training: Combating Stress

Then there are the books:

  • Warrior Mindset: Mental Toughness Skills for a Nation’s Peacekeepers
  • Defensive Tactics: Modern Arrest & Control Techniques for Today's Police Warrior
  • Society’s Warrior Class: Inside a Policeman’s Mind
  • Elite Warriors – Special Response Units of the World
  • If I Knew Then 2: Warrior Reflections (from seasoned police officers)
  • W.I.N.: Critical Issues in Training and Leading Warriors

As a non-elite citizen, all this elite warrior class mindset stuff in a civilian police force might give me pause. But I’ve been honored to walk amongst this nation’s law enforcement officers for more than a quarter of a century, and I’ve always been humbled and reassured by the belief that with this elite, tactical, warrior mindset goes a warrior’s code of ethics.
I’m no longer reassured. Not when comments like the following are commonly, albeit anonymously, posted by police “warriors” on public Internet forums:

“we should blow up the whole city and start over. they bystanders are not even people, lups of s@#t.” [The commenter cared enough to come back and correct his spelling to “lumps of s@#t.”]

And -- instead of there being an outcry of righteous indignation from other “warriors” -- these kinds of comments are embraced, lauded and reiterated in similarly profane, cop-sung choruses.

Warrior Code of Ethics

Here’s what many of you have taught me about your warrior code. It’s extremely demanding -- not just of tactical skills, preparedness and vigilance, but of character. You are champions of restraint. Faced with a deadly threat, you may fire your weapon. But you will fire two shots to the center of mass and one to the head and then you will stop and assess the threat, and, if the threat has been stopped, you will, if you can do so safely, try to keep the former threat alive until an ambulance arrives. Continue reading here