September 2, 2014

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More Below 100: Reducing LODDs

Gordon Graham
Category: Law Enforcement

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. And Today’s Tip deals with a topic we’ve talked about before and we’ll continue to talk about until it happens.

There is no “acceptable loss” for officers who are killed in the line of duty.

Law Officer Magazine’s Below 100 initiative with the goal of reducing the number of law enforcement line-of-duty deaths in the U.S. to less than one-hundred for the first time since 1943. 

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Below 100, the mission revolves around five simple core officer-safety tenets:  

  • Wear your vest (body armor and high-vis) 
  • Watch your speed  
  • Wear your (seat) belt  
  • WIN- What’s Important Now?  
  • Remember: Complacency Kills!

Notice I said ‘simple’, not ‘easy’. Simple ‘simply’ means ‘lack of complexity’. Easy, on the other hand, is associated with ‘lack of effort’. It does take effort to follow these five simple safety steps.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Below 100 is not about ‘acceptable loss’There is no “acceptable loss” for officers who are killed in the line of duty. Below 100 is simply a goal and should we meet that goal, we can raise the bar in future years to below 90, or 80, or 70. You get the idea. We also understand that the only ‘acceptable’ number of officer deaths is zero. We work a dangerous job and not all deaths are preventable. However, many of the line-of-duty deaths we encounter every year ARE preventable and those are the deaths that Below 100 addresses.

Below 100 is not about the number. It is about the change in culture; the culture of officer safety and increasing our chances of surviving potentially deadly situations. It’s about having those courageous conversations with other officers when we see them engaging in conduct that endangers not only their lives, but the lives of others. Not wearing their vests, driving too fast and/or not wearing seat belts. And it’s not only having the courage to have those conversations, but the maturity to accept it when someone else calls us out on unacceptable conduct.

And that is today’s tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off.

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