Always On Camera: Professionalism in Law Enforcement
Category: Law Enforcement
Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for my law enforcement friends.
Be the professional law enforcement officer that you are every day. Let these videos catch you doing the right thing! After all, that’s what you do best, isn’t it?
No matter where you go, somebody has a camera. Technology is here to stay folks. And I’m not just talking about our body cams, in-car video, or citizens with cell phone cameras. Oh no, no, no, no, no. Doorbells have cameras now. Businesses routinely have cameras. Then there’s traffic cameras, trail cams; you name it. Safe to say, cameras are everywhere.
Too often I hear officers say, be careful, you might be on camera. Well let me give you a newsflash, folks, guess what? You ARE almost always on camera. And we shouldn’t be afraid of it.
This is what we’ve trained our entire life. The chance to be part of professional law enforcement. We went to some of the best police academies in the world. We went through months of field training. And some of us even received college degrees. Don’t forget about the hundreds of hours of in-service training during our careers. Just watching this video tells me your commitment to learning and continuous improvement.
And now we get to go out every single day and be that professional peace officer on camera. Now I know what you’re thinking, “but Gordon, I don’t want people watching me.”
You know I don’t want to be rude here, but why not? Why not? Guess what? People watch you all the time. It’s part of the allure of policing. People watch your every move. They are fascinated with the police. That’s why some of the most watched television shows feature videos of police or topics related to policing. Think it through. Go through your TV Guide (and I know I am showing my age there) how many cop shows are there? Think about it. Every time you walk into a business, people look to see what’s going on. Next time you walk into a store in uniform, take a look around. Chances are many eyes are upon you.
So, my friends, embrace the thought that you are always on camera. Let people film you. Be the professional peace officer maintaining your cool and showing respect during a traffic stop when the driver is screaming and accuses you of all sorts of crazy things. Be the cop on camera playing basketball with the neighborhood kids. Be the deputy changing a flat tire or treating a homeless person with empathy. Be the professional law enforcement officer that you are every day. Let these videos catch you doing the right thing! After all, that’s what you do best, isn’t it?
And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off.