Officer Safety Culture

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Officer Safety Culture


Gordon Graham
Category: Law Enforcement

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. And Today’s Tip deals with the culture of law enforcement safety. 

In this information age we have a ton of information at our fingertips that can make our job safer. 

Over the past several decades, officer deaths have steadily fallen from their highs in the 1920’s and 30’s of over 200 per year to close to 100 the past couple of years 

This is due in no small part to the advances in medicine that have allowed many of us to survive what might have otherwise been a fatal injury. But medical advances aren’t the only reason.  

Situations like the Newhall Incident on April 6th, 1970 in which four CHP Officers were killed by two armed assailants on a traffic stop helped jump-start an officer safety movement that has progressed in the following decades to what we have today. 

In this information age we have a ton of information at our fingertips that can make our job safer. 

However, none of that information does any good unless the individual officers it is meant for are exposed to it. John Bennett, a colleague of mine in the Midwest, tells me that in each of the officer-safety-related courses he teaches, he asks how many in attendance regularly visit a police-related website and/or read a professional publication. In every class, an astoundingly small number of officers –sometimes none at all- indicate that they have. When asked if they are aware of Below 100, he is met with blank stares. What gives!?! 

My good friend Dale Stockton, the editor-in-chief at Law Officer Magazine, said it best when he proclaimed that it’s time to move officer safety from an individual responsibility to a collective one 

We have to make it unacceptable to work carelesslyExpand your base of knowledge by taking advantage of the many resources that are out there related to safety in the law enforcement profession 

Work to create a culture of officer safety within your organization.  

And that is Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off. 

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