Category: Law Enforcement, Fire, Corrections
Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. And Today’s Tip deals with the value of a tactical retreat.
Anytime you make entry into a building or take any kind of law enforcement action, you should ask yourself, “Why exactly am I at this door and what is the legal basis for my exercise of authority?”
You know, way back in the dark ages, when I went through the police academy, there wasn’t much training that sent the message, “pack up and walk away.” I would venture a guess that this is still the case at most police academies and even law enforcement in-service training. Heck, we’re the police. We were hired because we are hard-charging get things done type people.
You know when we’re working the streets it is sometimes easy to wrapped up in the immediacy of each incident that we handle without looking at the big picture. When handling a call for service or conducting a follow up investigation, focus on what the military would call, “primary mission objective.” To borrow from Stephen Covey: “begin with the end in mind.” Anytime you make entry into a building or take any kind of law enforcement action, you should ask yourself, “Why exactly am I at this door and what is the legal basis for my exercise of authority?” Just as an example, if you’re talking with someone at their front door and they slam the door on you, if you stick your foot in the door, you have crossed that threshold and “made entry.” Is that entry legal? If so, on what basis?
Sometimes the best decision is the hardest decision—just walk away. Sometimes this may be the safest tactical decision. Sometimes this may be the most legally sound decision, which also makes it a very, very smart decision. And when we make this decision, we should be celebrated, not criticized. Don’t be afraid to make that tough decision to turn around and walk away.
And that is Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off.