|By Metropolitan Alliance of Police Board Member John Holiday|
That’s right I said it. In fact the small town volunteer fire departments do it best. What do they do? They take care of each other and themselves. They debrief after each critical incident they handle. They talk about what went when well, what went bad, and what images they would like to erase from their mind.
What do we do? We get back in our squad, by ourselves, and go to the same domestic battery call we go to every week. You know the one. The one where the couple wants you to fix 10 years of abuse in 5 minutes.
Sean Riley, the founder of Safe Call Now, recently spoke at our annual seminar. He talked about how we are trained to do the job the vast majority of the population are unwilling or unable to do.
Think about it. There are 325 million people in the United States of which only 765,000 are sworn law enforcement officers. That’s 0.2%. We take 0.2% of the general population and train them to not think like the rest of the population. We train your brain to do the exact opposite of what other people’s brains tell them to do. We train you to run toward the gunfire, run toward the danger, and go down into the dark basement where someone is screaming for help. We train you to have a “Warrior Mindset.” Then at the end of a 12 hour shift, we expect you to turn it all off, forget everything that happened, and go back and function with the other 99.8% of the population. We are very good at training you how to do the job, but we have zero training on how to go home at night.