Part with those who go wrong

In response to my last column about “bad apples” in our organizations, I received a scathing e-mail from a reader who took issue with my reference to “the beloved Penn State coach”. He accused me of presenting skewed facts and misleading the public by referring to the coach in this way, saying, “Paterno didn’t molest […]

Policing Ourselves

In reference to my column where I talked about the Chicago Police Officer who tarnished our badge and our profession by falsifying an incident, a reader wondered if I get pushback from my fellow officers when I bring these topics to light because I’m supposedly breaking the “blue wall of silence” by illuminating these dark […]

Observations from a CrossFit Beginner

About four months ago, I heard the rumblings of a trendy phenomenon called “CrossFit”. My police department was buzzing about it and so I searched the Internet to investigate. I was led to a web-site where I watched a video about CrossFit and decided instantaneously that it was for crazy people. The video depicted men […]

Craftmanship means giving your best

One of my pet peeves is when people do things only half-way. I spend a lot of time explaining this concept to my children when they leave a chore half done or complete a homework assignment that is clearly not their best work. I repeatedly tell my children that the work they do is a […]

“Routine” Traffic Stops

56 law enforcement officers were killed as a result of assaults in 2010. Traffic stops accounted for seven of those 56 deaths. If you do an internet search of “police officers killed during traffic stops”, you will find pages and pages of stories where officers have been killed during a “routine” traffic stop. We are […]

What You Wear. Who You Are.

I am of the opinion that there are certain events for which we should dress up. Among these events are holidays, the theater, and court. My holidays are pretty casual and consist of visiting friends and loved ones but I always insist that no one wear jeans. My kids scoff at this but yet I […]

When you tarnish one badge, you tarnish them all

Nothing infuriates me more than a police officer who abuses their authority. Whether it be an overt action of excessive force or a seemingly minor compromising of one’s moral compass, there is no room in this profession for those who use their position of authority with dishonorable intention. Take for instance, an off duty Chicago […]

Symbolism of a tree

The 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks caused us to pause and reflect as a community on the profound tragedy that fundamentally changed us as a nation and as human beings. Like many, I was glued to the television last Sunday watching the memorial ceremonies taking place at the crash sites in somber remembrance. Tears […]

The Voice Inside Your Head

Several months ago, a colleague from the police department told me about his new obsession, CrossFit. It’s a strength and conditioning program that appeals to police officers and firefighters because it requires proficiency in endurance, stamina, strength and flexibility – all crucial elements of job performance. Before being hired, police officers are required to pass […]

Experential Learning

When I was the lieutenant on midnight shift, we were brainstorming methods of burglary prevention when one of the sergeants suggested that the only way our citizens will learn to close and lock their doors was if the police started taking things they leave in open view to teach them a lesson. Of course we […]