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Every Day is a Day of Service for a Police Officer

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday. On November 2, 1983, President Ronald Regan signed legislation declaring the third Monday in January as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to honor his legacy of fighting for civil rights. The holiday happens to actually fall on his birthday this year. This holiday was celebrated for the first time in 1986. Day of Service In 1994, Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act designating the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday as a national day of service. All across our nation, thousands of volunteers donate their time in service to scores of worthy causes. This holiday has now become a “day on, not a day off.”   For police officers, every day is a “day on” in service to the communities we have been sworn to protect. The majority of people who become a police officer do so because of a strong desire to help others. It is almost ingrained in a police officer’s DNA.   In 1955, the Los Angeles Police Academy adopted the motto, “To Protect and to Serve” for their recruits. On November 4, 1963, the Los Angeles Police Department adopted this as their official motto.   Other police departments…

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5 Lessons I Learned From the Old Timers (Veteran Officers)

5 Lessons I Learned From the Old Timers (Veteran Officers) I walked into the Marietta Police Department on October 15, 1981.  I was 21 years old and excited about the opportunity to serve my community.  And I knew nothing about being a police officer. I attended basic mandate training, received instructions from my Field Training Officer and learned from experience in the school of hard knocks. Our department was like many at that time, full of tough military veterans who joined the department in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.  I remember thinking “these guys are old.”  Many of them started at the department before I was born! Over the next several years, I worked closely with these old timers and got to know them.  Many of them served as my supervisor throughout the years. In 1988, I was transferred to Detectives.  The majority of the Detectives in the unit were old timers, hired around the time I was born.  We were as different as night and day yet over the next four years, we grew to trust each other and were a very effective unit. I retired from the department after 28 years of service.  I was hired as…

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12 Step Plan to Ace Your Interview for Police Chief, Part 3

The first seven steps in this process have helped you prepare for your interview, now it is time to execute.  If preparation is the key to success, execution is the door that must be opened. To recap, Part 1 in this series can be accessed here. Part 2 in this series can be accessed here. The panel conducting the interviews has your resume, your application and have prepared a series of questions to help them make an assessment of you as a candidate for police chief.  Their goal is to identify motivated candidates who are competent and a good fit for the organization. Let’s get started. 8.  Arrive Early Arriving early should be a given.  Your one chance to make a good first impression can be shattered if you arrive late.  Yet candidates frequently arrive late.  How can this problem be avoided? The first way is to set two alarm clocks rather than one.  Being late because your alarm clock didn’t go off is a lame excuse.  Make sure that doesn’t happen to you.  Set the alarm on your phone and back it up with a clock. The second way is to set everything you need for the interview out…

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