Wednesday, November 27, 2019


Law enforcement is a dangerous, but there is no feeling in the universe equivalent to the feeling an Officer gets from helping someone. The danger comes with the territory and uniform, but having direct control over intervening when someone is at a fork in the road where one side is good and the other leads to a dark place is truly fascinating.

LEOs sign up to help people, to answer a call or internal urge to help those that can’t help themselves. That danger element comes with the realization of one’s mortality, the realization that putting on the uniform can lead to death or serious bodily harm. It can be extremely intimidating at first, however that urge to help people also serves as a point of purpose in the world and if acknowledged changes a person. Specifically, it makes that person able to coup and even be friendly with that truth that there is a possibility that they may not return at the end of the tour.

Over the span of a twenty-five (25) year career a LEO can expect to be in any and every situation possible when dealing with those that are in need, that one percent who are at their worst point and are in need of help.

Experiencing these incidents builds mental fortitude in LEOs, but also can lead to a comfort in chaos effect where the person is no longer sensitive to aspects that require a level of empathy or sympathy. Finding that balance and knowing when to apply each comes with time, knowledge, and experience.

It can be hard at first because going into heavily emotional incident can affect the LEO, but they still have to be able to move forward and restore some order in every situation. In addition, calls for service can be wildly different from one another where at one moment the Officer is doing a Death Notification and the next he/she can be taking pictures to celebrate the success of a child’s lemonade stand. Again, that mental fortitude helps to balance the different emotional responses and reactions. 

My point in this discussion is to provide a perspective on how Law Enforcement Officers are made mentally stronger due to the experiences involved in over their career, however that strength comes with the need for knowledge and experience in balancing the need for empathy or sympathy throughout those incidents.

The LEO is urged and called to help those that are at the fork in the road, however to some extent we are ourselves at a fork in the road at all times. One side leads to taking the uniform off at the end of the tour and returning to a “normal” life throughout their time away from work. The other is for when the LEO has to answer the call and return to work, so they leave one side and go to the other intentionally.

That is the difference right there, most people pick one path but LEOs take both paths just at different times. Just some food for thought…Which path at the fork did you pick? 

Everyone Experiences the Fork!