REVIEWED BY: Ms. Cairo
MY RECOMMENDATION: YES
AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION LINK: Trigger Pull Tactical
WEB ADDRESS: http://www.triggerpulltactical.com
BLOG DESCRIPTION: Where tactical operators of the Law Enforcement, Military, & Private Contracting worlds can learn and think.
MY REVIEW: This is an excellent blog for both the armchair police or security officer and the real thing. (I am the armchair version). I found the writing fascinating, and the posts quite informative. If you're interested in learning how highly trained police, military and private security folks do their jobs - or should do their jobs - this is the blog for you.
The Negative S.W.A.T. Vibe - How Policing Agencies Are Like High Schools
Share13Why is it that departments hate tactical teams? I don’t have a hard answer why, but I may have a psychological explanation. First of all we might as well face the fact that unless you are on a S.W.A.T. team of some kind, been on one, or you are a young officer, patrolman, or trooper who aspires to be on one someday, then you think S.W.A.T. officers are egotistical pains in the rear. Now that I have that very true stereotype out of the way, we can get down to business as to why. Yes, I used the word stereotype, because generally stereotypes are true. In fact I’m going to sum this entire article up as a very large stereotype that is in fact, mostly true.
First of all, 95% of all tactical operators I’ve ever met are Alpha males. Sorry, but that’s what kind of men this job attracts. A Beta male sometimes slips through the cracks, but for the most part hard chargers lead the way. I believe in my heart that the best of the best separate themselves from the rest when the moment of truth comes. This is because humans are not any different than any of God’s creatures. Despite our culture and advancements we are still animals who thrive on “survival of the fittest” and “only the strong survive”.
I’ve found that especially since the economy has fallen off the face of the earth that agencies across the U.S. are re-evaluating what is necessary and what is not. Unfortunately many command officers are extreme pansy’s who have risen through the ranks due to there butt kissing and not there abilities. Many are Beta males who rely on nepotism, friendship, back stabbing, & education to get them to the top, instead of there abilities. Thus when it comes time to cut money from the budget the first thing they do is the old 4th grade reaction. They say to themselves in the privacy of there large office; “I never could have made S.W.A.T., because I’m too weak and un-driven, so I’m going to show them by cutting the tactical team out of the budget”. Usually this command officer or chief may have even failed tactical training or selection for a team. However, I’ve found that most command never even attempted to join a team. They hate them just like they hated the jocks in high school.
If you think I’m blowing smoke up your rear end by stating this, then you are wrong. I’ve seen and heard of many cases where this exact situation sealed the fate tactical teams all over the country. The only way the tactical team survives or returns is when a former operator happens to rise through the ranks to command and get the program up and running again at full speed.
I’ve found that many men and women become police officers because they think they have something to prove. They desire the badge and gun from a young age to show everyone that they are important and powerful. These are the weak minded & weak bodied individuals who chose police work for the wrong reasons. In reality they would be better suited for an office job. Then there are men like myself, guys on my team, and other officers I’ve trained with all over the country. They chose police work and especially S.W.A.T., because they wanted to kick in doors and give shit heads the good news. They wanted to take bad guys to jail and teach them a lesson. Literally serving and protecting because they are a born Sheep Dog. Unfortunately many agencies have an ax to grind against these hard charging officers and here's why.
This usually only applies to medium or larger agencies, so bear with me. At the end of the day many agencies are just like a high school. You have principal or in our case the upper command and or chief who is usually out of touch with reality, and despite him having been a student back in the day he’s forgotten what it was like to be the little guy busting his hump. He’s over educated, over-paid, and doesn’t really work that hard. He gets to wear a fancy suit instead of the mandatory uniform (catholic schools), doesn’t work all that hard, rules with an iron fist like he’s the almighty, and lastly but most importantly everything is statistical and monetary based.
Then you have the upperclassman who are ready to graduate. In our example here they are the old time officers. The “Retired on Duty” guys. Every agency has them. They’ve been there, done that, bought the shirt, and wrote the book. Now they show up to work and count the days till retirement. They are bitter that they got passed over consistently for promotion and have long given up on attaining rank. They are where most tactical operators wind up at the end of there careers. All beat up and worn out, but they had a heck of a good time doing getting there. Now these upperclassman are looking forward to graduation (retirement) and what the next step holds for them outside of the agency.
Next you have the underclassman. This unruly bunch of misfits is just trying fit in. For us these are the new officers, patrolman, or troopers. They are super excited to make it to high school and are relishing the future. They all want to be chief some day, and they all believe they can solve the world’s problems in a full 8 hour shift. Some are quiet and hide in the shadows just trying to buy there time till they can be an upperclassman. Others act as if they’ve been the captain of the football team for ten years. These are our future and most get treated with disrespect, but we should probably be grooming them to run the school/department the right way for when we are gone. The underclassman’s first year or two is his most important and influential time in the agency. What transpires and how he or she is trained will determine what happens to him in his entire career.
The underclassman and upperclassman both have two general groups called jocks and nerds. For us the nerd is the educated odd style cop who is very nice and police’s from a fresh “everybody is good” standpoint. Policy and procedure are the most important aspects of policing to the nerd. He can’t think outside the box and is constantly over analyzing things. He’s usually very quite and discreet and keeps his personal life private. The principle (command) usually loves the nerds, because they are punctual, reliable, never break policy, easy to intimidate, super easy to control.
The jocks are the butt kickers and name takers, your true warriors. Jocks are the S.W.A.T. operators, narcotics/vice guys, task force officers, high crime patrol beat officers, and so on. They want to be part of a team effort. They desire to win at all costs and they don’t always put there own safety first. They thrive off of the thrill of the hunt. They are not always the smartest officers, but they are the usually the best. They get the job done, and ask questions later. That next touchdown is always just a pass away. For them that next arrest is just right inside the door. The jocks are herd/pack animals and they tend to thrive by working on a team and spending time with the team outside of work. The principle (command) only likes the jocks during and just after a sporting event. For us that’s right after a large drug seizure, huge search warrant bust, or a positive ending to a hostage barricade. The principle will smile and take pictures with all the jocks right after the big win for the media. Then the next day the principle will suspend and or give detentions to any who violated a minor policy during the game. The principle needs the jocks, but hates them at the same time. The principle will do whatever he has to do to keep the jocks caged and controlled, but when the game needs to be won he will open the cage and expect them to perform the hard tasks.
Of course some officers fall into a gray area where they are made up of a little from both groups. These officers are rare and often play both roles very well. I've met a few men like this and they were all great officers.
Last you have the teachers. These are the guys at your departments who made corporal or sergeant or who were put into an admin position. They’ve been around a while, got a little education, and decide that now they should give back to the program. Some are real warriors while others are former nerds who think they are warriors. They slide into a cushy training job at the academy, gun range, or admin position. They then tell stories all day about how “awesome” they were back in the day. Many do great things for the agency and inspire underclassman and upperclassman to better themselves. Others are nothing more than a paper weight for the department who influence policy and procedure based off of nothing more than opinions and book research. They use admin positions to move up in the agencies hierarchy. They teach from a manual and not from experience. Most of the bad teachers who end up in an admin position put in very easy days and get to better there education by taking every class under the sun. They even sometimes earn masters degrees and Ph D’s on company time. Thus on paper there resumes look spotless. These admin resume padding teachers usually end up becoming the principle someday. In the future this places an even larger gap between the principal and his students (Chief and his officers).
Through all of this you have a few exceptions every now and then, but 95% of all cops I or you know could place themselves in one of these categories with ease. Why is that you ask? Because we were brought up to be like this. Our educational system teaches us to be the way we are from a very young age. The fact is, sometimes you have to know your place in the world, and be alright with where you are and where you are going. Just know, that the jocks, usually don’t like the nerds.
I know by now you are either laughing or worried. You are thinking about your own department, yourself, and how right on this is. No I did not steal this idea from anyone, it just popped in my head one day and this is how I explain to myself the ignorant actions of those I work with. If your feelings are hurt after reading this, then push on. You’re probably not one of the warriors I wrote this for. In fact you’re probably one of the admin teacher nerds who will just use this article to further your negative bias towards the jocks. At the end of the day most departments command will say they don’t need S.W.A.T. or butt kickers, but deep down they know they do. They hate us because they were groomed to hate us, but at the end of the day, when the bullets are flying, S.W.A.T are the first they call.
Oh and for the satire of it all, this isn't High School anymore.
Remember to always ask yourself…
What do I gain?
What do I lose?
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Ms. Cairo writes several blogs including:
Seaborn: Oceanography Blog
Star Trek Report: Space Sciences
Topical Murder and Dated Death