The Badge: Much More Than a Piece of Medal

There is a great video over at Police Dynamics, posted by Ray Nash, titled The Classic Challenge to a Police Officer. It sets out the challenge for us cops to stand behind the honor and integrity of the all important BADGE!

At times we cops can get wrapped up in our own egos and take things too personally when we interact with the subjects that we come across on the streets. When we take things personally in the performance of our duties we sometimes lose sight of what the BADGE and the authority behind it stands for and represents. What does the badge represent? It represents the people we protect and serve; our communities, the government and ultimately every cop who has ever worn the badge. It’s those who have performed the duties of a police officer and have sweat and fought, been bloodied, cried, and sometimes died upholding the honor behind that badge.

Our personal egos and agendas mean nothing when compared to the honor and integrity of the badge. Too many of us cops are trying to prove our toughness instead of proving our effectiveness in resolving the complex problems that we face, as they unfold. If our personal agenda is the priority when we as public SERVANTS carry out our duties, then our egos run the risk of superseding the responsibility that is represented by our wearing of the badge. I’ve heard it said, when ego goes up, good common sense decision making goes down. When this happens, then mistakes happen!

As a cop you are held to a higher standard than are those we serve. Not because we are better but because of what the BADGE represents: honor, integrity, service and dedication to the people we are sworn to protect. Our goal while wearing the BADGE should be in mastering our skills and ourselves so that through sound strategy and tactics, utilizing professionalism and applied knowledge, we are operating in a full spectrum response to the problems that present themselves to us in our duties. We are expected to be distinguished for our commitment to the service of others, over ourselves. We shall assess this constantly and hold ourselves accountable.

We live in an uncertain and rapidly changing world where resilience is a matchless survival trait. We are expected to design every method and develop every person with a constant eye on organizational and individual resilience. This resilience we will exhibit in the ability to bend and adapt to situations including the tough ones where we can be challenged to the core. We shall use excellence as the principal point of reference in the assessment of ourselves, our work and our impact on those we serve. Our strength of character will be evidenced as we remember that the BADGE is much more than a just a piece of medal but rather is an indication of our high standards of service as we work in constant improvement in the manner and outcomes of our getting the job done right.

“If to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterward defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair.” ~General George Washington

Check out the great video and advice Ray Nash gives here.

Stay Oriented!


5 thoughts on “The Badge: Much More Than a Piece of Medal

  1. My grandfather, a municipal police officer from the late 1930s to the early 1960s, made an observation in the same spirit:

    Once, when my mother was a young girl, the family was driving some distance to visit relations. Along the highway, my grandfather saw a state police car hiding behind a billboard in a speed trap. He expressed contempt for this fellow’s law enforcement, commenting that “you don’t hide the black and white” (the colors of the police department).

    There’s great wisdom, learned over 30 years as a patrolman, in this statement. I’ve often thought that assigning a squad car to sit on the side of the road and flashing its lights will reduce speed more effectively than any number of stops. The visible signs of authority may be as important for the regulation of society as the actual practice of coercion.

  2. Like we talked about, Fred, law enforcement isn’t just another job where you can clock in, get by, and clock out. As you explain so well, putting on that badge means accepting all the responsibility that comes with it, and hopefully acting and preparing accordingly.

    • Alex i agree! I have always thought of law enforcement as a calling. A calling that must be maintained through moral, mental and physical preperation and readiness bound in honor, integrity and strength of character.

  3. Pingback: Thoughts on Police Bashing | Fear, Honor, and Interest

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