Attitude: you got one?
What kind of attitude you carry with you at the job will largely influence your abilities to police and where your career will go. Bring a good attitude with you, and the crappy calls will go a little more smoothly. A good attitude will be well received by the victims, witnesses and even suspects you deal with tonight. That could mean the difference between a calming down some hothead, or having to fight him.
I know a lot of guys like the hands-on approach to police work, but enough fights will come your way without looking for any. A good attitude will keep you out of a few. And when that fight comes anyway, the witnesses to the event will likely recall what kind of attitude you were throwing around prior to the fisticuffs.
A bad attitude will likely get you into trouble quicker than anything else. Not only does a bad attitude ruin the public’s trust in us, it can also get your butt into a sling bigger than your union rep can get you out of.
Take a Hernando County (FL) Sheriff’s Office sergeant…excuse me, former sergeant and latest inmate. The local PD picks up a 20-something guy for obstructing emergency workers treating an overdose patient. While being booked in, the arrestee is running his mouth. The former sergeant, who clearly had enough, walks up and punches the guy in the head.
The sergeant has been fired, arrested and charged. And for what? Some guy, possibly drunk or high, who was running his trap?
Attitude, ladies and gentlemen. If you work at keeping a positive attitude (and it is work), the idiots we deal with won’t get under your skin. Let your attitude go south, and nothing good will come of it.
As a buddy of mine often asks in the locker room: “Bring your goat tonight?” What he means is, if you leave your “goat” at home, no one can get it.
Check your attitude. It can keep you out of trouble…or get you in hip deep pretty quick.