Fight or Flight: Today’s Law Enforcement Challenges

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We go through life never knowing what to expect next.  Each day brings different levels of tests that can either force you to flee or empower you to fight.  Mental health professionals call this “Fight or Flight”.  This is an age old adage that most of us know about.  As law enforcement training instructors, we commonly discuss the different factors relating to fight or flight in the law enforcement training courses we teach.

Choosing to flee a situation can in some instances be tactically sound.  If we face a situation where we are likely to be dominated, it would be wise to back up and regroup.  Now every situation could be scrutinized and determined what tactic is needed to go back in there and win the fight.  Sometimes strength in numbers is the answer and many times outsmarting the opposition is the key.  Without a specific scenario it is difficult to discuss the solution.

Today we face a challenge that is remarkable.  In my 18 years of law enforcement I have never seen the amount of violence toward officers like I am currently seeing.  Recently, in my small community I have seen anti-cop graffiti.  Such as “kill the pigs” a week after an area deputy was shot in the head and killed.  He left a wife and a new baby boy.  At the time of this writing all the different categories of officer related deaths are down except… by gunfire (+16%).  Does this mean we are going to stop doing our jobs?  No way!  When bad things happen, we rush towards it while everyone else runs.

We have to make sure that we press into the minds of our fellow gun handlers, cops, military people, and anyone else that will risk it all that we must succeed.  We MUST survive mentally, physically, and legally.  To do that we must be the BEST we can be.  As I write this I have friends that are facing a challenging battle.  They are not surviving the fight.  While physically they are fine, legally and mentally they are suffering the unknown.  The community has turned their back on them and the fight is still waging.

Next time you are put in the position to act.  What will you do?  Will you survive?  There is a lot more to the fight than winning the battle with your adversary.  I have always heard the ol’ adage, “better be tried by twelve than carried by six” and that argument has merit.  Just know when you fight…. Be prepared to win all three fights!  Physically, Mentally, and Legally!

May the righteous prevail!!

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