Here we are in 2017, with P numbers now starting in the mid-15000s. Back in 2000, when I hired on, all the old, salty veterans made fun of the 6000 P numbers, just as I’m sure the legends before them did back in the day. Now LVMPD is pushing to hire more and more cops as well as filling attrition. The mass influx of new officers and their success, as well as the success of LVMPD, is everyone’s responsibility.
We are all leaders on this Department, some better than others. The weak leaders shine as an example of how things could be better or how not to be, while the strong leaders draw you to them, leading by example and actions, not just words and policies. Leaders are not just supervisors or field training officers. Every squad has the report takers, the citation writers, the crap magnets and the hunters. Each of these folks are equally important, because without the report takers, the hunters or crap magnets would not be able to function. Everyone should have a vested interest in their squad and its performance. With one aspect off, the squad won’t function properly, and safety and community service can suffer.
An officer’s career is similar to our own growth cycle. For most of the Academy and FTEP, an officer is a young child and preteen molded by tac staff and field training officers through training, policy and procedures. The next six months after FTEP are the teenage years of running around 1,000 miles an hour, having fun and loving every aspect of the job. After probation ends, the new officer is officially an adult and self-sufficient. These first years on the job set the tone for the young officers and show them how LVMPD handles its business. It is extremely important that each and every one of us take a vested interest in the new officers around us, and lead them and mold them properly. If we do not help guide new officers in the right direction, we set them, ourselves, LVMPD and the community up for failure.
We need each and every one of the new officers we are hiring. We are competing with agencies from across the country to attract, hire, train and retain the best possible police force. It is our job to assist in this. When you are working and call for backup or backup is assigned with you, you want to know you have the best officer coming with you. Just as if you are off work and call for help, you want to know that the officer coming has been trained the same as you and can handle business upon their arrival. Be a leader and improve the officers around you. If something is wrong and you know it and do nothing to try to fix it, you are wrong as well and have nothing to complain about. Let’s lead our future and show them why LVMPD is the best agency in America. When we leave and retire, they will carry the torch, passing on the values and information handed down from generations of great LVMPD officers.