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On August 17th, 2017

#TBT

Posted In:
Law Enforcement | Life | Military

So 2 years ago around this time, I started working armed security for my current contract. I had a small idea of what to expect as I heard about the contract through my supervisor on a different contract. I was told about how there are sites on this contract that you get to see some action and you actually get to do stuff instead of being a glorified receptionist like that contract was. I was excited and a little nervous to start this new endeavor, as I had never dealt with people in that capacity before.

First Month…

When I first started, I worked at the courts. I met some awesome co-workers as well as met some of the city staff who were really nice. I was super excited to get to wear my duty belt, which had most of the things Police carry. I had my gun with extra rounds, handcuffs, pepper spray and a Police radio. Now to preface this story, I only had military experience and no experience whatsoever in Law Enforcement or Department of Corrections. All previous contracts I had worked all said that if I left my post for any reason I would be fired. So the courts were almost at closing time, and I received a call from a courtroom from a Judge saying that a man, insert description, was leaving the court house and I needed to stop him. While getting off the phone, I saw the man already halfway out the courthouse. I panicked and looked at my co-worker who didn’t really know what was going on, as he hadn’t heard the phone call. I quickly tell him the situation and the guy was already out the door. I quickly get on the radio and request Dispatch to send units to assist and provide the description. There was another site on the contract that is right next door to the courthouse and the Security Officer at that site heard the call and started searching the transit center. We could not locate this guy.

Perspective…

A few months down the road, I am now working at a community center. This site has more of the homeless population than most of the other sites. I actually tried to help some of the ones I could and provided all the information I could to help them out and possibly get them into some housing. I probably spoke to about 35-40 separate individuals.  I heard a lot of their stories of how they became homeless, some of the stuff they do for money, what some of their goals were. Some people would say it is a humbling experience.

Change in Perspective…

I honestly can’t believe how much this contract has changed me. It has changed my outlook on people, life, and has given me valuable experiences that I have used to build some good habits.

Have you ever heard that over time cops become sociopathic and the difference between cops and criminals is that cops don’t act on their urges? Working in this line of work, I can relate to that and understand why and how Police Officers can become desensitized to various aspects of the job. I myself, whether it’s good or bad, have become more desensitized to aspects of the job. Out of the 35-40 people I spoke with, only 2 actually took my help and got themselves into housing. I have very little empathy for a lot of the homeless population after having spoken to many more since then and can tell when the person is just smiling and nodding and when they are actually looking for help. My high school coach once taught me, if it hurts more to suffer than to change, you’ll change. In many of these cases, it seems to be true.

Change in experience…

I have been on this contract for two years now. I can say that I have learned a ton of information and picked up many good habits. I have learned how to have a tactical mindset as my contract allows me to work closely with the Police. That mindset helped me develop those good habits like watching hands when dealing with someone, if someone is sleeping and I have to wake them up approach from their feet so I would possibly get kicked instead of stabbed if they are hiding knives or scissors, positioning myself to where it is more difficult to be approached from behind and if I have to leave my back exposed I will have to rely more on my situational awareness. I have become more proficient in my communication as well as more articulate in my justifications to my decision making. I have developed my decision-making skills to be better than when I first started.

If I were in the same situation now as I was in my story of my first month, I would have done things differently. I would have ran after him and tackled him to the ground. If I was unable to catch him, I would have been able to relay to Dispatch that I was in pursuit of a person a judge ordered to detain and articulate why I left my post (because there was at least one Security Officer there). Then I would have been able to better provide direction of travel as well.

Overall Experience…

I am so thankful that I have been able to work on the contract I am on now. I have gained so much more good than I have bad. I have used this experience to better myself on my military side as well as implemented things from the military onto this job and overall have become a better person for it. When I train new Security Officers, I do my best to instill in them the need to develop their situational awareness as well as their tactical mindsets because it will help them do this job better as well as help them in their future endeavors.

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