Coward or Brave

In Law Enforcement and Security work, Officers are faced with many dangerous and stressful situations. How those Officers react to those situations often effects how other Officers, and even themselves, view that reaction. Is one a Coward or a Hero, and do either really exists?

If an Officer receives a call of an open door on a dark warehouse, and when they arrive they have a gut feeling that sets off an alarm in the recesses of their mind, do they go into the building alone?  Are they a hero if they check it out without calling for back-up? If they do, and they live, are they brave or just lucky? If they do and they get killed by a criminal inside are they Heroes or just fools?

If they choose not to enter and call for back-up are they cowards or are they tactically smart? Are they wasting precious time waiting for help, or are they wise to play it safe?

It is my opinion that as Officers we get to wound up in the machismo of wearing a gun and having some authority. We also watch too many action shows and for some reason think we have to risk our lives to prove ourselves. I will admit that actions that are conceived as brave gain the respect of our fellow Officers, but we have to ride a fine line between bravery and needlessly putting ourselves and/or our fellow Officers at risk. I have always been somewhat of an adrenaline junky, and at times have put myself at unnecessary risk. I was lucky, not brave on most of those occasions.

I believe that someone who takes all precautions in a dangerous situation is smart, not cowardly. Too often we feel pressured to act in haste resulting in unpleasant circumstances. I believe anyone who dons a badge is brave just by their willingness to do the job. Anyone who is cautious is to be commended. After all, our job is to go home safely. There may be those who fail to act in a critical situation for whatever reason, but I feel it is for them to judge themselves, not me.

I will close by saying that anyone who wears a badge of any kind has to make a conscious decision to act in the case of a dangerous situation. If they cannot make that decision and commitment then they should rethink their choice of careers.

Be Safe! Be Strong!

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