Police Officers are Athletes

Let’s make one thing clear before you continue to read this article.

FROM THE MOMENT YOU SIGN THE LINE AS AN “ACTIVE DUTY” OFFICER, YOU ARE NOW A TACTICAL ATHLETE.

Now that I have your attention, let me have a chance to explain my words.

Police officers are hired to serve and protect their community, providing surveillance, emergency assistance, crime prevention, and so much more. With that being said, your job is to perform. Perform for your department, perform for your community. When summoned to a call or incident, you are now responsible for actions taken place at the scene. You will be judged, for things you do, things you don’t do, and things you could have prevented. Honestly, regardless of who’s fault it is, you will be judged.

Just because a situation or scenario has not happened during your time of employment so far, does not mean it will never happen. Shoot, you should always prepare for the things that will definitely happen and for the things that have even a slightest chance of taking place.

For instance, how many of you have experienced an active shooter?

How many have had to pull your firearm and utilize it to neutralize a threat?

Imagine taking cover during a stand-off and as you wait for back-up to arrive, your buddy that assisted you with the call now gets shot. You realize you need to perform immediate action if you want to save his or her life. This action calls for crawling to his or her body, dragging them to safety/cover, assessing medical needs, and applying medical tourniquet, all while providing cover fire when needed. The question is, are you strong enough to provide your partner with assistance?

On a different note, we have all seen the major “arrest gone bad” cases in the headlines where the suspect or criminal being cuffed breaks away from the officer. In these situations, the criminal either escapes and flees the scene and potentially places other people in harm or retaliates and attacks the officer. I know most of you have seen cases similar to these, ending in some form of injury or fatality. If we take a moment to stop and reflect on the scenario without emotion, many times the situation could have been resolved if the officer(s) were able to restrain the suspect in the first place. You can’t control the actions of others, but if you perform efficient restraining techniques and have the physical fitness to control an aggressive and non-compliant suspect, many shootings and injuries could be avoided. With this being said, considering yourself a tactical athlete provides you with the mindset of training to perform, to rescue, to serve.

Now, let’s look at day to day or week to week type scenarios.

What about the vehicle you might need to push to save an innocent life?

What about having to jump out of your squad car and sprint after a suspect fleeing the scene?

What about pulling an unconscious body out of a disabled vehicle with potential environmental hazards?

At what point are you going to realize, as an officer, you are an athlete.

Train like one.

Nourish your body like one.

Sleep and recover like one.

Written By Hussien Jabai | NSCA CSCS

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