The term “warrior mentality” has taken a beating in the past from civilians and elitists who really don’t know what it means. They lack knowledge since they’ve never walked in the shoes of a warrior, nor do they have the heart of one so brave and steadfast.
IACP Takes Aim at “Warrior Mentality”
Yet now the drubbing is from within as the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) have dogpiled on the mindset required for law enforcement officers to not simply serve and protect, but to thrive and survive. This should be a RED FLAG to police officers in all 50 states and territories.
This came to my attention while reading an article saying IACP conducted a review of the Bennington Police Department in Vermont and found the agency portrays a “warrior mentality,” creating mistrust by some in the town.
“Over time,” reads the IACP report, “Bennington’s police practices have sown deep mistrust between parts of the community and the department, undermining the agency’s law enforcement legitimacy.”
Emotion Based Policing
Is this emotion based policing? If so, it doesn’t work! Moreover, trust is a two-way street, but it’s demanded while infrequently offered by police-hating groups.
Are these activists who hate police officers enforcing laws and maintaining public order? Is it a fight taken on by people demanding that cops “stand down”? (We’ve seen those catastrophes over the past few years.) Are they people who fear the presence of tactical gear required to keep officers safe while defeating heavily armed combatants?
The report said the “warrior mentality” is pervasive throughout the department, including its website, which the report stated, “emphasizes a warrior appearance, rather than that of a community partner responsible for safety that embraces guardianship and community engagement for all residents, visitors, businesses, and diverse populations within the town.”
Stuart Hurd, Bennington town’s manager, said Monday afternoon that he had reviewed the report.
“It’s a report that I would say was not unexpected,” he said. “There are positive comments in it by IAPC about our policies and procedures not encouraging systemic bias, we felt that, we’ve known that all along.”
Chief Paul Doucette was unavailable for comment, according to VTDigger.
I am admittedly unfamiliar with Bennington Police Department as well as the IACP report, other than details in the aforementioned publication. My issue is simply with leaders (police and civilians) running from the mindset of a warrior.
“Pfui” (pronounced foo-ey) is something I say to my K9s when I want them to stop doing something stupid, and it’s what I’m saying now to anyone who desires police officers to surrender their “warrior mentality.”
As a cop I didn’t want to work with spineless people, and as a private citizen I don’t want soft-minded (that’s putting it nicely) officers responding to a barricaded gunman in my community.
In 2019 Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced his prohibition of “warrior training.” Major Travis Yates authored a fantastic article challenging the mayor’s philosophy.
It has not been lost on me that our stance, against a politician that misrepresented what training is, has upset some folks and for that I will not apologize. After all, wouldn’t that be a little too cliche in what seems to be the endless apology tours these days.
Instead, I will ask those that are misrepresenting what “warrior” training is to stop. Just because you subscribe to the political correctness of the day, some report or you want to remain a chief or mayor for that matter, gives you no right to change the definition of what a warrior is.
And you chiefs and sheriffs that are singing this tune, just stop. You are the reason the meaning of what it is to be a “warrior” has been stolen from law enforcement and re-defined as something that it is not.
Maj. Yates continued in the piece by specifically outlining what warrior training is, and is not. I commend it to you here, “A Stolen Word.”
I am the product of a previous generation of law enforcement officers. Therefore, when I say we’re turning into pansies, I don’t want to sound like the old guy yelling at kids to “get off the lawn.” I believe in professionalism, competence, and assertive leadership by a law enforcement agency in their communities. However, this is not accomplished (in any generation) by producing philosophies that compromise safety, security, and the sanctity of quality of life issues.
Sadly, law enforcement leaders tend to be puppets of city administrators. The more they acquiesce to diminished police roles in clearly defined societal boundaries, the more they will find compromises in public safety. Furthermore, neutered law enforcement leaders lack confidence to “take the hill” when necessary. It isn’t the goal, but it’s the impact that we see play out in “progressive” organizations.
True Guardians Are Warriors
The shift is gravitating away from warrior and toward guardian. Frankly, an effective guardian is every bit of a warrior.
So without getting into theatrics or the academics, this is what the “warrior mentality” means to me; and it’s a mindset I hope and pray that officers policing my neighborhood maintain:
- The will to survive.
- The desire to be mentally stronger than your adversary.
- An attitude of perseverance.
- The mindset of a sheepdog (shepherd) who will do anything for its’ sheep, even when the lambs are oblivious to the dangers that are present.
- Offering the olive branch of peace with one hand while maintaining the ability to deliver lethal force in the other. (Look at the bald eagle on a one-dollar bill.)
- Being disciplined and course enough to fight with violent offenders, without meting out street justice while bringing them into custody.
- The strong belief in duty to protect what is behind me even if it means sacrificing my personal safety against a foe, which is charging in front of me.
- DEFEAT is for the enemy. Even in death I am not defeated because of my faith in God for the salvation of my soul and my law enforcement partners who will seek justice on my behalf as I am laid to rest.
- Doing all of these things within legal parameters, without apology to people groups (activists) who attack the very safety of their neighborhoods by tearing down law (police officers) and order (the absence of crime).
“To be a warrior is to be brave, to protect the weak and to be willing to sacrifice everything for those principles,” Maj. Yates said, and I couldn’t agree more.
– Jim McNeff