With the tragic loss of nearly 100 American law enforcement officers in the first half of 2011 and a 42% increase in firearms deaths from the previous year, Law Officer’s Below 100 initiative becomes even more significant for this profession. Officer safety truly is the responsibility of each and every one of us—but consider who in your agency has the most day-to-day contact with those line-level personnel who are the ones most likely to die in a violent incident or tragic accident. Who has enough authority and autonomy to take control and effect change, but is still out there on the street with the troops, living the cop’s life and seeing all that they see, every day, every shift? It’s the sergeants, the first-line supervisors in every department who can have the most significant and immediate impact on the safety and survival of the officers on your department.
It’s just not enough to be a Sgt. Esterhaus and end each roll call with a heartfelt “Let’s be safe out there.” You’ve got to model it, believe in it and teach it—every day, every shift. It really is “Your move, Sergeant” to help get this profession “Below 100.”