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Posts by Kristin Gitchell:

What Cops Need to Know About Autism

Sep 08, 2020 in Education & Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Training
By: Kristin Gitchell

 9 Characteristics & Tips for Contact Editor's note: Given increasing focus on law enforcement's interaction with people with Autism we're reprinting this article from an earlier Calibre posting. When I began my law enforcement career I had never heard of Autism. As new recruits, we never received any training regarding the condition or how to safely interact with individuals who have it. In the last two decades, Autism diagnosis have... Full Article »

Are Officers Spending Too Much Time on the Range?

Dec 28, 2019 in Law Enforcement Today & Officer Safety & Survival & Training
By: Kristin Gitchell

Every agency has specific, often unique training needs. Creating a training agenda that checks all of the required boxes is challenging, to say the least. Trainers often must discern which types of training are required, as well as the frequency of each training topic. In addition, they’re responsible for removing training topics when they become irrelevant or fall to the bottom of the priority list. At one point, my agency held six out of i... Full Article »

A Cop’s Tips for Keeping Young Kids Safe

Dec 18, 2019 in Law Enforcement Today & Officer Safety & Survival & Tips
By: Kristin Gitchell

I recently read a Calibre Press article titled Family Safety Tips for Off Duty Encounters. It brought to mind all of the things I’ve done with my daughter over the years to empower her and keep her safe. The last thing we want is for anything terrible to happen to our children. We want to teach them what they should do in the case of an emergency, but we also don’t want them to live in fear. As my daughter’s mom, it’s my job to worry. ... Full Article »

Cops & Criminal Charges: Tips from an Attorney

Dec 16, 2019 in Law Enforcement Today & Officer Safety & Survival & Tips
By: Kristin Gitchell

[Editor’s note: Attorney Dan Herbert is a former Chicago police officer, Cook County (IL) prosecutor and in-house counsel for the Fraternal Order of Police. He now heads a team of law enforcement defense attorneys at the Herbert Law Firm in Chicago. Over his career, Dan has defended scores of officers in both criminal and civil cases involving use of force. He reached out to Calibre Press to share some tips he felt officers nationwide should be... Full Article »

Have You Ever Been Punched in the Face?

Nov 27, 2019 in Defensive Tactics & Law Enforcement Today & Officer Safety & Survival & Patrol & Training
By: Kristin Gitchell

The day will come when it just doesn’t matter. The suspect has nothing to lose and simply does not care. He is not daunted by your position of authority. He does not fear your physical size. He is not concerned about your gender type. He could care less about your race, sexual preference, or who you may have voted for in the last election. The suspect does not only want to escape- he intends on physically assaulting you with all of his might an... Full Article »

News Media Mind Manipulation

Nov 22, 2019 in Education & Law Enforcement Today & Officer Safety & Survival & Technology
By: Kristin Gitchell

If you knew that the news media was manipulating your mind, would that concern you? It should. And they are. The news media decides what to report, and - more importantly - how to report it. The media controls what the public sees, hears, and ultimately believes. This should concern every police officer in every department. When viewers repeatedly see and hear on the news that cops are shooting unarmed African American males, the subc... Full Article »

Is Your Departmental Culture Changing?

Oct 18, 2019 in Law Enforcement Today & Leadership & Patrol
By: Kristin Gitchell

Tap into your “Patrol Cipher.” Agency mission statements are typically straight forward and stay the same over time. It doesn’t take an interpreter to help someone understand what they’re saying. Agency cultures, on the other hand, aren’t that stable. They’re fluid, harder to define and always subject to change. As eager younger officers enter the picture, bringing with them their own beliefs about what being an officer means and how... Full Article »

Stay in Your Lane! It’s Not Your News to Break.

Oct 09, 2019 in Law Enforcement Today & Technology
By: Kristin Gitchell

Several years ago, Northern California law enforcement was rocked by horrific news when one of our police departments suffered the tragic loss of a sergeant who was shot and killed in the line of duty. As we see time and again across the country, news like this breaks on Twitter and other social media platforms first and is then carried by the mainstream media. It was no different for this case. Unfortunately, sometimes we in law enforcement a... Full Article »

Are your schools ready for an active shooter?

Oct 02, 2019 in Education & Law Enforcement Today & Officer Safety & Survival & Training
By: Kristin Gitchell

A down & dirty security assessment. One of my departmental responsibilities is to help prepare area schools for an active shooter event. Before my team and I teach prevention and response strategies at a school, we like to do a walk-through of the campus, in plain clothes, to assess the general level of security and preparedness of the facility and the staff. Here is what we look for. Ease of entry. How easy is it to enter the school... Full Article »

Ferguson Has No Place in Our History – Or Our Museum.

Sep 27, 2019 in Law Enforcement Today
By: Kristin Gitchell

A reader speaks out. When a group of fellow law enforcement instructors and I got the chance to visit the National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, D.C. a few weeks ago, I was excited. This was a chance to take a walk through the history of our profession; a chance to view the stories and artifacts associated with our brothers and sisters who gave all they had—in some cases, their lives—to protect the public. After walking just a f... Full Article »

Here’s a Twist: Serve with Tough Skin but a Soft Heart

Sep 20, 2019 in Driving & Roadway & Law Enforcement Today & Patrol & Training
By: Kristin Gitchell

It’s no secret that the relationship between citizens and police officers has soured over the last few decades. However, scenarios, where officers encounter confrontational citizens, are not new experiences. It’s just human nature and human nature is not always pleasant. I’m not making excuses for anyone but it’s a fact of our condition as humans and peace officers must embrace that. The interesting thing about human nature is that it ... Full Article »

5 Tips for Preventing Active Shooter Drills from Going Sideways

Sep 18, 2019 in Uncategorized
By: Kristin Gitchell

Over the last few months, there have been several active shooter drills conducted in public venues – at least one in the middle of a very populated urban area during prime business hours – that ended up causing confusion, fear, and some chaos. These drills are critical, and we support them, but just as critical as the actual real-time execution of the exercise is the planning of the event. Here are a few key things planners can do to bette... Full Article »

The Mindful Officer: Being a healthy cop IS a laughing matter

Sep 16, 2019 in Uncategorized
By: Kristin Gitchell

Some of the best stretches of my career included two things; productivity and lots of laughter. There are nights I can actually recall being sore from laughing so much. Whether it was with a partner while spending long hours working highway interdiction on the night shift or with team members from a patrol shift or after conducting a covert operation that ended well. These are also the times I remember my co-workers feeling more like family membe... Full Article »

First-Hand Advice on Surviving a Colleague’s Suicide

Sep 11, 2019 in Uncategorized
By: Kristin Gitchell

Editor’s note: Sept. 10th was World Suicide Prevention Day. In recognition of this critical issue and its broad impact on law enforcement, we share these five hard-earned tips for helping navigate the painful and complex aftermath of an officer suicide. Calibre Press will soon be announcing a nationwide program designed to practically and powerfully support law enforcement suicide prevention efforts. Additional details will be announced here so... Full Article »

Head’s Up. There’s a New Weapon Out There.

Sep 09, 2019 in Uncategorized
By: Kristin Gitchell

Throughout the academy, into your FTO phase and up to today you have been trained to look for, identify and appropriately deal with weapons you might find at a scene and on the people you deal with daily. Over time the types of weapons officers encounter have remained consistent; hands and feet, blades, blunt objects, firearms, and a wide variety of “weapons of opportunity.” You and your partner’s ability to spot those weapons and activa... Full Article »

“Assumed Realism” – What is it and what does it mean for law enforcement?

Sep 06, 2019 in Education & Law Enforcement Today & Technology & Training
By: Kristin Gitchell

When people watch critical police incidents on video, it is important to remember that they undergo the same perceptual processes as they would if they were experiencing the event directly. That is, they (1) take in what they see and hear; (2) compare that input against the databanks in their minds pertaining to what they know or believe about the world; and (3) form their interpretations of the experience. This, along with normal emotional react... Full Article »

Social Media Practices for Executive Staff

Sep 03, 2019 in Education & Law Enforcement Today & Leadership
By: Kristin Gitchell

The majority of police departments in the United States now have some sort of presence on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Nextdoor; and that’s a good thing. When used correctly and effectively, departments big and small can successfully manage critical incidents by posting timely information and dispelling rumors. They can also build a narrative that negates national assumptions around why we elect to go into a profession that’s sole mis... Full Article »

Racism: What Does it Really Mean?

Aug 19, 2019 in Education & Law Enforcement Today & Training
By: Kristin Gitchell

If you work in law enforcement, there’s a chance you’ve been told that you are racist. This battle cry is oftentimes baseless and is usually the result of someone being upset with an officer's perfectly reasonable words or actions. A well-founded accusation of racism is usually the kiss of death for a police officer's career. Law enforcement supervisors are especially shy about protecting officers accused of racial misconduct; the racist d... Full Article »