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The Cop's Manifesto

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The Cop's Manifesto shares the five essential qualities that every cop, and every person, should strive for in their life. Brought to you by Chief John Patrick Weiss. Visit Chief Weiss at

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The Cop's Manifesto

  1. 1. ! ! The Cop’s Manifesto ! Five Essential Qualities ! !! !!! JOHNPATRICKWEISS.COM"1
  2. 2. Passion ! Law enforcement is a noble profession. Many good men and women have served before you. On their shoulders we carry on the tradition of protecting and serving. If we are to honor them we must have a passion for this work. In fact, it should be a calling and not just a job. Passion means you look forward to coming to work and serving your community. You don’t resent even the simplest calls for service for you are helping someone, somewhere. You look for opportunities to help others, including your partners. You take care of your body, eat right and exercise. You don’t abuse alcohol and you get enough sleep. You enrich your mind with books and try to learn from others. You do all these things because you are a police officer and you have passion for your calling. The community members you serve look forward to seeing you and your coworkers are glad you’re on their shift. You offer to take calls and paper when your partner is overloaded. You admit mistakes and settle differences with others directly and respectfully. All because you have passion for this honorable profession. ! JOHNPATRICKWEISS.COM"2
  3. 3. Ethics ! Police officers do the right thing. Not the convenient, expedient or easiest, but the right thing. Retired Louisiana Police Captain Jere Joiner illustrated this in the following quote: “ Integrity is what people do when no one else is looking. It is total commitment to honesty in every aspect of a person’s life. Integrity goes to the core of conduct, what people believe in their heart of hearts. It cannot be bought or bestowed. It does not come with office, title or appointment. It simply exists. The person who has integrity rarely claims it. The person who claims it rarely has it. Integrity is best manifested quietly in day to day living and in the workplace. It cannot be stolen or taken away, however, it can be lost. Integrity is more valuable than riches, awards or world acclaim. It should be treasured above all things, for after integrity comes decency, honor, trust and principle.” JOHNPATRICKWEISS.COM"3
  4. 4. ! Accountability ! Professional police officers understand that their authority reflects the consent of the people. Even in a representative democracy some freedoms are curtailed to insure our security. The public accepts this trade off so long as there is transparency and accountability in government. To that end, police professionals know that their actions are always subject to review. The best police agencies maintain informative websites and are responsive to community requests for information. Officers are not offended by citizens with cell phones videotaping them, for they know their professional actions are above reproach. Accountable police agencies do not fear grand juries and media scrutiny. Such agencies view public scrutiny as a chance to reaffirm their professionalism and dedication to transparency and accountability. Professional police officers hold themselves accountable. They honor the tradition of “an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work.” Such officers own their own mistakes and strive to improve. JOHNPATRICKWEISS.COM"4
  5. 5. Courage ! Courage is not the absence of fear but the will to soldier on in spite of it. It is often said that police officers run towards the gunfire when others are running away. Their courage in doing so comes from a higher calling: the fulfillment of a promise to serve and protect. Men and women who serve in uniform reflect the best in us. They are brave protectors who still believe in the principles of duty, honor and service. Theodore Roosevelt best expressed this in the following quote from his “The Man in the Arena” speech: ! JOHNPATRICKWEISS.COM"5
  6. 6. “ It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Empathy ! Merriam-Webster defines empathy as “the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions: the ability to share someone else’s feelings.” The best law JOHNPATRICKWEISS.COM"6
  7. 7. enforcement officers treat all individuals with basic human dignity, even those struggling on the margins of society. Beyond the natural desire to help victims, cops recognize that offenders have their story too. Every person who slips into criminality or addiction represents the lost hopes and dreams of a parent, spouse, sibling, son, daughter or friend. The best cops may apprehend and incarcerate violators, but they never abandon their faith in the human spirit to overcome and change. Cops are pragmatic and understand that some crooks never change, but they don’t give up on humanity or give in to cynicism. ! You will or have already experienced joy, loss, hope, cynicism, inspiration, exasperation and more in this proud yet profoundly challenging profession. Colleagues will come and go and the years will click by. In the end, all you have is your family and your reputation. An unforgiven conscience is a heavy burden. Make peace with your past mistakes, make amends where you can, and then proudly stand your post. Your legacy will be the example you set for your family and others, and those you have helped. If you stay true to the principles of Passion, Ethics, Accountability, Courage and Empathy, then in your life you will experience what the first letters of these principles spell, and that is PEACE. Be well, stay safe, laugh a bit and thank you for your service. About the Author John Patrick Weiss is a writer, artist and police chief currently serving in Northern California. To read more of John’s work, visit his website at © 2014 ! JOHNPATRICKWEISS.COM"7
  8. 8. ! !!!!! JOHNPATRICKWEISS.COM"8