Know when to call it quits

My last police department was by far my favorite job. It was full of fun, excitement and dangers, and full of risks with a huge sense of fulfillment. There was always something new to learn every day and with the old saying “be careful what you look for because you may just find it”. This particular day started with a bet, during roll call, as to who would take the first person to jail on a felony warrant. Well, let’s just say the dogs were let out of the gate and we were off!

During this particular time we had a few newly graduated rookies from the academy on one of our busiest shifts. At first, with all the calls coming out no one was able to get started on our felony searches until a couple hours into the shift. One particular officer was FTOing one of the rookies who thought that police work was what he watched on the show ‘Cops’. While the rest of the shift was taking calls and writing reports, the officer located that one person that was a shift favorite because he had an active warrant for his arrest. In fact this guy was driving the same Cadillac that I’d chased him in 2 months prior. GAME ON!

The pursuit started in a neighborhood and then onto the main street. While we were all jumping into our cars and cussing because the FTO found that one guy which everybody wanted, and knowing that we all lost the bet, he let dispatch know that they were heading to the interstate, east bound. This particular portion of the interstate was a straightaway and pretty much tuned and tested by us. We then heard him say “the suspect pulled away, terminating pursuit, let the state troopers know the last visual location”. I laughed to myself and wondered what he just said. Did he say, “terminate?”


Now it was time to rag on him bad. We all went to the alternate channel and the jokes erupted. The only thing said by him was “Hey guys, meet me at the station”. When he arrived at the station his rookie got out the unit with his head down and looked as though he’d seen a ghost. The rookie walked into the PD without saying a word. We huddled up and my guy gave us the info. The rookie said that this job was unpredictable and unstable. When he saw the speedometer hit 120 mph, combined with the encounters and all of the calls within a 2 hour period, he knew right then this was not the job for him. If you’re one those officers with a screwed up police sense of humor you will find the funny in this. But to say the least the rookie had our respect. It takes a good guy to know when to call it quits in this profession, before he got himself or someone else killed or seriously injured. He walked right in and told the Captain that this was not for him, turned in his duty belt and returned the same night with the rest of his issued gear.

Some of us wish that a few others would be like this guy, but that would be wrong these days, I guess.

Bottom line: Know when to call it quits! It’s not just you out there who solely assumes the risk to protect and serve without the duty to retreat. At least that’s what I was taught.

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.


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About The Author

Tactics/Training Advisor

Sam has been in federal law enforcement for 6 years. During his brief time with his agency he was tasked to play an intricate role in the successful organization of a Tactical Response Team. He has trained with some of the top law enforcement agencies and shooting/tactics instructors in the US. His prior experience came from approx. 9 years of local law enforcement working in one of the top five most dangerous areas in America. Of those years, 7 were spent on the city SWAT Team, 2 years in Street Crimes and he spent hundreds of additional hours working DUI. Sam has over 200 tactical missions under his belt, and over 400 drug and warrant arrests. During his career in law enforcement he successfully completed and received several certifications to include: • Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy • Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy (FLETC) • NRA Law Enforcement handgun/shotgun Instructor • Basic Firearm Instructor • Basic Tactics Instructor • Law Enforcement Instructor Training Program • General Instructor • Rappel Master/Instructor • SWAT Level 1 Certification • Basic/Advanced SWAT Certification (Illinois State Police) • Active Shooter Response • Individual Protective Measures Training Program • Protective Service Operations Training Program • Dignitary and Witness Protection for Law Enforcement (LEGION) • High Risk Environmental Protection Program (LEGION) • First Aid/CPR/TCCC • Hand to hand assault/counter assault • Advanced defensive driving Sam was deployed to an active war zone for several months, where he was a team leader for motorcade movements while overseas in hostile territory. His responsibilities were scheduled pick-up/drop-offs, route recon, advanced firearms training and emergency Quick Response Force training for his team. Jay subscribes to the Spotter Up way of life. “I will either find a way or I will make one”.

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