Guardians or Warriors?

Much has been made of the expected role of LEOs in the past several months. Without having the benefit of knowing much of anything about the law surrounding the use of deadly force or the statistics on OIS, the uninformed yet vocal pundits have adopted a new mantra; we need guardians not warriors.

Websters defines a Guardian as “someone or something that watches or protects something.” The same source defines a warrior as “a person who fights in battles and is known for having courage and skill.” So what does society want; guardians or warriors?

By definition, a guardian watches and observes looking for danger in an effort to protect. LEOs do plenty of that. They patrol, they proactively go into communities and work with people to improve their neighborhoods and make their streets safer. But what happens when the LEOs, who are trained to watch and observe, see a crime in progress? Should they continue to watch and observe like a good guardian?

A guardian without a warrior mentality is a bystander. We have enough of those. Can you imagine LEOs watching an armed robbery but not having the courage and skill to save the victim and chase the perpetrator?

What about the LEO called to a home invasion? Should they park on the curb and observe? If you are in that house and call 911, do you want a guardian or a warrior?

An old sergeant once asked a group of people what they would pay to have someone rescue their children if they were kidnapped my a madman. “I’d pay anything” was the consensus. “What a bargain,” he said. “For about $20 bucks an hour, we’ll send highly trained SWAT officers, negotiators, and other officers in to save your kids.”

That about sums it up, folks. Be careful what you wish for. Without warriors, there may be little left to guard. Stay safe.

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