POLICE Magazine

JUL 2018

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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PoliceMag.com 15 UNDERSTANDING AND MANAGING LAW OFFICER STRESS Download our free online magazine today at AMUonline.com/police-mag Read full-length articles from industry experts "What's that?" (Really? Never heard of it? As Trump would say, sad.) "e recession hit our staffing hard. We just don't have man- power to do that anymore. We barely have enough cops in the field every shift." (Doesn't that mean your remaining officers re- ally need to watch out for each other?) "We were taught that in the Academy, but I don't think we do it anymore." (How could the concept have de-evolved out of use at your agency?) "I tried talking about it once with our neighboring agencies and they didn't know what it was." (Didn't you all attend a region- al academy together? Was it not taught there?) "We took it out of the Academy curriculum because we have so many other newer topics to cover, like diversity, crisis communica- tions, and dealing with mental illness with our homeless." (So officer safety takes a backseat? Isn't patrol the backbone of every agency?) "We do a 'modified version' of Contact and Cover." (Which is coded language for: "We speed it up, separate the officers, and try to do more work by taking our eyes off each other.") Although our "Contact and Cover" book went out of print a few years back, you can still find copies selling for as much as $500 on Websites. I have a few copies on my shelf for the sake of nostalgia. I taught my half-day Contact and Cover training class for decades across the country, until demand trickled down to nothing. I kept the domain name but closed the Website for lack of interest. I still get a few emails each month from patrol officers or training offices, thanking me for helping them understand the concept. For that, I'm grateful. When I first moved to Colorado Springs in 2016, I sent a letter to all 200-plus law enforcement agencies in the state, explaining the Contact and Cover concept, describing my book and train- ing class, and asking for a response. Total number of responses to date: zero. After three Colorado sheriff's deputies were killed in the line of duty in the first two months of 2018, I contacted the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police and offered any of my six police tactical books to any chief who wanted a copy—for free. Total number of responses to date: zero. Please don't misinterpret my message as an old-guy rant about wanting to go back to the good old days or lamenting why people won't buy our book. John Morrison and I just wanted all cops to have a long and safe career. We believed in Contact and Cover way back when and we believe in it now. As Bruce Springsteen put it in his 1982 song "Atlantic City," "Everything dies, baby, that's a fact. But maybe everything that dies someday comes back." Here's to hoping that Contact and Cover is still in full use in your agency. Steve Albrecht worked for the San Diego Police Department for 15 years. His books include "Albrecht on Guns," "Patrol Cop," "Street- work," "Contact and Cover," and "Tactical Perfection for Street Cops." He can be reached at drsteve@drstevealbrecht.com or on Twitter @DrSteveAlbrecht PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES

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