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Change is Inevitable - Roll with It

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 Sergeant Andrew G. Hawkes

As officer's age and gain more experience they often find themselves in the midst of an ever changing world of technology, laws, training and equipment. I remember when I first started out we were the first real generation that did not even consider carrying a wheel gun as a duty weapon. We would look at veteran officers and their revolvers as dinosaurs that needed to change. I told myself that I would never have a problem with adapting to innovations and new things because we had the latest and greatest equipment and little would change over the course of my career. Boy was I wrong!

Since my rookie year, I have seen the likes of major adaptations to the job. Now we have computers in the cars, our pistols have "rails" on them to add laser sights and flashlights, we have GPS in our cars that tell dispatch were we are at all times, and the innovative "OC Spray" is fast becoming obsolete with the invention of the TASERô. Racial profiling stats, civil liability and the end or at least the beginning of the end of "professional courtesy" is upon us as well.

Young, educated, already technology advanced recruits are looking at my generation thinking the same thing I thought so many years ago. But it's important to realize that all these changes are not only inevitable, but good for our profession and good for our safety. We must always look toward the future and be able change as things improve.

I didn't realize that little things, such as ASP batons had even changed so much until one of my rookie's ask me if mine still worked. I didn't realize that batons had almost morphed in some type of space age light saber looking gadget. Mine, well itís mostly chipped-up metal with quite a bit of DNA on it. Don't become a dinosaur; make the little changes necessary to keep up with the learning curve - you will be glad you did.

Training is the key to maintaining a long and worthwhile career. At retirement you can look back at a successful career and many accomplishments, that you had in year one or year eighteen. Don't become "retired on duty" but do whatever it takes to maintain that edge as an officer, whether it is studying up on the newest laws in the classroom or getting the latest certification on the newest piece of equipment out there.

Iíve got to run now - I have to enter racial profiling on my laptop while my camera records my every move and my GPS tells me how to get to the next call.

About the Author
Sergeant Andrew G. Hawkes has over 17 years of law enforcement experience.  He has a BA in Criminal Justice and is currently completing his master’s degree in Public Administration.   Additionally, he is a graduate of the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas; has a Master Police Peace Officer Certificate from the State of Texas; and, has a Police Instructor’s Licenses from the State of Texas.  Currently, Sergeant Andrew G. Hawkes is a member of the Collin County Sheriff’s Office (Texas) where he is a senior sergeant in the patrol operations.  Sergeant Andrew G. Hawkes is the author of Secrets of Successful Highway Interdiction.  According to Sergeant Andrew G. Hawkes, “After 17 years of highway drug interdiction, 500 felony arrests, 5,100 pounds in drug seizures, and over $20 million (drugs, cash and vehicles), I have learned a lot of drug-busting techniques that I want to share with you.”  His book, Secrets of Successful Highway Interdiction, contains eleven chapters on Highway Drug Interdiction.



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