Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Police Officer's Duty

After 33 years working full-time in this business, I'll have to admit, this past week was one of the toughest.  It's right up there with the two times I had to use deadly force in the line of duty - and those were life or death situations.  Making a tough decision like I did a few days ago is even more dangerous for a police chief than being in a shoot-out with a suspect.  At least with a suspect, you have great training in advance for the event and can wear body armor to prevent death or injury.   
Doesn't sound quite right does it?
In any event, it's time that we review the solemn oath of a Police Officer:
On my honor,
I will never betray my badge,
my integrity, my character,
or the public trust.
I will always have
the courage to hold myself
and others accountable for our actions.
I will always uphold the constitution
my community and the agency I serve.
Before any officer takes the Law Enforcement Oath of Honor, it is important that he/she understands what it means. An oath is a solemn pledge someone makes when he/she sincerely intends to do what he/she says.  Our oath is a heavy burden.
Honor means that one's word is given as a guarantee.
Betray is defined as breaking faith with the public trust.
Integrity is being the same person in both private and public life.
Character means the qualities that distinguish an individual.
Public trust is a charge of duty imposed in faith toward those you serve.
Courage is having the strength to withstand unethical pressure, fear or danger.
Accountability means that you are answerable and responsible to your oath of office.

Now you know why I made the decision I made. 


  1. Chief...as a Marine and police officer of 38 years I have had the privilege of serving with many great Americans and been led by numerous outstanding leaders. Duty, Honor and Courage resonated through them all. You Sir are cut from that same cloth. As a retired Lieutenant Colonel and Deputy Director of Law Enforcement, I can assure you that the Marine Corps would have valued your leadership and any community in America would be fortunate to have you as their Chief. Shame upon those perpetrating this dishonorable conduct as they serve only their own personal interests at the expense of the community they claim to serve.
    Semper Fidelis
    Steve Reese

  2. Well said. Very proud of you my friend.

  3. and you wonder why they promoted you to Chief??? Your words are exactly what was needed in this situation. I am proud to call you my Chief.

  4. "Courage is being scared to death.......but saddling up anyway"
    John Wayne


  5. Chief,

    As a resident of a muni, Kirkwood, I DO wholeheartedly agree with your comments and we should always be ethical in our conduct as well. I know it isn't easy, but being in your position is always a game of chicken. And you are always caught in the cross hairs too.
    Godspeed. Mearl Justus was always one of my favorite Sheriffs growing up in Madison County next door and I am sure he would agree with you too.

  6. Chief, your actions speak as loud as your words. Thank you for protecting our community and for ensuring that those who serve us strive for the same excellence. Michael Thiemann, Wildwood Missouri

  7. I am sure your parents couldn't be more proud you. Stand by your morals, ethics and integrity!

  8. well said, well said.

  9. Sir, I wish you the best of luck in your effort to do the right thing and wish St Louis County Government had many, many more like you!

  10. Stick to your guns. I had 38 years of proud service to St. Louis County. Worked along side of hundreds of dedicated police department employees. The last week has really put a bad taste in my mouth. Not with the PD but with the 9th floor.


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