Wednesday, February 4th, 2009 by

What is your Legacy as a Police Officer?

What legacy will you leave from your job in law enforcement?  Lives saved?  People helped? or Communities changed?  What legacy will you leave in life?  A healthy child?  A happy and financially secure family?  Maybe an improved world?

Do you ever even think about your personal or professional legacy?  If not, maybe now would be a good time to think about it and maybe to even start a little planning…What does the concept of legacy mean to you?  The Cambridge Online Dictionary defines legacy as “something that is a part of your history or which stays from an earlier time”.

Cops are no different than most people who want to make a difference in the world and in fact I would say that we have an even healthier dose of that desire to make a positive impact.  I would also suggest that we have a greater chance to make that world changing difference just by the nature of our personalities.  We are problem solvers, we are leaders and we know how to manage people.  We are also very well connected with our communities and know how to make things happen.  What are you going to make happen?  In his book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t author Jim Collins mentioned the concept of the BHAG or Big Hairy Audacious Goal.  I love that concept.  What’s your BHAG?

An excellent example of a person who took a simple idea and created an international movement that changed the world would be Millard Fuller, the founder of Habitat for Humanity, who just passed away yesterday.  In 1996, former U.S. President Bill Clinton awarded Fuller the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, calling Habitat “…the most successful continuous community service project in the history of the United States.”  Visit for more information about him and his legacy.

For help in planning your own personal or professional legacy CLICK HERE to download the PDF worksheet on Building Your Legacy.

Good Luck!

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