Keeping Your Edge – Homework for Cops

What are you doing to keep your edge as a cop?  Sure you went through the police academy, you probably have some sort of annual retraining and maybe you even get some occasional roll call training, but what are you doing to keep your professional edge?

Let me offer a couple of resources for you.  I was speaking to a group of over 150 police officers and sheriffs deputies last week and asked how many of them read the FBI’s Law Enforcement Bulletin.  I was shocked to find that none of them did.  The Law Enforcement Bulletin is a monthly magazine that many law enforcement agencies around the world subscribe to and at least at my agency are posted or passed around for everyone to read.  They also have a free online version… that contains an archive that dates back for ten years and you can get them in either an html version or a PDF version.  Visit:

Their website points out “The success of law enforcement professionals depends on their ability to stay several steps ahead of the criminals who oppose them. The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin provides readers with the information they need to do just that. Full-length articles feature a variety of topics in both operations and administration. Shorter columns such as Police Practice and Case Study highlight the programs and procedures that work for other agencies. Legal Digest articles present the latest legal issues in a straightforward, easy-to-understand manner. All Law Enforcement articles are written by experienced professionals.”

Just for this discussion I randomly picked three issues and found these articles that interested me (you can get them in both PDF or html versions)

For the PDF version of an article on “Be an Effective Leader” CLICK HERE

For the html article on “Juvenile Arson” CLICK HERE

For the html article on  “The Dynamic Resistance Response Model
A Modern Approach to the Use of Force” CLICK HERE

If you wanted to take this same information and create a short ten minute roll call training presentation we have created a worksheet to help you do that.

CLICK HERE for the CopsAlive “Roll Call Training” template

There are lots of websites that provide law enforcement training to help you keep your edge.  We hope you will always choose CopsAlive but we also recommend the Spartan Cops website at

Check out their two part article on Solo Active Shooter Response: PART ONE HERE and PART TWO

To subscribe to the print edition of Law Enforcement Bulletin CLICK HERE

So what are you doing to keep your edge and improve yourself as a policing professional?

About Editor

John Marx was a Police Officer for twenty-three years and served as a Hostage Negotiator for nineteen of those years. He worked as a patrol officer, media liaison officer, crime prevention officer and burglary detective. Also during his career he served as administrator of his city's Community Oriented Governance initiative through the police department's Community Policing project. Today John combines his skills to consult with businesses about improving both their security and their customer service programs. John retired from law enforcement in 2002. When one of his friends, also a former police officer, committed suicide at age 38, John was devastated and began researching the problems that stress creates for police officers. He decided he needed to do something to help change those problems and he wanted to give something back to the profession that gave him so much. He started a project that has evolved into Put simply, the mission of CopsAlive is to save the lives of those who save lives! gathers information, strategies and tools to help law enforcement professionals plan for happy, healthy and successful careers, relationships and lives.
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