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 www.Habitat.org for more information about him and his legacy.

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

Good Luck!

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 CopsAlive.com. Put simply, the mission of CopsAlive is to save the lives of those who save lives! CopsAlive.com gathers information, strategies and tools to help law enforcement professionals plan for happy, healthy and successful careers, relationships and lives.
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