Who’s the best cop in the world? If I asked you about goal keepers, first basemen, quarterbacks or long distance runners you might have a faster and more opinionated answer. I’m not sure anyone can answer the question of who’s the best cop. First your mind raced to the issue that we are all on one team and it isn’t appropriate for one person to stand out. Or, your mind challenged the fact that it would be like comparing apples to oranges. What would we compare? Would we count the number of arrests or measure physical fitness? Would we analyze time spent on calls, number of traffic tickets or conviction rates? Part of the problem is that we over analyze instead of just asking the questions about how to be better cops, and to do that some great role models would be helpful. What’s that you say? There are plenty of cops recognized for outstanding service every week around the globe. Yes, I say, but where do we go as aspiring professionals to learn about those heroes or hard workers? Where do we as professionals assemble in person or online to learn about the best tools and techniques used in our industry to improve our skills or strategies? In business they call this benchmarking. How do policing professionals learn to be the best without continually reinventing the wheel?
I don’t have the answers but I think the key lies in asking the right questions.
Who has the highest arrest rate? How did they do it?
Which communities have the lowest crime rates? How did they do it?
Which cop is in the best physical shape? What does he or she know about self improvement?
Which detective has the highest rate of solved crimes? What about conviction rate?
Which cop is the best at developing confidential informants?
Who has the record for career traffic tickets? What can we learn from them?
Who are your role models? Whose career do you want to benchmark?
Who can you learn from to get better? What will it take for you to be your best?
Bottom line, I don’t think it matters who you think is the best cop in the world as long as you are thinking about it and then talking about it!