Today’s Investigative Special Report September 10, 2012 “Dealing With Today’s Law Enforcement Specialized Investigations” “The Future Leaders In Law Enforcement”

By Lawrence W. Daly
Forensic Expert – Senior Author

English: Jake Gyllenhaal on a visit to New Eye...
English: Jake Gyllenhaal on a visit to New Eyes Português: Jake Gyllenhaal em uma visita ao New Eyes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In the soon to be released movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena, “End of Watch” according to IMDb, “Is about two young officers who are marked for death after confiscating a s
mall cache or money and firearms from the members of a notorious cartel, during a routine traffic stop.”

If you have seen the previews then you know this movie is full of action packed police at their best scenes with sex thrown in to make it complete. Interesting that audiences enjoy seeing law enforcement on television or the movie screen engaging in violence and sex, when in the real world the type of scenes seen in “End of Watch” do happen, but not as much as seen in this movie.

On television there are numerous police type shows, from Rookie Blue to Hawaii Five-O to Criminal Minds. Some of these shows have some scenes which are realistic, but for the majority of the time, there is simply too much drama and not enough reality.

If you are a young adult watching a Jake Gyllenhaal or Michael Pena on the movie screen being law enforcement officers, you may want to change the direction of the way you are living or improve upon your life style and choices. In fact, you may want to become a law enforcement officer, a leader in the law enforcement community, a stint in homicide as a detective, and then onward and upward as a commander or chief of a law enforcement agency.

Police downtown
Police downtown (Photo credit: Toban Black)
If you are a young adult and you have begun dedicating your life into being one of the future leaders in law enforcement there are personnel sacrifices you will have to relinquish in order to pursue these dreams. Let us look at some of these sacrifices and what you are willing to change about yourself in order to move forward to a new type of world to live in. A world where the perpetrators you arrest are not make believe but at a moment’s notice could and would take your life. A world where your family and friends who once were a part of your life, now have turned away from you, because you are different than they are, because you decided to dedicate your life to being one of the good guys, a law enforcement officer.


Your reputation has to be above reproach. If someone asks another person about your reputation it must be impeccable. You need to have a reputation which inspires others to be who you have become. It isn’t good enough to be the average person most people want to be, no you have to be special.

This may sound unreachable for some one young to achieve. However, having an outstanding reputation doesn’t just show up one day, like hiding a tooth under your pillow and the next morning finding a dollar bill. No reputation is something that begins today. Everyone you know must respect the fact that your life’s goal is to become the best person you can be. Further, that in the process of building a positive image, you want others to know that your goal is to become a law enforcement officer from this day forward until the day they force you to retire.


Federal Protective Service tahoe
Federal Protective Service tahoe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you are an average student and this has been your performance to date, then you need to make a change and find methods and techniques to not be a person with average grades, but a person who aspires and strives to be the best student in the classroom and for that matter the entire school.

The positive and successful studying habits you learn as you move from middle school to high school will pay major dividends when you enter college. Every college in the nation will be asking you to be a part of their educational system. Attending a community college is unacceptable and you will know it. Unless your circumstances don’t allow you to attend a four-year college than you will need to expend the first two years at a community college taking care of your pre-requisites, eventually obtaining your associate degree. There is nothing wrong with attending a community college, but leaders strive to be the best, and the best not only strive to attend a four-year college, but one with the best reputation and supported in the college arena as respectable and competent.

Eating Right - Physical Condition
Eat right with color
Eat right with color (Photo credit: Inspired RD)

If you are out of shape today, by the time you reach 21 years old, then you will be out of shape then. Today is the right time to begin eating the right foods and planning a stringent exercise program like you were participating in a ‘Tougher-Mudder’ tomorrow.  Your leadership qualities should be seen first i.e. your physical appearance has to speak for itself.  Nobody and this means nobody will hire a young adult to be a law enforcement officer who is out of shape and has health issues.

Today, young adults are sedentary due to the technology which is available to use as a game or communication tool. Therefore, you can’t become part of a society where 50% of Americans are considered obese. So check out some books from the library and find an exercise program which is something you can initially handle. Don’t challenge yourself to the point that you fail because your expectations were not logical or reasonable. Begin slowly and finish strong.  Elevating your performance each day to become stronger and faster than the day before will become routine.

Once you become a law enforcement officer you will receive recognition from your co-horts, those in the community, and the administration that you respect your body and maintain it like you care about how you look and feel.


Many young adults have lost their way and lose sight of their goals because they failed to recognize the potential dangers in the individuals they are friends with. This includes your family members as well. If your family and friends have problems with alcohol, drugs, sex, and other potential life style choices then you need to decide if you want to be a leader in reference to your peers or a be a follower. The decision to move out of this inner circle has to be decisive, firm, and a continual commitment to keep your distance.

Pool Party
Pool Party (Photo credit: philipp daun)
Law enforcement officers are not followers they are first individual leaders i.e. they follow a tight regiment of a positive and successful life style and they lead others to do the same. They are the example and set the bar at what seems an unreachable standard.

There is no reason for an individual who wants to be a law enforcement officer to be at a party where there are individuals who are drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs. You might as well light a stick of dynamite and wait for it to explode. When you are dealing with young adults and add alcohol and illegal drugs, you are asking for trouble.

As soon as you identify that this is happening at a party you wanted to attend, you need to leave the party as fast as you came. You don’t contemplate if you should stay or go, it should become automatic that the environment you live in does nothing but promote positive and successful opportunities.


Being a leader in your community is something which you have to work diligently for. There are many sacrifices you will need to make from spending hours studying to exercising to staying away from potential problems.

A background will be performed by the law enforcement agency which may be considering in hiring you. If you have failed to do the above the likelihood of you being hired as a law enforcement officer will be unlikely.

Once you become a law enforcement officer your goals will change and the life styles will change. One of the lifestyle changes is do you want to be an average officer or do you want to be a leader in and off the job. The decision surrounds the desire to be the best, which means you will have to sacrifice your time and energy in being the best at what you do.

Accomplishing Your Dreams

The steps to being a great leader of other officers comes from hours of learning, educating, attending workshops, and conferences, and any other steps which will make you a better person and ultimately a better officer and leader.

If you take the time to follow your dreams by beginning at a young age, disciplining yourself to do the extra life style and choices, then you will not only become a law enforcement officer, but one of the next generation of leaders in a professional field which needs individuals like you previously planned and eventually will become. It may be difficult for some people to be their best all the time, but learning how to be the best will become natural, because of your years of dedication and the inner desires to reach these goals every day.

Although the movie “End of Watch,” and the television police shows appear to be a reality and may be exciting from time to time, for the most part being a law enforcement officer is being about helping people when they need someone to lean on. A law enforcement officer wears many hats from baby-sitter to talking to a group of elderly people who don’t understand why their houses keep get broken into to arresting someone who hurts, kills or damages someone property.
Sacrifice (Photo credit: arbyreed)

It takes a courageous individual to put on the uniform every day, confronting danger at every corner. However, a prepared individual an outstanding law enforcement officer will make the best of his/her world by planning ahead, like the individual described in this article.

In doing so, it provides you the opportunity to demonstrate to others that when you talk they listen, and when you do something, they mimic it, because you are a leader and leaders lead so the next generation of leaders can learn what it takes to be special, competent, and intelligent. 

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