Today’s Investigative Special Report - September 23, 2012 “Dealing With Today’s Law Enforcement Specialized Investigations” “What Does The NFL And Law Enforcement Have In Common?”

University of Miami head football coach Howard...
University of Miami head football coach Howard Schnellenberger, right, posing with Don Works and the school mascot for group portrait: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Photo credit: State Library and Archives of Florida)

By Lawrence W. Daly
Forensic Expert Senior Author
Most men at some time in their life have played the game of football at the high school or collegiate level. Unfortunately, unless you have the strength of a bull dozer and the speed of a hummingbird, it is highly unlikely you will make it to the NFL. Still some individuals beat the odds and get the break everyone is looking for and is given the opportunity to play the game for longer than the four years they played in college.
Becoming a law enforcement officer doesn’t begin at the age of 21 years of age as well. If an individual wants to become a part of the criminal justice system, then like football the planning must begin at a young age. Like the NFL player, many individuals who plan to become an officer of the law have to pass a physical, psychological, background and other criteria set-up by each law enforcement agency.  There are those who work diligently by starting a program early in life to eat correctly, exercise daily, keep healthy mentally, and most importantly keep themselves from having a problem with the law.
Being a NFL player and a law enforcement officer do have some things which could be considered a commonality. It goes further than just the beginning and planning phase which these two professions have in common.
It tak
ACT Police vehicle (Ford Falcon FG) and unifor...
ACT Police vehicle (Ford Falcon FG) and uniformed officers in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
es an NFL athletic ability to be law enforcement, not the big muscles or running at the speed of lighting, but someone who has to maintain a specific physique to be able to effectively handle the physical requirements of the job.  As an officer there will come a time when there will be a need to execute an arrest and just maybe the perpetrator who the officer is attempting to restrain decides he is going to fight the possibility that his freedom is about to be taken from him. If the officer isn’t physically equipped than the perpetrator will keep his freedom and possibly the officer will lose his life.
In the NFL if you play defense, then you have to maintain a specific physique to endure the hits from an offensive player and possibly when confronted with the situation have the strength and speed to affect a tackle. In the case of the law enforcement officer and the NFL player both men have to understand how to execute the take down technique required to affect the arrest and make the tackle.
A law enforcement officer and NFL player who are weak and lack the skill and knowledge to perform the function of their job, then there will be a penalty of sort. The law enforcement officer may be harmed in the process, because someone else to be harmed or killed if the perpetrator over takes the officer, takes his gun and shoots those observing the incident or the officer.
If the NFL player fails to make the tackle several things may happen, most likely the running back or receiver will have the opportunity to gain more yards or score a touchdown.
Again, the NFL player and law enforcement share in some responsibility for their team or community to be prepared for the unexpected. If the running back or receiver makes a move and grove action or the perpetrator slips the handcuffs before they can be placed on him, the unexpected may result in the opposing team or perpetrator taking advantage of the unprepared.
It seems like it would be difficult to always maintain your best, but this is the responsibility of the job they took when they signed on the dotted line. The NFL player knows that if he doesn’t perform he will either sit on the bench or be cut, giving another player the opportunity to play.
The law enforcement officer isn’t so easily replaced due to his length of service, the opportunity to move to a division of the department which doesn’t require one to be involved in the front-line defense.
Like the NFL player, it takes years of training, education, and experience to be the best they can be at all times. It is a standard that has to be adhered to because failure to maintain a specific level of fitness may cost them their position.
The new NFL logo went into use at the 2008 draft.
The new NFL logo went into use at the 2008 draft. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The NFL player learns to play specific offenses and defenses by attending a football training camp, learning techniques of how to play their position, reading and memorizing from a play book, watching films, being a part of team meetings, and etc. He will be given the opportunity to watch older plays perform and from this with the rest of his training he will at some point become the teacher.
The law enforcement officer learns to be an officer by becoming educated in the laws of the city, county, state and the federal government. After being hired by a specific law enforcement agency he will attend a police academy, reading and memorizing laws, learning the department’s rules, regulations, protocols, vision, and mission statements, meeting with other officer’s, working with other officer’s and etc. He will be given the opportunity to watch his field training officer perform the job and after a period of time given the chance to perform to his utmost best. Later in his career, like the NFL player he will become the teacher.
Probably one of the most common threads both the NFL player and law enforcement officer will champion is the ability to be a leader amongst a team of individuals who have a common goal. The NFL player will want to be a man other’s respect for his leadership on and off the field. Making his actions speak louder than the words he barks on the football field.
The law enforcement officer has to be a leader at all times, when he is on the job or off the job.  Everyone who knows him or may observe him in the performance of his job will evaluate his conduct.  As he gains experience and grows into his job as a law enforcement officer he will make decisions that other men and women will respect, admire, and talk about him in a positive manner when he is out of the room.
The greatest characteristic of men either being an NFL player or a law enforcement officer is the integrity of the individuals who wear a uniform. If the individual decides to take on the responsibility to play NFL football or become a law enforcement officer his reputation and integrity is all he has outside him being a human being.
If for some reason the individual’s physical and psychological performances begin to diminish due to age, injury, wear and tear on their bodies, their past positive and successful actions will keep them in the game and on the job longer than most would expect.
In today’s world failing to maintain discipline of who you are has never become so important. When you see individuals rioting and protesting on the streets worldwide, the man in the uniform will be there for their team and community under scrutiny, difficulties, problems, and an assorted amount of controversy, but no matter what transpires they will show up and give it their all.
Nobody said it would be easy reaching the goals of being an NFL player or of being a law enforcement officer. However, both of them worked to get where they wanted to be and every day gives it their best. Do you know someone who has the ability to be one of these two types of individuals? If you do then give them your support in any way possible and most importantly support what they believe in and stand for. You never know you may make the difference in some young person’s life which led them to making their dream a reality.

Description: Larry-Daly_01

Lawrence W. Daly           
Puyallup, WA

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