By Police1 staff
Playing on a soccer team – or any other team sport – teaches athletes lifelong lessons that they can carry with them long after they’ve decided to hang up their cleats. Teamwork, discipline, and perseverance are just a few examples that athletes can take with them into adulthood.
And because of that, it’s not uncommon for some student athletes to go on to pursue careers in public safety.
Just ask Donald Gaulden and Makel Delatte — former Thibodaux High School football teammates who recently joined the Lafourche, La., Township Sheriff’s Office together. A Facebook post from the sheriff’s office celebrating Gaulden and Delatte went viral, garnering 63,000 likes and 1,300 comments.
These two teammates undoubtedly have each other’s sixes. But much like you begin to learn the ins and outs of the game of football, a new career in law enforcement means you’ll be constantly learning and adapting to ensure you’re performing at your best to protect yourself, your colleagues, and your community secure.
We asked our Police1 readers for their top advice, not just for Gaulden and Delatte, but for any new officer who decides to don the badge and uniform. We’ve summarized the best answers below, but email us at [email protected] or comment below if we missed yours.
- “Every day is game day. Prepare and be ready.” – Freestone County Sheriff J Shipley
- “Keep your head on a swivel, take care of each other and remember why you started on the field.” – Penny Pyle Bennett
- “Do the right thing every shift and get home in one piece. Don’t make the job your entire personality. That’s what you do, not all you are.” – Rick Torres
- “I tell every rookie to be humble, come every day and expect to work hard and develop communication skills. These aspects will help you for a whole career.” – Anthony Salinas
- “Just remember that every human being is a human being. Treat everyone with respect – that goes a long way.” – Michael Bradley
- “Always do the right thing. Always. It doesn’t matter who tries to tell you otherwise. If you have to think about whether something is right or wrong, then it probably is wrong.” – Troy Dunlap
- “Don’t get complacent. Respond to every call the way you’ve been taught. Stay fit, exercise regularly.” – Becky Larsen
- “Stay humble. Remember that times will not always be easy and you will not always be loved. But never forget the reason you started. Never be untrainable and never take things for granted. Family is important. Leave work at work if you can and focus on family.” – Tim Nichols
- “Two things to keep in mind: fitness and mental health.” – LJ Woodie
- “Before you arrive at each and every call, take a deep breath and slow down. Don’t let fear, excitement, or zeal for potential threats blind you. Take one step at a time.” – Timothy Sapp
- “Use your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it usually isn’t.” – Ernie McCracken
- “Use your common sense and never turn your back on anyone. Don’t walk back to your car with your back to the entrance of the car you stopped.” – Richard Anson
- “Find a healthy outlet for the things you need to see and do.” – Jenn Rodriguez
- “Never take work home and treat others as you would like someone in your family to be treated.” – Kim Ann
- “Always make sure your dispatcher knows where you are because if you need help, they need to know where to send it.” – Amanda Sheller
NEXT: What cops would tell a novice version of themselves
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