LEO Mentality

LEO Mentality

This is a discussion on LEO Mentality within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; What kind of mentality best serves a LEO officer? Are the best kind of LEO the dominant type or the passive type or the type ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array Pete14's Avatar
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    LEO Mentality

    What kind of mentality best serves a LEO officer? Are the best kind of LEO the dominant type or the passive type or the type that can be passive but be dominant when the situation calls for it?

    Is being a passive LEO but dominant when needed going to get you in a bad situation alot quicker than a dominant type because the suspect might see you as passive?

    Do they teach this in training?

    Or am I not even in the ballpark as to what is best?


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    I don't think it is one of those learned or acquired occupations.
    Its almost like surgeons, or truck drivers, or mothers and fathers.
    Some people will excel at being these things, and some will not.
    Some will think they want to be in law enforcement but will begin schooling and then realize its not for them.
    Others will go to school, train hire on to a force, and do well, and have what it takes, and others will fail, sometimes very badly, and sometimes they will just get by,

    And then there is the perfect law officer, pictured below.
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    We had several in our academy class that resigned shortly after graduation. They did well in training, but when they had to deal with real people, it just wasn't for them.
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    Senior Member Array Devilsclaw's Avatar
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    The best ones I have known, were all the more easy-going types, that could turn forceful and be as tough as they needed to be on a moment's notice. Seemed they put people at ease, and diffused a lot of situations instead of making them worse. Similar to Matt Dillon, but only REAL life. Masters of social skills, and projected a very calm power over everyone, reassurance for citizens and fear in criminals.

    The worst are the "get back at the world" types, you know the kids that got picked on in school, that have a chip on their shoulder, and give them a little bit of authority, and they over-do it. I've seen these guys make a bad situation worse, and often put themselves and fellow officers in harm's way due to their poor social skills.

    The 3rd types are the "Robo-Cops", high on testosterone and adrenalin. They can be awful jerks too, but very competent at their job, and get the job done when the chips are down. They tend to irritate citizens and fellow cops alike, but can do heroic things.

    Bottom line, cops are social workers. Those with good social skills, are the best at the job.

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    Devilsclaw has a good perspective on the types. I like for my people to be assertive, not passive or aggressive, as their default mode. The passive ones tend to "not see" what's in front of them, the aggressive ones sometimes create more problems than they solve. Assertive officers seem to be able to transition through the full range of skills (from akind ear to a hard fist) better than other personality types IME.

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    There is never one type that is better or best. The job is so eclectic, you have to have multiple types of personalities in the mix. A good LEO can adapt to the situation as needed. I can be the nicest guy you'll ever meet or I can tear your head off; it just depends.
    jwhite75 and sigmanluke like this.
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    I'll bet SIXTO goes through a dozen sinkers like Robocop. <----
    I havenít heard any of the journalists who volunteered to be waterboarded asking to have their fingernails wrenched out with pliers, or electrodes attached to their genitals.

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    I coulnt tell you the last time I ate one. Its been years. Being a river town, a sinker means something totally different to me though.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    I can't lay off the dang things. I NEVER buy them but my boss brings them in once a week. I try to hold off but they just sit there whispering to me all morning. In the end I always end up eating the biggest nastiest one.
    I havenít heard any of the journalists who volunteered to be waterboarded asking to have their fingernails wrenched out with pliers, or electrodes attached to their genitals.

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    I think it is kind of a combination of the things mentioned above. I nearly always started "soft", but in a manner that people knew that I could get a whole lot harder if necessary. Don't ask me how you do it, can't explain it, you just do.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    Senior Member Array dripster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete14 View Post
    What kind of mentality best serves a LEO officer? Are the best kind of LEO the dominant type or the passive type or the type that can be passive but be dominant when the situation calls for it?

    Is being a passive LEO but dominant when needed going to get you in a bad situation alot quicker than a dominant type because the suspect might see you as passive?

    Do they teach this in training?

    Or am I not even in the ballpark as to what is best?
    The situation most certainly dictates the officers perceived mentality. Best answer I can give you.
    One more step and it's on!

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I like to be nice, be a good listener, and take it as it comes. I never intended to do this forever, but here I am with less than 5 to retire.

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    as others have said, there are many different types...not just 2...personalities
    like Sixto said....I can be Mr. Friendly Officer one minute/when need to be or I can tear off your head and stomp you in the ground at first sight if need be, each call/situation will dictate what is needed and good LEOs know how to be on each type of call

    as far as personalities when going through training/academy....the ones that were less assertive/aggressive by nature tended to have more problems engaging properly in training scenarios and washed out (or asked to resign before they were fired), some still aren't aggressive enough out in the field now

    this can go the other direction too....some are jerks to people when they don't need to be and at times project a bad image of our dept, but those are rare
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    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    There is never one type that is better or best. The job is so eclectic, you have to have multiple types of personalities in the mix. A good LEO can adapt to the situation as needed. I can be the nicest guy you'll ever meet or I can tear your head off; it just depends.
    This is how I treat my offenders. We are in the field in a much different capacity than police officers, often in offenders homes alone. You have to be able to adapt like Sixto says, and be fluid. Its as much about officer safety as it is about producing the preferred results. I am very laid back most times. When I do "erupt" on my offenders, they are so taken aback they dont know what to do and my coworkers find it funny. It also gives me the element of surprise, because often they mistake my demeanor for being dim witted and knowing nothing of what they are actually in to on the street. Its quite amusing when the dont "see me coming" and I attach the shiny bracelets.
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    Law enforcement officers learn some great mediation & moderation skills through experience/time on the job but, they also instinctively know when being nice isn't going to do very much good.
    jwhite75 likes this.

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