Last week I had the honor to attend and present the Outstanding Performance Award at the Detroit Police Academy Graduation. Chief Craig and his staff did an outstanding job of conducting another academy and preparing 13 new officers for the streets of Detroit.
There are 20 academies in our state and I attend many graduations. I never get tired of these events and feel privileged to share that moment with the graduates and the academy staff. After 6 years and many graduations I still get emotional at each and every one.
There was a specific moment in the Detroit Graduation where at the end the graduates were marching out in cadence at the conclusion of the ceremony. For me the symbolism of them marching in step, singing, very proud and happy , marching into the unknown was very strong and moving. It was a notable moment for me as I wondered had I personally done enough in my capacity to prepare these new officers for this profession? Did the Detroit training staff do all they can do, has my staff adequately prepared a curriculum that gives these graduates the tools they need to be successful? The answer I realized is yes but can we do enough?
It is a delicate balance of providing adequate training in a reasonable amount of time for a reasonable amount of costs. Training is a joint venture between MCOLES and the agencies for which the graduates work. Each of us has to take responsibility for providing the skills and tools for these officers to survive and provide excellent service to our citizens. When I say each of us that includes not only myself, MCOLES staff but FTO’s , supervisors, and fellow officers.
It is the primary responsibility of us veterans of law enforcement to take a part in the training and mentoring of these new officers. Training and mentoring are a daily process. I consider these graduates my legacy and so should every current law enforcement professional. I challenge each of us to take a strong role in the development of our next generation of officers. Their success becomes our greatest legacy.