I got paid a lot of money for 20 years to tell college wannabe cops to, “Wake up!”
The “wake up” call was part of my orientation week message to 600 college students in two law enforcement programs that I coordinated. Every September for two decades, I urged college wannabe cops to shut off their screens and “stop watching cop shows.” College tuition is expensive. I pledged every year to every student that I would tell the truth, in blunt talk language, to prevent ripping them off. I was responsible for teaching real life. My obligation started by telling them that cop shows are fairy tales. They aren’t real. Actors and actresses get paid a fortune to pretend they are someone they are not in a world that isn’t real. “Wake up” to real life starts by shutting off fantasy cop shows and learning about real-life. I broke the news that make-believe cop shows would not teach them about the dream job that hundreds of them chased every year.
There was more to the “wake up” call. I urged each one to get under the bar and out of the bar. Lift instead of getting wasted. Getting wasted was the number one cause of college failure and dropping out. Getting wasted was the number one cause of wasted potential in college. I wasted my time conducting research by questioning students who were bombing, for the truth that I already knew. No one ever lied. They told the truth. They bombed tests and bombed coursed because they couldn’t stop getting bombed.
The good news was that a number of students every year achieved a level of academic excellence that had to be seen to be believed. Academic excellence includes high marks and much more. Academic excellence is strength of mind, body, and soul. It doesn’t just happen. Nothing just happens. You have to spill your guts to break away from the pack of mediocrity.
Another part of the “wake up” call was the first lesson in packed investigation classes that I taught. Over 200 students crammed in like sardines in lecture halls heard me say over and over that, “Crime victims are the number one responsibility in law enforcement. Prevent people from becoming crime victims and make sure that crime victims get maximum return for their investment.” There is no bigger social problem than crime. The effects of crime go deep. In addition to physical invasion, crime victims suffer psychological invasion. “Crime doesn’t solve itself” was one theme in the 5th edition of my Criminal Investigation textbook. Preventing and solving crime takes skill and hardcore effort. You have to spill your guts to serve and protect.
If you are Canadian, you have the right to vote in the upcoming federal election. When candidates call you asking for money and your vote, ask them for their crime prevention platform. Ask them for their public safety strategy. Ask them what they intend to do to protect your loved ones from crime. A fictional presidential candidate on the TV series West Wing was once asked about his crime prevention platform during a fictional presidential debate. He answered, “Crime, boy, I don’t know.” He lost the debate and lost the election.
There no election issue more important than public safety. You pay a lot of money for law enforcement. Expect maximum return for your investment. “Crime, boy, I don’t know” isn’t enough.
Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., Level 3 NCCP (Nat’l Coaching Certification Program)
Head coach – Niagara X-Men Football
Owner – X Fitness Inc.
Blogs – www.GinoArcaro.com and www.SWATFootball.ca