An Officer Safety Oath

In the wake of all the tragic deaths of LEOs thus far this year, I have grown weary.

I have grown weary of hearing how we are dying.  The heartbreaking reality is some of those deaths may have been preventable.  I believe if we do not learn from those that have gone before us, we do their memory a disservice.

With that, I present to you an Oath.

It is an oath I urge you to consider, if not outright take.

Print it out.  Post it on your locker.  Put it on your bathroom mirror.  Add to it.  Make it your own.

Just go home at the end of your shift so you can review it tomorrow.


I will kiss my family and tell them I love them every time I leave for work.

I will never take my life for granted.

I will make contact with occupants of a car on the passenger side.

I will check the hands of occupants every time I walk up to the car. This includes return trips.

I will not lower my guard based on the appearance of occupants in the vehicle prior to making contact.

I will periodically look up at the vehicle I have stopped while writing a citation.

I will require occupants to remain in the vehicle. If they refuse, I will call for cover and treat the situation appropriately.

I will slow when clearing intersections.

I will take deep breaths before rolling code 3.

I will not succumb to tunnel vision.

I will never stand directly in front of door when attempting to make contact at a residence.

I will search every person I put in the back of a patrol car…even if another officer already has.

I will never turn my back on a suspect.

I will order my food to go and eat either at the PD or in the car.

I will park my car in such a way as to be able to see people approach from as many angles as possible.

I will not stand between vehicles on a traffic stop.

I will always wear my seat belt.

I will stay off of my cell phone while driving.

I will not get distracted by apps on my tech device when in public.

I will be more concerned with my safety than I am about offending someone.

I will hit first and I will hit hard.

I will not be complacent.

I will not give up.

I will survive.

I will find balance in my life. I am not defined by my job description.

I will kiss my family good night and tell them I love them.


Question: What would you add to this list? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Feature image courtesy of Flickr and James Vaughan

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

4 thoughts on “An Officer Safety Oath

  1. I can NOT say enough about LEOs using passenger side approach. When I was an Instructor and teaching the STOPS program it really opened my eyes in teaching it at just how much more EFFECTIVE it is. Watch and see how your offenders are looking for you in their mirror and the startle effect you subsequently experience. Plus the increased view INSIDE the car you have. Anyone wanting to have some info shared on this happy to discuss with you via email etc. Try it and be convinced. its YOUR safety!

  2. This is a sensitive spot, but timely, because two officers went down from the Las Vegas Metro PD last week (the worst day in LVMPD history). The first was buried Thursday, the second this morning. Both good men with families and small children. One was the type of guy you’d want by your side whenever TSHTF, taught advanced officer skills at the academy, and just a damn nice guy. Noone is immune.

  3. I know this post is a tad old, but I have a question/comment about one on the list: Eating food at the PD or in the patrol car? I’m guessing that’s somewhat in response to the Las Vegas shooting newlymintedatty mentioned, which I’d heard of previously and is absolutely tragic…

    But I don’t feel as though police officers should be expected to avoid restaurants on the basis that they might be assassinated. Watch your back, perhaps, be aware of your surroundings, and pick a location in the restaurant where you can more easily defend yourself (like against a back wall). It’s a shame to think that police officers have to be afraid at sitting down for a meal at McDonald’s.

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