Successful individuals in criminal justice need to have perseverance, compassion and empathy, good communication skills, and ability to be personable and a bit of an extrovert. They also need to be well rounded. Transcript: "What personal characteristics do you think are necessary to be successful in criminal justice? Well, one I would say is perseverance. I also think you need compassion and empathy. You know, being in this job is not just going out, arresting people, locking them up. You have to empathize with what they're going through and you have to show compassion, both for the victims, for the people that you're arresting and dealing with because of the situation that they may be in, but then also for your fellow officers. You've got to have that compassion to be able to work with them because you're going to see a lot of tough stuff and you have to realize that it's not always good to have that thick skin. I think some characteristics are, as you know, you need to be personable. You need to be able to talk to people. You need to have good communication skills. I think it's one that you need to be an extrovert. Somebody in law enforcement is not an introvert, somebody who doesn't want to talk to people. So these are just some of the basic characteristics that I could think of. You know, there are a lot more that may help you in doing this job. There's no, you must have this characteristic or if you have this other characteristic, you're not going to fit. You want somebody who is well-rounded and that is what it's going to take to be in this profession."
To stay up to date with changes in the field such as new laws and Technology, I look at resources like ICP magazine, ASIS, conferences, LinkedIn, and court cases. Networking with people in the industry is also a great way to stay informed about changes. Transcript: "How do you stay up to date on changes in the field such as new laws and technology? Great question because everything we do in law enforcement, it's always evolving, especially when it comes to technology. There's so many new things coming out there that are game changers, that make your life easier, make your life safer, and makes the job easier. So, things that I'll look at is with ICP in the magazine, look at what they have in there for advertisers and what people are talking about. ASIS is another great resource that I look at. Talks about upcoming trends and that's focused a lot more on the security world, but also a lot of that can correlate directly into the law enforcement technology. And then going to conferences. We'll go to a lot of conferences with Evidence IQ and we'll expo our Ballistics IQ solution, but I like to get up and walk around and see what other technologies are out there because that's where you're going to see a lot of these new things or at these events. So keeping abreast on those are very important. Being on LinkedIn helps out a lot to see what's being posted on there and what new technology and such. That's what's really good ways to find out about it. Then as it relates to laws, of course, watching court cases and what's happening and what's being changed, you definitely have to keep abreast up on that, depending on what state you're in and what laws have changed there locally. But I think a lot of it is networking and people you know in the industry and in the arena to see what's changing and then see what you think will work best for you and see if you can push to incorporate that. Stay safe out there."
Leadership, critical thinking, and decision-making are important skills for crisis management. Leaders must be able to think critically, understand their environment, and make decisions quickly in order to have a favorable outcome. Transcript: "So what types of skills were necessary for crisis management? This is an interesting question, and I think there's a few different ways you could take this. I'm going to go for like the overarching view, and there's a few key traits that I believe a person has to have in order to run a crisis situation, whether you're an OIC, whether you take incident command, leadership is one. I'm not going to break down the tenets of leadership, but leadership is one. Critical thinking is massive. Critical thinking and understanding the current operational environment and the tactical understanding of the environment is absolutely paramount in making the right decisions. And then that turns into another piece and another skill set, which is decision making. And the biggest problem is that you can have the best idea in the world, and if you're not willing to make a decision and live by it, nothing happens. We always say in combat, good or bad, just make a decision. That's really what this comes down to. So in crisis management, it comes down to being able to lead by example, think critically, and make decisions in a timely manner so that hopefully we come out with a favorable outcome. Good question."
To stay up to date, I listen to podcasts and join associations' email lists to collate information on my own. Transcript: "So my go-to resources for staying up to date is a combination of a lot of things, really. One, I run a podcast where I get to actually interview subject matter experts all the time, and so I gain a lot of information from that. I have a pretty steady stream of podcasts that I listen to, and I cycle through about 10 or 15 podcasts within the industry and through industry-adjacent topics, so that I can see what's going on a little bit outside of my bubble. And then I'm also involved with a lot of email lists. There's a lot of really great groups online and associations that I'm a part of, and getting on their email list so that you can see what associations are doing, what organizations are doing, companies, because they're the ones that are staying up to speed in their subject matter. And you can collate all of that on your own by just absorbing it and being the end place for all that information. So, lots of options there."
The moment I would relive is the birth of my first kid, as it was a special moment filled with emotion and pure love and joy. Transcript: "What's one moment I wish I could relive? I would say probably the birth of my first kid. That is something that I don't think I'll ever forget. Well, I know I'll never forget it, but I can still, thinking of it now, I can still feel the emotion that I felt and just the pure love and joy that I had watching my son be born. And not that I discount my other kids, that's not it at all. It's just that first one, the first time you feel it is something really special. And so I would say that that moment I would definitely relive. And I hope that a lot of folks that are watching this get the chance to experience that themselves."
Don't be afraid to take risks, but make sure they are calculated. Failure is a good thing as it makes you stronger in the long run. Remember the famous Wayne Gretzky quote - you're going to miss 100% of the shots you don't take. Transcript: "What advice would you give to someone who is afraid to take risks or try new things because they fear failure? Great question. And one thing I'd have to say is you don't need to fear failure because you are going to fail. In something you do, in some way, some form, some fashion, you will fail. You're not going to get every question right. You're not going to do everything right. So I think the biggest thing that you need to do is work on how am I going to react to that failure, not am I going to fail. Failure is a good thing because it makes you stronger, it makes you think about how you've handled things in the past, and actually makes you grow. So what I would say is don't be afraid to take risks. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. But also make sure they're calculated risks. You don't want to do anything that is career-ending or life-ending or anything like that. But don't be afraid to raise your hand and step up and offer advice and bring forward those suggestions that may not be accepted or put forward, but at least you're trying. And that's the biggest thing. I think it was Wayne Gretzky said, you're going to miss 100% of the shots you don't take. So don't be afraid to take those shots."