I hope to see more accountability for criminal behavior in the CJ system over the next two decades. A step in the right direction would be to hold criminals more accountable for their actions, as crime has been increasing drastically in recent years. Transcript: "This is a great question changes. I would like to see in the CJ system over the next two decades. I would like to see more accountability for people that go out and conduct criminal Behavior. I think we live in a society now, and a lot of places were we're not taking crime that serious and the statistics show, otherwise crime is going through the roof, New York. He used to be a relatively safe City about a decade ago. It still had its crime and its problems but now crime has just exploded. So in the future, I would like to see criminals held more accountable for the crimes they commit. And I think that's a step in the right direction. We a lot of problems in the criminal justice system, but we have got to get control over this surging crime problem. So, I hope that happens soon."
I became a first responder by joining my local law enforcement explorers program and studying criminal justice in college. After graduating school, I got a job as a police officer three days later and a month later ATF called and I was able to transition into working with them. To become a first responder, I suggest looking for opportunities to gain experience and knowledge in the field, such as internships and becoming a reserve officer. Transcript: "What was my path to becoming a first responder one? I would say, I had several uncles who were Detroit police officers and growing up. I used to do ride-alongs, so I caught the bug very early. But one of the things I was able to do, there's a program called the law enforcement explorers. It's a king to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts accept, this is focus 100%. I'm training you to be in that law enforcement community and to be a first responder it's or Denies door run through your local police department and you can go online and see where the local law enforcement. Explorers program is in your area. Going through that I actually went and applied and got into school and I studied criminal justice law enforcement specialist program while I was going through school. The last two years of my school. I was actually becoming State Certified in Michigan, so I could become a police officer when I graduated school. I think it was like three days later. I was working. My first law enforcement job and then about a month later, ATF called and because I had to fly with them early on and I was able to transition and start working with them in early 1990. But I would say is to find what is available in your area. Look at the law enforcement explorers, it's a great program, great to have on a resume, you'll learn a lot from that and then See what other opportunities you have to do internships. You know, become Reserve officer but anything can do with your local Department, to gain as much experience and knowledge in becoming in the in that first responder as relates to the law enforcement side. Thank you."
The biggest threat to public safety in my community is the prevalence of gun violence. I try to help agencies stem this by encouraging people to not resort to guns as their first response when faced with a problem. Transcript: "What do I see as the biggest threat to Public Safety in your community and how do you address them? I would say, the biggest threat I see is the prevalence of guns being used against not only law enforcement, but the community as a whole. I mean, seems you can't go a day without something news, reading about or seen something about somebody being shot and killed or so many innocent being shot and killed. I think that's a problem that is systemic in society. That if you have a beef with somebody, if there's a road rage incident or you were disrespected or in, you know, communities, somebody disrespected or, you know, cross the wrong line on a block that the first thing that individuals resort to is picking up a gun and going after them and far too often law, enforcement is caught in those cross fires. I think, as of today, there have been three 13:23 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty so far this year, way too high. So the threats of gun violence against our community as a whole and against our Law Enforcement Officers because we see unfortunately, all too often often officers being ambushed to get called out to a scene and they get ambushed and shot and killed. Just the tenant that that is acceptable and Prevalent is a major threat to Public Safety in the communities, so anything that we can do and that's what I try to do, is help agencies stem that gun violence, but not having it. Where the first thing that somebody thinks of if they've got an issue is picking up, that gun is the mindset that we need to change."
Building and maintaining positive relationships with partner agencies and other stakeholders is all about having the same goal in mind, getting violent individuals off the streets. It's important to have open communication and dialogue between all levels of law enforcement officers, from management to street officers, and letting the communities know what they are doing and why it is important to make their neighborhoods safe for everyone. Transcript: "This is a great question. How do you build and maintain positive relationships with partner agencies and other stakeholders? Why can tell you in 26 years as a special agent with ATF a vast majority of every investigation we did was in coordination and cooperation with our state and local or other Federal counterparts, it was all about getting the job done. Whether it was working with DEA on a Narcotics A gun case or with the Detroit, police, or Chicago, Police or Suburban Department, it was all about, we had the same goal in mind, getting those violent individuals off of the streets. So, they weren't a havoc in that local community. So, it's all about having that overall mindset about. It doesn't matter who gets the credit, or who's listed in the press release. It's all about getting the job done and making sure we're Information. We're collaborating that open communication and dialogue because every law enforcement officer has been their heart. If they want to reduce violence and get these bad individuals off the street before they hurt. Somebody again and the local officer doesn't care who gets the credit for it. They want to make sure they're doing their job and their most importantly going home, safe each night. So it's all about About sitting down and having, not only the upper echelon the management talking, but the street officers and agents. That's where the real work gets done. And talk about how they're going to work this case, and how they're going to make the community safer. And then letting the actual communities know this is what we're out here doing. And this is why we're doing it because we want to make all those neighborhoods safe for everybody."
Self-care is important in both personal and professional lives, and it's okay to ask for help. I wish I had started practicing self-care earlier in life, and I hope the younger generation will be more open to talking to someone and taking care of their mental health. Transcript: "How do you incorporate self-care into your personal and professional life and what impact has it had on your success? You know I think for me it's something that I've overlooked for years. I know 26 years at ATF I was a big bad federal agent, nothing would affect me. I have thick skin but years down the road. Yeah, it was affecting me the things I saw. What I was through that, you know, law enforcement is put up that shield and had this ask on thing in the I don't nothing can affect me and I think it's so important that you need to work on. That self-care be it, good nutrition. Be it working out and taking care of yourself but also not just your physical self, your mental self. And that's what I've really come to understand is that it's okay, not to be okay. It's okay to ask for help. It's okay to talk to a therapist. It's okay to talk to a counselor. There's nothing wrong with It's actually very normal to be able to express, you have issues or concerns, or you just need to vent and, you know, something that you can actually talk to people about and understand that is very important, both in your professional and personal lives that taking care of yourself and your own mental well-being, your health is going to lead to a long life and a long career. So for me it's something that I got involved in later in life. Life. I wish I would have gotten involved in talking to therapists and counselors early on. I hope this is something that we try to reduce that stigma in law enforcement that it's okay to talk to somebody and I hope the younger generation welcomes this and is open to talking to somebody and working on your own self care."
The most rewarding aspect of sharing my knowledge and experiences is seeing the "aha" moment in someone's eyes when they understand a concept I'm teaching them. It's even better when they take that knowledge and pass it on to someone else, showing that I had an impact. Transcript: "What has been the most rewarding aspect of sharing your knowledge and experiences for me, it's when I get done talking, with somebody being a lecture training class or meeting with officers at a department is you see that aha moment that that glimmer in their eye? They get it. They get the idea, they get the concept, and they're excited about how they're going to take that little kernel of knowledge. May be that the I was able to instill in them and how they're going to immediately. We use that an impactful way in their current job for me. That is just so rewarding to be able to see that. And then what I hope is they're able to take that impasse that curl of knowledge along to somebody else and then that person will have that aha moment. And then for me it's the feeling of I Pastor Don and then they've passed it. On mean there's nothing better than having somebody come up afterwards and they're so excited. Excited about what you've talked about or you talk with them months later and like, hey, remember we were talking about this situation or this idea, I was able to utilize that and it helped me get to the next step or help with an investigation or hope solving gun crime or whatever it was that they were working with to me, that's the best reward."