If you listen to most media outlets and politicians, they will suggest that you obviously take prudent measures to avoid dangerous areas and make smart choices when it comes to your personal safety. You will also hear the majority of them advise that you rely on law enforcement to protect you and your family as opposed to arming yourself with a defensive weapon.
Overlooking the fact that many of those reporting the news and almost all of the elected officials offering such advice rely on personal armed security to protect them, it might do well to actually pay attention to what steps the average law enforcement officer takes to ensure the safety of their family.
The truth of the matter might surprise you regarding how police officers approach the personal protection of their families. One might even call this an inconvenient truth when it comes to the personal philosophy they follow. In short…overwhelmingly, law enforcement professionals arm their spouses with a firearm where legal and if that option is not viable, they incorporate non-lethal weapons and tools into their defensive strategies for their families.
A Numbers Game…
Both the FBI and the NIJ (National Institute of Justice) have stated that while property crimes have been trending downward, violent crime has been trending upwards. According to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, while the current violent crime rates are lower today than they were in 2011 and even below 2006 levels…current violent crime rates are trending up over each proceeding year since 2014. Thus, while our overall violent crime rates are lower than they were a decade ago…they have been climbing again (year over year) for the last 3-4 years.
Rapes, aggravated assaults, armed robberies and murder are now trending upwards again. This is especially true in population-dense urban areas that are growing faster than the cities they now surround. Law Enforcement will tell you that while they wished they could be everywhere at once…the reality is that their average response times are now taking longer to respond to a call from help. This fact is not lost on the responding officers themselves when it comes time to developing defensive strategies for their own households.
Many Law Enforcement Agencies now actually offer courses for the spouses of Police Officers to better prepare them to take care of their families when it comes to personal safety. Some departments will hold “range days,” so they can teach these spouses how to safely handle and discharge a firearm. Many departments will teach self-defense classes to the families of Officers as well as instruct them on how to properly deploy pepper-spray, stun guns and TASERS®. In short, both the individual Officers and their Agencies recognize that the average response time to a call for help may not be quick enough to actually interrupt the assault…let alone prevent it!
The Frontier Model…
If you live somewhere that a hurricane, tornadoes, floods, power-outages, civil unrest, etc., can occur and you are the spouse of a Police Officer, then you know that you and your family may be on your own while your spouse is called out to work in those dangerous conditions. You no doubt also know that under such conditions…you are pretty much on your own for a period of time.
Many experienced Law Enforcement personnel refer to this as the Frontier Model. If you lived on the “frontier,” 150 years or ago or so, it was a good idea to know basic first-aid, how to build a fire, how to hunt and farm, marksmanship, how to repair things around the house…and most importantly…how to defend your home and family from those that would do you harm. There was no 911 to call. There was no SWAT Team or K-9 unit that would run “lights & sirens” to your aid. It was all up to you.
In today’s uncertain world, most Police Officers tell their family to be prepared to defend themselves for at least twice the expected length of time of the average response to a call for help. If you are lucky enough to live in an area where your average response time for law enforcement to arrive is 4 minutes, then be prepared to defend yourself for 8 minutes! According to American Police Beat, the average response time for an emergency call nationwide is 10 minutes. Let that soak in.
The truth is harsh. The truth can be scary. The truth can be hard to swallow. The truth…can save your life. Learn how to defend yourself. Educate yourself on effective locks for your doors and windows. Take the time to learn what areas of your city or town are not good places to frequent. Take the necessary steps to keep your vehicle in proper working order so it will not leave you stranded. Don’t let the fuel in your car drop below a quarter of a tank. Get in better physical shape. Remain vigilant when you are out in public.
The truth can be inconvenient but it shouldn’t be ignored either. Carry a discreet, powerful and formidable defensive tool. Learn how it operates. Become comfortable with it. Remember, the professionals that we count on to come to our aid when we dial 911, count on their families being able to defend themselves until help arrives. Personally, that sounds like a good idea.