The Uniform Was The Target

The Uniform Was The Target

Photo Credit:  BN Focus Photography

“The uniform was the target.”

Those were the words from San Antonio Police Chief William McManus on Monday after San Antonio Detective Benjamin Marconi was ambushed and murdered as he sat in his patrol car writing a citation.

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It is this truth and these words that we, as a society, have to accept and when we accept that our finest are being purposely targeted, we can then empower each and every police department to do whatever it takes to keep their men and women behind the badge as safe as possible.

I said that society must embrace it.  We, as a police officers, have known this for sometime.  We come to the profession knowing that and we leave our families each day knowing it.

The problem, as I see it, is that many Americans do not acknowledge it and do not keep that in mind when they encounter law enforcement.

Roddy White is a former NFL player and got plenty of press coverage when he complained that a police officer placed his hand on his gun during a traffic stop.

A local activist asked for my resignation when I had the audacity to discuss a “War Against The Police” following the ambush killings in Dallas and Baton Rouge this summer.

Others complain that we focus our training on the survival mindset and that simply is not needed.

If any of those suggestions don’t insult you after the last 24 hours, when 4 cops were shot across our land, for no other reason than they were wearing a uniform, then I’m not sure what to say.

And before I get the proverbial, “logging is more dangerous than being a cop”, ask yourself when was the last time someone was assassinated simply because they were cutting wood?

Let’s stop being silly and get to the truth.

Being in law enforcement is highly dangerous because of the unknown.  No one writes “cop killer” on their forehead and there is no “stereotypical” cop killer so because of that unknown, our police need some grace from the very ones they are sworn to protect.

The vast majority of the citizens that we encounter are good, hard working people.  They support law enforcement and they understand what law enforcement faces on a daily basis but when our police encounter a violent criminal that intends to do them harm, we must train and give our police all of the tools necessary to go home after that encounter.

Training to survive is not exclusive to treating our citizens with dignity and respect.  Call it the “guardian” mindset or whatever you like but we owe that to our law abiding citizens that do not mean any harm to us.

I would also ask that those law abiding citizens to understand the pressures and stress that our officers face today and give them grace when all they are trying to do is to take precautions.  To you, that may seem rude but any good officer should be more than happy to explain their actions.

You just have to ask and most seasoned cops will explain before you get around to asking.

There were four cops shot yesterday just because they wore a uniform.  Some of you may have seen that on the news this morning and none of you will see it tonight.  It won’t be news anymore and that is part of the problem.  This has become too common and for the sake of our country, it is time to take a stand against it.

We can begin by simply trying to understand what our men and women behind the badge face each day and instead of being part of the problem, be part of the understanding.

We need you just as much as you need us.


About The Author


Travis Yates is a writer and editor at Law Officer. An ILEETA Trainer of the Year, his Seminars in Risk Management & Officer Safety have been taught across the United States & Canada. Major Yates has a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He is the Director of Training for SAFETAC Training ( and the Founder of the Courageous Leadership Institute (, providing leadership consulting and training to law enforcement around the world.


  1. Joseph Olson

    I fear cops and I am white. I fear that I will be shot because I didn’t say the right thing. I moved too fast or not fast enough.

    • Boba Fett

      TROLL ALERT!! I would be afraid too if I had a face that looked like a bag of smashed assholes. You should seriously confront your parents and demand to know why they didn’t wear a condom. With a face like that you are 100 percent guaranteed to never catch an STD. Outrageous comments made for shock value fall on deaf ears unless your a Hillary supporter. I can understand the need to spew bullshit from your safe space to excite your mommy’s basement professional masterbator brethren. To them you’re a king. And everyone needs to feel loved in their own way. But do the people of the world a favor and save them from witnessing the horror that is your face. Stay in your safe space and I can guarantee you’ll live a long life. Until you die from diabetes of course you fat fuck.

      • Joseph Olson

        Once again showing in salt is your only right because you have nothing concrete to add to the conversation. In your world law enforcement can never do anything wrong there is no such thing as a corrupt police officer there’s no such thing as a racist police officer there’s no such thing as a police officer or officers a police officer that’s just an a******. In your world the public means nothing we are nothing we have no constitutional rights only you. You think law enforcement abuse is a good thing you think police officers should be able to beat anybody they want just because they don’t like the way they look well I’m going to give you a little hint you have proven that you have the brainpower of an amoeba. And as long as law enforcement holds that attitude the attacks are going to get more bloody and more frequent. Because you have no interest in trying to fix it you only have interest in protecting your own.

        • Law Officer

          Are you saying that the attacks on law enforcement are the fault of law enforcement?

          • Joseph Olson

            I am saying there’s probably 4% of law enforcement that is reflecting on all of you. Such as what happened to me I was on break from my restaurant I could not sit in the bar so I went out to my car to sit and talk to one of the waitresses who also was underage but we were allowed to work in the restaurant. A police officer came up to my car pulled me out of my car smash my face into the front hood and asked me what the f*** I was doing in the parking lot. He hit around my face into the front hood of my car before I could even tell him I was an employee. He then told me don’t ever tell anybody about this or I will get worse. I had to walk into work with my face beat up from a cop from doing nothing but legally taking the break that they had to give me by federal law. It is cops who do things like that that the good cops refuse to get rid of and actually run interference for them that causes the problems you are having so yes partially it is due to the fact of inaction on the part of good law enforcement to get rid of bad.

          • Law Officer

            You met one cop out of 800,000. None of us want a cop like that on the street. Did you file a complaint? Were there witnesses? Police are prosecuted for these type of actions. No one, especially law enforcement wants them around.

          • GMA

            It would be to the advantage of the overwhelming majority of police officers NOT to protect an officer who exhibits the described behavior. Perhaps most people don’t realize that a thorough psychological evaluation is one of the requirements for being hired for a law enforcement position. Yet, the testing is imperfect…sometimes an inappropriate person slips through the screening and gets to wear the badge. Then, when his / her behavior is out of line, it reflects negatively on all police officers.
            Or, perhaps the challenges of the job wear on an officer over time…but, he hangs in there for a variety of reasons and his peers are reluctant to “turn him in”. Perhaps something more / better needs to be done to identify individuals who are truly UNFIT to wear the badge early on. Then, something more also needs to be done to deal fairly with the officer who has been genuinely compromised by the rigors / demands of the job. Big difference between working the often ugly streets of Chicago at night for fifteen years and working the village of Happy Valley, USA for those same fifteen years.

        • Boba Fett

          You talk a lot of what I “think”. I only think you have the face of a pedophile. Deciding what others think shows your bias. When you troll on a site not suited to you, you open that up. Don’t think for a second that you won’t get pushback.

          • Joseph Olson

            Sorry, Boba I have to let you know that I am not a pedophile and my idea of justice for a pedophile is a bullet in the head. I have an uncle who is a Psychiatrist. He told me. There is no cure for pedophilia except death. BTW, Boba your apoplectic reaction to my view only proves to me that you are likely one of those officers who would pull a kid out of a car and smash his face into the hood while he is on break for the fun of it.

          • Boba Fett

            That’s something we can 100 percent agree on. Yayyyyyyyy! Progress is cool.

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