2016 Year In Review: The Debate Is Over

2016 Year In Review:  The Debate Is Over

As 2016 comes to a close, there is a painful reminder of what happened to law enforcement throughout the year.

The year, which had more officers killed by gunfire in five years, also had more ambushes of officers than we have seen in over two decades.

Despite the coward ambushing of five Dallas area officers followed by the ambush killings in Baton Rouge, some continue to put their head in the sand on the “war against cops.”

Some don’t like the word and some, incredulously, think by acknowledging this war they are somehow advocating that the police act like a military force.  To both, I say get over yourself.  If you want to hate cops then be a man and say it instead of using your “own meaning” of words or your “own innuendos” to do it.

Then again it’s easy to hide behind your keyboard and send threats to cops or our writers.  I hope it makes you feel good because you will not change our focus on providing law enforcement with the tools, resources and information to make them as safe as possible.

It’s completely ridiculous that a cop that puts on a ballistic vest before they leave their home and goes to a job that has lost more heroes since 9/11 than the military in Afghanistan, has to even debate the issue.

So I won’t debate you and even if I offered, no one would show up.  I know from experience.

As I said several weeks ago, “Training to survive is not exclusive to treating our citizens with dignity and respect.”

You can have your opinion and you can even call for my resignation, which will not be unique, but I will not back down.

I won’t back down in telling law enforcement to prepare for the danger in front of them and I am in good company.

Craig Floyd, the CEO of the National Memorial Fund said. “It’s sad to think that our officers are being targeted simply because of the uniforms they wear and the job that they do.”

Following the murder of one of his officers, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said “the uniform was the target.”

Bill Bratton, who just finished his second stint as New York Police Department Commissioner. “You’d have to go back almost to the 1970s, to see a similar experience in American policing……A significant number of those who were killed in the line of duty by gunfire were actually targeted because they are police.”

Heather Mac Donald wrote an entire book on the issue and Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke says there “has been a war declared on cops.”

So as we enter 2017, may we all stay focused, vigilant and dedicated to making the next year the safest in our history rather than what we have just endured.

May God Bless the departments, communities, officers and their families that suffered the ultimate tragedy in 2016 and may we always remember them as we work tirelessly to honor them by training those behind the badge.






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 (www.safetac.org) and the Founder of the Courageous Leadership Institute (www.courageousleader.org), providing leadership consulting and training to law enforcement around the world.


  1. chickief

    If you don’t break the law you have nothing to fear! It’s about respect. Respect for the law and the people who enforce it. It’s simple, yes sir, no sir, say in your vehicle until told to exit, hands in sight, speak when spoken to.

  2. jim james

    Nothing will change until cops accept they’re the bad guys, admit their crimes and beg for forgiveness. Then we fire 3/4 of them. Some go to prison, forfeit their assets and others will finally have get a real job.

    • Kurtis Engle

      Copcams for everyone.

      • michael

        criminal cams for all paroled felons.

        • Kurtis Engle

          That does seem a little odd. But you might be on to something. Explain your program. Particularly the part about costs, access to the data and the third amendment.

          • michael

            Simple. Wearing of body cams part of parole or release conditions. Cost of program borne by the convict.

          • Kurtis Engle

            3rd Amendment seems to prohibit. Accident, you suppose?

  3. Kurtis Engle

    Mr. Yates. Stop and think. The reason there is, as you say, a war… is because you are fighting. Us.

    As soon as you stop fighting to protect the impunity the police have created for themselves, then we will both be on the same side.

    Question. What is it that makes us enemies? Is it me wanting my freedom? Or is it you wanting to be The Man?

    • michael

      No. Not you wanting freedom. It is, more precisely, you wanting the freedom to take that which others have worked to attain. That which I am sworn by solemn oath to prevent. That is why we are at war. That is why police and criminals will always be at war.

      • Kurtis Engle

        So, I am a criminal? Even though I have never been convicted of anything? I am not an American vet who has fought for the freedoms I expect to be allowed to enjoy?

        Gosh. I am so very disappointed.

        • chickief

          No you’re an idiot! And probably a disrespectful 1 at that.

          • Kurtis Engle

            Let’s check that.

            If a starship using a matter conversion drive accelerates, Einstein says it gains mass. Makes it harder to accelerate. I say the fuel gains mass too. The same percent is converted to thrust. So acceleration does not diminish. The difference? Einstein proved C is the limit. And I just used his math to prove that ain’t so.

            At least one of us made it all the way through that. Are you still here? If so, let’s talk about respect. Do you know there is a difference between respect and obsequiousness?

          • chickief

            And a smart ass, seriously smart and an ass.

          • Kurtis Engle

            I am noting a certain lack of respect. I am wondering where it comes from.

    • chickief

      Sounds like you have a ship on your shoulder. Play by the rule/law and you won’t have a problem. My I suggest you do a ride along with one of your local LEO agencies and see what they go through, it might change your mind.

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