FIT@50 / week 73

FIT@50 / week 73

Kinda Weird:

We came back to Louisiana for a few days while the kids were tucked away at summer camp. There were things left to do right before school resumed. Had it been notebooks and rulers, we would’ve knocked out quick. It was more involved – it’s always more involved.

Thanks to an unscrupulous builder (much more on that later) we’ve no base camp with Max heading back to the grind next week. With the helpfulness of our community, finding digs was no problem.

For now, Liliana Hart and I are checked into a hotel. It’s nice, but it’s a local hotel. One night we decided to walk across the parking lot to the Sonic for a snack. A big cup of ice cream type of snack.

It was super humid with the stale scent of impending rain wafting through a windy night. I walked to the big order screen and mashed that iconic red button. Soon we were recipients of late-night goodies.

As I looked around the parking lot, it fell over me like a moist sheep’s skin just out of the microwave – Reality.

“You know, it’s kinda weird.” I mused.

“What’s that?” Liliana replied with the expectation of never knowing what I’m about to say.

“It wasn’t long ago that I was the Chief of Police here. Now, I’m living in a hotel room and walking across a vacant parking lot for ice cream.”

She huffed, “True. I bet people would think, man, the Chief fell on hard times.”

Walking back while wishing I’d worn a tugged down baseball cap, I thought about how different my life is versus the way it recently was. Then I thought about why it mattered if people saw me walking back to a hotel room in my own home town. I was with my wife after all.

About half way through the rain puddled parking lot, and just as I fished out the last pieces of Snickers topping my ice cream, the realization returned.

I really didn’t care.

I was in a city I love, with the woman I love, eating the snack I love. Matter of fact, even the late summer’s humidity was nice to soak in once again as we kicked through warm rain water.

Come to think of it, it really doesn’t matter who you were or what you did or where you did it. What really matters is that you did your best while doing it, and now you get to enjoy life because of the effort once given. Even if it means walking from your hotel room to push the red Sonic button.

Do Good,


Chief Scott Silverii, Ph.D.

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Lifting These Officers Up


Please Help Lift These Officers Up:

Writers – I’ve never hesitated or asked for anything in return for helping you out with questions or explanations about police work, or any topic you may have needed to make sure your novels are amazing. Now, I am asking you to help a dear friend and fellow officer as Courtney fights for her life.

Readers & Friends – In the same respect, I’ve only, always been completely open with you, and enjoy the connections. If you know anything about me, it’s that I keep very few friends very close to me. Courtney’s husband, Pre worked with me in SWAT for years and is one of the people I trust with everything in this life.

Liliana Hart and I have committed ourselves to them, and we ask for your help. While I know they’d both be embarrassed by this post, I don’t really care. I love them both dearly and I’ll do whatever it takes to bring them peace while they fight the courageous fight.

I borrowed their story to share with you. Please Help Out:

Courtney Curole Prevost is a mother, wife, a daughter, a law enforcement officer, a leukemia survivor, and a friend. Courtney was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Leukemia on Easter of 2015.

She fought. Not only to get through chemotherapy but to get back to her children, her husband and fellow law enforcement officer, Todd, and her passion, law enforcement. Courtney beat Leukemia once. And now she is doing it again.

She relapsed. The Leukemia is back. And she is beginning the fight all over again. She is away from her children for the foreseeable future as she now requires a bone marrow transplant after the completion of chemotherapy.

Courtney, Todd and their three children need us to lighten their burden. Todd, a veteran law enforcement officer, has already begun steps to start a second job for additional income to supplement the loss of Courtney’s. This is a hard working couple who love their children, love their community, and love each other. Neither have ever asked for handouts.

Any donations will cover expenses that would otherwise be uncovered due to the loss of Courtney’s income. But more importantly, any donation will ease Courtney’s fears of burdening her young family and will allow Todd to be present for his children as they enter the next year without their mother at home.

Understanding Police: My PhD Research

Understanding Police Cover

Understanding Police: My PhD Research

I’m still in shock over the North Miami Police shooting of Charles Kinsey. I keep waiting for a plausible explanation before I make any comment on this. It’s hard, very hard to just remain silent.
So many folks want to understand the world of law enforcement, but will never gain an objective perspective. My research conducted for my PhD has been published twice – once as a textbook titled, Cop Culture: Why Good Cops Go Bad, and the other as A Darker Shade of Blue.
While the rights belong to my publisher, the research is all mine. I published this edition of my multi-year study on the organization and culture of cops to help you gain a factual view on the profession.
I tried cutting out the boring details about research methods and validity along with the qualitative methodology explanations – this will give you answers in a “PC Free” explanation.
I’d give it away, but Kindle requires 0.99 –>>1-Click

Stretching the Police: Point Break

I posted about police reform in Change Responsibly – Stretching the Police this week. It was a longer than usual thought, so I wanted to talk with you also about the actual dynamics involved with policing and change.

Stretching the Police: Point Break

The original article

Change Responsibly – Stretching the Police:

Change Responsibly – Stretching the Police:

Going through old files, I came across a collection of video topics from my former agency’s annual summit. This, like many agencies host meetings to set the tone and sharpen the vision. There are only messages of community service through most agency missions.

Police are not the enemy. Their job is difficult and challenging. It is truly a double-edge sword where you’re the savior who pulls daddy off from molesting his daughter, yet become the villain because you’re taking her husband to jail for molesting their daughter.

By creation, police are the State’s arm of violence. Please allow me to explain while that soaks in.

While we’ve transformed over decades into the roles of community worker, counselor, teacher, preacher and anything needed at that moment, the legal reality is law enforcement’s function is to provide the surety that laws created by legislation will be honored or enforced if violated.

This is an example of a police officer’s oath of office. Most are required to be sworn, signed and filed in their clerk of courts’ office:


Do you see term slike helper or friend or anything other than upholding, enforcing, preventing? It’s difficult for the community or the agencies to reconcile the requirements of their neighbor-citizen service versus their keeper of the peace roles.

This is a simple, not open for debate example of police force:

Cops don’t dictate the speed limit, but it is their duty to ensure the speed limits enacted by the legislative body are adhered to. What are the options of force? Posted speed limits signs are a form of force. Patrol cars parked in the speeding zone is another form of force. Running radar and warning drivers to slow down is an elevated form of force. Writing a speeding citation is yet another force option. Arresting the driver for speeding is possibly the highest form of force to make sure that limit on speed as established by a governing body is honored.

It may be cliché, but the saying, “We don’t make the laws, we enforce them,” is absolutely accurate. This isn’t an alibi for the extrajudicial use of police force, it’s just an illustration that the function of a police body isn’t to be your crutch or your punching bag. The job of the police are to ensure the laws of the jurisdiction are adhered to and enforced if violated.

Now comes the theoretical confliction.

The police are public servants. The term “servant” applies to helper on call to aid and assist in times of need or distress. This doesn’t sound like legislative muscle poised to enforce the law upon violation. No, it doesn’t. It’s a position of helper, and fixer.

Police are called upon more than 95% of the time to handle non-violent, quality of life circumstances. even in the most violent, crime ridden cities, police respond to violent crime calls only about 3% of the time. While this isn’t a statistical crime session, it is an example of what cops do with almost all of their other time on duty – Helping people fix their problems.

Can you imagine the personal dilemma of being trained, equipped and constitutionally commissioned with the empowerment of enforcing the laws of that jurisdiction, yet in almost 97% of calls for your assistance they are non-violent situations such as arguments between spouses, kids not wanting to go to school or a boyfriend not returning your daughter’s cell phone? You’ve not been trained by your employer’s academy to handle disputes with alternative resolutions or de-escalation techniques. You only know how to enforce the law and defend yourself and others.

The occupational dichotomy between the enforcer and guardian ethos is a powerful pendulum swing in either direction. Containing and directing those influencers is the function of the agencies’ heads and chain-of-command. An agency who gains a reputation of abuse, has failed leadership by allowing the domestic warrior mindset to overpower the community helper ideology.

In opposition, agencies ineffective at controlling crime, and focus more on appeasing political ambitions and personal agendas also exemplify failed leadership. It is a balance requiring monitoring every second of every day on every instance an officer interacts with the public.

So what does this all mean, besides spending the last ten minutes getting to the conclusion?

Police reform will not come easily. There are over 900,000 sworn officers – campus, city, county, state, federal and tribal, that work for 17,985 separate law enforcement agencies in the United States.

There is no one single governing body that dictates or influences these agencies. They, for the most part, are independent governmental jurisdictions who only answer to those within their respective political subdivision. Contrary to popular belief, while the FBI may have concurrent investigative jurisdiction with even a college campus police department, they do not have supervisory authority over any officer within that or any other law enforcement agency.

How do you affect change?

Reform will require changing the very mission, not just the practice of policing. A complete cultural overhaul that focuses on adopting the guardian ethos as opposed to the “us versus them” homeland soldier mentality. This change will require the same dynamics as any mass overhaul of disparate organizations – Clarity of Focus – Patience – Education – Accountability – Encouragement, just to name a few.

The reality is it will take a coordinated effort to develop best practice models based on multidisciplinary, social science approaches. That being said, it’s also vital to acknowledge the police cannot be everything to everybody. Society may have stretched the requirement of the police too far. Maybe the police just aren’t equipped to handle every one of society’s ills and quality of life concerns.

As an aggregate populace, it may be more productive to look at the entirety of what the police do for each community and evaluate what percentage of the whole are habitually acting in bad faith or illegal activity. Do good cops go bad? Yes. Do bad guys become cops? Yes, but that is the case in every profession. Are there bad kids in your child’s kindergarten class – Yes, so does that mean we march against little Johnny? No – it’s called life – bad things happen and are often caused by equally bad people.

Be warned!

Reform will result in a social service gap that has never been seen in this country. Even more concerning is that there are no public, private or social service agencies to pick up the slack once police stop doing the extra, non-criminal enforcement activities. For example – child custody exchanges, civil seizure of property, vehicle title verification, car insurance compliance checks, welfare concerns for the elderly or infirmed, delivering meals to the homeless, maintaining social media sites to keep us informed and enjoying the sense of community, funeral and wedding escorts, campaigning for their chief or sheriff’s election, visiting our kids at school to say hello, and the endless list of extras the profession has shouldered that have absolutely zero to do with the content of their sworn oath.

Can the profession of policing do better, be better? Yes. It has come so far since it’s inception. Can you force a 17,985 agencies juggernaut to change with violence against their communities and its their members? Absolutely not. If anything it will become more entrenched as a means of survival.

Becoming an agent of change requires more than a hashtag and bricks thrown. There must be direction and a definition of what that change looks like.

Police aren’t against changing to best serve their communities—they just need clear orders as to what their change will be. Don’t just demand change – define change, and uphold your end of the societal responsibility while that change is occurring.

Do Good,
Chief Scott Silverii, Ph.D.

FIT@50 / week 69


FIT@50 / week 69

Price of Pizza:
This week while in Paris, Liliana Hart and I took off on the city in a series of pedicab driven adventures. To say the experience was anything less than epic would be an understatement.
But at what price?
I’m always talking with her and our kids about situational awareness. The boys think it’s funny, while the girls think I’m trying to make the junior high boys afraid of them (maybe both.)
After a lift to the Tour Eiffel, we looked down upon an enchanted city filled with lights and people and noise and life. Just below us was a watching station for fans of the Euro semifinals soccer match between Wales and Portugal. I’d never experienced crowd energy like that before. It was like 10 Mardi Gras combined.
As we headed back to the suite, we were instantly caught up in thousands of fanatic supporters of the soccer match. Unable to get back to the room, we ducked into a pizza joint for a late supper.
We were stopped at the door by a tough looking guy wearing a black jacket with an armband that read Security. Seriously, for pizza?
Facing the door as all good cops do, I watched the crowds inside and out. I suddenly felt less for wanting pizza and more for escaping the scene. November 13, 2015 was there. Always there in my mind as we carted around in a beautifully free-moving environment. The 130 victims of that night’s coordinated terror attacks weighed heavily upon my heart as I choked down the first but only slice of pizza.
I was fixated on the tough guy at the door, as well as the hundreds of riot squad special police lining the avenues with body armor and machine guns ready to respond.
It wasn’t nervousness that had stricken me. It was a wash of grief for those people sitting in a cafe just like us, and the revelers whose only care was for the score of a well-played game, and the many others who just wanted to “kick it” across Paris like we did.
Our waiter was an older man who watched the streets as much as he watched his customers. We didn’t mind the delays in service. I’m sure it was all he could do to focus on just doing his job.
But it’s just a pizza place.
I’m never at ease. I watch the lighthearted videos we do on facebook and I’m amazed that when we’re in a public place how my head is constantly scanning back and forth. I can’t help it or want to change it. It’s what I was trained to do–I watch and observe, so I can react and protect if needed.
I sat up straight as a crowd jammed into the door’s threshold. Angry shouts in languages I didn’t understand came clear into the small cafe. The tough looking guy pitted himself against the aggressive few.
I have to admit, my gut dropped. But immediately, I was coming out of my chair to help that tough guy, who suddenly, with fists slamming against his face, didn’t seem tough enough.
My thoughts weren’t about my safety, or even to stay there for Liliana. My heart leapt so hard from my chest that whether it was a repeat terror attack the day after July 4th or just hungry customers pissed about being denied access, I knew the line that tough guy had committed to standing.
Almost a year since retirement, but I know that having a heart for serving others is something that never retires. I also now know that the French Police are much faster than I ever could’ve been. Before my butt left the seat, or Liliana even realized I was leaving, officers snatched the attackers from the door and whisked them away.
I watched the tough guy rub the red whelps across his face. I knew the feelings of taking licks for something having nothing to do with you other than making a choice to stand for something or someone else. I wanted to tell him that although battered, he did a good job protecting the customers in the cafe.
When it was time to head back to the suite, I led us through a rowdy crowd of thousands who jumped and screamed and lit fires and raced cars along the avenue. The mood was degrading fast. I swung and swayed with Liliana in tow and tried my best to avoid contact with anyone, but inevitably times came to bulldoze the drunks and just plain stupid for the sake of getting us out of that situation.
Finally back in the room, I showered off the grime of getting us back. and it was then that I allowed myself to relax, and the emotions came crashing over me as I showered.
Those poor, innocent people along the magical streets of Paris who only wanted to enjoy the mystique of this city. What makes them different than us, if for only by the day on a calendar.
What is the price of pizza? It gets much more costly as fear, anxiety and violence are piled upon the pepperoni and cheese. Those feelings are foreign to me, but this week they became a very real reminder of the reality of our world.
Do we forgo the pizza for the sake of comfort? No. Not as long as there are good people willing to stand in the gap. Those good people are us. The cafe chef, the customers, and yes, even the tough guy in the door.
Do Good,
In case you missed last week’s FIT@50 & Please Join me on Facebook.

FIT@50 / week 66


FIT@50 / week 66

True Power:

When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.” – Jimi Hendrix
This week I received two notices about Chief of Police positions in Louisiana. My immediate thoughts were “No thanks.” It was about this time last year that I’d announced my August 28th retirement date.
I would’ve never in a million years thought retirement from the only job I’d known would’ve been a reality. To be honest, I just assumed, and was happy with the idea of dying before retiring. I was in the catbird seat and had no intentions of relinquishing the position as my city’s top cop.
Then it happened – My life changed.
It was no longer about conquering careers, giving orders or fielding offers to run much larger agencies. I transitioned into working as an equal with a partner I loved and respected. No longer was having my picture on the front page or official statements of any consequence.
I’d learned a long time ago that power and authority are two very different dynamics. Neither were important to me any more. Becoming a husband and dad were. Surrendering the spotlight to stand in the shadows applauding my wife, Liliana Hart and kids’ accomplishments became the new normal.
It’s been almost a year since I walked away from the facade of a powerful position to the reality of an important one. Sure, times like this week’s Orlando massacre make me miss being in blue to help the public, but I know there are almost 900,000 others who serve with the same passion as I did.
My place is where God led me. Does it mean I don’t train as hard as I used to just in case of a crisis, or that I’ve forgotten the skills and training that came with wearing the badge – No.
What has changed is my definition of true power, and it’s found within the love and support of family.
Do Good,
In case you missed last week’s FIT@50 & Please Join me on Facebook.