Complacency Compromises Readiness

On October 12th, 1984, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher survived an assignation attempt.  IRA terrorists had targeted her at the Conservative Party Conference in Brighton, England.

Though the explosion missed her, it killed 5 others and injured many. When IRA leaders learned their target had survived, they directed a comment to Thatcher on British media that symbolizes criminal nature;

“Today we were unlucky, but remember we only have to be lucky once – you will have to be lucky always.”

I don’t care for the term, “luck.” Intention is the opposite of chance. But miscreants live by no rules, just dumb luck. Vocational criminals are like vultures looking for chance; constantly monitoring the awareness of the protector. 

America lost more officers this week. That is a headline I wish we never had to read. It hurts when violence takes innocent lives. It is a distinctive hurt when the life taken is one who had stepped forward to protect others; either in the moment or by career choice. When that act of protection fails at the hands of one with no experience, it is due to inexperience. When it fails a career protector, complacency is often found in some measure.

We have all let our guard down at times in some aspect of our life. Doing it at the wrong time, with the wrong enemy present, can get you and others killed. 

Early reports of the deputies killed is that the thug they were transporting to court got one of their own firearms and used it to kill both of them. That cannot happen without a moment of complacency. I mean no disrespect by addressing the complacency of the incident. If one of those officers had lived, surely they would stress to their fellow officers for the rest of their lives, how one brief moment of complacency can compromise a career of training.

Think About it

Very few walked into their day knowing it would be their last. Had they known, they would have done things different. There’s just no way to truthfully consider such a tragedy without acknowledging a moment of complacency. 

To be continually and instantly ready, without being hawkish and paranoid, is a worthy goal of all who protect.

Regardless of how brief or extensive your service in protection and no matter your credentials, certifications and accomplishments, complacency compromises readiness.

And last week’s TAI…    

                         Father’s Day is not only a time to honor Dad, but a reminder to lead your family honorably.

Born in 1921, Dad was the perfect age for WW II. I’ve written of his war experiences before, but traveling through Kansas now took me through more memories.

When I was younger, I went to our local boot & leather shop one day to get something fixed.

John, (the boot man) was watching me and an older man in his shop. John watched from over his stitching machine then said, “you two don’t know each other do you?” The old man and I looked at each other and shook our heads no.

John said, “Well, Mr. Chinn, meet Mr. Chinn.” We shook hands. I knew of distant relatives in the area, and suspected this must be Hap Chinn, which he affirmed. Hap was a legend in southern Kansas from his train crew experiences on a famous 1949 Rock Island train wreck. 

Hap asked who my Dad was. I said, “Jack.” Hap nodded. Dad was by then a conductor on the Rock Island Line.

Hap told me about Dad first coming to work as a porter on a passenger train. They had stopped somewhere in western Kansas in 1947 to exchange passengers. A passenger got off, but dropped a $1.00 bill in his seat. Dad delayed departure trying to find the man in the depot crowd to give him his dollar.

They were waiting to board another train months later when Hap asked Dad if he ever found that fellow that lost his dollar. Dad pulled THAT dollar out and said, “not yet.”

Times were hard as Dad struggled to provide for his new family in 1947. “Yet,” Hap said, “for months, if not years, your Dad kept THAT dollar to give the man should he ever see him again.”

Think about it,

This is just one story I grew up with related to Dad’s integrity. There were many more, and there were many men like him at that time in that part of the country.

What will your children say about you? What will their children say about them?

Father’s Day is not only a time to honor your Dad, but a reminder to each of you to lead your family honorably. 

Model your actions as if memories are being made. Because, they are.

​​This section is updated every Sunday morning to give church security teams some things to think about as they prepare for weekend services. I wish your team the very best and hope you may find occasional things applicable to your operations.

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