Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sheep, Sheepdogs & Wolves

As promised here is a midweek entry to the Academy Experience.

There are some concepts about how the populations of the world function in relation to police and military situations that I think all prospective police officers should consider before entering the academy. I was aware of how law enforcement addresses these concepts, though not in the exact terms of the analogy to follow before I entered the academy due to my K-9 training experiences and the fact that I hung out with plenty of cops during that training. These concepts were presented to the cadets in the academy through a paper authored by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman of the United States Army. He presents the concept that there are three types of people in the world. There are Sheep, there are Sheepdogs and there are wolves. In this analogy the sheep represent the everyday citizen. They are nice, peaceful, honest, law abiding and go about their business each day. Lt Col. Grossman believes these people are naive and unaware about what is happening in their surroundings and how the world is functioning around them. I am not sure if I agree with Lt. Col. Grossman entirely on this concept. I believe the sheep in this world have at least an idea of how the world works around them but for whatever reason, don’t want to deal with the problems that a functioning society within the world creates.

The wolves represent the criminals that routinely take advantage of the sheep. They prey on the sheep and use them for their benefit. The wolves can and usually are vicious or mean in some form; some are more vicious and ruthless than others. But all prey on the sheep in some method or form. Most sheep are scared of the wolves and truthfully do not know how to deal or stop the wolves’ actions. This is where the Sheepdogs enter the picture. The Sheepdogs represent the various law enforcement agencies around the world and all military personnel. These are the individuals that step forward, placing themselves between the sheep and the wolves; in other words, the Sheepdogs fight the Wolves and what the Wolves are attempting to do. The Sheepdogs are the saviors of various societies around the world.

The sad part of this analogy is that in real life the Sheepdogs don’t really fit into society life. The wolves don’t like them because they are constantly fighting and stopping them from hurting the sheep. The sheep like to have the sheepdogs around because of the protection provided from the wolves. But the sheepdogs make many of the sheep nervous because they resemble the wolf. They have fangs, they growl and they fight when necessary. The Sheepdogs hide within the population of the sheep, waiting for the wolf to appear to hassle or hurt the sheep; or to challenge the Sheepdogs. Sheepdogs never look for a fight, but at the same time, will never run away from one either. Sheepdogs will handle any situation in an attempt to help the Sheep. The Sheepdogs are always willing to “Protect and Serve”. Whether the sheep know it or not, Sheep could not survive without the sheepdog. Most sheep realize this but there are many that do not. That’s acceptable, because the Sheepdog doesn’t care how the Sheep feel. Sheepdogs will be there and will do the job no matter what the situation. It is not fame or fortune that the sheepdog is after. It is to fill the need of the sheepdog to “Protect and Serve”. Some believe that sheepdogs are born and they just naturally step forward and accept the responsibility. I believe that to be true, but also feel that Sheepdogs can be created. An individual just has to make a conscious decision to become a Sheepdog. To become a Sheepdog, there must be a natural sequence of decisions and actions that must be taken. This process begins with the establishment and acceptance of integrity, honesty, trustworthiness, and respect.

The point of this blog entry is not to promote or change anyone’s opinion of law enforcement or of the military. This entry is more about having all citizens think about whom they truly are. This entry represents an attempt to create an understanding about the role of those that protect and serve societies all over the world. For those of you contemplating becoming a police officer, please consider this analogy and the following paragraph seriously. I truly believe that the more one contemplates this analogy, contemplates who you are and what you represent to all those in your life, you will discover where you fit. The reality to consider is what are you really? A Sheep? A Sheepdog? Or a Wolf?