Build understanding and empathy issued a key message for law enforcement that applies to fire departments and EMS, too:

Want political representatives, community activists, and/or the media in your area to better understand the challenges, dangers, and difficulties you face as a police officer? Want to help decrease incidents of these individuals making wide-sweeping uneducated statements about police work and coming to ignorant conclusions? Be proactive and consider inviting them into “your world.”

• Make an effort to reach out to these people and invite them to participate in ride-alongs
• Suggest that they sit in on select training sessions and give them firsthand experience in real-world scenarios
• Keep yourself open and available to explaining the law enforcement side of things should they have questions (and be open to listening and learning)

As we all know, lack of understanding in the public sector can be dangerous to law enforcement. Taking steps to help build understanding and hopefully some empathy can go a long way… in a lot of ways.