The Servant Officer (Part 2): Creating the Modern Officer

assumes positive intent bigger picture community partnerships core principles core values heart of a servant leads with people in mind first seeks partners selfless servant officer tactical preparedness Feb 16, 2022

 The Servant Officer IS The Modern Officer...

Part 2: The Heart of A Servant and the Mind of a Warrior - Core Principles

Last week's post talked about the overall circumstances that have brought law enforcement to its current place where the narrative that it is a noble profession has been lost on many in the public's eye. From heroes after 9/11 to villains in the wake of the death of George Floyd in late May of 2020, law enforcement has faced a perfect storm of protests, pandemics, and calls for defunding the police. 

In this week's post, I want to begin to draw a picture of what the modern officer is which is above all a Servant at heart. The Servant Officer is above all a servant to their respective communities.  They must possess the heart of a servant. They are an officer who embodies the values and skills that related to the people and communities they serve and that will be discussed in further detail in next week's post.

While all officers must be tactically-proficient and tactically-ready to protect and defend their own and the lives of others, the Servant Officer understands that by leading with the heart of a servant, they focus first on seeking to find partnerships within the communities they serve. The Servant Officer focuses on the people first and sees the larger picture of what they are wanting to accomplish - secure, safe communities that partner with police to create a quality of life in which all can live and thrive. As the above graphic shows, the goal is to balance the tactical readiness of the warrior with the true heart of a servant. Let's take a look at some of the Servant characteristics that I believe will help officers reconnect with why they became cops in the first place - to serve and protect AND will in turn help re-establish law enforcement as the noble profession it truly is.  

Just A Few of the Principles of the Servant Officer:

Above all, a Servant Officer is a uniter, not a divider. The Servant Officer seeks to find ways to create unity with the community and citizens they serve. In focusing on what we have in common, it begins to make the divisions between us less consequential. 

A Servant Officer Sees the bigger picture of what law enforcement's role within any community they serve is - to serve and to protect. By helping law enforcement to step back and focus on the bigger picture, cops find the bigger meaning of how their role fits within the needs of their community and society as a whole. 

A Servant Officer focuses on the positive first. The old adage of "assuming positive intent" is something that is difficult for cops. They often see the worse aspects of the human condition from child abuse to outright murder, many become jaded quickly and struggle to see the positive that is all around them. Remembering that most of the community they serve are honest, law-abiding citizens that want them there is a key to helping them re-connect to the positive they do everyday. 

A Servant Officer is selfless meaning they think of others before themselves while balancing this with the tactical safety and preparedness needed to be safe and keep others safe as they do their job. In this context, the Servant Officer is selfless by putting others and the community first. 

A Servant Officer encourages partnerships with and among the people and communities they serve. They understand that by creating a team of "we" with the business owners, residents, teachers, coaches, clergy they serve, they will achieve the common goal of safe communities while gaining the respect of the people they serve. 

In closing, a Servant Officer has at their core these principles and seeks embody the people-centric values and skills necessary to do the job. We will dive more into these in next week's post.

Until then, let us hear your thoughts on creating Servant Officers? Leave a comment on this post, send an email to [email protected] 

As part of our efforts to bring the Servant Officer to departments across the country, we are encouraging you to let us hear your Servant Officer story by submitting your Servant Officer to our gallery at  

Thanks and remember, to always have the "Heart of a Servant and the Mind of a Warrior". 


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