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Summary of Way of the Warrior: The Philosophy of Law Enforcement by Bernard Schaffer

Bernard Schaffer is a best-selling author and a sixteen-year veteran detective of patrol, investigations, and narcotics work, as well as a second-generation cop. His award-winning non-fiction book, Way of the Warrior: The Philosophy of Law Enforcement, is taught in universities and police academies worldwide. This article summarises the main chapters of the book.

Childhood

Bernard Schaffer begins the book talking about his childhood dream of belonging to a warrior society. Knights, samurai, and all those medieval warriors fascinated Schaffer. Playing war games with toy guns and knives, until he was old enough to own a bb gun, and starting to hunt small game. Through his teens, his interest in hunting increased, and he was frequently hunting with his dad. Schaffer did not do well in school and barely finished high school.  

First Contact with the Police

He worked odd jobs, from cleaning carpets to working at a gas station, changing car tires, and fueling. Becoming a police officer was not on his mind until an incident happened during his work at the gas station. A drunk driver was spraying gas everywhere, and nobody at the gas station knew how to deal with the situation. Until Schaffer called 911 and police officers came within a few minutes. It was instant relief, Schaffer described his feeling after seeing the police officers. That was the day Schaffer decided to become a police officer; he wanted to be the person people call when they need help. 

Tips for Police Officers

Bernard became a police officer, and eleven years later, in 1998, he was attacked by a box-cutter that caused a slash across his forearm. In this chapter, he talks about training and how it saved his life during this attack—also the importance of wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a knife. Many officers carry knives, but they are not trained to use it in self-defense. Schaffer suggests training with all equipment officers have, Taser, knife, gun, and baton. 

True Blue Line

The writer says police are a modern warrior society, but not all officers act like it. Some are just in it for the paycheck. Some officers take it very seriously, and some are a little less serious, but at least they are dedicated. They are part of the True Blue Line, as the author explains. The True Blue Line does extend to small issues to cover up on other officers, but not when an officer breaks the law. It is a sacred pact held by thousands of men and women in various police departments and agencies. 

Justice vs. Law

Schaffer talks about how most officers got into this job to uphold justice but instead wind up enforcing the law, two completely different things. An example is a single mother of two, living on WIC checks, a minimum wage job. She has to pay a hundred dollar traffic ticket for running a stop sign. It is not justice, but it is the law, and law exists to protect people.

Rules for Criminal Investigations

Throughout Schaffer’s career, training, and learning from experienced detectives, Schaffer came up with eight golden rules for criminal investigations.

The rules are as follow:

  1. The Truth Must Make Sense
  2. Write Court-Oriented Reports
  3. Develop Suspects Organically
  4. Theories are for Television
  5. Mirandize Only When Necessary
  6. Be an Expert Interrogator
  7. Always Tell the Truth, Even When it is Unflattering
  8. Do Not Educate Anyone

Unsolvable Issues

The author shares his point of view on two main unsolvable issues with police work. 

  1. The first issue is that qualifications and ranks are only useful in the officer’s department. They might not be transferred to another department. Outside the police work, all of those skills and qualifications are worthless in civilian jobs. 
  2. Another issue is measuring police performance. 

Off-Duty Conceal Carry

The second book talks about conceal carry while off duty, tips, and advice about carrying a gun and being ready to confront deadly threats. The author also talks more about knives and the need to master using knives for self-defense.

Mass Shootings

The majority of the second book was about mass shootings. The author gives an overview of major mass shooting incidents that happened in the USA and overseas. Also included is an interview with Andy Brown, the military police officer who killed the shooter in Fairchild military base. The author looks into the argument of gun control and whether gun control would lead to fewer mass shootings or not. He includes research and references by experts in the field. 

Rules of Confidential Informants

Schaffer dedicated a chapter talking about Confidential Informants and how important they are to police officers. The author has ten golden rules of Confidential Informants. 

The rules are: 

  1. Informants are Essential. 
  2. Good Samaritan Informants are Generally Useless. 
  3. CI’s are Snitches, Liars, and Criminals. 
  4. Drug Addicted CI’s Will Go Bad Quick, So Use Them Fast. 
  5. Leadeth Not the CI to Targets. 
  6. Keep Your CI within Their Range. 
  7. Properly Debrief CI’s about Each Target. 
  8. When a CI Goes Bad, Cut them Loose. 
  9. Keep Your Words. 
  10. Your CI Today is Your Target Tomorrow. 

 

Fahad Hizam alHarbi

Certified Criminal Investigator, CFI, CPO, CFCS, CAMS.
Specialized in money laundering, corruption, and fraud.
I write about crime, literature, travel, and sport.

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