Staying Focused During Breaks on a Shift

During a shift, every police officer has a period of time where they are focused on something that does not involve actively dealing with a situation while doing their job. During these periods, it is important for officers to always ensure that they don’t lose focus on what’s happening around then just because they are having a conversation, eating a meal, or writing a report.

When on duty, officers should always be focused on their safety. These tips can help ensure that they are able to do their job at all times:


  • Multitask – while accomplishing one task, officers can still shift their focus to take inventory of what is happening around them. It’s important to avoid being surprised or caught off guard. Simply knowing who and what is in the area can help ensure the unexpected does not occur.
  • Always have an escape plan – in every situation on officer should know where they can seek cover if necessary, and how they can remove themselves from an environment. But likewise, you never want to sit too close to a door or you will not be able to appropriately oversee or evaluate a situation that occurs.
  • Have equipment accessible – officers should never take off their gun while on duty, and should always be able to gain quick access to it. Make sure that you can get your gun out of its holster quickly,  even when sitting down at a restaurant table.
  • Don’t encourage the public to come up to you – if you’re sitting in a restaurant eating with a group of officers, assign one person to go up and intercept anyone that approaches. Some people have bad intentions and can try and hide that fact, but maintaining some distance can ensure that everyone is safer.
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