You know, we're not going to stop doing what I'm doing. I'm not going to stop crime, like people are always it's just going to happen. People are going to be evil people are going to do evil things. But if someone doesn't do something, then it's just going to be that much worse. Yeah. So for me, I just try to do my best with doing stuff and just be relentless, relentless in my pursuit. And, you know, that's really all I can do. You know, I think that a lot of the times we focus on things that we can't control, I can't control circumstances that happen in the world. But what I can't control is my response to it. So I think that if I mean that's in life in general, sure, you know, a lot of people allow circumstances surrounding them to cripple them. And it doesn't help progress. But if you just keep moving, kind of like that old, you know, just keep put your head down and embrace the suck. Yeah. And just keep moving forward, because it's still forward. Yeah. So I would say that that's the thing that helps me the most.
Lance Foulis 1:15
Hello, everybody and welcome back to Lance lots roundtable. Today we are going to be talking about law enforcement as kind of a general topic. I've been fascinated by law enforcement ever since I was a kid, my cousin when I was in grade school, graduated, I think, from The Ohio State University with a degree in criminal justice, something like that. And she went into the Columbus police academy became a Columbus police, Columbus department police officer. And She then moved later on down to Cincinnati, which is where she is now. My cousin and I remember when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do for my life. I was like, Oh, maybe I want to be a police officer. I was really hardcore into martial arts karate, specifically. And I thought it'd be fascinating to protect my community. I got this. This was honestly we talked about this on episode 11. When we talked with police officer Colin Phillips. So I'm kind of reiterating stuff I've talked about before, but in the listen to that episode, yet. Go listen to that episode. Absolutely. Kim's miked, as you can see. Hi, guys. So anyway, I was on AOL Instant Messenger back in the 90s. It would have been super late 90s. Cuz I think I was in high school. And I was talking with my cousin who was a police officer. Again, she was in Cincinnati at the time. And I wanted to talk to her about being a police officer. And so I mentioned to her I think I want to be a police officer. And she immediately typed back, absolutely not. And I was very shocked. And I said, why? And she's like, because you have morals. And I was like, that doesn't make sense. What do you mean? Then she went into telling me about the suicide that she had gone to been called to. And she explained in detail what she witnessed and what she saw at the suicide. And then she explained daughter stay at arrested the father and what the daughter had been through, she explained that and how she got the dad to confess to what he had done. And that was all like something, some things that she had encountered and within like a week. So in my head, I think I had more of a oh, I don't know, Lethal Weapon, maybe cops, the TV show, maybe were in my head, law enforcement work would be getting called to a bank, a bank heist, and doing a high speed chase with bank criminals or something. So I didn't really have like a good concept of like, Oh, I just got called to a suicide. And I was like thinking through, okay, if that's what I had to deal with daily, and I didn't know what I was getting called to really necessarily and then I would just walk I just I felt like, I didn't want to do that. Basically, as soon as I had a conversation with her, I decided what to do, but I've always had a huge respect for people that do that job. And I've known several people that have been doing that job and several podcasts I've listened to over the last couple years. It's obviously a hot topic. And I listened to Joe Rogan podcast Joe Rogan Experience podcast number 1517 with Nancy pop Nancy Ponza. Nancy Ponza is a psychologic psychological psychologist, thank you words her heart, a psychologist that her passion is to help police officers. So basically what she does, and I don't remember where she's at, I think she's in the west coast somewhere. But she was talking to Joe Rogan about what she does and her passion is police officers that have gone in just had a traumatic experience and sitting down with them isn't you could be could be in New York. You can look it up. Okay, cool. So, yeah, or her she she basically gets a call when a police officer runs into a situation and it's a very traumatic situation. So her job is to go evaluate, really how that police officer is doing and working through it. And then she tries to, I don't know, it's this whole program that she's doing but she has such Amazing things to say go listen to that podcast if you haven't. And then there was another Joe Rogan podcast number 1492. Podcast with Jocko Willink, and it was published on June 16 2020, if you remember anything about the year 2020, if you haven't blocked it all out of your mind, things were psycho in the year 2020. And they talked about all the hard stuff that was going on in 2020. And that actually, that podcast actually spurred Nancy Ponzo to reach out to Joe Rogan, because she was really passionate about the topics that they were talking about. He was going to hear a lot of like paper movement and this podcast because I have like all this chicken scratch written down all over the place. So you'll probably hear me ripping papers and moving papers. Let's see. It was New York. She's in New York.
Lance Foulis 5:48
She is in New York. So Nancy Ponza is in New York. Yes. Now going back to my childhood, I think one of the main reasons that I thought about these kinds of things, I grew up in a in a town close to the Capitol in Ohio. And I remember I had this memory as a really young kid of being woken up by a loud sound, but I didn't know what it was. And the next morning, I found out from my parents that our neighbors had been broken into somebody broke it into their kitchen window was in the dad was up, and he just yelled burglar really loud. And that scared the guy off and he ran away. And I freaked me out is like, however old I was 567 I don't know how old I was. But that like freaked me out. And I was like, oh, people can like break into your house. And that level of I guess, fear of no control as a kid was like, really overwhelming. And so just the idea that, you know, law enforcement? Well, let me let me actually get into a couple of things. Because I started researching, like law. I did Google searches of law enforcement officer and police. And here's just some of the top things and this is from the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics. So and I this actually, this phrase has come up on pretty much every Google search that I came up with police officers protect lives and properties. That's like the first thing that you read when you think about police officers last at least in the couple searches that I did. And the other thing that they do is they enforce the laws that are around obviously, work environment, what type of work environment did they go through police and detective work? I'm literally reading this from the from the website, police and detective work can be physically demanding stressful and dangerous. Police and Sheriff's patrol officers and transit and railroad police have some of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations working around the clock shifts is common. Pay is like a median median pay you're not going to be buying yachts. With with the pay that you make. What do they do? Here's some things that it says about what they do again, police officers protect lives and properties. What are their duties responding to emergency and manana non emergency calls patrolling assigned areas, observing people and activities conducting traffic stops, search restricted access databases for vehicle or other records and warrants, obtain and serve warrants for arrest. arrest people suspected of committing crimes, collect and secure evidence from crime scenes, observe the activities of subjects, write detailed reports and fill out forms prepare cases for legal proceedings and testify in court. And it goes into like some more information on what exactly they do. And there's different types. What kind of work environment do they have? Let's see. What does it say here. Again, it just requests us police and detective work can be physically demanding stressful and dangerous. officers must be alert and ready to react throughout their entire shift. Officers regularly work at crime and accident scenes and encounter suffering and the results of violence. And then the little last blurb here it says although a career in law enforcement may be stressful, many officers find it rewarding to help members of their communities. I think these types of topics are really important to talk about. And I think it's really important to get a very specific type of point of view to this type of work. And that's why I am really excited to invite to this podcast, Jake, who is a law enforcement officer. We'll leave it at that. So Jake, welcome to the roundtable.
Thanks for having me, guys.
Lance Foulis 9:23
Absolutely. So how did you get involved in law enforcement?
Man, I got involved in law enforcement. My cousin worked as a while still works at a suburban agency here in central Ohio. I went on a ride along with them and I was like, Man, this is awesome. Just being able to be out in the community. Riding around I'm not really an office type guys. So when your office is a vehicle that travels I thought man this is awesome. And you know as I started to move towards the police academy, and so started to do internships and then really, you know, move into that field. It just became something that I realized that, you know, I don't want to sound cliche, but it's like, you're kind of born to do it. Yep. So, and I know that seems Oh, yeah, of course, he's gonna say that. But it really was, um, you know, before I was a, a, like supervisor at a call center. And I could have continued that career path. And it just never felt right. So once I got into law enforcement, and then was able to secure a full time job, it was like this. This is
Lance Foulis 10:39
you just knew. Yes. This is this is me. How old were you for that first, right along?
Man, I was probably 18, probably 17 or 18 years old? Probably, I would say, yeah, probably 17 or 18? And
Lance Foulis 10:53
what types of things? Were you involved in it? 1718?
As in just one more day, right? Yeah. Really, sports. Sports was really big. I mean, that's really where my life kind of revolved around my twin brother, and I played baseball competitively, since we were five. So we played that. And I think that just being having a really good home Foundation, and being able to have people in my life to create a path and helped me, you know, move down that path really pointed me in the direction of law enforcement.
Lance Foulis 11:31
Got it. So you're you you've made the decision, I want to get into law enforcement. So tell me just the process of getting in.
So when I first started getting a law enforcement, it was way more competitive than it is currently. Because sometimes when you think about who in their right mind would want to get into law enforcement in today's world, it's a really common question. But when I was getting into law enforcement, it was competitive. So I went through a program at one of the community colleges here in Columbus that allowed you to do secure an associate's degree, but also you were able to go through a police academy through the ohio pod is what it's called. So you did your college courses. And then I think it was a spring and summer quarter that you were in the police academy, and that was your full time gig. Wow. Yeah, so you did it. And then the difference was, is that you had to go find your own job. So if you're going through, like, let's say, you know, Columbus police department or a state highway patrol, you, you are generally going through that police academy, because you've already secured employment. So when you're going through the Columbus police academy, you're you're, you're going to if you graduate, you're going to be a Columbus police officer. That was not the path that I did. I went and secured a certification as a law enforcement officer in Ohio. But then it was, hey, you have this amount of time to secure employment. And if you don't secure employment, then your certification could run out. Oh, well, so yeah, I mean, long, I want to say it was like a year. I don't remember the specific timeframe, I want to say it was maybe a year to a year and a half. And there were certain parameters and stuff like that. But one I knew guys who went through all this, you know, work all this time and, and testing and physical activity to not get a job as because your time ran out. Or maybe they realized that it wasn't for them. So sure, it was different. I mean, when you applied at a job, I remember applying for a job and there was like one or two spots, and there's hundreds of people applying for it. Oh my gosh, and it was and guys who are applying or guys and girls who are applying with experience, and you're a new we'll say Cadet coming out of the academy, just begging someone to yeah, please hire me. Yeah. So I actually started my career at a suburb here in central Ohio as a reserve officer, which basically means you're doing it for volunteer for free. Oh, gosh,
Lance Foulis 14:07
I the actual job actual
job. Now you're, you're not full time. So you have to have another job, which is what I did, okay. And, and it was, you know, for free. I think I did it as a reserve at this agency for a year. So then I went part time at another agency, and then I secured my first full time job. And I think I was making like $15 an hour. Oh my gosh, so you can imagine it's it's pretty crazy now that you know, police departments now are fighting for good qualified candidates. When I mean, if you weren't doing a reserve job back then or and working your way up, it was hard to secure these really, you know, prominent jobs at larger agencies that are paying significantly more than some of the smaller ones.
Lance Foulis 14:58
Okay, that makes sense. I mean, My cousin has said the same. She's a sergeant in Cincinnati. And we talked to her over the holidays. And she said, The Recruit pool is really bad right now. Yeah, after last couple years. And Mike, the guy that taught me karate, he's a police officer in North Carolina, near Raleigh. And he said the same thing. So that that sucks. So okay, so you get done. When you're in when you're learning? Are you learning laws that are specific to Ohio? Or is it more general than that?
I mean, you're gonna have your laws that are specific to your state. But you're also learning constitutional law, you know, the amendments and things like that applies, no matter what state you're going to. So you know, it's a mixture, I like to think of it as you have to be equally as intellectual as you are being able to perform physically. And some, it's not an either or thing. You know, you can be a great shooter, but not understand the law, and it puts you in, you know, a predicament, and in a criminal situation sometimes. So yeah, I would say that, you know, the police academy is like drinking through a water hose. And you really don't know what exactly you're, you're kind of absorbing, and you're, you're out. You, oh, this is what they're talking about.
Lance Foulis 16:15
That makes sense. Like a fire hose. It's just a ton of information. You're not sure what's even sticking? Yes. That sounds wild. So tell me about the physical aspect. What did you go through physically?
Um, I mean, they have, you know, we would do Ron's. So the Academy, the police academy, that I had, I would say was not like a military. I mean, we did have parts of it that were kind of in your face and stuff like that. But it wasn't until I got to my current department where I had to go through another Academy. That that was, I mean, it was from day one to graduation day, getting smoked, if you were weren't performing. I mean, it was. And people say, Well, why did they do that? Well, they do that, because they want to tear you down to get rid of any imperfections that you have. That way that they can build you up in the best way possible. You know, because you have people coming from all walks of life, and to be a police officer, and not some of those people. I mean, they don't even know what it is to be an adult yet. Sure. So you know, to try to put everybody on the same playing field, I mean, that's why you wear a unit, the same uniform, you don't have, you know, they want you to have the same type shoes, the same sock showing the same hat, same uniform, because they want you to be the same to level you out. So then build you up into, I guess the best employee you can possibly be at that point.
Lance Foulis 17:43
That makes sense. So talk to me about how just your journey getting started, like you're out of the academy, how did you secure a job
application. So I want the department that I did my internship for actually hired me on as I've reserved there, that's reserved, that's the reserve job. And then once I got to the part time gig that I worked, that was another smaller agency. I'd like to forget that part of my butt. And then when I went, I had a friend, friend who worked at the agency that I worked for, and for my first full time job got and she really helped me just, you know, get my name out there and be able to have an opportunity because that's really what it's about is having an opportunity. And someone taking a risk on you and taking a risk on anybody in life. But for this was, you know, it was me. And I, you know, I worked there for maybe a little over a year. And then my best friends still to this day, told me, man this is if we work together, I met him at this department. And he was like, you know, this is really fun. I know you're enjoying it. You know, I'm in my 20s full time officer and he was like, like, 15 $15 an hour is not going to feed your family. Yeah, it's you know, and he really pushed me to apply for the academy or not the academy, but department I'm with now. And we went together with another employee or another officer from that agency. And we were like three guys, and he's like, Man, this is gonna be great. And then I remember going to the academy the first day for the my current department. And he's like, Man, this is gonna be a piece of cake. And I remember looking on the pavement and there's these footprints that are painted on it like in the military. Oh, wow. And I looked at him and I was like, thinking this is not this is not going to be easy. Like, there. This is going to be bad work. This is going to be a tough Academy and yeah, and they were changing things the department like they went they revamped everything which I think was phenomenal. because they really wanted to invest in their employees, like, they want to weed out the bad ones and get the best people that they could. So we, they come out and they tell you, you sit up on this, you know, footprints and basically, the footprints are at an angle as the puzzle position of attention in the military. Okay? So they just kind of explain it. And next thing, you know, these guys with these, you know, their full uniform and they're coming out rush and just smoke in everybody. And you're just like, well, this is. So that was my and I mean, the first week I just kept telling him like, why did you do this to me? Yeah, but now, right? Yeah. Why did he drag me along? But now I'm like, you know, I owe him everything for, you know, doing that. But at the time, I was just like, man, here we go yet.
Lance Foulis 20:52
So this so what you're describing is like a secondary Academy for your current Yeah, agency that you're with. Okay. So in your timeline, you had had your, what do you call the first job that starts with an Army Reserve reserve job? You did that for a couple years? You're making pennies, you have to work two jobs?
Yeah, um, yeah, I'm working a full time job at that call center that I was telling you about. And then after that, when you have time you go and do ride alongs. Essentially, it's like a glorified ride along. Okay. Like you're a police officer, but you are. It's like, less, less than a part time capacity. I guess.
Lance Foulis 21:30
So you're not the one in charge. Like you're there to support? Yes, yes.
Yeah. I mean, you're still like when you there's no, except for maybe a rock rock or like a patch on your shirt that says reserve. No one's gonna know. Like, your everybody thinks, hey, this guy's a police officer, what's your you have the same training, but you don't have the same amount of like, rep experience that they said.
Lance Foulis 21:52
So okay, so you go from that job? What was your first full time gig?
That was in 2012, I think at a small village down in South Columbus got it. Okay,
Lance Foulis 22:09
what was that? Like?
It was I mean, honestly, it was awesome. I was able to just kind of like experience what type of police officer that I wanted to be. I had great trainers, like still to this day that guys that I worked with, I still talk to it's it's like the first place that I could say was my home, had great supervision. You know, develop great relationships that I still have now. But the only thing was, is just the pay. I mean, it just wasn't that competitive. So is it just the $15 an hour, yes. But I will say that a lot of times those types of things are outside of the control of the department because they want to retain their employees and stuff. It's just there's, you know, you have budgets and all this other stuff that they have to go through. So, but they provided a lot of good equipment, you know, decent training and stuff like that. But, you know, they were the first department that gave me a chance as a young police officer. And so I'll never forget that, you know, I'm a real believer, and it's not everybody loves to see where you are at currently, but they never see or really pay attention to the path that you got there. So I really want to always remember who I was before I had all, you know, the experience that I have and been blessed in the way that I have. So you know, I would do anything for those guys. And I I'm sure they know that.
Lance Foulis 23:40
Yeah. So I mean, it's, it's amazing to think about you you're putting your own time and investment into into becoming a police officer, nothing secured. Once you're done, then you have to go find a job. I mean, that's, I guess, pretty typical of a college student or whatever. Yeah, but what you're describing is like, the pool is a lot bigger for people to pick from. So it's very competitive. Yeah, it was very competitive at the time. So then when you get your full time gig, they're taking a shot at you, they're taking a risk at you, from your perspective. Now looking back? How like, what's the what's the risk in their minds when they don't know you? Like, what's the, I guess, level of risk in their minds?
I mean, you're, you know, when you're, let's say, outfitting a police officer, you're spending 1000s of dollars on, you know, equipment training, getting them ready to be an awful time officer in your department. And you only have that interview process, which, you know, the interview process for law enforcement can take up to a year depending depending on what's going on. Because really what they have is it's kind of like safeguards, you know, you have your initial testing phase which says, Are you do you have the at least limited knowledge to do this job then you'll have The physical test, then you'll have usually like a panel interview with people to where they can, you know, throw shot questions at you. And then you have your, like, either polygraph or CVSA, which is the lie detector test. And then you'll have your psych. So when you get to psych, it's pretty much like, they just need to make sure that you're not, you're just like, one screw loose. Yeah. But throughout that process, which I would say, is probably more strenuous and strenuous than most employment, you still have people that get through. So they have to say, is this person going to, I mean, if, if you do something that you're not supposed to, that's gonna bring a liability, you know, it's gonna bring, you know, civil suits and stuff with the department with, you know, supervision and stuff like that. So I mean, there's a lot of risk. The just the job and in itself, of being a law enforcement officer has so much risk that people think oh, man, you know, yeah, you can lose your life. But in reality, sometimes losing your life isn't really the worst, most worrisome thing. It's having your house taken away. You having all of your money taken away, having your family go through complete, you know, ridicule watching the person that they love just be blasted on news. Yeah. I mean, sometimes death seems like the easiest way. Yeah, I mean, seriously. So and it's, it's just one of those things that there's a lot of risk for those departments to take on you. Yeah. So when, when someone took a risk on me, I still to this day, I mean, I've, you know, been with my agency almost for 10 years. Wow, the current one, and I still remember, when I got the call, Hey, you're gonna get full time employment? Yeah, I remember what that felt like. And I'll never forget that.
Lance Foulis 27:00
Yeah, that's amazing. Yeah. So talk to me about like, once you're starting full time, what's your day to day look? Like? What's it feel like?
Um, so my, so the job that I currently have, I did not start on the road like, patrol, right? So the agency that I work with, they you start in the jail, and you work as a corrections officer. Wow. Okay. So I did that, which, I mean, it is. It is a job that no one wants to do. But it takes some strong people to do it. Because it's kind of think like this, like, if you're working at a hospital, right? You have to take care of the sick people constantly. There's no leaving it. Yeah. But if you're a paramedic, you go to the scene, you pick them up, you drop them off, and they're not really your problem. And so, you know, you see them again, when you work at a jail, they get dropped off to you. So and in that line of work, there's you have people that are career criminals, and people that just made a bad decision that got caught. And there's so it's like a spectrum of people, right. And I've met some people in the jail being inmates that were great people that made really bad decisions, right. And I've also had friends that I've seen from where I grew up, being in jail, and you're in it's just a weird environment. But the job teaches you so much about being a person and being how to, you know, being able to talk to people, because sometimes, you get so used to the repetition, and there's the revolving door of things, that it's easy to be able to pass it and just say, I'm not going to deal with it, but there you have to deal with it. So you have to be able to talk to people. Yeah, and that, you know, working there for the short time that I did. allowed me to just continue to develop those skills and just recognize people for people.
Lance Foulis 28:59
Yeah. Okay, that's wild. What? Is that a 40 hour a week deal?
or more? Yeah, I mean, your standard I guess requirements is 40 hours a week, but I mean, there's overtime and stuff like that, that you would pick up. So I mean, you would be doing that all day every day. That is your current that is your permanent assignment. When you first start out
Lance Foulis 29:24
got it. Okay. Can you talk to me a little bit about like the mental aspect of it like how you get through how you got through and get through the mental aspect because you see stuff I don't see the average human sees you don't Yeah, you see stuff that we don't see
right? I think that the working in the jail you see just bizarre things more Sure. Just things that you're just like, I don't even understand what I just saw. And then it becomes normal to your and you're just like, okay, but, as in LAW enforce. Smit, you see things that I don't even know how to describe it. It's kind of like you become numb to things. Like your mind just is conditioned as some type of protective measure to kind of sidestep things and say, so you can go on with your tasks that this is not ish real, right? I mean, I remember the first time I saw someone's body, I was like, Oh, my gosh, that's a dead body. Yeah. And then after the hundreds of I've seen, you're just like, there's another dead body. Yeah, the hardest thing isn't dealing with the body. It's dealing with the families that want to know what happened. They they call you. You know, when after I got out of the corrections, and went to my current assignment, there was a job that I started an overdose task force with the chief and Sergeant that I work with. And we would respond to pretty much every fatal overdose and kill at least Central Ohio in our jurisdictional area. And you can imagine through, say, 2000, and I think it was like 16 through 19. So drug overdoses were huge in central Ohio. So I mean, there were times I remember being called in one night period, and my partner and I admire Sergeant went out to three different overdoses and one night cheese. So and it's it's never the bodies that, you know, would bother you. It's, it's the families that you want to you want to get, you know, give them some type of closure. And sometimes you can't, sometimes the evidence, isn't there. Sometimes the circumstances don't allow it. Yeah. But, you know, that's still a mom, that's still a dad still, brother, it's still a sister that they want some type of answer. And they and I think as humans, we want someone to be held responsible for things, even though that doesn't eliminate our sense of responsibility for what had happened, I guess. But with the fit with the families, they just, they want an answer. Yeah. And sometimes you can't give them and that's what is the hardest, I would say, Are
Lance Foulis 32:21
you describing being at a crime scene? It's just happened, and then the families show up there?
Yeah, that is, so I had my partner, who is like, Well, my partner when I was doing the overdoses was he had retired and then basically came back. I mean, this man had done at all, he was a SWAT, he did a SWAT operator, he was a patrol officer, he was a homicide detective, and then eventually were cold case homicides. So he really taught me a lot about, you know, how to talk to people how to deliver the bad news. And it's not necessarily the family right away, when you're, I mean, everybody's going to be upset, like, that's something in your mind that's conditioned, like they are going to be upset, they're going to upset doesn't mean just crying, it can mean really, like physically angry. It can, you know, be family fights going out because of this. A lot of different emotions going on, but it's the, you know, one month, hey, do you have anything? You know, we're trying to months, do you have anything, and you're trying I mean, and also you have, you know, 10 other cases that going on, that you're trying to show the same attention to? So it becomes just a lot. And that's really the thing that I would say is the hardest that I don't even know if people really talk about because it's, it's like you as a police officer, no one's to talk about the, you know, the stuff that kind of gets to you. Because you want it that sense of strength or whatever. But I mean, for me, I really feel like your strengths are admitting your, your weaknesses, and then addressing them, and then explaining that to people because I can't be the only person that feels like that. Yeah, it's only a weakness if you allow it to stop you from doing your job. Yeah. So that's kind of the, I guess, the hardest thing that I've dealt with, thus far, and then also in a scene, you know, kids hurt and stuff like that. But that's like, the stuff that people will talk about, not the, like, small things that just continuously build up over time.
Lance Foulis 34:39
So oh, well, yeah, that makes sense. So the small the small things are like building up over time that maybe you just don't want to give attention to in your mind, and definitely don't really want to talk about it. And that just builds over time. Right? That sounds that sounds really rough. Yeah. Can you tell me about how, how, how do you stay optimistic? How do you not get jaded
Ah, I mean, I think for me, I just try to, you know, we're not doing what I'm doing, I'm not going to stop crime, like people are always it's just going to happen, people are going to be evil people are going to do evil things. But if someone doesn't do something, then it's just going to be that much worse. Yeah. So for me, I just try to do my best with doing stuff and just be relentless, relentless in my pursuit. And, you know, that's really all I can do. You know, I think that a lot of the times we focus on things that we can't control, I can't control circumstances that happened in the world. But what I can't control is my response to it. So I think that if I mean, that's in life in general, sure, you know, a lot of people allow circumstances surrounding them to cripple them. And it doesn't help progress. But if you just keep moving kind of like that old, you know, just keep put your head down and embrace the suck. Yeah. And just keep moving forward. Because it's still forward. Yeah. So I would say that that's the thing that helps me the most. Yeah,
Lance Foulis 36:04
that makes that makes complete sense. Could you talk about ongoing training? Like, what what is the best things that you've seen since you like, during your whole career in terms of like, what's helped you ongoing training and such,
like training for mental training? I mean, yeah,
Lance Foulis 36:25
like, go through all the stuff for you to continue just to escalate and get better at what you do?
I mean, I think that you're like trying to find your red line, you know. So I do, obviously, you know, we've talked about jujitsu, and I've done some type of, we'll say, combat training, since I was 18, from being an amateur MMA fighter to, you know, kind of letting that slow down, and then getting into jujitsu more. You know, hardcore. The thing that I realized recently is because I got around a group of guys that were really proficient in firearms, like, I'm not just saying, sitting in a lane and shooting, I'm not talking about marksmanship, I'm talking about, you know, getting a bunch of problems during shooting, malfunctions, running and moving, being tired doing it for long durations of time, what, what you, what I found was, oh, man, I'm getting with all these things, after you know, seven, eight minute run, I am getting maxed out, like my abilities are starting to lessen more and more. And I think that what, what we try not to do as human beings is we don't want to be, we don't want to feel that we are inefficient, and something. So what we do is we don't adjust our training to maximize our efficiency, we decrease it so we don't feel inefficient. And that's one thing that I've seen throughout my entire career is that, you know, I never want to get in a serious situation where it's so dangerous that I thought, in the middle of this, I should have trained more, because now it's my life on the line. Yep. And that is something that it's a real thing. I mean, you have depending on what area you're in, you could have your response be five minutes away, and five minutes, and the life or death situation is pretty much an eternity. So, you know, I once I realized that deficiency, as far as we'll say, I don't want to say gunfighting. Because that that's a weird term, but we'll just say, realistic application of using a fire. Sure. So once I got into that, I was like, Man, I need to get better. Yeah, so I started trying to go so I would go to, you know, shooting around a vehicle, like, have you shot glass to see how it's gonna affect your bullet trajectory? Have you have you been able to see how you're going to move around a vehicle? What's the strongest points of a vehicle to protect you? So I know you know, going to those types of classes and being around people that are better than me at something so I can hopefully elevate to their level of proficiency on things. And that is, I think, where I've been able to increase training and and that's like the, the physical part of law enforcement that everybody kind of thinks about everybody Oh, man that gunfight into the crazy stuff that you see on Cops. But the boring part is like knowing your job legally, and reading and understanding, you know, search and seizure and Fourth Amendment and what you have the legal ability to do, because if you can understand the conceptual basis of what you're trying to do from a legally like a legal standpoint, then it allows you to do your job without infringing on people's rights. Yeah, you know, because I think that most people are not doing it on purpose. You know, I think it is a generally an accident if, you know, they ask a question that maybe maybe they shouldn't or or what have you that whatever situation it is, but I think that
Lance Foulis 40:13
you mean the law enforcement? Yeah, like asking a question. Yeah. Yeah,
you know, but me as a, let's just take the badge off, I want someone who's enforcing the law to have the knowledge to to allow me to know what's going on. Like, I don't want someone to just barge into my house and take, you know, violate my fourth amendment rights. You know, so sometimes you have to take off the hat of being a police officer to realize the people that you're working for, because we work for the community. It's amazing. We're, we're public servants. Yes. So we serve the public. Yeah, yeah.
Lance Foulis 40:50
I liked what you when you were talking about law. I mean, let's make sure that I understand the definition of, you know, you're talking about getting after that red line. When you when you talk about getting after the red line? In my mind, that's your ceiling? Physically? Yes. So as fast and hard as far as you can run, naturally over time, as you get older. That ceiling wants to wants to draw.
I wish it was up higher sometimes.
Lance Foulis 41:20
So you're constantly kind of trying to push keep that envelope tight? Yes. And keep it as expanded as you can. Yeah. Now when you're doing this, okay, so when you're pursuing, you know, increasing your ability with firearms, increasing your ability with hand to hand when you're in trial, trying to increase your ability physically, when you're trying to increase your ability with your legal understanding. All of that is things that you're doing outside of your actual job, I imagine. Yes. Yeah.
Yes. Like, I mean, you are departments and departments are going to send you to those things. Sure. But at some point, you have to take your own personal responsibility for who you are. Like, I think of myself as a business. Right? Yeah. If I want my business to be proficient, I'm going to have to put in time that's not on the clock. Yep. You know what I mean? And that's just the way I approach things. I'm sure if someone else is a police officer and listens to it, they're all this, you know, yeah. It must be nice to be young. Well, it is. It's also nice to be alive. Yeah. So I, you know, I want my, my business or who I am as a individual, to reflect things in the most positive manner possible. And, unfortunately, sometimes that takes away from, you know, family time sometimes, like, you got boxes, and sometimes you have to figure out what coin you're gonna put your box and to fill it up, and it's going to take from another one. But I think that when you do that, you're really inadvertently filling up your family because the better you are at your job, hopefully the return will be the same at some point. Yeah, you know what I mean? Yeah, absolutely.
Lance Foulis 43:00
And I mean, you know, I work in corporate America, it's kind of similar if I want to be better at my job. It my ability to do my job well, direct is directly affected by what level of responsibility I want to take to improve my skills, whereas your My yours might be figuring out firearms on a more proficient level. Mine might be what what can I do with Excel? Right, but it's not something I'm going to learn unless I take the time outside of my job to learn it. Right. Yeah, so that okay, that all makes sense to me. So you just mentioned family, you have a family? Yes. Yes. So if I was to ask your family member, what's it like being married to a law enforcement agency? How would you say,
Man, how would I How would she respond? Yeah, man. I'm gonna go ahead and spin this positively because she's not here to answer. Sorry, babe. Oh, actually, I would say that my wife is and most law enforcement wives don't get the credit that they deserve. They deal with a lot of stuff. Yeah, they deal with late nights, working holidays, missing family events. And that's just the physical things they don't you know, for me, if I'm having a hard day, my wife or and I come home, my wife will generally know like, hey, I need to give this man a second to kind of just relax because sometimes my day it'll start at eight. I like the other day I started my day, I think 8am And I think I was almost home at midnight. Yeah. So you know, it's just for me specifically with my assignment. It's so irregular. That the irregular, irregular? No. I can't talk today. It not being regular. Yeah. Yeah. That is regular for our family. You You know what I mean? And, and my wife has, you know, we've been through some things at work that I'm sure scare the absolute crap out of her. And I know have scared her a lot, but she has not, you know, limited. What I want for my career. Yeah. And unfortunately for her, I always, it's like, oh, man, let's do you know, what's next thing? You know, let's do swan. She's like, Cimini? Can't you just go like, do something kind of calm? No. So, you know, doing what I'm doing now? You know, I've been, I've been doing spy Special Investigations for eight years, almost, including undercover. That that's probably not something a wife wants to think about, you know, not alone. Just going out on patrol and dealing with calls and stuff like that. And, you know, having dangerous situations pop up, could depending on where you're patrolling daily, but you know, when you say, hey, you know, I want to go undercover and, and buy drugs. And she's like, What? Why? Yeah, I think it would be a great opportunity. And reluctantly, she says, okay, and then eight years later, doing the same stuff. So
Lance Foulis 46:15
So you're a great opportunity for your career is doing an ODE going undercover?
Yeah, my grit my most. Let me let me preface this. God has blessed my life so much. It's sometimes I look, and I'm like, I don't even know why for me. Sure. You know, when I came to the agency I'm with, I didn't have to spend a lot of time doing the corrections, I was able to have an amazing opportunity to go to the unit I'm currently at, and you start doing undercover buys, you know, you start working in an undercover capacity. And my wife was less than thrilled on some of my attire choices and the things that I would wear, but you, you kind of tried to be kinda let's, I guess I want to preface as an undercover when you're when you're watching on TV, and it's like, they're living with these people for months. That's not what I was doing.
Lance Foulis 47:17
That's not what you know, okay. No, that's
not what I was doing. So you, you know, essentially, you're going out and a undercover capacity trying to what, you know, investigate crimes, essentially, you know, that may mean you have to go buy drugs from a drug dealer to further your investigation. But, you know, I did that. My wife, I remember us going to like some tasting for our wedding or some meeting for a wedding and having the end, I didn't have time to change my clothes. I literally went home, grabbed my car, went back to this place. And she looked at me like, no, absolutely, I made a long t shirt. And she just looked at me like, What are you doing? And I was like, Yeah, this, this is pretty ridiculous. And so you just kind of lose your lose. This is not normal. But everyday, you're wearing this stuff, you're doing these things. You're just like, this, this is normal for me. But yeah, that would, I guess, having the opportunity working with the eight, you know, the unit that I'm working at now. Now. I've been able to do things in my career, and have opportunities that I mean, there's literally movies made about stuff that you get to do on a daily basis, and to be around the people that talented people that have invested in me too. And that have, you know, taken those chances all man, it's, it's, it's like you don't have enough money in the world to pay them back for it. Yeah, you know what I mean? It's just one of those types of things.
Lance Foulis 48:52
It's amazing when you get put in a situation where there's really good people that you get to be around and when they are willing to like invest in you. And you, you, you know, the positive effect that they're having on you and how they're helping you reach your goals. There's because you can't control that you can't control it, usually who's around you. But when you get put in an environment where you're getting really good input from the people around you, that's a fantastic place to be in. Yes. Let's go a little bit more in depth into that journey of being undercover. How did you go from what you were doing before? I mean, you're getting input from people, you're getting instruction and training and all that. So like, how did that transition into that career? Go?
Oh, man, I remember. So like the first year was just a blur. Sure. I mean, the best time in my life, like career wise, it was just, you're kind of like floating over yourself. Like this is what I'm doing and mind you. When I first started, I was not very good, because you spend your whole life not trying to be a criminal and you're pretending to be a crime. But also it's like, well, how do you
Lance Foulis 50:01
don't want to act like you're pretending? Yeah, exactly. How
do you how do you pretend not to pretend to be a criminal? So I had, you know, the guy who trained me was, I mean, still this day, I would say it was one of the best investigators I've ever talk to you. I mean, him. And I still talk and bounce things off each other. And he really, like took me under his wing. And he would just gave me a lot of advice, and even not even just advice, but like, Hey, man, you're not doing well at this. Do better at this. Yeah. And I think a lot of the times, no one wants to hear that. But that's really, for me, what allows me to address the deficiencies I had. You know, I'll still remember. I still remember the first drug deal I ever did. I, I literally tried to carry the drugs out like a Subway sandwich. Because in my mind, I could not process what it was going on. I mean, looking back at it now, like, what were you doing? Yeah. But it was just kind of like, this is this is happening, like, this is really what we're doing. And I remember the guy was training with was with me, and he's like, Hey, like, put it somewhere. And I was like, Where do I put it? I just remember taking my hat off and putting it under my hat. And he probably looked at me and like, we still laugh about this, like, and I love when people tell all the greatest stories about them. But I am like, let's tell the terrible stories, because those are the best. Yes. And that's when that happened. I was like, I still tell him like, why did you pass me? But you know, over time, you become better at it. And I'm not you know, they're being undercover. I always say undercover is like, a tool belt on your tool on your or tool on your tool belt? Yeah. And it's just one thing that you can pull from to be a better detective, you know, so for me, I would say, the under covers skill sets, there are guys out there who can do it, like, just boomed. I mean, they're snap, it just comes natural. And they're, they're able to do that. For me. It took work, you know, and I'm still not the best. I mean, I would say on average I get by, but there are guys out there that I'm just like, Man that like they are phenomenal at doing it. I love the investigation portion of it. You know what I mean? really diving in and developing a case?
Lance Foulis 52:30
Can you tell me about that, like what that means? It just means
using, you know, without getting too into it using things like techniques and methods to take it from point A to point Z, okay. You know, add it, you can do, you know, things like surveillance, intelligence gathering, figuring out who they are, what they're doing, like, I want to do that. That's what I like to do. And undercover when I can, I'll introduce it, you know, I mean, so yeah. But undercover comes with, you know, risk. It, I've been in situations, not more personally and with teammates that it's I mean, life and death situations. And that's where the fun Come becomes reality. And you're just like, you know, this, this is real. And I think that, you know, collectively the, it's kind of like I was saying, you know, you want to be physically a bit able but also intellectually able. And that's the thing with undercovers, like you want to be able to have that like chameleon esque type of your skill set. But it's not the most important thing. You know what I mean? It's not like, I'm just going to give 100% and have this undercover thing and not worry about actually helping how to put together a case. Yeah, so yeah, that's
Lance Foulis 53:56
like a lot of different hats. Yeah, that you get used to wear? Yes,
yes. It's, you know, from the unit that I'm with, you could be doing anything. I mean, you could be doing a drug case one day, and then working, assisting with a death case the next day, you know, that's what I think is so interesting about the people that I work with, and the supervisors that I work for is that, you know, they have, you have to have your head on a swivel at all times. You know, and sometimes I think, when you do it for so long, you forget how dynamic things are. And and when you speak about it out loud, you're just like, oh, man, it's kind of a lot.
Lance Foulis 54:43
So like, yeah, it is a lot. So I mean, that brings me to this question. And I'm really curious just how you answer it because I just I want I'm just curious mentally, what this is like, Do you ever do you ever run into a situation or did you ever run into a situation where you're just like your motive addition to keep doing it was gone or struggling or where you're just like I should do I want to keep doing this did that has that ever happened?
I mean, yeah, for sure. It's thought like, man, is this not not from like a law enforcement perspective, but from just like being tired perspective? Yeah, for sure. You know, I worked cases where I'm just like, I just wish this would end because I'm tired of it. I'm tired of, you know, just absorbing your life. I mean, think about thinking about something constantly. You know, you as a criminal, your thing your that's your lifestyle. So if you're doing it 24/7 But me I have eight hours in the day or, you know, more so yeah, you're but you're constantly thinking about strategizing, trying to figure out what's going on. But for me, I think that as far as like, giving up on what I'm doing, I've always thought about, like, you know, let's maybe go try us, you know, on the SWAT team or something like that our canine like that. Absolutely. is interesting to me, but I don't think I've ever thought like, let's just, let's just give up. If anything, if something gets harder, I feel like I want to pursue it more, because I don't want that to be the thing. Like, that got away. Yeah. Makes total sense. Yeah. So I feel like that it just kind of makes me It drives me crazy. But it just I want to do it more and more.
Lance Foulis 56:26
Yeah. So like, you run into a challenge. You're like, Okay, well, I'm gonna conquer this sucker. Yes.
And when you do conquer, you know, I've had cases where it's like, Man, I'm chasing, trying to get all this stuff for, you know, a year or two. And then you finally get it. And it's just like, Man, that was awesome. Yeah. Moving to the next. Right. All right. Now on to the next. Yes.
Lance Foulis 56:48
So how many like, like, give me like a peek example, when you have like, most amount of cases you've ever had that are all you're just working like X number of cases. They're all in different states, like, in different parts of their areas.
Man, I think when I was working overdoses was the most, because we are very, we were a unit of three guys, it was to detect, well, two detectives, and then they added another one, and then it was a sergeant. And when we first started, we were not only working our own cases, our jurisdiction, but we're also helping out other agencies. Because before we started that task force, overdose investigations were not worked like a crime scene, it was it was deemed an accidental death. So nobody was really held responsible. It was just like, hey, this person took the drugs and they overdosed. And, you know, it's an unfortunate situation. So what was really awesome to be a part of was changing law enforcement from that standpoint of working investor or an overdose and trying to find out who the dealer was provided to them, and then actually go after that dealer criminally. So when we first started providing or, you know, going to these agencies and say, Hey, can we work your overdose deaths? They were like, yeah, why? And we would tell them and, and it was foreign to them, you know, and not only were we working the deaths, but if someone non fatally overdosed, and was able to be revived by a, you know, mad X or whatever, well, we would go out to them knock on their door and say, hey, you know, we understand you had a medical emergency, we're here to offer some type of assistance, we had a like social worker, someone who could provide them with that to where we could, as law enforcement, you know, deal with the law enforcement side, but from a medical standpoint, if they didn't feel comfortable talking to law enforcement about it, because traditionally, the police are there when things someone needs to be held accountable for something or when something bad is happening. So
Lance Foulis 58:53
so they wouldn't necessarily want to talk to a law enforcement officer because they don't want to end up in trouble. Yes. So
that was kind of the first hurdle but we were able to if they non fatally overdosed, we would figure out who sold them the drugs and then still go after them, but for a different crime. And, you know, I mean, it was a successful Taskforce, it's still going on. There were I mean, it was nationally recognized. Wow. And we and it's because of people at the department on with, they have very good ability to have vision to move and go outside of the normal things for law enforcement. You know, I, some people will stay in the like, Guys, when you know, first of all, law enforcement is not the same. Well, no, it's because law enforcement includes people that change constantly and we're constantly evolving as a, you know, human Yeah. So what you want, yeah, you want and that was one thing to be a part of, and see that. I mean, it was a lot of work. It was a lot of sleepless nights and stuff like that, but Um, to say that you had the opportunity to help change a vision and a way of processing things for law enforcement, that's not usually something that you can say. Yeah. So I was, it was just cool to have a small piece in that.
Lance Foulis 1:00:15
So. So make sure I have this right. And you just correct me where I need to be corrected. You're talking about basically, like, almost like, to putting this in quotes, like a new frontier type of a thing, where traditionally, maybe this type of thing would be held where really who you're going after is the people that are buying and using.
We're gonna Yeah, so when we were when we were working in these cases, we weren't looking at the person who was using the drugs as a criminal, necessarily, yes, they're doing a criminal act by absorbing drugs that are illegal, I get it. But what we're trying to do is go after the people that are providing because if you don't have the provider, then how you gonna get it? Yeah. So that's really what we, you know, we partnered with a prosecutors in the, you know, the area that we work and really developed a way to try to combat it. I mean, it was an epidemic. Yes. You know what I mean? Yes, you had people on the street overdosing. You know, you'd walk on certain parts of the street and see needles everywhere. You these kids are playing here. And you know, we've had it where people have died when their kids are in the bet. And you know, in the other rooms, yeah. So there has to be something. You know, when people say how to legalize drugs, that's not going to do anything, legalizing a drug is just going to say, hey, just let the floodgates open. You right, you know what I mean? And, and you have to be creative sometimes to to try to help a community problem.
Lance Foulis 1:01:48
Yeah. You know, so as the revolutionary thing that you guys did was then going after the people that were selling the drugs?
And yes, for not because we don't go after people that are selling drugs. But we're, you're going after the people that sold the drugs that caused the overdose and holding them response. So in Ohio, they have involuntary manslaughter. Yeah, right. Okay. So that's what the one of the crimes that you would try to charge or prove for the dealer, and if they non fatally overdose, meaning they were didn't die, but they there was something that they used to save their life and reverse the effects like Narcan, then you would go after them for corrupting another with drugs, which that charge in and of itself, how to to eight years, mandatory prison time? God. So that's what they were looking at. So yeah, it was, it was just a different, you know, Outlook on it, for sure.
Lance Foulis 1:02:50
Yeah. I mean, that's, I mean, that's really, that's really great. I mean, I mean, it's all over the news. And people talk about all like a lot, which is the problem with drugs that are happening in this country. And I've heard that it's particularly bad here. So I just love that aspect of looking at something in a new way and figuring out a better way, yes, to address a situation in a problem. So that's really awesome. So we're getting to about an hour here. So we're gonna start thinking about kind of semi wrapping it up. So I think the last couple of things I just would like to hear from you is people that are interested in law enforcement, people will let's let's address this into let's address this into laters. People that are involved in law enforcement, your average citizen, what things would you want to say to them to educate them on law enforcement?
I would say, one, get all the facts. Respond to all the facts and and understand like, for whatever incident is just don't knee jerk react to things, try to obtain the facts as best as possible when they're provided. And then I would also say that, you know, there are bad police officers in this world for sure. Just like there's bad doctors and bad priests and stuff like that. So understand that when there's a bad police officer, good police officers do not want them around. Yeah, it's not the the brotherhood that we talk about. It has conditions. You have to want to uphold the Brotherhood want to up