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BCPD Informer
by John Chase, Sergeant
Boulder City Police Department

Rationalizing Bad Behavior

I cannot count the number of times or ways I have had people attempt to rationalize their behavior. Rationalize, is defined by as, "to ascribe (one's acts, opinions, etc.) to causes that superficially seem reasonable and valid but that actually are unrelated to the true, possibly unconscious and often less creditable or agreeable causes."

I write this as the news is still pouring in on the horrific actions of a couple of cowardly individuals that ambushed and murdered Officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, followed by murdering Joseph Wilcox, a well-intended citizen trying to make his community a better place to live, work and visit.

It seems to me that the ability to rationalize has become an acceptable human trait. Kids rationalize poor grades, often by blaming the teacher, traffic violators rationalize poor driving habits by blaming the roadway or signage, employees rationalize their poor performance on a failure to communicate or lack of management support, the media rationalize just about everything – seemingly without regard to facts. I am reminded of the saying, "nothing beats a good story like an eye witness."

Whatever happened to accepting the facts as they are? These two individuals that committed the heinous acts on June 8, 2014 left their home to kill police officers – this is not the fault of their school teacher, their parents, you or me. They own it. When I pull over someone for speeding, it's not the fault of the Department of Transportation, Governor Sandoval or their scout master – they, the driver of the vehicle, own it.

I don't know, maybe it is just me; however, the days of everyone getting a trophy seems to have developed an era of folks unwilling to accept the facts. I remember Sergeant Turk calling me into the office asking me about an arrest where numbers had been transposed. I acknowledged that it was my arrest and my paperwork. I was given a reprimand for the error and it was over – lesson learned – even without a trophy.

Until next month, stay safe!

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