Ward Hamilton: Profiles in Courage: Law Enforcement…The Realities, the Fiction…


Ward Hamilton,Donna R. Gore, Shattered LIves, LadyJustice
photo courtesy masslive.com

“Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on.”
– Robert Kennedy

Some people enter law enforcement from the very beginning with purity of heart…knowing that’s what they’ve always wanted to be… Others go to college and major in criminal justice…Still others enter “through the side door,” as Ward Hamilton did, via a foundation in security work.  ‘But no matter… Whatever the path… the importance of volunteerism, and being a public servant with heart is vital!

However, who would have foreseen that perhaps one of Ward’s brightest moments in law enforcement would be following retirement??  (Ward made the decision to retire in order to care for his mother who had terminal cancer)  Yes… out of the blue….he did what few would ever do…on the job or off… running into a hail of bullets to save a State Trooper from a neighboring state thus assisting in  saving a life!

However, that’s just a small part of the story…. Ward humbly prefers to focus on what counts to him… the integrity of the job…doing it right and dealing with the realities and pressures in a way that safeguards and benefits everyone…

Ladyjustice and Delilah interviewed Ward, a former police offer based in New Haven, CT on this episode of “Shattered Lives” to discuss the issues of then…    and now. Join us for this interesting topic!

Listen to the Podcast

  • Introduction to our guest;
  • An overview of the position as a police officer back in the early 1990’s;
  • The first day at the Academy –a rude awakening… Accountability and protection to the max!
  • Discussion of towns…size, demographics…Does it matter?
  • The risks unknown to the public beginning with the initial contact and how you approach a situation; Changing in a second;
  • Academy Police Training then and now …MPTO- Municipal Police Training Council,
  • (From the Office of Legislative Research) Duties of the MPTO http://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/rpt/2011-R-0044.htm
  • Changes: the  POST- Police Officer Standard Training http://das.ct.gov/Digest/Digest_2009/Police%20Officer%20Standards%20and%20Training%20Council.htm
  • Ward’s analogy….no do-overs in law enforcement; its life or death in an instant!
  • Discussion of police partners in the cruiser…or not…. The realities of financial budgets;
  • Policy and procedure  “The first officer on scene”
  • Columbine…they waited and waited… a learning experience…
  • Training facilities for active shooter trainings…
  • Delilah asks about squelching your instinct versus protocol…. A bad versus a good outcome?
  • Mental heath issues: and the importance of stress outlets;
  • Realistic Police Shows: Ladyjustice’s recommendation: “The First 48”; http://www.aetv.com/the-first-48/
  • Ward’s recommendation:  Accurate portrayal in the first season done in real time; a ride along series: “Boston’s Finest”: http://www.tntdrama.com/series/bostons-finest/?SR=Boston%27s_Finest
  • The unmentionables…biting, scratching, Hepatitis C;
  • The significance of removing a perpetrator’s wedding ring…
  • A discussion of expectations by the public on calls for help…. A very complex issue….
  • A discussion of our changing landscape: Homeland security preparations for natural disasters and mass shootings;
  • Ward’s prediction of future disaster: Communication breakdown on a mass level the infrastructure…. The potential terrible consequences… even for Imagine Publicity…
  • Delilah talks about one’s perception of the police and asks…What is the “good old boy network”?  Ward responds with a detailed answer including a discussion of the multiple pieces of equipment an officer is equipped with
  • A slowly dwindling phenomenon…“You never have to remember the truth”
  • Getting back to decisions and the consequences of your actions as a police officer…
  • Ladyjustice’s opinion on “the good old boy network…” particularly in state legislatures.
  • Ward on politicians: “They are doing a great job with what they have to deal with…”
  • Checks and balances in modern police departments regarding complaints …”beating a ticket”
  • There’s always a camera watching….
  • The heroic event explained: Friday the 13th in April 2012…a guy with a gun…  State trooper John Vasquez drove into a hail of bullets and was shot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv-ECITmLKQ
  • The perpetrator, Carlos Laguer shot dead… and a six wheeled remote control vehicle drove up to the front step of the house to assess safety;
  • A series of awards and honors for Ward…;
  • The job is not what Hollywood glamorizes….
  • The men and women of all aspects of public safety work very hard…
  • The realities of crime  and mandatory overtime;
  • Ward’s parting advice…
  • Contact Info: https://www.facebook.com/ward.hamilton.96

Questions Elicited From the Show:

  • Does the show “Cops” provide an accurate portrayal of the job?
  • How do cultural differences impact the experience?
  • What is the primary change in focus in police training compared to years ago?
  • What is the biggest challenge faced by officers in their day to day dealings?
  • What are some factors that influence their decision making process?
  • Since Columbine, how has the protocol changed in terms of an active shooter situation?
  • How are split second decisions…and the impact dealt with?
  • When making an arrest, what are the consequences of the act of cuffing someone when you are in public safety?
  • Taking away someone’s personal property -what can the consequences be?
  • The public’s expectations of a police officer’s role are based on many factors…Homeland security and preparation for natural disasters- What are they?
  • In Ward’s opinion, do cops cover for each other a la the “good old boy network?”-Why/why not?
  • In Ward’s opinion, what is the foundation that politicians have prior to serving the public?
  • What happened during the deadly incident in Chicopee, Massachusetts in which Ward for involved?
  • How is Officer Vasquez doing today?
  • Does our guest recommend others pursuing law enforcement today?
  • https://www.facebook.com/ward.hamilton.96


“The comments expressed on this website or on the broadcasts of Shattered Lives do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of the hosts, producers, or other guests.”


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