Why the Police Officer Won’t Shake Your Hand

Why the Police Officer Won’t Shake Your Hand

There’s a lot going on in the law enforcement community with the current events in Baltimore. It’s terrible -for both sides.  Loss of life is always a heartbreaking thing. But so is rioting and violence. This post is not about that.  In light of these events, it’s nice to see so many people are in support of officers, but they are often very misunderstood.  My husband is an officer, and he often has to do things that people don’t understand. For example, my husband was telling me a story the other night about letting a guy out of a tough situation.  The guy reached to shake his hand.  He had to decline. “Sorry man, I don’t shake hands.”

This may seem like a rude move, but apparently, it’s pretty common for police officers not to shake hands. They aren’t being rude, they’re staying safe. In light of the current events happening all over the country, I would like to share with you some things that are always on the minds of the law enforcement officers that we may never think about. When you think they are being rude or on a power trip, they are just being safe. Here are some reasons why a police officer may not shake your hand.

The main issue is a safety issue. Even when it’s you or me.  He has to assume safety first in all situations.

His shaking hand is his gun hand.  If you shake that hand, you are tying up that hand.  If you’re a “bad” guy, you could suddenly over take him. He (sadly) has to think like that. All the time he has to imagine what you, yes even you, the soccer mom or the man in the suit on his way to work, might do to him in the worst case scenario.

His shaking hand is also his dominant hand, so offering it to you could leave him vulnerable. I want him to return home to me, so I don’t want him leaving himself open to you by shaking hands.

If you’re inside a car while shaking hands, you could grab a hold of his hand, floor the vehicle, and drag him along.

And let’s not even think about all the germs he would encounter if he shook hands with everyone he came in contact with in a 10 hour shift. Ick. I don’t want him bringing THAT home.

So, while it’s sad that in today’s world he has to be more concerned with his safety than polite courtesies like shaking hands, it’s true.  He wants to shake hands, especially when you are grateful to him.  But when he says “Sorry, I don’t shake hands”, please understand. And maybe offer him a fist pound instead. 🙂

I’d love for you to share this post and help people see that officers are not being jerks, but instead trying to keep themselves safe. It’s sad that a few people are out there trying to harm officers, but it’s those people keeping them on guard and making them be extra alert, even for things like shaking hands.

*note: I was responding to all comments, but this post became much more popular than I ever anticipated.  I appreciate your feedback and encourage you to keep comments productive. I wish I could respond to every comment, but with a full time and part time job, I just don’t have the time to answer everyone individually.  I’ll respond as I can.  Thanks for understanding!*


Comments

  1. Good to know. I never thought about this before but it makes perfectly good sense!

    • Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan shake hands. Anyone can get taken advantage of during a handshake, that’s the point. People would take their weapon from the right hand and place in the left then grasp the weapon hand of the other person. Let’s not forget, if you are grasping someone else’s hand you each have an equal opportunity to use it to attack.

      Basically if you are so frightened of every day gestures of respect then you might seek employment elsewhere. I recommend a flower shop or perhaps something in interior decorating.

      • I was a Police officer for 25 years and I never failed to shake a persons hand.. You can’t allow fear to cause you to neglect good honest people that you swore to protect and serve.. The ones who hate Law enforcement would never put out a hand of friendship to start with.. Not a good excuse in my opinion.. Rick, thanks for your comment…

        • I agree. I’m just starting and I always shake hands unless I have a good reason not to (universal precautions). You never know who might remember you being good to them and them wind up being helpful later

        • This is pretty good. So your recommending a cop working on the street should draw his firearm then switch it to his left hand and then proceed to shake hands like the military does with their rifles. Should said officer also call for another officer to stand watch like every serviceman would already have.

          • No. I’m suggesting he/she have the courage and the respect to shake the hands of the people he is sworn to protect and serve or find another line of work.

          • An officer’s duty to protect him/her self comes before anybody else, Dick…er, I mean Rick.

          • Rick,
            I am an officer, and I shake hands, rarely. But your statement about being afraid to shake hands with the people we swore to protect and serve because of disease, is wrong. I will gladly shake the hand of the people I protect and serve. I will not however, shake the the hand of the man I am protecting you against. Make no mistake, there is a difference. The majority of individuals I am called to deal with, do not live like you and I. They live drug induced lives surrounded by utter filth, poor (or no) hygiene, and disease. I have a wife and kids that I have no intention of spreading that on to.
            Just how nasty are some of the places I go? So nasty that when I get home, I remove my boots outside the door, walk straight to wash my hands, and immediately take off my uniform before I hop directly into the shower.
            My point is this, practice the old saying, “don’t judge until you’ve walked a mile in my shoes”.

        • Umm I think this depends on where you work. I certainly do not shake the hands of the majority of those I come across or I’d have every disease under the sun. But if you work at some cookie cutter station then go for it. Also, the world is a much different place than it was 25 yrs ago.

          • If you are worried about disease, take universal precautions. Wear gloves. If you are too frightened of what the people you have sworn to protect and serve might do to you if you shake their hand, work elsewhere.

          • Well, I think common sense should come into play here. Not everyone is out to get you, and not everyone has a disease. Those whose hands are dirty, well, don’t you carry anti-bacterial soap in your pocket are cruiser? I’ve been a police officer for 29 years and have manage to make it this far. Man, no wonder our profession has issues…

          • Thank you, Jordan, for your service!

        • Exactly! Be courteous…..don’t be an arrogant prick.

        • Thomas,

          Things today are a bit different even if it had only been a short time since you were an officer. I was an officer for 12 years and the main reason I declined a hand shake was the spread of germs not only to myself, but what about the guy I just arrested do you want his unknown germ on your hand? With all the diseases going around in today’s world especially among the criminal types it’s something you don’t want to spread around to good people.

          • Roger, Get some hand sanitizer or some gloves or some anti-bacterial soap. Refusing to shake hands is something you do to someone you do not respect, someone you feel is beneath you. And hiding behind the “germ scare” issue is just chickenshit.

            If you are not willing to come into basic physical contact with the people you serve, you should not work in the public sector. If you disrespect the people you’ve sworn an oath to serve, you should not work in law enforcement.

          • Why would you be shaking the hand of the guy you just arrested for one, 2, I’m pretty sure touching him while arresting him, you’d pick up the germs if any. You can usually tell who’s hand to shake or not.

          • my philosophy since doing this job has always been to judge situations on a case by case basis..A kid and his mom come up to me on the street. I’m shaking hands and letting him sit in the car turn on the lights and siren etc….one thing most of us develop after doing this job for awhile is our ability to judge situations and people. We have to be safe but can’t loose our humanity and common sense.

        • Exactly, I always showed respect to the folks I dealt with and I never, ever failed to shake someone’s hand.

        • Thank you for being one of the good ones!!

      • It’s not a matter of being frightened jackass. It’s a matter of being safe.

      • Chris Bogert :

        With due respect the only hand shaking in Iraq and Afghanistan is usually done to other Soldiers. Time and again the enemy has proven that some just want to lure you in to kill you. As for working in a “flower shop” really? People like you have never done anything in your life where you have been in that situation , you watch cnn, fox, msn, and play keyboard cowboy, calling the shots from the comfort of your overpriced hovel. You should thank God everyday people (like myself) voluntarily go out and face danger so you can get in your over priced car, go to your over paid job, and be inconsiderate to those of us who do our jobs for ungrateful pompous horse’s butt like you and the rest of America.

        • Chris, I wish there was a like button so that I could click on it …. several times !!!

          • From a retired Detective with over 20 years experience. I agree with Donna. since there is no like button, LIKE LIKE LIKE LIKE.

          • I agree with Chris. LIKE LIKE LIKE LIKE . I am not a cop and I don’t even shake the preachers hand.

        • Andrea Elliott :

          Chris,
          Amen, brother, from a sister police officer.

        • Chris, you don’t know me. You don’t know what I’ve sworn, what uniform I’ve worn, what I’ve protected or what I’ve sacrificed to ensure your freedom. Your welcome.

          I do thank God daily for honest, courageous, respectful LEOs. However, if an officer fears so much for his/her safety that they are too frightened to offer their hand in respect to those he/she works for, it’s not the right job for that person. Try another line of work. It’s obvious from your reply that you contemptuously prejudge me and the rest of the people you’ve sworn an oath to protect and serve. People with your disposition have no business in law enforcement. Your presence in that line of work puts lives in danger. Yours, the public’s and your fellow officers. For everyone’s sake, try something more suited to you.

          • You are mistaking fear for preperation. My first priority is my safety. I give no care about if someone feels I’ve disrespected them or not shaking there hand. I’m not there to make friends, I’m there to protect them and uphold the law. I will go home to my family every night because I’m prepared. You will not catch me off guard, you will not catch me lax in my diligence to protect myself. You call us ci wards because I won’t shake your hand. I call it trainibg beyond reason. There is a reason this trend of officers not shaking hands started. Because there have been LEO deaths resulting in the officer being to lax or comfortable with a subject they are having contact with. So I say the disrespect comes fron people like you not understanding or respecting our boundries the the prepairedness of our persons or the way society has forced us to train.

          • Would you shake a hand that you know has pee, snot, blood, ants, mites, poop other peoples blood poop pee or all the above. Well most of the people I have dealt with probably and most likely had all the above on their hands and all over there body. One guy I had to search had a old stiff poop in his pants and he took it out with his hands and threw it onto the ground them he wanted to shake my hand. WELL NO!!!
            and this is just one true story I could go on to fill this post.

          • I’ve been a Police Offucer for 20 years now. I can honestly say that the only time I do not shake a hand is when dealing with a thug. The innocent approach of s stranger thanking me for what I do, died deserve a good hand shake with a thank you for supporting us. Cops are wolfes keeping the herd contained. Most often we get that little hair standing up on the back of our necks when things are not right. Good artical though.

          • rick you make yourself sound like an ass. You’re saying how cops who don’t shake people’s hands are assholes, but read your previous comments and tell me who the real asshole is in this situation.

            Get over it. Who cares. If the cop wants to shake everyone hand that he ever meets, cool. If he doesn’t want to shake anyone’s hand, that’s cool too. That’s his decision and it doesn’t make them “rude”. After all, his job isn’t to shake people’s hands, his job is to be a police officer. And that’s what he’s doing. So get over it.

          • Rick,

            Does it occurr that some of those we are sworn to protect might actually like to see harm come our way? I’m an older cop. Sometimes I shake hands, sometimes it is not relevant to what goes on in the contact. I wouldn’t say I have a blanket rule about handshakes, but I wouldn’t go on spouting all of this crap about people we’ve ‘sworn to protect’. I am sworn to protect EVERYONE, that doesn’t mean that I cannot take ‘universal’ precautions like NOT shaking hands with someone that truly does not warrant the gesture. (I am not worried about getting any disease, as the stuff I touch in a routine day is about as nasty is it comes.. Jail cells, stuff in peoples houses, their cars, etc.. I also know how to wash my hands..) Some officer’s blanket rule about handshakes may just be so there is no favoritism shown? Don’t know, don’t care. I don’t make pretenses that what other cops do is wrong, cause I don’t think there is an issue..

            On that topic, how offended would you be if you held out your hand and waited while someone took out a pair of gloves and put them on before you shook hands?

            Exactly

          • Rick, respectfully, where have you, or where do you currently serve?

          • You really are a bit of a jerk Rick. It is not about respect, I can respect someone and still refuse to shake their hand. Who do you think you are? Who gave you the right to judge others who do things different than you?

          • Rick, I agree wholeheartedly. the sad truth is that this is the kind of mentality that does nothing to foster an attitude of respect among non-LEO folks. Generally, by the time you get to the point where a handshake is warranted, there are a couple of things that should have taken place.
            1-you’ve already spent some time speaking with them, and have had a chance to develop a feel for what they may be up to. Not always foolproof, but if you have the sense that something’s wrong, then by all means, decline the handshake.
            2-You’ve likely already handled their drivers license, or perhaps even done a pat down. Either way, you’ve come in contact with whatever they’ve got, so a handshake isn’t likely to make it worse. Do what I do, keep some good hand sanitizer handy.

            When you do shake hands, do it from a position of authority and be ready. If they do try something, remember you already have control of their dominant hand. Train to use that, and you can have them around and down in a hurry.

            An alternative is to offer your own handshake, with your non-dominant hand. Most people automatically reach out with the same hand. That way, you’ve shown a sign of respect, and haven’t given up control.

            If worst comes to worst, just say no, but be polite about it. At least respect the gesture offered, since it’s a safe bet that it’s very, very likely not an attempted assault. If it’s a younger person, just fist bump instead.

          • Rick , I agree with you and since there’s no like button, LIKE LIKE LIKE LIKE!!!!

          • Rick, I think if you had law enforcement experience you would simply say so. But in fact you’re playing a very odd and lame “maybe I was maybe I wasnt” ambiguity game that would only make sense if you held some highly secret position you weren’t allowed to talk about. Considering your words so far, this prospect seems laughable. Why are you trying to create a false or at least intentionally ambiguous impression as to whether you have served in leo/military before? If you haven’t, the honest thing to do would’ve simply come out and said “no, I have no leo experience”. You still absolutely would’ve had the right to your opinion, but it wouldn’t have been intellectually dishonest and intentionally misleading as your current stance has been, in my perception.

          • Rick, I have been in law enforcement for over thirty years in varying assignments and shifts etc. I have politely declined to shake some hands and shaken many hands. It depended on many factors. But I guarantee you that in the instances where I declined to shake a hand I was more concerned with making sure that I went home to my family than insulting someone by taking an unnecessary risk. I have had the unfortunate duty of burying several friends that paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving their community. Some of them wouldn’t shake hands in similar situations. Their widows would probably be insulted by your characterization of them as being less than courageous for not shaking hands. Maybe you should consider taking up this honorable profession and do the job before passing judgement on how someone should do the job. Good luck. Sincerely,
            GB

          • Lol rick you clearly have everything figured out.
            You dumb everything down to, “if you dont shake their hands you shouldnt work in law enforcement”. News flash for you, there is officers doing it everyday and will continue to do so long after your gone, why? Because you arnt right about everything that comes out of your mouth. Everyone gets to have their own choice on this and they are all right in whatever they choose. If I was a cop I wouldnt do anything that put my life at risk anymore than my duty called for, a.k.a I wouldnt shake hands.
            I feel bad for anyone that knows you cause clearly you are right about everything.

        • Chris, not even close to true about Soldiers shaking hands in Afghanistan. On deployment I shake dozens of hands of Afghans a day. It is an understood part of the job for most Soldiers now in Afghamistan. There is a risk, but there is also the need to make lasting positive impressions on people.

          • But you do so surrounded by other soldiers with fully automatic weapons who are ( if they are doing their jobs) covering you doing your interaction. Which officers don’t generally have we are alone most times.

            Not saying I didn’t shake hands I did often depending on the situation but their is a very big difference in the 2 situations there

        • Chris you sound like an arrogant prick that expects special treatment for doing your job… I am a Marine, and have been a Corrections officer for 9 years and have never had the audacity to utter the words, “You should thank God everyday people (like myself) voluntarily go out and face danger so you can get in your over priced car, go to your over paid job, and be inconsiderate to those of us who do our jobs for ungrateful pompous horse’s butt like you and the rest of America.” what did you watch a few good men one too many times and try to memorize jack’s you can’t handle the truth line…. get over yourself, thank for taking a job that puts you in harms way but no one owns you a thing!

        • I agree with you 100%

        • Well said sir!

        • I’m guessing Rick has never been employed in law enforcement….

        • You can be safe and still give a hand shake. Being a lefty I didn’t have to worry about giving up my dominant hand. And there are many different types of gloves out there. Not to mention personal sized hand sanitizers. Chris you sound a little frustrated.

        • Thank you, Sir, for all you do and sacrafice for us! Keep safe and God Bless all the Men and Women in Law Enforcement. I stand beside you!

        • Thank you Chris for your services to this country and sacrifices. But I definitely see your point. I come from a long line of military family and my husband just retired from the army after more than 25 years.

        • Chris first off thank you for your service brother!! I was a cop a long time before getting hurt on the job, left crippled I had to retire. So thank you for continuing the watch bro!!!

          Secondly I agree with the others LIKE, LIKE,,LIKE!! LOL

          while I think you might be incorrect about soldiers shaking hands on deployment it is completely rediculous for they guys to compare the 2. When interacting with the public soldiers have other troops covering them!!! All of whom have automatic weapons class IV full body armor & helmets. I don’t know about you brother but even in SWAT I didn’t have that much protection!! Lol.

          And I noticed after you questioned his service RICK went on to say you didn’t know what he had or had not done BUT NEVER SAID HE HAD SERVED AT ALL!! SHOCKING I KNOW!! Take care & stay safe bro!!

      • police do not have the option of simply putting their weapon in the opposite hand

        • I’ve been a Police Officer for 20 years now. I can honestly say that the only time I do not shake a hand is when dealing with a thug. The innocent approach of a stranger thanking me for what I do, did deserve a good hand shake with a thank you for supporting us. Cops are wolfes keeping the herd contained. Most often we get that little hair standing up on the back of our necks when things are not right. Good artical though.

          • I thought ever cop knew that they were “sheepdogs” keeping the herd “safe from wolves”? Where did your analogy come from?

      • Well if you think it’s so easy then why don’t you get off of the couch, put the potato chips, go to an academy, pass it, become a sworn law enforcement officer and show us all how it should be done.

        Luckily you get to shuffle fries for a living and the only imminent danger you face is from oil burn from the fry machine.

        • As I’ve said before, you don’t know who you are talking to, what I do for a living, what I have done for your freedom. A predisposition like yours has no business in law enforcement.

          • Mark TX.LEO :

            @Rick, This is a very simple matter, I’ve been in L.E. for two years now and can tell you shaking hands is something I do not do. Not because, oh what did you say, I’m afraid, no its because I’m going home at the end of the day. Why on Gods green little earth would i put myself into a situation where i can’t react, with the correct force level. I dont just mean deadly force either, my dominant side also has my ASP, giving your gun hand away to someone is like hoping a wild lion doesn’t bite your head off when you stick it inside his mouth. And no i dont mean the pussy cat lion you see at the freakin circus either. Now with that being said, I do fist bump. Because my hand is not being grabbed by another person. Also your argument of carry hand sanitizer, is feeble, no matter if i had a magical floating hand sani dispenser, by the time I grab that personas hand and let go, the disease is already on/in my body, and that dispenser was there milliseconds after i released that persons hand to late, Ive already got the HIV or HERP.

            And lastly, I politely ask that you not act like you know what officers deal with and or how we should act in situations. That good sir is blasphemy, that would be like me saying yo military you’re doing your job wrong, not having a meal with Habib is disrespectful, and yet that gets turned down all the time.

            For the sake of ending this, y’all do crap in your own way to come home, we do crap in our own way to come home. It’s that simple, now go mind your own Pees and freakin Ques.

          • So, if you don’t want others to judge what you have or haven’t done, what gives you the right to judge this officer’s choice? Old saying…when you point a finger at others, you have three more pointing back at you.
            This explanation was not given for you to judge or belittle others. It is not to be ripped apart and torn to pieces to suit others needs. Before you judge, walk in their moccasins, whether it be the officers or their spouses. And if you have, you should respect their differences because you know….and as for the service men/women, for all those who don’t thank you, it’s sometimes awkward to approach a soldier and thank them, and those soldiers at a desk job and not in the field sometimes are sometimes uncomfortable accepting the thanks. But thank you……now I’m stepping off my soapbox…no rock throwing or name calling…this isn’t high school.

        • I have for the past 29 years my friend, and to not shake anyone’s hand is as dumb as your post. You honestly sound like some wet behind the ears rookie. Use some common sense. Also, you can be creative with this. Ever hear of the “fist bump?” What about anti-bacterial soap in a bottle? My advice (coming from a veteran officer) buy some.

      • Basically to each his own. This officer may work in different or more hostile conditions than someone else. Basically calling the man a pansy by suggesting he work in a flower shop only says to me that you are not comfortable with your own masculinity. Let me guess… not an officer of the law. God bless the men and women to swore to protect and serve. I’ll give you a nod and speak my gratitude aloud with educated words. Hand shaking not necessary. Clean out your own closet before you try and clean someone elses. Jeez…

      • This is an ignorant comment. I never shake hands. Not out of fear but caution

      • @ Rick… I understand what you are trying to say however to make those 2 completely different scenarios similar please let me explain. I have been to afghanistan and I will tell you there you have an M4 in your hand another 8 or 9 soldiers minimum around you and a few uparmored vehicles with 240s or 249s or even 50 cals or mk 19s. Also think about the fact that they know if they attack we can open up with any and all weapons or even air strikes or support and thats just regular army not special forces. Some departments have things called policies such as ours that wont allow us to wear gloves at all times or even our body armor outside our uniform even though its much more comfortable and cooler because people keep whining the police look too aggressive or militarized. And I am currently a police officer and it is usually just me on a call maybe 1 or 2 others but our weapons are not in our hands they are in a holster on our dominant side (the side you shake hands with) and its not a normal just pull out your pistol holster it has multiple retentions that must be defeated before you can successfully draw your weapon. Google action vs reaction and try it at home with family or friends even just to grab someone. Also be aware usually in places that I ride most calls there are usually 1 or 2 officers and like 6 people all within a 10 ft radius. The point is you cannot compare the two scenarios they are completely different in every way possible and until you have experienced at least one please try to be open minded especially from those who have experienced both. And the world is very different these days. Also it is a preference, some officers shake sometimes some say if I wont shake one I wont shake at all.

        • Lee, First of all my scenario about placing the weapon in the left hand was a reference to the origin of the handshake and not necessarily how it’s done by our heroes abroad.

          Secondly, all that you said in mind, this is the job for which you signed up. It entails dealing with all sorts of types of people. There are dangers. And while you may say that shaking hands puts you in danger, I have to submit that disrespect (real or perceived) toward the people you serve and work for puts you in much greater danger. If they truly mean you harm shaking their hand is not going to change things either way. I submit that any officer who has been harmed as a result of a handshake would very likely have been hurt had he/she refused.

          Also believing that a hand shake puts you in danger is fear. Simply put, your fear is worsening a growing rift between LEOs and the people you serve. It is part of the problem.

          As such, I stand by my original statement. If you lack the courage and the respect to share a hand shake with the people you’ve sworn an oath to serve and protect, find other employment. This is not for you.

          • George, George, George….hypocrite….you generalize about cops in the very sentence you complain that they generalize….wow….

          • Rick….get off the judgement trip….cops are entitled to shake hands if they choose, or not shake hands if they choose. Just because they may choose not to shake hands is a matter of personal preference. It’s not in their job title or their job description. They are sworn to protect. So why do you think your choice is the right way? I am not a cop, but would say they have enough crap being thrown at them from every angle, and don’t need to hear someone tell them to work elsewhere if they choose not to shake hands. Especially by one of their own??? You should support their right to choose, just like they support your right to choose!

          • Beth, Actually it’s to protect and SERVE. Do you know what it is to truly serve? To say, “I will put it all on the line to make sure you sleep safe tonight.”?

            You cannot serve and protect a people that you find too nasty, too dangerous or too contemptible to shake hands with. No cop is better than the people he/she serves. Any that feel so threatened, whether it be by germs or by real physical danger, that they will not share a simple hand shake should go find work more suitable to them. Their fear, contempt and/or disrespect are putting lives in danger.

          • Really Rick, get off your high horse! I most certainly can serve and protect without shaking someones hand. It is about how you refuse to do it. I can respectfully refuse to shake your hand, or I can contemptuously refuse to do so. Most people I have refused to shake hands with understand why I refuse.

          • Rick how bad is it if a dentist won’t shake your hand?

          • I bypassed all this by just touching my cover (hat) and nodding my head. Still respectful and people get the point.

      • As a PO I don’t shake hands with the public. Yes, safety is always a thought on the back burner but myself I do it more for sanitary reasons. If I’m not wearing my gloves I will not shake your hand. Not to be disrespectful but my first month on the job I got a severely sick after one shift where I shook the hands of two people without my gloves. Now I’d rather seem rude than to take the chance of returning to the emergency room and having to take weeks off of work and leaving my coworkers short handed. Yes, there’s the possibility that those interactions had nothing to do with it, but I’d rather air on the safe side.

      • Rick, are you in law enforcement? If not, be quiet. If so, you’re being a prick. Either way you sound like a prick. Personally, I do not shake hands in all instances. Anyone worth anything as a LEO knows that generally, we are forced to be reactive, not proactive. Can I draw my weapon just because I don’t like how a person looks? Of course not, I have to quickly react to their behavior. That being said, most officers get pretty good at reading people so generally if you get a hand shake, you aren’t perceived as a threat. But keep in mind, just because I took an oath to protect you and all like you, does not mean I have to make sure you like me and feel all warm and fuzzy. There a way more civilians than there are LEOs. We’d never get the job done if all I ever worried about was if that guy I just gave a ticket to likes me. If you hand a criminal an opportunity, usually they will take it. Bear in mind, if I get overpowered, a criminal now has access to all the weapons in my belt, my car and all the weapons and ammmo in my car. Where I work, my backup may be 20 mind away running code. Essentially I’m alone. So please understand way more thought goes into the decision to shake or not to shake than my instincts regarding the person I’m dealing with. But if the cop sense starts tingling, you can bet I’m going to keep every guard I have up. If someone thinks I’m rude, so be it. What I am is safe. What I am is a dad getting to go home to his wife and kids in the same shape as the last time I saw them. That’s probably you goal too Rick, regardless of your profession. It doesn’t take long for someone to grab you, pull you in and stick a sharp object in your arm or chest. Especially someone on dtugs. Crazy mood swings are the status quo with drug users. Take a defensive tactics class. That may open your eyes a bit.

      • Suzanne Provencher :

        Sorry Rick, you miss the point. I want my son coming home safe. He does not shake hands. If police officers all started planting flowers and making rooms pretty, our Country would really be in chaos. Remember, it’s already only a select FEW who are willing to protect and serve for the mere peanuts they earn a year.

        Mother of a “respected” non shaking hand police officer

      • LOL

      • Rick – It’s a personal preference and not everyone wants to shake hands. “Respect” goes BOTH WAYS. This means that the other person can respect me if I [politely] decline a handshake. Who are you to say that not shaking hands is a sign of disrespect? Does the rest of the world suddenly have to conform to your behavioral demands to be considered “respectful?”For you to imply that someone should change occupations simply because they don’t wish to shake hands is more disrespectful than anyone declining a handshake in the manner described by the author.

      • Mike Blackwell :

        I’ve been a police officer for 23 years in a city that, unfortunately, has a higher percentage of the criminal element than most. (In the top 10 most violent cities in the country multiple times throughout my career despite being considered a small to medium size city during that time.) I did not shake hands earlier in my career. Once my experiences and abilities amassed to the point I became confident in my ability to read people I began, very selectively, shaking hands again. In my Department I’ve watched an officer die from Hep C that he contracted on duty, my partner was lured in and shot by a person playing possum and a fellow officer lost his life at the hands of a seemingly “normal” person that he stopped for walking in the street where a sidewalk was provided. So, I’m here to tell you the threat is REAL. These things may have not happened to you or someone you know or to anyone in your Department but they are real and they do happen. These things don’t happen very often when you look at the percentages but the finality that exists when they do happen can not be taken bake or mitigated in any way. So, officers should error on the side of safety and gradually work back towards “normal” social protocol only when their experiences and abilities allow it. There’s a reason the most socially friendly area of the country (the South) consistently has the highest number of officer killed in the line of duty every year (just my opinion). None of you are right in your opinions about others approach to these real threats nor should your opinion of the right approach be “the standard”. However, every one of you are absolutely right in your approach to these threats because it’s based on your experiences, ability and environment. So, stop judging your fellow officers without knowing their experiences, abilities and environment. I believe in being courteous to everyone we contact (even the bad guys) so I often use the, now widely socially acceptable, fist bump. “God bless the fist bump”. So, help educate the public on the hurdles we face and help fellow officers learn and grow to improve our profession overall instead of participating in the negativity. Cops aren’t all the same and we aren’t perfect.

        To “Razorback Britt” – Thank you for posting “Why the Police Officer May not Shake Your Hand” article. This is an area many citizens don’t understand (and clearly a lot of cops).

        Stop judging, help educate the public and help improve our profession.

        To all those who have served, currently or past – Thank You. God Bless the sheep dogs (Col. Grossman’s wolves, sheep and sheep dogs).

      • Your input is appreciated yet evidenced an obvious lack of appreciation of what cops face every day. While your note about soldiers is cute and show you watch TV and can type, it’s not worth squat.

      • Not frightened at all. However, one of the better fights I have been in started with a handshake of a guy I kicked out of a bar that was all of a sudden apologetic. He was left handed, and got the first good punch in. Secondly, I didn’t shake hands with anybody in Iraq, so there goes that theory. It’s not about fear, it’s not about disrespect…. It’s about my family at home that expects me to come home every morning. It’s also about where one works, and I don’t work in Mayberry!

      • The history of the handshake is a sign or greating of PEACE.
        It is to show that their are no weapons in your hand.
        If a police officer feels threatened by a handshake, they should not be in that profession.
        Understandably, they should not be reaching in to someone’s vehicle to shake hands, but standing face to face with someone who offers a hand, and not shaking it is very disrespectful.
        If you are seriously that worried about germs, carry germx or some other hand sanitizer.

      • We don’t have the luxury of just drawing, placing it in our left hand and then shaking with the right. I think people would rather go without a fist bump than have us draw our service weapon so we can shake your hand to protect your fragile feelings. I don’t always refuse to shake hands, but there st times I never will. Specifically on traffic stops when it requires me to reach into a vehicle.

      • I’m guessing you have no professional expertise in this area.

      • Rick,
        Those are brave words from someone who doesn’t walk the thin blue line. Come walk a mile in our boots and you might change your mind.

      • I’ve been a Cop for over 24 years. Its not fear that keeps me from shaking hands. I choose not to shake hands as one of many precautions I use through out each shift to minimize risk. I find it funny that you have the audacity to question my courage or respect for the public. I have served in the Military and Law Enforcement. I love your ignorant arrogance. You assume that because I do not shake hands, I am frightened, I am lacking courage, and that I lack respect. I won’t assume anything about you, but know your type. You are the type that says my way is the only way and if you don’t do what I do, you are less than I. I sit with my back to a corner or wall and face the doorway in restaurants. Does that mean I’m frightened, or merely being practical. I don’t walk up to a vehicle during a traffic stop with my light in my weapon hand. By your assumption if I do it that way I must be frightened. I limit all physical contact to a minimum for my safety and that of the public. Please do me a favor and quit making assumptions. If you choose to shake hands, great for you. Don;t presume to judge my actions when you have no idea what or where I’ve been. As for soldiers in Iraq, having been one, I didn’t shake hands there either. You are correct by saying that we Serve and Protect, but no where does it say I have to coddle you or kiss our a** to make sure your precious feelings aren’t hurt. I explain why I don’t shake hands to someone who offers. I also don’t receive hugs when offered on duty. If you served in either the Military of as a LEO, thanks. If not do everyone a favor and be quiet about things you don’t understand or know.

        • Well put, Jon! As a petite female (and former LEO), I would just touch the tip of my cover with my fingers. Doesn’t mean I was afraid, just cautious. You don’t want to be a statistic to prove a point. What is the purpose of shaking a perps hand, anyway?!
          But, I will say that I do not hesitate to offer my hand to someone in the military to thank them for their service. Never had a refusal in return. Then again, at 5’5, 113, I don’t look like I pose much of a threat. And, I’m on American soil, unarmed. Except for the fact that I have been trained to render someone much larger than myself, inconpacitated, weapon or not.

      • It’s not about showing respect or having equal ability to attack. It’s about the expectation of the attack. If you shake hands with someone, and want to hurt you, they will move first and have the upper hand. I have been a soldier in Iraq twice, and no they don’t shake hands with the unknown. Well, for that matter, I am now a police officer, and still do not shake hands very often. My family means more to me then a hand shake. But to refuse an honest hand shake is tough.

      • Rick, are you an officer or spouse to a LEO?

      • You are so disrespectful of this woman that you aren’t worth the effort of a well thought out reply.

      • Doug Woltersdorf :

        Do you work in Baltimore?

      • Max Reichgott :

        It’s not about fear, it’s common sense.why put yourself in a potentially dangerous situation when you don’t have to. I wonder what kind of work do you do to that puts you in a position to judge the actions of a police officer.

      • Amen!!!

      • Glenn Melton :

        She is correct. I was a LEO for 35 years and almost never shook hands. Before you start making snide suggestions about changing employment, try it yourself, smart guy.

    • Janet kemerer :

      I never knew this. Safety is first .my niece is a police officer in Georgia. I worry about her all the time. Please let us all keep our officer’s in our prayers daily. To keep our officer’s safe knowing now about the hand shake.we can ALL offer them a kind smile and thank YOU.

    • This is wrong. The reason police don’t shake hands is that cops know that many they deal with have all types of infectious diseases. They don’t want to catch them. Same as a doctor or nurse wears gloves. Police have a rule that where possible they will avoid touching people as they don’t want germs.

      • Nurse’s don’t wear gloves to shake hands. In fact we don’t need to wear them for many cares we give to patients. We try our best to keep our skin intact because that is your first barrier. Secondly, we wash our hands constantly, and officers should at every opportunity. We also use an Alcohol based foam or gel hand cleaner. Every police officer should have that, and use it appropriately. You can get it in smaller bottles and carry it with you whether you shake hands or not. These things are your best defense against germs for everyone. Be safe and thank you for your service.
        Kathy, Nurse for 20 years

      • Agreed.

    • Amen, sister. Great post! And I agree…it is VERY sad that they have to always worry/be prepared about these things.
      God please keep them all safe

    • Thank you for sharing. I am a police officer’s wife and find myself often defending him and his job. Again thank you!

    • By the comments below you can not please everyone. HOWEVER, this is good food for thought. You dont always know who you come in contacy with and what has been going on in their life. As a former officer I did have to refuse some handshakes due to what i believed was safety. Its an occupational hazard. Not everyone can be a cop in Mayberry.

    • Michael Gallo' :

      Being former law enforcement, I have to agree. NEVER leave yourself open to attack at close quarters, if you can help it.

    • In my family their’s 3 offers..thank you for sharing.
      Something we don’t think about..
      GOD BLESS ALL …BE SAFE OUT THERE!

  2. I had no idea! I shared this on FB. Love your blog and first time I can see that I can leave a comment. Yay! Blessings to you and thank you to your husband who is protecting other lives daily.

  3. Britt: EXCELLENT!! Good to see this info getting out there. Lord knows I shook a lot of hands across the 30+ career I’ve had as a law enforcement officer, but the ones I did were VERY carefully selected and the risk deemed minimal. Your post is spot on. Another thing people like to do that we absolutely cannot permit is get close to us to talk. I want you at arm’s reach – minimum. We call it “reactionary gap.” People like to get closer than that but if we let them in that bubble then we have no time to react if they attack. We mean no offense, but we can’t afford to be “up close and personal” unless circumstances don’t permit otherwise.
    Keep up the great posts!
    Frank Borelli
    Editorial Director, Officer.com

    • Frank, thanks for your comment. And great point about the personal space as well.

    • Frank you stole my thunder. Well said. When I did shake hands though, even if you were a familiar, I STILL had my disinfectant in my cruiser, and used it liberally. No offense! I did let my guard down on probably too many occasions, when it came to hugging. ALL kids got hugs, regardless of the scenario, as long as the scene was secure. Grown ups if I felt there was no agenda or danger, and almost always during a call full of bereavement!

  4. Im a retired Ky Deputy Sheriff. I totally agree with you. I once encountered a man that was urinating in public. After we had our “discussion”, he reached out his hand like he wanted to shake hands. I told him, “You gotta be kiddin”! “What were you just doing with that hand”? He just had a dumbfounded look on his face and looked down at his hand. LOL

  5. Cops stereotype us all, soccer mom usually isn’t a Killer but most cops treat her as such.this post is just an excuse to there behavior.

    • George, thanks for your comment. I’m not a police officer, but I do know my husband went through extensive training including bias and stereotype training. He treats everyone as a possible threat because, sadly, they can be. But I appreciate you adding to the discussion.

    • George, I believe you have missed the point of this post. The author is telling us why we cannot look at officers of the law as the enemy simply because they won’t shake our hands. Frankly, if it weren’t for the few citizens who have ruined it for the rest of us, police officers would be shaking hands all over the place. In fact, at one point in time, they were. Some lousy criminals ruined it for all of us. Simple as that.
      As people get more depraved and find new ways to make evil manifest in daily life, cops will get more and more protective of their own safety. And that is *exactly* as it should be. The Soccer Mom is now treated as a potential threat because she IS a potential threat: somewhere in very recent history, a criminal disguising herself as a Soccer Mom did something very, very bad to an authority figure and now all “Soccer Moms” must be looked at with suspicion. Don’t blame the cops for that, and don’t tell them they are using this as an excuse. It’s not their fault, and it most likely breaks their hearts, especially since so much of the public views THEM with suspicion. Far from being an “excuse”, police officers must daily tweak their behavior and constantly be on the lookout for new ways that criminals can “get them”, making their jobs more stressful than ever. Instead of just upholding the law, agents of it must now be hyper-vigilant to protect their own selves, something that wasn’t as necessary 50 years ago.
      We’re a long, long way from the days, behavior and open-ness of Mayberry, RFD. Police officers want to return home after their shifts to see their wives, husbands, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, in-laws, and siblings.
      I blame not a single police officer for denying the public the “privilege” of a handshake, in order to be safe enough to return home to their own families. And you shouldn’t, either. Their job is to protect and serve–not to befriend us and put themselves in possible danger. I thank each and every police officer and their mates and families for putting up with the often nasty comments of a population that they daily risk their lives to protect. God bless and keep you all safe, that you may see your loved ones tonight. <3

      • I think the post is missing the point. Handshakes are MEANT to tie up your dominant weapon hand – as show of being unarmed to both sides. If a cop is unwilling to make that gesture, that IS a sign of disrespect. Hi, I’m willing to serve and protect, but not shake your hand because I don’t trust you enough to take my hand off my gun holster or even allow it to move all that far from it. If that as a cop is how you want to live, go for it, but it does not build community support or respect. If you are not willing to take your hand off your weapon when dealing with me, why should I take my hand off mine? As a cop, you chose your line of work. A gun is or should not be the go to tool for every encounter, and trying to justify some cops inability to see the person on the other side as a human being deserving equal respect does nothing to help society, and is a cause of a lot of the strife and current protests. If you really feel insecure shaking the hands of the average individual in your community then maybe you picked the wrong profession to be in.

        • Unfortunately I don’t agree with you. My husband is not a police officer but an armed security officer. On his last day of work he was shot 7 times while trying to shake the other guys hand. That gave the other guy enough time to fire several rounds before my husband was able to unholster his weapon and protect himself and the immediate public. I thank God daily that he is recovering and will make a full recovery soon but unfortunately our lives will never be the same. If his hand was not extended to give a handshake his hand would have been able to more quickly defend himself.

          • Krsims,

            I am sorry to hear that. People that don’t agree with or understand this post either have not been in law enforcement in a long time or are the one’s that are going to be the good dead cop. I am sorry but everyone needs to be sized up. Look at the lady that was just arrested for making death threats against all white cops. If she came up to you friendly and wanted to shake or hug you would do this and make yourself vulnerable and put other officers in danger. Think before you go trying to be “overly friendly” to people you come in contact with at work. You don’t know their motive behind what they are doing! Wishing your husband a speedy and full recovery, god bless!

        • The cause of the current strife and protests is because everyone thinks they know how to be a police officer and are quick to armchair quarterback about something that they have know knowledge about! Right now it is “cool” to hate the police….

    • George,
      I want to point out that you used the word “usually” concerning the soccer mom. What is usual in law enforcement is the fact that our usual contacts are just normal everyday people, some of which are having bad days and others just need a little assistance. These are not the individuals we are concerned with. The bad part about that is no one wears a sign that says “I’m not a bad guy”, and even if they did, we could not believe them. The biggest safety concern with law enforcement officers is the unknown we deal with on a daily basis. The second biggest concern is it only takes one time of being caught off guard to not make it home after your shift. Officers act the way they do any number of reasons, but the simple truth is they just want to be able to walk back in their front door at the end of a long day, just like every other working person. The only way to ensure this is to remain vigilant. The unfortunate side effect of this is it gives the impression of coldness to the officer, when in fact, they are some of the most caring people you will ever come across. After all, that is why they do the job in the first place.

    • George–I am a nurse and I don’t shake hands either. Hands are the best transporter of bacteria, viruses, and just yuck. I don’t care if you are a soccer mom or the Pope, I am not shaking your hand.

    • George, it’s not a matter of stereotyping anyone and I am sorry you feel this way. I am a retired police officer just outside of Baltimore. There have been many times where my heart wanted to reach out to someone and shake their hand or give them a hug but through training and experience that is not possible. An officer must maintain their personal space for safety reasons. You never know who or where your threat may be coming from therefore you must keep in mind that everyone is a threat. No one is trying to divide one side or the other but in reality you have good guys and you have bad guys. Keep in mind we are human beings just like the citizens we have sworn to serve and protect. I wish it was a mushy marsh mellow world out there but it’s not. If for one second we let our guard down, that one second could cost us our lives. The bottom line is that every police officer wants to go to work, do their job well and return home to their families at night. A lot of agencies have “ride along” programs for citizens. If you really want to know what it is like for an officer’s every day life on the job I might suggest you take advantage of that opportunity. It just might make you see things in a different light. Brittany, thank you for your blog and tell your husband to keep doing a job well done, to stay safe out there and thank him for picking up where the rest of us retirees left off.

    • George,

      You claim cops stereotype people. Then you write “most cops…” Who is stereotyping here? Most intelligent people use the correct form of there, their, or they’re, but I won’t stereotype you.

  6. it can also look like some one is slipping you $

    • That’s also a great point, Chris.

    • Thanks for mentioning that! I wondered when someone would. Police have to watch out for so many things, & it doesn’t take much for some bystander to try to shake hands with a cop while a buddy videos the encounter & later they claim the officer accepted a bribe. It’s sad (to refrain from a common gesture of friendliness), but necessary. Just as the police have extra privileges, such as wearing a duty weapon in a post office, they also have LOST some common privileges that the average person retains. You can’t have your cake & eat it too. Pick one.

      And if you are LE or LE family & reading this, Thank You. I understand, & I See You.

  7. As a cop…this might be the stupidest thing I’ve seen in a long time. A large part of the problem these days are over-zealous cops who over-analyze every situation and create an “us against them” attitude. This is beyond silly.

    • David, thanks for your comment. As I said, this was what my husband (a new officer) was taught, and when he was telling me about it – it made sense, but was surprising. So I just wanted to share so that others could understand the reasoning. I can’t say whether or not I agree with this practice…only that it happens and wanted to help others understand the thought behind it.

      • I don’t think your husband told you things like that to be posted everywhere. That’s like going into hand to hand combat and telling everyone what you are going to do.
        lol….It’s amazing what people put out there and think it’s okay.
        That’s my opinion and coming having family that are in police and jails.
        There are good cops and bad cops.
        Just like there are good people and bad people.
        No matter the scenario…you have the good you have the bad.
        People need to stop the divide.

        • My husband and I talked prior to me posting this, and he read it and gave me his stamp of approval. He actually went into MUCH more detail that I didn’t include, for reasons that you mention. Thanks for your comment, Cary. I agree we need to stop the divide. I’m trying to help people understand the reasoning behind some of the actions that may not seem conventional, that’s all.

          • Reading your comment makes the article a bit more clear. An officer getting training that shaking hands makes one vulnerable is completely different than officers being trained to never shake hands. Not shaking my hand is absolutely disrespectful – it is a slight that I cannot be trusted. But the context is absolutely important.

    • David, I would be greatly surprised if you are actually a Officer, but seeing how you said your are, what Brittney has posted is 100% correct and for you to promote that it is “over-zealous cops who over-analyze every situation and create an “us against them” attitude” you Sir should be ashamed. You don’t know her husband and you most certainly do not know mine. 16 years of wearing a badge, not one complaint in his jacket, not one phone call to Internal Affairs. He is a proud Officer and has pride in the job he does and he would not shake even your hand. Its a violent, cop hating world out there right now. Officers are being shot because of the uniform they wear not the job they are doing. HOW dare you !! What is wrong with you ?? Please quit the force ASAP so that you do not have to compromise your beliefs by backing up or comeing to the add of some “over-zealous cops who over-analyze every situation and create an “us against them” attitude” God forbid !! Sorry Brittney your account of this is spot on. Thank you.

      • Thanks for your support, Donna, and for your husband’s service.

        • Brittney,
          Thank you for your post. You can’t please everyone, there will always be the negative! As long as your husband is safe that is what matters. Stay safe and god bless!

      • Congratulations to you and your husband Donna. But he doesnt account for the entire police force, not everything is black and white, there is a very large grey area. Wrongs have been commited on both sides multiple times which is backed up by multiple video recordings. To say that one side is right or wrong is ignorant.

        • Nick, I’m sorry but I do not believe I said that or implied that. I was referring, in case you missed it, to the gentleman David’s comment. I also believe that there is good and bad on both sides. However, in my PERSONAL case it is the case and that is all I can account for. We make a choice (yes we) everyday to be a LEO family. I would like to ask you when the last time someone in your profession was shot and killed because of what he wore, not his actions, his clothing? This is the world we live in EVERY day now. Have a wonderful rest of your day.

          • This will sound disrespectful so I apologize, but there is no easy way to say it. Cops are not shot because of what they wear, but because of the jobs they chose to do. I have the utmost respect for officers and the work they do. BUT.. they chose the work knowing the risks upfront. I do not fault any cop for trying to minimize the risks of their profession. And as much as I don’t like it, I’ve come to expect seeing cops with their hands on their holsters when doing stops for traffic violations. But if you expect me to believe that it is a sign of the times that a particular cop will never shake hands out of ‘fear’ of the risk they are taking, then maybe that cop should not be on the force. Chances are pretty good that they do shake hands and you just don’t notice, as I’m sure refusing a handshake during award ceremonies would be kind of conspicuous. If they cannot trust the community they are apart of and policing to even shake hands, then maybe another line of work really is in order, as I really don’t want them around my kids. If politicians can go around shaking hands, officers should be able to do it too.

      • Donna, I was going to reply the same to the young fellow, adding that the only way he could feel like that is if he was on a 5 man department that policed 100 people. Don’t be surprised if, even when he retires, he sits with his back to the wall at eateries, can tell you about most of the cars in the lot, and most of the people in the place. He will probably avoid large crowds, such as malls, festivals, etc… If your ARE able to drag him there, his guard will be up, and anyone he doesn’t know, is a threat. My bride is always saying “easy Rambo” when she sees me get like that. Tell your husband to stay safe!

        • Typing skills are fading. Meant to say, when your husband retires, not the other guy. And for the spelling Nazi’s out there I meant to type If you ARE…

          • Abner, he does all that now. As you know, they are never off duty. It’s ok now, its a life style. I never sit down first in a restaurant because I want him to be comfortable so I wait till he chooses. I always ask about his day, listen intently to what he tells me and then I wait till he is ready to tell me about the other calls. I know he protects me by not sharing everything but I see it in his worry lines and the dark circles. We have been married 31 years and I have been a LEO wife for almost half that so I have learned the little things. Thank you for your advise I will tuck it away with the rest of the BOLO’s lol. I will share your kind words with him. Stay Safe also !!

      • Donna, well said, if there was a like button it would be pushed… Stay safe!

      • Donna, Thanks!!! I love your comment! Being a cop for 24 years, I choose not to shake hands, but I explain why. Chris, if you are so hurt that someone won’t shake your hand, I am sure a therapist could help you as you are overly sensitive.

    • So true!!!!

    • David – If you’re a cop and this is “the stupidest thing you’ve seen in a long time” then you need to get out from behind your desk more or possibly try working for an agency with more than 10 officers. This is basic officer safety. If you haven’t heard about it before this, your department’s training division needs a wake up call and some updated material.

  8. Bill Skinner :

    Please tell your husband to be safe and I said THANK YOU to him for being there and you for being there as an officers wife.

  9. Thank you for this! We shall fist bump from now on. I will say we met a wonderful police officer who proudly and firmly shook the hand of my then 4 yro little boy who is mesmerized by police officers. My son has wanted to be a police officer since he was 2, that officer squatted down on his level and chatted with him for a good 10mins. Melted this moms heart and I will forever be grateful to him. He made my sons week 🙂

  10. FemaleForces :

    …because only MEN are police officers….. narrow minded author.

    • I’m so sorry, FemaleForces. Actually one of my husband’s best friends in the department is a woman (shout out to you Abbott!). I was just using masculine pronouns because I was mostly writing the “he” as my husband who was telling me about this information. I am thankful for ALL officers, male and female. My apologies for not being more inclusive, but I was just writing from my husband’s words. Woman are MOST DEFINITELY qualified to be officers, and I’m thankful for the times that his female coworkers have had his back and been there for him.

    • Reading Comprehension :

      Try actually reading the article. Maybe you will realize it was written by the wife of a specific, albeit male, officer.

    • You are in a male dominated profession (if you are an officer), and you’re not only taking offense but you are attacking the author of an article. An author who supports law enforcement. If you get that offended by an article, I can’t imagine how you act on the road. I’m a woman, and I’m a police officer, and I was grateful for this post, not insulted.

  11. Oh my goodness, I never thought about this. At all. So now, if I see it or experience it, I’ll know. You’ve done a good job educating us.

  12. I have the same philosophy but I don’t do it for two other reasons: #1: Evil Spirits from ppl pretending to be nice but want to Spiritually hurt me. Here’s a great video: 1 on One with Damon Davis with John Ramirez Ministries who also wrote a book-Out of the devils Cauldron) He speaks of how he would spiritually hurt people by touch.
    And #2: Because I don’t want anyone saying they passed me anything ($) to let them pass-To protect my Good Name. I don’t think it’s worth all the headache and paperwork to try to justify my actions.
    But I do from time to time Shake people’s hands, One because I know them and two because I feel that they are truly grateful & humble.
    Be Blessed my Friends!

  13. The whole history of the handshake is to counter exactly what this article is saying. The handshake in old times was a symbol of peace between two people. They shook their dominant hands precisely to indicate that both parties did not have a weapon in their hand. All this no handshaking policy does is create an even larger gap between police and suspects. If an officer is not willing to shake hands with someone it is because he sees him/her as a suspect, and not a person. Plain and simple. We need to stop looking at everyone like potential criminals and threats. I went to go play basketball in the “ghetto” part of town. All the people there looked intimidating and what not, but on the first day i went there it was humid and there were a ton of mosquitoes. I happened to have bug spray in my car and i passed it around to everyone. No one there was anything but polite.

  14. Crystal McKinley :

    Once I was going to demonstrate something while conversing with an officer. He backed away from me so fast I was shocked. It was as if I had hit him even though I didn’t touch him at all. Yes, I was offended but after I thought about it I realized he had to protect himself so his actions weren’t a personal attack.
    I understand what everyone of the opposition is saying. But the bottom line is, times have changed so much that we can’t afford to not keep up our guard. Each of us has to make the choice of which encounters are safe enough to lower our guard.
    Blessed Be everyone and be safe. <3 )o(

  15. Sorry, I don’t buy it. All the reasons you listed also apply to me. It’s my gun hand, my dominant hand, my germ-free hand also. Is your husband better than me? If you expect the worst from people, you’ll never be disappointed. I expect the worst from cops, and I am seldom disappointed.

    For the record, I don’t want to shake his hand anyway.

    Molon Nabe.

    • You wouldn’t have to extend your hand to an officer. He’s not better than anyone, he just has to act differently when in uniform because some people are out to get him. Sort of like you with your Molon Nabe comment, which is incorrect. The phrase is Molon Labe, which means “come and take them” in Greek and is often used to show defiance (I knew that Greek mythology class would come in handy some day!). I’m not sure what Molon Nabe means, but if you were trying to diss on cops, this isn’t the place.

    • Rum Runner :

      It is unfortunate that some people are so affronted because an officer will not shake your hand during an “on the job” encounter with you. Of course you are extending your gun hand. You have no fear of the officer surprising you with an attack. Based on some posts, we should do away with silly things like body armor, back up or body cameras. After all we are all humans and should be treated as such. Just like when we are flying. Certainly, no one would dream of putting explosives in their shoes or underwear. Let’s just get rid of the security checks, where everyone is viewed as a potential threat. We should all feel safe right? Hmm. When was the last time you tried to shake a customs officers hand? Bet that landed you an up close and personal with a gloved hand lol.
      We are living in such an entitled age! Let’s get over ourselves and learn to respect each other with understanding and tolerance.

  16. Brittney I was told the same thing recently by a local deputy. He said since 911 officer training changed. The officers who were trained prior to 911 don’t have an issue with hand shakes because they lived in the pre 911 police environment and don’t have the same suspicions as post patriot act trained officers. I am torn between having to have our police armor up just to do their job and the fact that tactical looks scare the general public, almost like opposing forces at work. Thank you to all the good guys and gals with a gun and a badge who serve and protect. We Love You and Respect you, the bad guys and gals well you know who you are and we will pray for you.

  17. Very well said Brittney and every bit of it true. I’ve been wearing a badge since 1977 and times are much different now then they were years ago, your husband is spot on. Today, a cop had better “over analyze every situation” if they want to stay alive, and, yes, soccer moms can be killers! (there is one in our local women’s prison to prove that point). Thanks for you open letter and the grace and courtesy you show in the face of criticism.

  18. Just wanted to say thank you for the post. Also – tell your husband thank you for the job he does and there are many people in this country who feel the same way.

  19. It’s ironic that they don’t want to shake hands with the public. I worked as a civilian employee in a mid-sized department. They were the most hand-shaking people I’ve ever been around — with each other and people they know. Something along the lines of “We better shake hands because we might not see each another again. Goes with the line of work.
    I’d hope that most well-trained officers (and street savvy) are good enough at threat detection to judge who and who not to shake hands with.

    • “Good enough at threat detection”? I can’t read your mind, just like you can’t read mine. We’re humans just like everyone else. Our main goal, to get home to our loved ones. I wouldn’t expect anyone that is not in this profession to understand how we have to think in split seconds how any situation may or may not unfold. the fact that we are trained to not shake hands, means at some point someone who looked “nice enough” chose to attack an officer for shaking their hand. These training protocols don’t come out of someone’s rear end to separate us from the community, they come out so we can go home to out families after our 12 hour shift.

  20. great post, as LEO and current military, I understand it perfectly. Thanks for that post as people may see it rude. You are spot on. Please ignore the negative comments and continue on. Please extend my thanks to your husband for his service and you as a wife.

  21. lets hope everyone who reads this understands. I know the officers that we have known and also relative officers need to be protected especially with what our country is going through. Thanks for sharing this with everyone.

  22. As a civilian in law enforcement, our main objective was officer safety. That it not being taught now.
    My husband, who is still in law enforcement, won’t shake a hand either. And for those who think otherwise, please remember one thing: law enforcement has a greater risk of not coming home from day at work, than most careers.

  23. Chuck Haggard :

    I used to act that way as well, and was taught to be that way with people on the street, then I learned better tactics that allow me to shake hands while still being able to keep the upper hand, as it were, if that was a move to get in close and try to attack me.

    I have declined to shake hands with some people, because blood, spit, snot and poop happen in the real world, but everyone can understand why that would be the case.

  24. I am sorry, but this is one of the stupidest things I have heard, an officer knows if well trained , weather or not he is in danger! There is a thing called hand sanitizer if you feel the need to use it. But not to shake the hands of someone that is offering it, especially in a thank you gesture, Is just plain old arrogance. REALLY!
    You can’t even defend, someone like this! I think you are in the wrong profession!

  25. Are you telling me that your husband and most of all police officers look at everyone they meet as a potential threat so they win’t shake hands because they need their gun hand free? That’s just sad if becoming a police officer changes your life like that.

    • Miss Jane, It DOES change your life like that. It’s a weight not many could bear. Most cops take it upon themselves to do the very best they can and try to help as many as they can. You won’t see but a tenth of the “feel good” stories in the media, unless it fits their narrative, and it rarely does. Have you ever had to hold a 20 year old girls head as she bleeds out knowing there is nothing you could do to save her? Have you ever given chest compressions to a five year old child you pulled from a house fire, and after several compressions you’re down to bone? Have you ever had to close a road, then collect body parts and brain matter from said road (it’s a law), that used to belong to a kid whose car was hit by a drunk driver? Have you ever sat across from a child rapist and agree that little girls/boys are a turn on, just so you can get a confession? Do you hug your kids every single night when you get off, even if you wake them up, because you’re so glad it wasn’t them in any of the scenarios above? Have you ever been judged just because you wear a certain badge or uniform? Has your family ever been threatened with death by a group of thugs, simply because you stopped them from violating someone elses rights? Have you ever had to work a double shift (you need to in this profession to pay your bills), get off at 7:00 am, THEN go to court from 9:00 to 1:00, several days a month? Yea, it changes us. We cry, we cry to ourselves, alone and out of the eye of the public, because people don’t want to see “that” kind of cop. They want to see the bruiser who can get to their house within a minute and a half, and stop, using whatever force it takes (because it’s YOUR interests), the punks breaking into your house. But let it happen a block away and they’re the 1st to scream police brutality when the little 19 year old punk, hopped up on PCP, gets a bloody nose. Yea, it changes us. It shows us how fragile life is and makes us over protective of those we love most. And who gets to see the “other” side of a cop? His family. It changes them too!

      • Dean, to start, let me say AMEN BROTHER! All to often we in Law Enforcement are judged by people who have no clue what we do, what we go through or what sacrifices we and/or our families go through on a daily basis…when you have an infant
        die after you and your partner work
        on her from the time you arrive on
        scene until long after an E.R. Physician
        tells you she’s gone (because you have
        an infant daughter the same age at
        home)…..and GOD forbid the media would even consider reporting on
        anything positive that a L.E.O. does. I
        applaud the author and her husband
        for sharing this information in an
        attempt to hopefully educate an often
        jaded public and from one L.E.O.
        (who started in ’73 and worked
        Intelligence, Corrections, Patrol and
        L.A.S.E.R. (Land Air Sea Emergency
        Rescue to include Flight and S.W.A.T.
        and had my career cut short by an
        armed felon who wanted to commit
        suicide by cop…and retired in ’87) to another, Stay Safe and thank you for your service and dedication to not only your community, but your FAMILY.
        GOD BLESS YOU!

  26. I’m not a street cop but I work in a jail. The things we see on a daily basis DO change our perception of the world. I don’t judge people but I am always aware of my surroundings because of those I deal with on a daily basis. One day I stopped at a gas station and a former inmate and her friends (also ex-inmates) came up beside me. She thanked me for advice I had given her while she was incarcerated and tried to hug me. Her arrest record? MULTIPLE aggravated assaults including one on a co-worker of mine. To onlookers she appeared to be simply a sweet kid and I appeared like a heartless witch. She got it though. She smiled and did a hug gesture with her arms and yelled out “AIR HUG”. I air hugged her back. Safety at a distance. I do care about people and I wish her and others like her a beautiful life. That said, I also know that when she’s not on her medication that she can be a very dangerous individual. Shake hands? I’ve done it when I’m not inside the facility but others not, circumstances depending.

    In response to Rick who posted “If you are so frightened of every day gestures of respect then you might seek employment elsewhere. I recommend a flower shop or perhaps something in interior decorating. ” I’ve got 6 years until I retire, it’s not fear, it’s reality. I think I might take you up on the flower shop idea – it would be lovely to go back to a world that is full of roses.

  27. I work in a convenience store that is frequented by LEO’s daily…I was not aware of the no handshake thing, but all of the officers will fist bump me on the way out. Also, no officer that comes into my store leaves without a “Have a good day/night and be careful out there.”

  28. Well I am a nurse and we do not like to shake hands either. Lets face it I wash my hands a thousand times a day and one more wash is just too much. I do not know where your hands have been not do I want to know so hand shakes are a nasty habit and wish we could just have kind words to greet. Thanks

  29. If all cops need to treat everyone as a potential threat, doesn’t that justify treating all cops as a potential corrupt officer?

    • I say go right ahead. If you feel it keeps you safe, it doesn’t hinder the officer from doing their job and it doesn’t violate any laws you are entitled to do so. I’d love to know exactly what you mean, though.

    • David, Didn’t you say you were an officer in an earlier post?? By all means if that is how you feel then do so. We don’t throw everyone down and check them for weapons, we do however, observe and maintain space (reactionary gap) in case it goes sideways. Also if you can tell me and every other cop out here how read everyone’s mind so we will know without a doubt they aren’t going to attack us, you could make millions. Until that time comes, I will minimize all physical contact while on duty. In Law Enforcement you have 2 types of threats 1. Known threats 2. Unknown threats

  30. We are groping hard for our stories to go viral I guess. 20 years Marine Vet and 8 years law enforcement this is the first time and stupidest excuse I have ever heard from someone giving reasons not to be polite while serving in a public service environment. If you are scared find other employment. Or maybe they are teaching that now days…..who knows anymore

    • But coming here and calling her post stupid is being polite.. Seriously.. You may be a Marine Vet but that doesn’t give you the right to put someone down over their OWN opinion.. But maybe they taught you that others who have a different opinion is someone to be mocked.. This is just ONE persons thoughts on the subject. No one asked you to read it. And she didn’t put it out there to be “groping” for her stories to go viral. She made a post on her own site with her and her husbands thoughts.

  31. Funny, I just never gave it any thought. after twenty plus years on patrol and in investigations I never realized that I didn’t shake hands with people until now, but I didn’t. I think the only time I did is when I wanted to hold onto their right hand while I put a cuff of it.
    thanks for letting people know, we are not the bad guys.

  32. As a fellow officer in Houston I agree with David. There are many over zealous cops who give the rest of us a bad name. If someone comes up to you just to thank you for your service and extend a hand but you dont give it back then that person Will probably never approach a cop again. Of course there are times when you shouldnt or dont want to, especially if they are part of your scene or investigation or even a traffic stop, fine, i wouldnt shake their hand either but ill usually counter with a fist bump

  33. I say to each his own if a cop or a soldier doesnt wanna shake then offer a knuckle bump as shaking with some mfer who doesnt wash his hands could offer so nasty germs and i pound my friends all the time and is a respect thing but a cautious thing aswell dont get offended if an officer doesnt wanna shake as he and you come into germs worste off he deals with sick / nasty people so think before ya shake

  34. well it is obvious that no matter what is said to explain things, there is always someone that wants to make it a bad thing. I am an officer but I don’t like to shanks hands very much, not so much because I am in uniform by just by the observation of how many people aren’t aware of what they do with their hands.

    For example: every time I go to a movie and the show lets out and I have to go to the bathroom I see at least one person, but usually more, leave the rest room without going to the sink at all.

    There are a number of reasons why people might not want to shake hands and do several other things in this job. Can all the people judging all officers based on generalized stereotyping post their jobs and I am sure I can easily criticize something about it as you do for us. The writer was simply giving people an opportunity to see another view on this behavior and there has to be people getting upset about it. I am surprised someone hasn’t twisted it in to something race related yet.

    Anyways I have my reasons for how I do my job and can’t expect everyone to understand. A ride along may help but if you are concerned with every little action an officer does you may want to double check and make sure you aren’t being a hypocrite on a different day. I am far from perfect but I do my job by choice and don’t expect every person to be praising me but I will still do what I can to protect them even if they were bad mouthing me some other day. If we are doing such a bad job then why aren’t the people upset about it becoming police to make a difference.

    Thanks for your article that was posted with good intent and hope your husband will continue to learn what he needs to do a good job as well as come home safe.

  35. I agree officers are so vulnerable one never knows what may happen safety is paramount I am an officer (security and CPO and was bylaw for parking offences some people figure the law should not apply to then or they never do wrong I been to court several times over violaters and the stories they give so I support the officers and wish them well and safe at all times

  36. As a rookie, I shook hands with a crook and he pulled me in deliberately. I was able to pull away without further incident, but definitely got chewed out by my training officer. I still shake hands with most people but with those folks that offer their hand which I’m unsure about I fist bump instead. 20 years on the job, no issues since. Respect really goes a long way, but safety first.

  37. Hi it’s simple police officers are people with sons and daughters brothers and sisters husbands or wife’s or mothers and fathers. Every stop they make could end badly so of coarse the think of every scenario and how to react to or prevent. It’s not a big deal they are just being cautious it might save them and there families from a lose of a loved one.

  38. I notice that amid some very nice comments you are still getting dinged here. Shame on them. Until they have walked in our shoes they have no right to judge. Dangerous job people. It takes a very special human to have a 4 year college degree and decide to serve the public. But it is a calling. And those people should not be put down for choosing it. Hell yah, they want and need their gun hand free. And, to be honest with yourself (Mr. Writer of that post) if were were any kind of guy that would get into a fight to protect one of your own. You’d know you’e want to keep your dominant hand free “just in case”. My husband does a noble job and then he comes home to an even more so one as a husband.

    • You are correct, it is important to walk in another person’s shoes. However, it is also important to hold an ideal for certain professions–police officers, teachers, judges, etc. Just because I have never been a federal judge, I am going to expect a certain level of professionalism, respect for the law, etc. I’m not going to justify anti-social behavior simply because I’ve never walked in a judge’s shoes. Likewise, I am able to form an opinion of what I see in my community. I have seen plenty of officer behave in a way that makes me question why they would want to wear a badge: they like having power and using their authority to assert their power. If danger is a reason to act with disrespect toward the community they serve, they are free to remove themselves from that danger. They have the freedom to CHOOSE to be an officer or not. They are not forced and conscripted to serve. Criminals are criminals. And if police do not uphold the standard and role model the law we have a problem. Are we basically saying there exists two sets of laws in this country? One for people and one for police officers?

      You know who else serves the public? All the other public servants who don’t have a gun. Nurses, doctors, firefighters, etc. Fighting to protect your own sounds a bit like a gang. How about fighting to protect the public? How about fighting to protect the people with little money instead of protecting those with vast amounts of it. Any moral argument for the nobility of law enforcement is destroyed by fact of reality that says if you have more money, you get better police protection….and legal protection and everything else that money buys. We hardly have the justice system as described by those who romanticize law enforcement. It’s a power trip and some people like to walk around with a gun slinging on their hip putting fear into others by knowing they can legally shoot other human beings and no one else has that legal right. It’s a power trip, unfortunately and that power trip too often overtakes any noble sense of serving the public.

  39. nicole buffo :

    I completely agree both sides are worried its not just us scared of police. The roits dont make the problems go away only worse. I have had a really good friend shot 18 times by officers and it was caught on video it was horrible and made me lose trust and me feeling safe around cops in my city, but i do understand there are penalty of good cops and there are many bad ones also. I will always listen to them if ever i come in contact with officers but i will never trust them they have to gain that from me first. I pray for safety over the good men and women who wear a badge but dont abuse it. And i hope the ones who wanna join the “police gang” and think they can do as the please get what they have wrongly done to citizens back to them.

  40. All officers are sworn to serve and protect. How can you effectively serve or protect people that you don’t respect? I work in emergency medical services and side by side with police all day long. The chances of me being overtaken by a patient or bystander are just as high if not higher than any police officer. I still respect the community I serve enough to show it.

  41. I have been in this business for over 30yrs. Not once have i ever refused to shake hands with anyone ( Bad guy or good guy). I will say that if I ever thought that I feared anyone as a cop i would find another profession. Your job is to comein contact with society on or off work. You can be hurt anytime by anyone. If you want to be respected as an individual or a cop then respect them as well. I have noticed that from officers, they don’t shake hands with the public. And as far as germs and bad bringing bad things home, who do you think is out at the areas you go to ( stores, restaurants, play houses, etc. You cannot live in a bubble because your a cop and you think you are mightier than everyone else. ” To vet respect, you must give respect”.

  42. Jack Mckay :

    I have be in this profession for 30 plus years and have shake hands with all walks of life.
    I have my firearm away from the person like in an interview stands
    There are other things to worry bout then a hand shake as an officer your life is always on the line when you go to work
    Sitting in your vehicle doing your notes and an individual comes up with a firearm and start shooting we have heard that to many times
    As an officer safety is number one want to go home to your family and not a statistic
    Like I always say for God’s sake be safe out there
    God Bless all the brothers and sisters in the law enforcement

  43. I do not accept this, and its an excuse the law enforcement community has fallen back on. My father was an office for 37 years, my uncle for 35 years, my best friend is an officer. My father retired as a deputy chief of one of the 10 largest cities in our nation, he ran the police academy twice in his life and was engaged in the city’s founding effort in community policing. The one thing he always said to em and his cadets, and officers he supervised was the public has to trust you. He fought his entire career against the paramilitary mindset of police officers. he would always tell me as an officer your perception is reality and if you perceive a threat you act accordingly. he would then follow that up as explaining that the view is a two way street. if an officer is perceived as aloof or rude, the citizens will not trust them! Police departments all across the country are worried about the perception of their departments and officers are closing ranks in an us versus them mentality. This is why the public is starting to look away from police. The long standing joke/feud between policeman and fireman boils down to a jealousy of perception. Firemen are looked upon as saviors of life policeman are looked upon as someone to keep at arms length. This was not always the case police were once looked up to and idolized but unfortunately no longer. As is true in any occupation 99.99% of the officers are good, honest, hardworking, individuals who care about the community they are called to serve, but that is no longer the perception of the average citizen. How do you change that?? What do you do when you first meet a friend, you shake their hand, it builds trust, it tells each other I’m willing to believe you are are a good person. THAT is what this country was founded upon innocence until proven guilty. Policemen and women are very good at judging a situation its time to use that training and experience in reestablishing the trust of the American people. If a person is willing to lay their life down in service to me, I am willing to do the same for them if I trust in them.

  44. I’m glad cops are keeping themselves safe. Now if only they could somehow keep citizens safe as well. And by ‘citizens’, I don’t just mean white people.

  45. Sorry, but this “reason” to not shake hands could be used by every single person on the planet–germs and vulnerability. Why don’t we just take it another step of logic and safety and just not be nice to anyone because it could put us in a position of momentarily lapse of suspicion and that moment break in our suspicion could be the moment where evil attacks us. So, the solution to having a safe country is for no one to be nice to anyone ever and refuse all social graces and gestures that bond people. Also, all trust between people must be removed, especially between law enforcement and the population they dominate…I mean, control…I mean, police.

    Maybe, if we didn’t live in a police state where our government is allowing our business industries to exploit the working population and moving our employment overseas we wouldn’t need such a militarized law enforcement to deal with the growing discontent of realization that we are being abandoned by the government in bed with industry.

    Sorry, but I’m not buying the “not shaking hands” bs excuse. I’m also not buying the excuses for why law enforcement behave “above the law” on a daily basis–speeding, running through red lights without sirens, driving like idiots, harassing the population because they have a badge. Law enforcement is supposed to role model character and the law to the highest level not patrol around like a legal gang ready to kill people who they feel disrespect their commanding orders.

    These so-called “peace officers” are hardly that. Many LE are power tripping men who like to have authority to dominate other human beings and function as judge and jury on the street. The hypocrisy is obvious when you watch officers in the street. The ends do not justify the means. If the means require the police to act like military then we’re already lost.

    It’s time for the public to realize we are being hung out to dry by an economic system that is robbing our labor for it’s increasing wealth at our expense. The police serve the economic system, their invested interests and the ruling elites, not the working people of this country.

    • have you noticed the videos of civilian-cop interactions? they are not rare. They are common. They are, in fact, ubiquitous. (that means “all over the dang place.”)

      So it’d be very easy to set up a cop to shake your hand, while your buddy videos it, and then the 2 of you claim on YouTube that the officer accepted a bribe….. how can the officer disprove that ? how? really, exactly how would she or he save their reputation?

      Ah…. crickets. I thought so. Have a nice day.

  46. Everyone is different I guess. I don’t shake hands either. I have yet to encounter someone who was offended by the refusal when I explain why. Especially the germ part. I attended a call once at a group home when a resident had passed away. It wasn’t until I got home that someone called to inform me that the patient had MRSA and that I may have been exposed to it. So if you don’t like the fact that I won’t shake your hand after I explain to you my reasons, feel free to write a complaint letter.

    .

  47. Thomas Daniel :

    Ok, I am not a cop, just a regular person, lol, but here is my take on this. I am 45 yrs old and back when i was younger 16 to 17 i got alot, a lot, yes a lot of speeding tickets, I would get pulled over and the cop whichever one it was, would have me follow him to the jail, go inside, call my parents, to come pay the ticket. Most, and i say most all these cops were nice, doing there job, some seemed meaner than others, because of the stand off ishness(not really a word), that they didn’t converse with you, but i will always remember Officer Sears, who came up to me, shook my hand, asked me what i was doing, that i was better than getting all these tickets, and then taking me to jail. When i got out after paying my ticket, he came and picked me up from the jail, took me the long way back to my car, letting me have an earful of how much of a good person i was, just making wrong choices. I will never forget that, I have a 20yr old son now who is getting his bachelors in criminal justice, then off to the police academy he goes. I want him to use common sense, the guy who you have been called out to because he beat his wife, had a knife, gun, etc, or suspected of burglary, robbery, etc, NO, don’t shake their hand, but the young adult with the speeding ticket, ran a stop sign, or just someone you talked to in your day to day routine, i think it is ok to shake their hand, I think an officer needs to be a good judge of character, not treat , and i will go extreme here, the pope and charles manson the same, It may have a profound effect on the life of someone without you even knowing it, I did me.

  48. private citizen :

    i hear all about stupid stuff like this. here are just the facts of We the People, and cops. cops are not longer protectors of the people, they do the bidding of the corrupt infiltrated politicians. they are called “enforcers” by them for a reason. please do not try to tell me “cops do things we don’t understand”, i am not some stupid little child needing someone to rule over me. our political system has been infiltrated and is being ran by the banker elites. they direct their puppet politicians to make laws We the People do not want like or support. the cops are the “shield” that protects this system. 80-90% of the laws cops force upon us are crimes against us. why would We the People enact laws that fleece us of our money? WE DON’T! and any system that makes money like tickets, court mills will always be abused. go to a soup kitchen, a free food pantry. here is what you will find, the people coming there will be nice and respectful to the people working in these places simple for this reason, they are assisting, helping them. so would it not go to show, that if cops really were protecting the people, would it not go to show that the people would respect and honor them? of course it would, but cops have lost the face of their father and they blindly follow the politicians rule. even cops that are trying to be good cops get lost in this system. however, the majority of the people do not realize it really is not the cops fault, cops are tools of the politicians blindly “doing their job”. they are supposed to be “trained observers” why can they not connect these 2 simple dots, why the people don’t like and support them, is because they force laws we do not want like or support. laws passed without our consent from the puppet controlled politicians. people range in this category 1-100, 1 mild distrust towards cops/law enforcers. 100 utter and complete hate/detest them. the average person ranges in the middle 40-60 they totally distrust them to mildly hate them. and the reason is simple, these cops are not protectors of us, they are enforcers of the ruling class of people who have infiltrated and control our political system. and people feel this way because we inherently do not want to be “ruled over”. “When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.” Thomas Jefferson… “We the People are the rightful masters of both congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who would pervert the Constitution.” Abraham Lincoln… 100 years ago outlaws gave great respect to the law enforcers, for this simple reason, they only enforced just laws that even outlaws, criminals knew where crimes. it is not up to us, We the People to change, it is up to the cops, law enforcers to wake up and realize they are the ones protecting a failed system of this slave/master society the politicians are employing. here is the reasons why these politicians are passing laws we don’t like: “The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way, the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed.” Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf… and here is the reason why they are also trying to control guns (it isnt about guns, its about control) “To conquer a nation first disarm its citizens.” Adolf Hitler… when japan went to start the war against us, he wanted to invade Americas mainland, however his top advisor said this. it would be foolish to invade the mainland of America, there would be a gun behind ever blade or grass. so they bombed pearl harbor. so pleas inform any cop, that they are the criminals, by enforcing laws upon us “We the People” do not want, like or support. i must add this, if you are related to a cop, politicians. please exclude your thoughts/feeling because your thought are biased in this subject. as you are closely related to the cops, and have only heard their side of it, and you have a misguided view of the world. i literally know 10’s of thousands of people, many cops and ex cops, because we all feel the way i just described. i do not have any ill feelings towards cops. because i know the real truth. and the real truth is this, these criminals that have infiltrated our political system, are the criminals (not the cops) but these criminals only retain this power as long as they can keep the cops in the dark to the fact our political system is infiltrated and controlled. “Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.” Theodore Roosevelt 1858-1919… “There’s a plot in this country to enslave every man, woman, and child. Before i leave this high and noble office, i intend to expose this plot.”
    -Pres. JF Kennedy – 7 days before being assassinated.

  49. Britt,
    Great article. I hate it received so much negativity, but that is life on the internet. My wife has a tendency to joke with me about how I won’t shake hands unless it’s with family that I trust, close friends, or friends I haven’t seen in a long time. I usually sit in a corner in a restaurant, and constantly assess people. Preferably, I try to keep about 5 feet between me and someone else. And I’m not even in law enforcement.
    I do have some friends who are LEO’s, and I considered it for a while (I changed my mind after seeing what they dealt with). I was born in a part of a city where gangs were taking shots at construction crews across the street from the police station. Experience has taught me that if you let your guard down often enough, one day it will be your last time. This stands for both LEO’s, military, and civilians. Give me a nod and a greeting if you feel you need to acknowledge me, but please don’t try to invade my personal space. This includes the area around my hand. If that is disrespectful to some, then that is their problem. My caution has kept me alive this long. If they want to shake people’s hands, I have nothing against that. It’s just not for me. And I hope not for my LEO friends, as well, since I’ve been to far too many funerals in the past couple years.

  50. how ’bout a good fist bump or in the time i went to shake a right handless man i switched to a left to left handshake. it can be done. imagination!

  51. Great article. Had never thought of this, however a few of your thought’s aren’t 100% accurate. Shaking of hands is done with the right hand. I’m sure there are left handed officers. So the dominant and shooting hand would not be the right. That said, I still don’t know if you would want someone that close.

  52. How about you all just stay away from me and I’ll keep clear of you and we BOTH get to go home to our families and then you needn’t worry about shaking hands.

  53. Mike Blackwell :

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    I’ve been a police officer for 23 years in a city that, unfortunately, has a higher percentage of the criminal element than most. (In the top 10 most violent cities in the country multiple times throughout my career despite being considered a small to medium size city during that time.) I did not shake hands earlier in my career. Once my experiences and abilities amassed to the point I became confident in my ability to read people I began, very selectively, shaking hands again. In my Department I’ve watched an officer die from Hep C that he contracted on duty, my partner was lured in and shot by a person playing possum and a fellow officer lost his life at the hands of a seemingly “normal” person that he stopped for walking in the street where a sidewalk was provided. So, I’m here to tell you the threat is REAL. These things may have not happened to you or someone you know or to anyone in your Department but they are real and they do happen. These things don’t happen very often when you look at the percentages but the finality that exists when they do happen can not be taken bake or mitigated in any way. So, officers should error on the side of safety and gradually work back towards “normal” social protocol only when their experiences and abilities allow it. There’s a reason the most socially friendly area of the country (the South) consistently has the highest number of officer killed in the line of duty every year (just my opinion). None of you are right in your opinions about others approach to these real threats nor should your opinion of the right approach be “the standard”. However, every one of you are absolutely right in your approach to these threats because it’s based on your experiences, ability and environment. So, stop judging your fellow officers without knowing their experiences, abilities and environment. I believe in being courteous to everyone we contact (even the bad guys) so I often use the, now widely socially acceptable, fist bump. “God bless the fist bump”. So, help educate the public on the hurdles we face and help fellow officers learn and grow to improve our profession overall instead of participating in the negativity. Cops aren’t all the same and we aren’t perfect.
    To “Razorback Britt” – Thank you for posting “Why the Police Officer May not Shake Your Hand” article. This is an area many citizens don’t understand (and clearly a lot of cops).
    Stop judging, help educate the public and help improve our profession.
    To all those who have served, currently or past – Thank You. God Bless the sheep dogs (Col. Grossman’s wolves, sheep and sheep dogs).

  54. Sweet website, super layout, very clean and utilise genial. eegdbkdbdedckgga

  55. The hand you shake with is the right hand not all police officers are right handed. Also i understand about safety issues. But some are still rude as can be.

  56. I saw your article, and reposted it to our FOP lodge F/book page along with some pearls of wisdom of my own.
    https://www.facebook.com/Huron-County-John-Osterland-Lodge-185-of-Ohio-552107571610233/?fref=nf

  57. I’ve read a lot of comments regarding germs and skell gel and they’re all true. But I learned something from my uncle, retired transit cop who worked Coney Island. He taught me never to shake hands with anyone lest someone believe money is passing hands. It’s very easy to cup a hundred dollar bill in your palm, shake hands, and pass the bill. Most of you have done it one way or another, and you know how easy it is. Avoid the problem, don’t shake hands.

  58. I’m very selective who’s hands I shake, I am not going to lie. But normally I will shake their hand if they extend to me first. Unless I am too horrified where that hand has been recently… I usually go for a “pound” then…. lol.

  59. All great and true reasons. Before I retied from the NYPD it was a time when Police Officers were being killed and ambushed at a high rate. We were told similar things as this just for our self protection and if we go do and good guy are present we can help them anymore. I remember they taught us in the police academy new eve to accept a drink like water, soda, coffee etc unless we saw the sealed version and opened it ourselves. When eating out it should be a restaurant that police have beed attended for a long long time. You know the peope and you can pretty much watch it being cooked and they eat the same food. If we were given a cake, cookies etc, we would be very gracious and thankful, we would say oh boy we just stuffed ourselves, or I am allergic to peanuts, chocolate, cinnamon. To be nice and keep the friendship and not to hurt them we would take it but have to toss it later. Next time you saw them you rell them it was great and they didn’t need to feel obligated to do it as a matter of fact we may get in trouble taking it with the bosses or even IAD.
    One other thing, alot of street bad guys would tape a piece of a thin razor like from safety razors with adhesive tape to their fingers. And there was a silver ring that looked like a plain silver band, but on the inside has a very, very sharp curved razor. This thing had a legit yse, people who wrapped packages years ago like the florist, baker, anything realy, they got very busy and they had rolls of string which they just pulled down to tie up a box. Instead of searching everytime for the sissors or knife, snip…it was fast abd you don’t even know how they did it. I had a few buddys who would set up the different sections of the newspapers. They came as the main and then other section especially on Sat and the big one on Sun. When paper bundles got devlivered they were basically tossed out the back of the moving news paper truck. The guys had to get them inside and sorted out. They were tide with heavy twing or thin flat wire or other such bailing line. Using that razor was fast and easy. There were a few times a few citizens maybe didn’t know but had guys say ok lets shake ofter a mix up or fight and paid the peice later. In a bar room fight we would see people who had got slapped in the faceor grabbed on the shoulder or arm, not pretty.
    So next time you offer a cop your hand and thye refuses, make it easy and tell them you understand…or the fist pump seems to be the current accecptable substitute.

  60. P.S. ,The Ancient Spartans and Romans were some pretty tough guys…they didn’t shake hands. In fact in otder not to be hurt from someone carrying a blade or small weapon under their sleves, or wrist band or clothing…the two people, usually men and military, would if their selves were down, roll them up and when shaking they were going to shake. They would turn their hands oalms up to each other and shake hands to forearms. Almost up to the elbow. This way both parties knew the other guys had nothing in reach of their hads or secreted.

    Besides, the Romans who fought the way they did, like to have their adversaries close by when they were going to strike…just one reason they choose the 26″ short sword, the Gladius Hispania as their #1 main weapon for the almost 1000 plus years they ruled the world. Maybe we should take a lesson and forearm shake.

  61. I am a trooper. I work in a very busy area for a proactive agency. My district covers rural land with miles of trails, an interstate highway, about ten municipalities, and a 14 miles of river shore line next to THE busiest city in the world, oh and did I mention there is a 500 ft cliff that runs the length of the whole area? We take a lot of calls and generally make our own work conducting traffic or drug enforcement on the interstate.

    The large amount of traffic in the area makes it especially difficult to respond to calls. Often at a traffic light I position my vehicle condusive to a quick response. Sometimes creating a 10 foot gap between the car in front of me, or stradleing the center lines of two lanes. Many times this has enabled me to throw on my lights and make a quick exit when a call comes over the radio for a motor vehicle accident with injuries or an endangered person (suicidal) near the cliffs edge. Not the mention that generally don’t feel very comfortable as a sitting duck stopped next to go knows who…. (The guy I just locked up for drugs, the iterate lady who just got a ticket from my buddy Tim in zone 4, or some extremist sovern citizen Yabo who wants to be on Chanel 11 news that night)

    The point is, you would not believe how mad motorists get when they see me do this. Honking, taking photos and sending them to my LT , calling the department to report me, finding me the next gas station I stop at for coffee, mid shift, to scold me. It is a shame. But I gotta go what I gotta do. Same shoes for leaving the patrol car running when I walk away from it for a few mins. #civilianshatethat. But I would rather get pulled into an office with some brass than be the reason someone’s daughter died after crashing her car texting her cheerleading friends.

  62. I’m not a germaphobe and make it a point to shake hands with people I contacted as a LEO. Obviously there are exceptions, people who lived under a bridge maybe, but rarely did I not shake hands. It’s a respect thing to me. Citizens will give information, help out, whatever because they feel you showed them a little respect. I just finished 28 years and used 3 sick days, so it can be done. Got to agree with Chris on this. I think it comes down to reading people and some common sense.

  63. Maybe if the cops didn’t kill an average of three people a day, nationally, this wouldn’t be happening.

    If you want to play military then sack up and join like the rest of us did. Otherwise, act like a peace officer and be peaceful. Then you won’t have to look over your shoulder all the time.

  64. Although I think it is important to enlighten people on LEO behaviors and nobody wants their husband or wife to seem rude. I do think it is also to becareful letting the outside know of why LEO do things. These are the very things that keep our husband and wives safe. Telling people the why can only put ideas into the heads of those that need to be kept at a distance. Please be careful as you know, its a scary world out there and somethings need to be kept secret. Prayers always for all LEO and may they all return home to their loved ones.

  65. I’m not a cop. But, I’ve spent plenty of time in dangerous places wearing a uniform in the military. I would think the level of cynicism (and precautions that come with it) would vary by the environment a cop is working in. I would expect a cop in the projects of Baltimore at 2:00 A.M. to react differently than a small town cop in Tennessee. Generally, people have good instincts.

  66. So in response to this article. It is very well put and I understand where it is coming from. My thing with it though so as not to appear rude learn to shake hands with your non dominant side that way your weapon hand is not compromised. Those in law enforcement and those who have trained martial arts know that no matter the task you train both sides so no matter what you can act.

  67. I always pray for them when I see them. If they are sitting I pray they have a good day. If they have someone pulled over I pray for their safety and that there is no violence. I pray for whatever situation that they are in to turn out well.

  68. Hello I am not a Police Officer, I thank Officers/First Responders/ and those that serve in the Armed Forces in a unique way. Naming horses after them and sending those horses to mounted units all over the United States. I was truly saddened by some of the vicious comments that I read in the different posts. I never thought about shaking an officers hand when thanking them. I simply walk up to them and say a simple thank you and off I go. Maybe that sums it all up. Simple and bacteria free!!! Stay safe everyone!!!

  69. Guys I tried to reply to several of you but there are so many I decided to just put up a regular post.

    I am/was a career LEO in Arkansas I worked many years dealing with many many kinds of people before I was hurt in the line of duty, left crippled I was forced to retire. I miss it everyday I would gladly go back to serving this very second if I could. To be clear and avoid confusion let me say that I never served in the military ( my biggest regret in life I tend to feel like I have no served enough) however I come from a military family and have tons of friends & relatives who have served many of whom deployed multiple times so I have no shortage of first hand accounts of how things are done over there. Many of these friends are fellow officers!!
    Now that interdictions are made on to the point!

    1st and for most all of you are missing the most obvious part of this post(even you guys I agree with) it was offered as an explanation as to why an Officer [[[ MAY ]]]. Choose not to shake your hand. She went out of her way to explain to people why in some cases an officer won’t shake your hand in an attempt to help people who don’t understand everything an Officer deals with to better understand and not become offended by this simple act!! That’s all guys!!! To turn that into a battle of weather or not Officers should shake hands with people is a bit much don’t you think?

    Now to clear up a few things 1. An Officers job is NOT “to protect & serve” that is a PR statement first started by Los Angelous PD and spread by Hollywood and other departments etc.
    An Officers job is ” to keep the peace & uphold the law” now do we both protect & serve sure but that’s not the job!!!
    2. You can not compare the Iraq & Afghanistan war zone interactions with those of an Officer during an I counter here!!! Should a soldier choose to shake hands there he is being covered by a squad or more of guys while he & they are all carrying automatic weapons, lvl 4 full torso body armor, ballistic helmets, grenades, armored vehicles etc. Officers for the most part work completely alone!! Have no where near that equipment often are not allowed to wear gloves because the public finds it intimateing (not making it up that’s the real Eason for the policy and many work under) (also no sun glasses on during public interaction, same reason)
    So the point is they are very very different and choices as well as policies for each are therefor different!!!
    3. Officers are held to a much higher lvl of accountability then soldiers!! While military policy’s are moving more and more toward our lvl of accountability (which is stupid IMO) they are no where near there yet!! All of the safety concerns raised here are true but something was missed I think non Officers need to know. We are trained/taught & frankly beaten over the head with the fact that we are not just accountable for our reactions to a situation but also to any actions we took which could be perceived as leading up to the situation to which we were then forced to react!! So as far as a hand shake goes we may chose not to take the chance that doing so might cause the person to decide to try something when if we avoid the situation by not shaking hands they can’t. I say this based on multiple interviews with persons who chose to attack or kill an Officer universally they answered one thing the same “what was the tipping point that made you finally decide to attack” answer: ” I knew/thought I could take them at that point ” hands down attacks on Officers occur when he person decides the situation has given him the chance to succeed !! A great many attacks are avoided and incidents never escalate to violence simply because the Officer keeps their guard up!! The statement they were gonna attack even if you didn’t shake their hand shows you know nothing of the subject or even basic human nature!!

    4. NO the RICK guy has no experiance what so ever or he would have said so by now. So you can stop asking him!! LMAO!!!!

    5. Yes I am fully aware of the historical significance of both the handshake & the related salute. And your slightly incorrect both started out purely to show an approaching person did not have a weapon it had nothing to do with respect or friendship that developed later. If you want to reference the history of it (not sure why you did it really has changed to much for that) technically officers would never shake hands or salute because they are carrying weapons!! Lol
    But the handshake has morphed beyond that now it has nothing to do with weapons it is simply a sign of respect or friendship. So since that arguement is both irrelevant to the current situation and actually goes against the point you where trying to make I’d drop it.

    6. Some of you argued we had no right to expect respect be given for our choice to serve. That too is pretty silly of course we do. There is a difference in expect & demand we all expect to eat dinner or your house to be there when you pull up. An expectation is based on the norm our being used to a situation. Everyone expects the kids to respect their teacher to some degree or for others to follow the same traffic laws not drive on the wrong side of the road right? We ASK BUT DO NOT DEMAND you show respect to all those that serve AND NOT FOR OURSELVES BUT FOR OUR BROTHERS & SISTERS!! It’s not so much we want it as we hope others get it. And we in return respect everyone else. You expect we treat you with respect (which you should) so why then would it be wrong to expect the same? Should you chose not to respect my service or sacrifice will it bother me, yes of course it will but that’s as far as it goes I certainly do not demand it and neither did those other posters they simply expressed that they & we as a society expect the normal everyday respect be given & returned.

    Should an Offier chose in a situation not to shake a persons hand it has nothing to do with disrespect, thinking we are to good to do so, or fear (the last of which is completely laughable this is a group of people who run TOWARDS the gunfire instead of away, into collapsing or burning buildings to get others out, goes into the worst situations imaginable not thru ignorance but knowing what might be there !! So shaking hands with a person does not involve fear it is simply due caution to avoid a potential situation. Also as far as germs etc goes it really has nothing to do with it we deal with a lot of nasty and that’s why in kindergarten we were taught to wash our hands kids!! Just kidding !! Lol. Why we use disenfectant gel carry latex gloves etc.
    But the author listed this as a possible reason for certain situations it wasn’t intended as a catch all for the average person we encounter. She simply listed it along with other reasons why an Officer might choose in a certain situation not to shake hands.
    So long as the Officer is polite in their explanation of choosing not to do so where is the rudeness? The average person has no idea what an Officer is concerned with during an encounter, so could perceive this as rude. The author was trying to give them a small glimpse into what the Officer deals with in the hopes of enlightening the public so that they would understand we aren’t trying to be rude.

    Unfortunately some TROLLS get tired of waiting for the goats and come out tomorrow under their bridges to throw stones at others!! I want to Thank her for her efforts!!! Thank you very much for your support, and for trying to help by spreading the word!! It’s not easy to be the spouse of a cop either with all the wondering & worrying so thank you for that too!!

    To all my fellow Officers & those in the military who have served or are currently serving. Take care & stay safe guys!! Thank you so much for your service!!!

    To all those who support LEO’s & the military thru their actions, their words & in their hearts a profound thank you for your support!!

    I wish you all well!!

    DOC
    #187
    Retired

  70. It is all about situational awareness, there may be instance where hand shaking is acceptable, however there are situations for the officer’s personal safety and the safety of those in the immediate vicinity it is not appropriate.
    It is not straight down the line.
    Also it is not the be all and end of of rudeness, a person and an officer are able to conduct themselves with a degree of respect and integrity with their verbal communication and other non-verbal menas that does not rely upon a hand shake.

  71. All state officers (city, county, state, municipalities, etc… ) took this oath, a biding agreement or something similar. In case and it seems, based on some of the comments, that has been forgotten.

    The Police officers Oath
    I……………………DO SWEAR,, THAT – I WILL WELL AND TRULY SERVE – OUR SOVEREIGN COUNTRY AND STATE – AS A POLICE OFFICER WITHOUT FAVOR OR AFFECTION – MALICE OR ILL-WILL – UNTIL I AM LEGALLY DISCHARGED, THAT I WILL SEE AND CAUSE ­ OUR COMMUNITY’S PEACE TO BE KEPT AND
    PRESERVED – AND THAT – I WILL PREVENT TO THE BEST OF MY POWER – ALL OFFENSES AGAINST THAT PEACE – AND THAT – WHILE I CONTINUE TO BE A POLICE OFFICER – I WILL – TO THE BEST OF MY SKILL AND KNOWLEDGE – DISCHARGE ALL THE DUTIES THEREOF – FAITHFULLY – ACCORDING TO LAW.
    SO HELP ME GOD.

    Nowhere, does it say that a LEO’s 1st duty is to protect themselves before all else. Those of you that have made this heartfelt statement, you REALLY should find another job where you can be and feel more protected and where you only have to think and worry about yourselves…armored car guard…money exchange place…etc. You became a LEO because you were probably bullied or were the bully, but somehow felt inadequate and un-empowered. The lot of you give Good and Professional LEO’s a target on their backs.
    The fact that you all keep saying “I don’t shake hands because I don’t want to get a disease and/or take it home to my family” is the most asininen reason besides “IDK.”
    The truth is
    A. It’s NOT easy to catch HIV and you absolutely cannot catch it from hugging, touching, kissing, sharing cups or toilets with someone who has HIV or AIDS.

    B. Only the worst diseases (i.e. Ebola and Plague) can be transmitted from such short contact (the person you’re touching would have to be literally falling apart piece by piece.)

    C. You can catch : Eye infections, Hepatitis A, Meningitis, Diarrhea, Dysentery, Typhoid & Lassa fever, HPV and genital Herpes.

    So, the only one that really pertains to your American LEO is ( C) with a small possibility of (A). Police work is notorius for being 90% paperwork and 10% action. Some of these, you can catch from your kids because they got it from their school or nursery mate. You can also catch some from your CHIP(‘s), LEO’s may have to explain it to your spouses or play ignorant if its worked for you this long!!
    Do you get your CHIP drug and disease tested or that CHIP that gets passed around?
    What have you really taken home to “your family?”
    Do you put on antibacterial after your “meetings?”

    A couple have relayed the history of a handshake, but for the basic : Its purpose is to convey trust, respect, balance, and equality. They are more necessary for men than women and all you’re really doing is breeding more distrust and hatred between Uniformed civilians (LEO’s are STILL civilians ) and Non-Uniformed civilians.
    And, all-in-all, should you catch something from shaking hand…that’s your own fault for being a filthy individual, who apparently NEVER washes his/her hands during their entire shift.

    BTW, my Father waas a Naval Vet.(deceased), my brother is an Army Officer (woked his way up from a cook,) and I have exes from both. I’m a Native Texan, psychology graduate student. I was in JROTC from middle school to my graduation with a Bachelors in Criminal Justice. Reason I didn’t join was because at the time women were not allowed to have the MOS of Combat and I didn’t join any police force was because I have seen both sides of patrolmen (as while on duty and as indiviuals.)

    • I haven’t jumped in here in a long time, but I encourage you to do a ride-along with an officer to get a clear idea of what their day is like. As far as catching things and washing hands, I’d like you to ride with my husband and show me all the extra time and access he has to get to a sink and wash his hands- he might have that luxury once in a day. Often, he goes entire 10+ hour shifts without eating or having time to go to the restroom. While I see your points, and am not here to debate those per se, I do want to say that you’re misunderstood if you think that officers have the time to stop and wash their hands (or even dig out and use hand sanitizer) in between encounters. I’m pregnant and can’t have my husband bringing home any of the “can catch” diseases you mentioned- and surely wouldn’t want him to expose our baby girl once she arrives. Even though he washes his hands during his shift and when he comes home, we also have all of his gear and uniforms in our home each day. I’m thankful he uses his discretion when necessary. Thank you for adding to the conversation and allowing me to express my thoughts as well.

      • I have done so, multiple times, with the city, sheriffs, constables and state troopers. My best friend is a Navy Vet & a ret. State Trooper. And as I mentioned in the ending paragraph I have an ex that’s a sheriff’s deputy & an ex that has been a constable & is currently a city PD and a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice.
        There is always time…while you’re sitting there waiting for the next vehicle to pass by so you can run their plate…..when you stop to get coffee, use the restroom..parking opposite your buddy for you guys to jaw-jack.

        It takes less than 20sec.

        If a LEO is able to drive at high-speeds, while on a cell, radio or computer (all of which carry more germs & I seriously doubt they take 20m to thoroughly clean any of them) then surely the seconds it takes to use hand sanitizer, alcohol, antibacterial or a waterless hand cleaner is miniscule.
        Not shaking hands is simply an attempt to feel & give the perception of dominance, lack of manners and common human decency. It’s a negative image, that individual chooses to purvey in an attempt to feel superior and further spread the “us against them” problem.

        Here are a couple of solutions:
        *Shake with your non-dominate hand, or learn to shoot with it.
        *Stop ASSUMING everyone is out to get you. You create your own self-fulfilling prophesy (Look it up)
        *If you want people treat you as a person & not the uniform you wear……treat them the same.
        *The communities & groups that need LEOs the most, have lost faith, trust and respect b/c of the actions of your cohorts and your choice to be 1 of the many, instead of the exception.

        Ma’am, the ones he “could catch” can also be caught from your friends who currently have children living in their home, the grocery store shopping cart, going into any public store, the doctors office, the dentist…etc, they are mostly airborne.
        His uniform probably has more germs than his hands, he’s in it his whole shift and any extra jobs (if his Dept.allows.) There are fumes and chemicals about when he cleans his gun(s), powder and fumes from the range, any drug hold, crime scene (primary or secondary), welfare check or meth lab he walks it to, the chemicals you clean with, whether he washes his hands before or after he, his partner or any other Uniformed civilian cohorts go to the restroom.
        It’s suffice to say, that his and the rest, who say they “don’t shake hands with people (ie..the community (ies) & areas to which they are assigned is inferred) because of germs” is a invalid and imbecilic regurgitation. I’m certain any that have this stance, would drop it if a major league baseball player or champion boxer wanted to shake their hands…even though they are notorious for peeing on their own hands to toughen them. How many would shake the hand of a well-known NFL player or NASCAR driver?
        Although, there was no comments regarding “chips,” however, as I am unaware of the state you’re in, I have no problem doing a ride-along with your husband or his P.D.

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