Category Archives: Dynamic of Authority

In the second installment of the Biblical Foundation of American Government that I presented at Chuck Baldwin‘s church, I use Romans Chapter 13 as the basis for explaining the Ministry of Law Enforcement. In fact, whenever I gave the oath of office to a new deputy sheriff, we used a bible opened to Romans 13. In that text, it gives us the two-fold mission of the police: to punish the evildoer and commend those who do good.

Romans 13:1-4

Submit to Government
1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.


Twice in that chapter, the Apostle Paul refers to government authorities as ministers of God. So, just like a preacher is called into the ministry of the Word, a police officer can be called into the ministry of law enforcement, the ministry of the Sword…

And for those of you who would like to see my feeble attempt at humor, watch The Pastor and the Cop…

This next series of posts will be a bit different for the Police Dynamics site. I was invited by Pastor Chuck Baldwin to speak at Crossroad Baptist Church during their God and Country Service just prior to the 2006 elections. My topic was the Biblical Foundations of American Government. The whole message went about 56 minutes, but I am going to break it down into shorter clips to be posted on the blog.

During the first portion of the presentation, I spoke about the importance and true meaning of the oath of office taken by an elected official. George Washington said: “…where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths…?” I believe he was right…

Click here to view the entire message on the Foundations of American Government.

Here is Pastor Baldwin’s rather lengthy introduction of me as the speaker for anyone who is interested…

The Latin root for the word integrity is integritas – which means wholeness and completeness. Here, I use the opportunity of visiting the ancient Roman city of Jerash in Amman, Jordan to tell another story about the centurion.  In the Roman military tradition, the soldiers would line up for inspection and as the centurion approached each man, the soldier would bang his breastplate with his fist and shout, “Integritas!” which meant, “I am whole. I am complete. And I am prepared for battle…!”

I was first exposed to this history in a speech by General Charles Krulak, then commandant of the US Marine Corps.

While I was on vacation at Hacienda Tres Rios, I was reading the book 1776 by David McCollough.

It reminded me of the Authority Maxim which states that “all human authority is delegated authority” — it always flows from a higher source. So I climbed up a mangrove tree just to tell you about it…

Our Founders understood this Authority Maxim and wrote it into our founding documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. Understanding this principle gives a professional police officer power to be more effective. By relying on positional authority instead of ego power, an officer can more effectively deal with difficult individuals who decide to challenge his authority. And “Because I said so, that’s why!” is NOT the professional response…

And just to prove that I did, in fact, climb a mangrove tree to film that last clip…

More video from Tres Rios: Dangerous Encounter with the Ferocious Mexican Coati

Merry CHRISTmas, everyone!

My family and I just returned from a fantastic vacation in Riviera Maya, Mexico (south of Cancun). We stayed at a beautiful resort called Hacienda Tres Rios (a place I highly recommend, by the way), which is surrounded by a nature preserve. There are 10 cenotes, or underground springs, that feed the three rivers of Tres Rios. I hiked to one of the cenotes to film this video clip where I talk about the importance of taming the tongue

This tongue of ours get us into SO much trouble in law enforcement. As Dr. George Thompson, the founder of Verbal Judo, says, “When words rise readily to the lips, you are about to make the greatest speech that you will ever regret!”

Even the Bible has something to say about taming the tongue. In the book of James (3:9-11), it says:

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?

At Cenote Hondo, I was reminded of the Bible’s reference to a spring producing both fresh and salt water. It is so important for us as professional law enforcement officers to control our tongue — and not only WHAT we say, but HOW we say it (which is what generates most of our citizen complaints). Remember, the Miranda warnings can apply to you, too: whatever YOU say can and will be used against you in court…

For anyone interested in Tres Rios, here is the promo video…

Here is the long-awaited video of the Centurion, filmed on location in Capernaum, Israel. The Dynamic of Authority is the centerpiece of the Police Dynamics message. And the account of the Centurion is the focal point of that dynamic. I had an incredible opportunity to relate this story from Matthew 8:5-13 standing in the very synagogue built by this amazing government leader.

The best historical illustration of a man under authority happened about 2000 years ago in this little village along the Sea of Gallilee. The Centurion assigned to this post was the representative of Roman governmental authority. He was the law enforcement official of that time, responsible for maintaining the law, order, health, safety, and morals of that community. As modern day centurions, his story is pivotal for any law enforcement officer or government official eager to gain an understanding of this important principle.

Here is some more video from Capernaum showing the outside of the synagogue, St. Peter’s home (under the glass dome), and the Sea of Gallilee.

By definition, criminals operate “out from under authority.” And they’re constantly trying to get the police to step out there with them. They will push every button you’ve got until they get you to react to them out of your own pride and ego. And once you step out into their territory, they’ve got you right where they want you.

It’s the classic challenge to a police officer’s authority. You’ve all heard it. It goes something like this: “You wouldn’t be so tough if you took that badge off!” Regretfully, some officers will figuratively take their badge off and answer the challenge. A few of them will literally take their badge off and engage the criminal at their level.

To resist this challenge, remember what you represent: the law, the Constitution, the agency, your Chief or Sheriff, the standards of the police profession. Ultimately, you represent the people. The one thing you don’t represent is yourself. And the minute you think that you are out there to represent your goals, your agenda, and your ego, is the minute you set yourself up for a major ethical failure. This is the fundamental teaching of the Dynamic of Authority, the cornerstone of the Police Dynamics program. Watch this video on the Independent Spirit for more information.

Operating under authority is essential to building trust and accomplishing the police mission. It means: if the criminal is pushing your buttons, make sure you don’t have any buttons without “button covers…!”

The Dynamic of Authority is the essential teaching to understanding the Police Dynamics training series and principles of character-based leadership. Here, I use it as a teaching paradigm to communicate how to model a standard of good character. If the leadership of an organization is not modeling good character as well as encouraging it, the whole process breaks down.

Understanding what the badge actually represents and the proper relationship between a police officer and his or her authorities is perhaps the most important teaching for law enforcement personnel and their leaders to grasp.

The law enforcement officer who is operating out from under authority will often lead the police department in citizen complaints. The Independent Spirit that he or she demonstrates when interacting with the public can generate a reaction on the part of the citizen, which can in turn generate a complaint on the officer. I have been in police administration for a long time and I have seen this scenario played out over and over.

An officer that maintains his or her composure under pressure, on the other hand, demonstrates the type of character that builds public trust in our relationship with the citizens. This is the highest ideal of law enforcement: to bring peace out of disorder.

Dr. George Thompson brings this out in his tactical communications course, Verbal Judo. He emphasizes the importance of controlling the tongue. In fact, one of the dynamics in Series 2 (the Dynamic of Compliance) is based on Dr. George Thompson’s teachings.

Law enforcement officers operating out from under authority tend to take things personally, rather than professionally. Since they reject the proper relationship with their authority, they build walls of hostility, take personal offense, and take it out on the individual they are dealing with. You can trace virtually every instance of police misconduct back to a violation of this ethical principle.

Sheriff Ray Nash

Sheriff Ray Nash

What Law Enforcement and Community Leaders Are Saying About Police Dynamics

“A few years ago, we brought the Police Dynamics program to the Cincinnati Police Division and were most impressed with the quality of the training and richness of the program.”
Mike Daly
Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

"I have attended training conducted by the Police Dynamics Institute in the past and know Ray Nash both personally and professionally. They have my whole-hearted endorsement…"
Sheriff Larry Williams
Orangeburg, SC

"I cannot tell you how excited I am to see this website. I was introduced to your video on the Dynamics of Authority through my father who is a police chaplain for the FBI and local law enforcement agencies here in Las Cruces. I have taught and applied the Dynamics model to my students when I was a teacher, and now to my department as a fire fighter."
Nathan Carr
Las Cruces Fire Dept.

“One of the greatest seminars I have ever attended in the 33 years I’ve been a Deputy.”
Walter Bolinger
Marion County Sheriff’s Office, IN

"I was so impressed by the (Police Dynamics) program that I purchased your video tape series. All Grand County Sheriff’s Employees subsequently viewed the tapes, and I have also mandated that all new Sheriff’s Employees watch it as well."
Glen Trainor
Grand County Sheriff’s Office

"It is with much enthusiasm that I encourage senior law enforcement executives to make attending the Police Dynamics seminar a key training priority for your agency."
DeWayne Beggs
Cleveland County, OK
former 2nd VP - National Sheriff's Association

"I am convinced of the benefits of the Police Dynamics program."
Jerry Martin
Delores County, CO
former Pres - County Sheriff's of Colorado

"Honestly, I’ve not been more impressed with a police training that I’ve attended in the last 20 years..."
Tom McClain
Chief of Police
Willard, MO

"I am a firm believer that Police Dynamics and Character First! equip the men and women that work for the Oklahoma Sheriff’s Office to do their job and do it better."
John Whetsel
Oklahoma County, OK

"If you believe that good character is an essential element in policing, you will want to send your key staff to Police Dynamics."
David Williams
Tarrant County, TX

"In the three years prior to our character initiative, we had 42 labor and employee grievances, and seven different lawsuits. In the three years since we put the character initiative in place, we have had two grievances and no lawsuits from employees. I think that, in and of itself, is significant."
Rodney Ray
City Manager
Owasso, OK

"This course was one of the best training sessions that I’ve been through. This concept will benefit me and the staff in my division."
Police Dynamics participant

[We have] more awareness of the preventative benefits of a character initiative as opposed to the typical reactive approach to situations. There is a sense of excitement by organization leaders as they begin to see a change in their culture. Bob Powell
Character Council
Fort Collins, CO

"[The Police Dynamics training] brings us closer together, more like a family … it reminds us of why we’re out there and what it’s about.”
Captain John Decker
Dorchester County Sheriff's Office, SC

"This class gave me the vocabulary that I have been looking for to praise and motivate my employees."
Police Dynamics participant

"We’ve built a much better relationship with each other. We’ve seen a decrease in complaints. We’ve become a family instead of a place to work."
Sheriff Howie Godwin
Highlands County, FL

“This shows us a new approach to recognize employees’ character traits - and to acknowledge them for those good traits versus, 'You did an excellent job…' It’s some fresh ideas in an area that we probably all need to change."
Major P.D. Taylor
Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office

"The Police Dynamics training that Ray Nash brought teaches the things that are at the core of being a good police officer – being trustworthy, being of good character…"
Sgt. Julie Shearer
Cincinnati Police Div.

“In the Police Dynamics training seminar, the officers are able to set a standard in their own lives of the kind of character they want to see in their community."
Chaplain Carl Nelson
Colorado Springs Police Department

"Character is the solution to the real problem in our community of crime. Character supplies the answer."
Hon. F.A. Schad
Former Judge
Burleson, TX

“I want you to know that my international and national career was very much influenced by your lessons and knowing you was of paramount importance for my job and career. Many Romanian police officers are grateful to you and to Character training."
Teofil Parasca
Assistant Superintendent
Arad County Police

"I would like to work more toward management by principles instead of rules – with an emphasis on character and guiding principles."
Chief Lynn Williams
Chickasha, OK

“We need to return to our basic character traits that made this country great. Ray Nash has the program to do it."
Police Dynamics participant

"This shows us a new approach to recognize those employees’ character traits and to recognize and acknowledge them for those good traits versus, “You did an excellent job…” It’s some fresh ideas in an area that we probably all need to change."
Major P.D. Taylor
Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office

"In the three years prior to our character initiative, we had 42 labor and employee grievances, and seven different lawsuits. In the three years since we put the character initiative in place, we have had two grievances and no lawsuits from employees. I think that, in and of itself, is significant."
Rodney Ray
City Manager
Owasso, OK

"Absolutely fantastic! It reminded me of why I wanted to be a peace officer."
Police Dynamics participant

"the finest value-added training anywhere."
Sheriff David Williams
Tarrant County, TX

"We continue to benefit from your teaching and hire with a strong emphasis on character."
Chief Tom McClain
Willard, MO

"Once again, I feel absolutely indebted to you for the program you have developed and your desire to change the world through the building of better law enforcement officers."
Glen P. Trainor
Grand County, CO

"Sheriff Ray Nash is an internationally recognized speaker that you and your staff will learn powerful principles from, while enjoying the lesson."
DeWayne Beggs
Cleveland County, OK

"Very comprehensive, a great resource manual for the future. The seminar was dynamic in every way. What a great resource for people throughout their day-to-day routines.”
Doug Carter
Indiana State Police