Category Archives: Dynamic of Character

During one of our recent Justice Clearinghouse webinars, I shared the story of when I was asked to guest-host a local radio talk show on WTMA radio. One of the webinar participants asked me to make a video of the story, so here it is.

One of the callers on the radio show was a father who was struggling with how to reward his kids. He promised his son and his daughter that he would give them each $50 if they made the honor roll. His son made it but his daughter missed it by just a few points. He knew she tried hard and he wanted to reward her for her efforts without lowering his standards. The Character Connection was what he needed. Instead of rewarding his kids for their achievement, he needed to recognize them for their good character.

If you recognize achievement to the exclusion of character,
you inadvertently encourage bad character.

While I was in Colorado to present the Inductive Interview Course for the Ft. Morgan Sheriff’s Office and surrounding agencies, I stopped off at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs to produce the video.

According to our Character Maxim, “recognizing achievement to the exclusion of character can actually encourage bad character.” Instead, we promote the idea of making the Character Connection by connecting the achievement with one or more Character Qualities (Virtues of the MAGNUS Officer) that made the achievement possible. This is a powerful paradigm and I think you will enjoy this example of character-based praise from a law enforcement colleague and supporter of Police Dynamics from Australia.

Focusing on achievement to the exclusion of character inadvertently encourages bad character

Be sure to follow Police Dynamics on Facebook.

Seasoned law enforcement leaders recognize that there is an intricate link between officer morale and performance. Consequently, the morale of any law enforcement agency impacts the crime rate.

Those of us in police leadership must be actively engaged in showing our police officers, deputy sheriffs, and correctional officers that they are appreciated, encouraged, and motivated to fight crime and maintain the law, order, health, safety, and morals of their communities, whether on the streets or inside the detention facility. Making the Character Connection by praising them for the character quality that produced outstanding achievement is an excellent way of improving morale and fighting crime. Remember,

“Failure to Motivate Is Failure to Lead.”

At over 5000 years old, the ancient pyramids in Giza are among the oldest structures in the world. They provided a great opportunity to talk about the importance of building structure in our lives.

The 4-sided pyramid is a good model to illustrate the power of structure. Imagine that each face (triangle) represents an important aspect of your overall strength and structure. One triangle represents the three aspects of your Integrity – character, competence, and communication. Another represents the importance of exercise – strength, flexibility, and aerobic conditioning. Another, the three components of nutritional health – balanced diet, hydration, and anti-oxidants. The fourth, Stress Management – sleep, rest, and recreation.

Balancing all four aspects of your life and building structure in these areas brings strength, integrity, and wellness.

In this second video from Giza, I use the Twin Towers of Integrity as a model to illustrate the relationship between character and competence.

Both character and competence (or as Noah Webster calls them, virtues and abilities) are critical for success and together they form the pillars that support our integrity. Our integrity, in turn, builds trust, which fuels relationships internally and externally. Trust-based relationships with the community are the foundation of the coactive response to crime-fighting.

If you enjoyed these lessons, please share them with others by clicking one of
the Share the Knowledge buttons below…

Our English word “integrity” comes from the Latin root “integritas” – meaning wholeness and completeness. We also get our English words integrated and integer from this same root. When I visited the ancient Roman city of Jerash near Amman, Jordan, I had the chance to tell another centurion story relating to integrity.

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.

If you enjoyed this lesson, please share it with others by clicking one of
the Share the Knowledge buttons below…

I was recently discussing with a viewer of the Police Dynamics website about incorporating character-based principles into tactical debriefings. Here is a series of short videos that demonstrate how to make the “character connection” in tactical debriefings, roll call training, and in-service training sessions. The first is a re-enactment of a canine-tracking exercise, followed by a roll call session featuring Lt. “Poncho” Villa, and then a couple of character recognitions with Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office personnel.

(Sadly, Michael Deese, the deputy on the front row/right side, was killed, along with his canine partner, in a tragic car crash some time after this video was filmed …)

There are essentially three keys to building a Culture of Character within any organization:

Develop a new Character Vocabulary
Make the Character Connection
Prepare for the Character Test 

If you enjoyed this lesson, please share it with others by clicking one of
the Share the Knowledge buttons below…

In these two videos, one from the city of Beth Shaen in Israel and the other from Jerash in Jordan, I use the setting of these ancient cities to emphasize the importance of character in determining a man or a woman of integrity.

The first video from our visit to Beth Shean explains the importance of individual character qualities in defining a man or woman of integrity.

The second video was filmed at the ancient city of Jerash in Amman, Jordan. At the foot of the Temple of Zeus I found a great setting to explain the Twin Towers of Integrity

If you enjoyed this lesson, please share it with others by clicking one of
the Share the Knowledge buttons below…


I hope you are enjoying this series of Police Dynamics teachings from the Holy Land. I am working on some new training resources behind the scenes so I haven’t been producing any new videos for a while. Hopefully, these resources will be available to you soon.

The first video, “The Path of MOST Resistance” was recorded at the Siq (narrow passage) leading down to the ancient city of Petra in the nation of Jordan. As rushing water followed the “path of least resistance,” it carved the Siq from the limestone substrate. Barney Barnes, my Chief of Staff when I was Sheriff  (every sheriff needs a Barney, and I NEVER get tired of that joke…) often said, “Following the path of least resistance makes rivers, and men, crooked…”

BTW: Barney has written an excellent book called Born to Be a Warrior that you might want to check out…

“The Mark of Character” was filmed in front of the Treasury at Petra, made famous in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” which was filmed there. In it, I talk about the meaning of character and living your life “within the dash” which will be engraved on your tombstone.

If you liked this message, please share it with others by clicking on the “Share the Knowledge” buttons below…


Dr. George Thompson, the founder of Verbal Judo, was the first person I ever heard coin the term “Golden Rule Policing.” He defined it as treating people the way you would like be treated under similar circumstances. We can apply the same principle to our “deep-dive” analysis of character and Police Dynamics in this two-part series on the Golden Rule of Character.

Golden Rule of Character – Part 2

(I have to apologize for the quality of the second video. I filmed it on the beach and didn’t realize the wind and surf noise would be so loud. But it’s a short video, so please suffer through it…)

A fundamental truth, that I have found to be true far more often than not, is that the character flaws that irritate you about other people are often evident in your own life… and you don’t even know it. It’s a blindspot. And, by definition, you can’t see a blind spot.

Look at it from this perspective. (more…)

During my trip to Goa, India, I stumbled across this abandoned, partially completed hotel in the middle of the jungle. It was infested with bats, but gave me a great opportunity to talk about the Twin Towers of Integrity and the Building Blocks of Success.

The "Bat Cave"

The Bat "Cave"

The "Bat Cave" in the dark

The Bat "Cave" in the dark


Twin Towers of Integrity

To understand the important role that ethics plays in accomplishing the police mission, or achieving success in any organization for that matter, let’s look at a model I call the Twin Towers of Integrity. (more…)

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