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About Me

Officer Survival Mindset & Survival Techniques

 “Your perception, real or imagined, of an imminent threat of serious personal injury or death, the stress of being tasked with the responsibility to protect another from imminent serious injury or death, under conditions where response time is minimal.”

0f42c463a55193d4Corrections work can be accurately described as, “long stretches of boredom, interrupted by moments of sheer terror.” Days, weeks and even months can go by without even a hint of danger, however we all know that the tables could turn at any given moment.  A momentary lack of concentration or a split second of complacency during these moments could prove to be deadly.

 The survival mentality is not just paranoia or the expectation or anticipation that something bad will happen to you during your shift. Survival mentality is the knowledge, skills and attitude that you will predict, triumph over and prevail if any such situations ever arise.  All of my articles that I write are geared toward giving you the knowledge and foresight so that you will observe, anticipate and react properly to situations that are not so favorable.  I want you to have the awareness to realize when situations may go bad, how to react appropriately and respond accordingly with the necessary and appropriate force. You must mentally rehearse and always visualize yourself winning or never being killed.  Part of this rehearsal is training yourself to never give up in the event that you find yourself in a bad situation.  By anticipating stressful situations you can prepare for them by rehearsing the solutions in your mind before they ever happen.

40f8fe76dc6823d21 After completion of a Marine Corps combat tour of duty in Iraq in 1991, I completed the National Registry requirements as an Emergency Medical Technician. I responded to calls of emergency medical nature for over three years until I became a police officer for the City of Galion, Ohio. I attended the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy where I attained my Ohio Peace Officers Certification. After three years on patrol I was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant where I was in command of the patrol first shift motivating, stimulating and educating over 10 patrol officers under my supervision. I established active community oriented policing concepts and strategies that promoted a stronger law enforcement / community relationship. Later leaving the City of Galion I was hired as the Chief of Police for the City of Edison, Ohio for the next three years. With a total of ten years experience in a law enforcement capacity I changed careers leaping into the realm of corrections where I am currently employed at the Marion Juvenile Correctional Facility and have been since its inception in 2000.

c1ca5d5621f4c162I have attended countless continuing educational courses through the P.A.T.C., Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy and the Ohio State Highway Patrol which most I have paid for out of my own pocket. I am the Law Enforcement coordinator the Tri-Rivers Public Safety Adult Education where I coordinate and conceive new continuing educational courses for law enforcement and correctional officers.  I have established courses on verbal de-escalation, Criminal behavior analysis, Use of force, and ground fighting and take down techniques for law enforcement.  I am currently training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to further my knowledge and survival combative base so that the information and techniques I instruct are tested and proven to work.  I not only train proven techniques in the academy, I test them on a daily basis inside my facility.


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  1. August 4th, 2009 at 18:52 | #1

    I am a huge fan of your publications and I am amazed by your honest perspective! You do not “sugar coat” anything! With that…I am the In-coming President of the Montana Correctional Association. We have an annual conference scheduled next Aug. 2010. I would love to speak with you about being our guest speaker. You are exactly what we need to move us into the future of Correctional thinking!

    Thanks for all that you do!

  2. harry mullinax
    September 10th, 2009 at 09:50 | #2

    Tracy, I have been in corrections for about 9 yrs and 10 yrs of law enforcment with USAF. I am looking for more info on communicating with inmates.

  3. Alejandro Ajoleza
    January 22nd, 2010 at 10:53 | #3

    Hey ive been reading your article for a few years. I love the way you put the truth to light. With that being said Im also a long time practitioner of BJJ. I would like to introduce it in my facility. What techniques do you teach and how would I go presenting it my administration.

  4. February 1st, 2010 at 14:26 | #4


    You are beautiful!

  5. Ira
    March 27th, 2011 at 09:40 | #5

    All of the physical training in the world can’t fully prepare you to actually be a warrior in corrections. Thank you for adding that vitally important aspect of the mental component to all use of force situations so we are better able to play out the “what ifs” in our heads before the actual event becomes real. Your articles have actually helped me protect myself from harm from inmates by being aware taht I may at any time need to take the fight to the limit so I can do my eight and hit the gate and go home to my family. Thank you.

    “The only easy day was yesterday” - US Navy SEALS

  6. marina
    November 30th, 2011 at 16:08 | #6

    Hi Tracy,

    Do you ever plan on devoting a section of your blog/forum to women correctional officers? Would love some tips based on your experience.


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