Be a Student to the Safety Profession

My father-in-law is a great man. Ever the true patriot, he worked his way through San Diego State University in the 1960’s and was commissioned in the United States Army shortly after his graduation. During a time when our country was in the throes of social strife and ill will toward the armed forces, he chose to serve his country during the Vietnam War. During his career, he married the love of his life and they had five wonderful children. Throughout his marriage, he stayed loyal to his beautiful bride until the day he lost her to complications stemming from lactic acidosis. He has lead, and continues to lead, our family in the fashion that is expected of a man who carried the responsibility of a Lieutenant Colonel through 27 years of active service.

It would be foolish not to trust the counsel of such a man, and I genuinely appreciate his interest in my own work. Although he lacks the experience that I have in my own discipline, he has sound advise whenever I ask. One thing that my father-in-law has told me time and time again is this: “Be a student to your profession, and you will never be useless to it.” When it comes to matters of safety, we as a community should look to develop ourselves as students to it. It genuinely should be a lifestyle, something that we study and make a part of our workday, our personal life and in our surroundings.

We already do this, actually. We sponsor neighborhood watch programs, we “take a bite out of crime” and our school districts make every effort to keep our children safe at school. Our law enforcement and emergency responders train for any and all situations. We sleep better at night knowing that they will come to our rescue when we call. And come they will.

But ultimately, the responsibility of safety and security in our community falls on us. We need to be a community that is not satisfied with the protection that others provide. We must, must do more to help those who watch out for us. Our neighborhoods need to be safe for ourselves and each other, and we need to be students to that profession.


Never feel like you are not trained enough to be able to get involved. You are the difference-maker. The Department of Homeland Security trusts you to “see something, say something”, and I trust you to do even more. Get involved with your children’s schools, question them about their safety procedures and offer your own insights. If you don’t have a neighborhood watch program where you live, then develop one. Work with your local police department to find out what you can do to help them to do their jobs better. At NAPS, we work with the community to help people understand proactive safety and security practices, and we see the difference it makes. It does make a difference.

Be a student to the profession of a safe community. It’s great advice from those who have led great lives.

Jason Wells is the President and Founder of the National Advancements for Proactive Safety, an educational non-profit organization committed to providing a safe community through intervention processes. He is a former Special Agent with the United States Secret Service, and holds a Masters of Science with highest honors in Strategic Security and Protection Management. Mr. Wells is currently pursuing his doctorate in Strategic Security with a focus on ways to use proactive interventions to stop rampage violence in our community. He can be contacted at

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