Interview with John Nichols
QUESTION 34
INTERVIEWER:

Can you talk about the sense that whatever you did, somebody was going to claim you were doing wrong?

JOHN NICHOLS:

Well, I think that's a foregone conclusion, when you pin on your first badge as a policeman, if you don't learn that in the first 15 minutes, you're wasting a career.

INTERVIEWER:

Can you, I need the whole, the whole-- Tell me again about the--

JOHN NICHOLS:

Well, you, you asked about whether or not a police officer knows that no matter what he does, he's going to be criticized. And to that I would respond that a policeman should know that the minute he puts on his first badge, that there is always a series of alternate solutions to any given problem, and once you've tried one, and it has not apparently worked, then everybody says you should have used something else. I think if you applied that same line of reasoning, any one of us here could have won the war for the German general staff knowing what the mistakes that were made and going over and, and, ah, correcting those certainly would have had an effect on it. That's not what you get when you're on the street. You deal with, with quick decisions, instantaneous decisions in a minimum amount of, of time. And those are the things you have to be charitable enough to recognize. An officer makes a decision and it's done, he doesn't have the, ah, the latitude of sitting down in a cool room and evaluating this and getting opinions and trying a test run on this and seeing if this, this will fly or doesn't fly. It's a question of one, two, three and it's over.