Apr 24

Wigu Hero: Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD

Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, Wigu Hero | www.WhenIGrowUpBooks.comRaymond E. Foster is a retired Los Angeles Police Department Lieutenant, and an international police consultant. He has received a Police Medal for Heroism, over 200 Commendations for Outstanding Performance, numerous community letters of appreciation, and been recognized by southern California Automobile Club for superior vehicle and antitheft enforcement and safe driving.

As if that were not enough, he has authored nine books, and continues in public service through teaching, and ongoing criminal justice advising.

We are honored to share a bit more of Lieutenant Foster’s story in this Wigu Heroes Spotlight. Herewith, his answers to our questions…


Q. What inspired you to the career you chose as a police officer?

A. My father was a motorcycle police officer for the City of Los Angeles. On the street I grew up, there were 5 or 6 police officers. It was probably all the stories I heard and watching Adam 12 on television. I couldn’t imagine a career where your father went to work during normal hours, etc.  So, those are footsteps I followed.


Q. What was the greatest challenge you faced as you sought to become a law enforcement official?

A. I enlisted in the military at the age of 17, so by the time I was 21 and found myself in the police academy, I was familiar with the physical training, para-military training, etc. Moreover, because I could rely on my father and his peers to ask questions about the application process and initial training it was fairly de-mystified for me. However, by the time I was in the academy I was married and had two small children. The biggest challenge was a very young person (21) managing the police academy and a family life.


Q. What was the biggest thing you learned during the course of your career?

A. People are all the same. Rich or poor, smart or not, they are all have two things in common. One, they are trying to make the best life for themselves. Two, most of them don’t know what the “best” life could be. My experience is that most people don’t have definitive goals for their life. They haven’t clearly decided for themselves what they want to do with their life; What is the best use of the gift of life? I have found that we rarely have conflict between people who have a goal. If they come into contact with it is in furtherance of a goal, or cooperation is necessary for them to achieve their goal. On the other hand, much conflict comes from people who want something now, something that is not really connect to a larger goal they have set for themselves. I have seen so much conflict that was unnecessary and unproductive; and, that conflict was almost always attached to something that was ultimately inconsequential.


Q. What would you advise young people who dream of a career as a law enforcement official?

A. Don’t dream, do! And, do now! The most prepared person performs the best during the application process. Get an education, get in shape, volunteer in your community, get exposed to different types of people and “keep your nose clean.” This advice applies whether you’re twelve or thirty-two. The criminal justice process selects individuals with a certain background: Create that background now.


Q. If you could choose any other career, what would it be?

A. None.  If I had to do it all again, I would do it exactly the same way.


Q. What role has reading played in your life?

A. I read constantly. I read at least two books a week. Reading has exposed me to other ideas and enhanced my own creative ability. As a reader, you have to imagine the world created by the author. I think process of imagining builds up our own ability to be creative. And, of course, I am the author of ten books. I can’t imagine someone being a writer and not a reader.


Q. Any other information or stories you would like to share with our readers?

A. Police work is a young person’s occupation. Unfortunately, we all grow older, but not old enough to stop contributing. Whatever field of criminal justice you pursue, continually develop new skills. After policing I became a writer, then went into education as a college professor and now travel the world as a criminal justice consultant. I stay grounded in my original occupation, but because I am always seeking new information and looking for new ways of thinking about things my skills grow as my body declines; and, decline it does.

Thank you Lieutenant Foster for your years of service.

Learn more at http://www.police-lieutenant.com and follow Lieutenant Foster on Twitter.

Visit Wigu Heroes on www.WhenIGrowUpBooks.com

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