AVOIDING THE “BANG”…HOW TO LESSEN A POTENTIAL CRITICAL INCIDENT

OK, WE’VE TALKED ABOUT THINGS THE PUBLIC WANTS THE COPS TO KNOW AND THINGS COPS WANT THE PUBLIC TO KNOW.  MORE TO COME ON THAT LATER.

LET’S TALK ABOUT HOW A COP CAN LESSEN THE CHANCE OF BEING INVOLVED IN A MAJOR INCIDENT.  NOW WE ALL KNOW WHAT A MAJOR INCIDENT IS.  A SHOOTING, BARRICADED SUBJECT OR SOME MAJOR DEMONSTRATION ABOUT THIS OR THAT.  WHAT CAN A COP DO TO HELP PREVENT THIS FROM BECOMING A B.F.D.  PRETTY BASIC STUFF REALLY.  LET’S TAKE A LOOK.

  1.  TREAT PEOPLE WITH RESPECT.  THIS SOUNDS LIKE COMMON SENSE BUT WE HAVE ALL SEEN OFFICERS APPROACH PEOPLE, MOSTLY BADGUYS WITH A TONE AND BODY LANGUAGE THAT PROJECTED ANYTHING BUT RESPECT.  EVEN THE FOLKS ON THE OTHER SIDE LIKE TO BE RESPECTED AND, IN MANY CASES, RETURN THE GESTURE.
  2. USE CONTACT, COVER AND BACKUP. MANY COPS ARE IN A HURRY TO GET THE MATTER RESOLVED.  CALL FOR BACKUP, WAIT AND THEN PROCEED.  HAVING ANOTHER OFFICER AT THE SCENE GIVES YOU THE EDGE.  ADDITIONALLY, ANOTHER SET OF EYES CAN INCREASE SITUATIONAL AWARENESS AND HELP IDENTIFY PROBLEMS OR POTENTIAL PROBLEMS.
  3. LEARN AND LOOK FOR PRE-INDICATORS OF A AGGRESSIVE ACT.  THE CLENCHED FISTS, THE STANCE OF THE VIOLATOR AND A FOCUSED GAZE ARE SEVERAL INDICATORS.  YOU MAY ATTEMPT TO DE-ESCALATE BY TAKING A STEP BACK OR CHANGE THE SUBJECT.
  4. USE THE “ASK, TELL, MAKE” CONCEPT.  ASK THE OFFENDER TO COMPLY, TELL THE OFFENDER TO COMPLY AND, AS A FINAL STEP, MAKE THE PERSON COMPLY.
  5. USE FORCE WITHOUT FEAR OR HESITATION.  EARLIER IN THIS BLOG WE DISCUSSED “DEADLY HESITATION.”  DON’T BECOME A STATISTIC.  USE FORCE WITHIN YOUR DEPARTMENTS GENERAL ORDERS…BUT BE QUICK ABOUT IT.  MANY OF THESE DECISIONS ARE MADE IN A SPLIT SECOND.  COURTS AND SECOND GUESSERS HAVE THE LUXURY OF …OH WELL, NEVER MIND.

TODAY IS A TOUGH TIME TO BE A COP.  KNOW WHAT YOUR DOING, LISTEN TO THOSE WHO HAVE “BEEN THERE, DONE THAT,” AND MOST OF ALL STAY SAFE AND COME HOME TO THE FAMILY WHEN THE WATCH IS DONE.

TALK SOON!!

About Ken Dye

Having grown up in Missouri, Ken Dye graduated from Northeastern Missouri State University (now Truman State University) and served his country. When he returned to St. Louis, he joined the St. Louis County Police Department and served in the tactical operations unit, as an undercover narcotics and homicide detective, and with the intelligence bureaus. After 13 years, he moved to Chicago to work with the Illinois Criminal Justice Authority. He is the author of three books: two crime novels, Shadow of the Arch and Beyond the Shadow of the Arch and his new release Michael Brown, Jr. didn’t have to die, a non-fiction narrative. For more information about the author, visit www.KenJDye.com.
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