FORCE MAY BE THE BEST OPTION
There will always be those calls where using force is the only reasonable option, right out of the gate.
Of course, there are the perennial ‘Man-with-a-gun’ runs. Any shift when we didn’t get at least a few of these was considered quiet.
Responding to a DV where the male half (violent one) remains on scene and is reported to be beating the tar out of the female half. It’s even more dicey if there are guns in the house <ahem>.
We had two high schools in our jurisdiction that were fevered opponents. Having a violent riot breakout after a basketball game between the two was a given. We called for mutual aid before the game even ended. The only thing this collection of morons understood was force.
Unfortunately, these calls collectively, can take us places we would rather not go.
Just look at Charlottesville or St. Louis as the municipal disasters du jour.
GETTING THEIR ATTENTION
I think of going to those calls where you walk into a group of hysterical females and each one is squawking like a stuck pig.
Stuff like car crashes involving a few women and each is trying to out-yell the other in order to establish blame for their damaged vehicle.
Of course, there will always be the neighbor trouble calls late on Saturday afternoon where a bunch of childlike, liquored-up males are yelling and on the verge of fisticuffs.
Remember the story about the farmer who is quizzed about how he uses a 2×4 to communicate with his donkey? The simple answer: he raps the animal between the eyes with the plank – just to get its attention.
On those calls, trouble can usually be calmed if we can simply gain the attention of the participant(s)
I think of a call when I was with my first FTO. He and I were chasing a miscreant through a backyard and about to go over a fence.
USING MY VERY BEST COMMAND VOICE I YELLED, “STOP! Or, you will be dead before you hit the ground.”
Aforementioned idiot stopped cold in his tracks; didn’t move a muscle. He was promptly cuffed-up and tucked into our patrol car.
Once our new found friend was put away into a cell, my FTO and I hit the road, again. Almost immediately, he looked at me with seeming surprise, awe (or maybe disapproval).
“Your verbal command presence with that asshole was incredible. Where did you learn to do that? I calmly replied, “My wife,” with a smirk pasted on my mug.
HEARING “THANK YOU” IS ALMOST AS GOOD AS SEX
Last May, I was again blessed with an opportunity to spend Police Week with my Brothers, in D.C.
On Monday, May 15th, I stood with my partner Joe on the lawn of the Capitol. It was hot. The wait was long. It was worth it.
President Trump took the podium in front of about 25,000 cops and their families. Almost immediately, came the words that we have been waiting eight long years to hear, “THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE.”
The President went on (paraphrased): Go do your jobs; I’ve got your back.
It was the sweetest gift American cops have received in nearly a decade. God bless the President.
On Friday, July 28th, President Trump spoke to a crowd of uniformed cops: ICE, Suffolk County, cops from out of state, some of them actively engaged in the fight against MS-13.
Trump encouraged these cops “not to be too nice,” when dealing with the MS-13 thugs. The room filled with cops applauded loudly
Officers leaving the speech said they knew the President had their back again, not like the last one. “That was great,” they said, “That was awesome.” Trump “inspired confidence.”
We just suffered through hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Do you recall seeing the President with cops and other first responders? He showered them with the kind of praise that can only come from someone in authority.
Think of a piece of fine chocolate melting in your mouth. The words “Thank You” are the equivalent for your brain.. It feels good all over.
USING ‘THANK YOU’ TO SAVE YOUR HIDE
One of my first FTOs (I had three, but that’s a story for another time), Ron Carver, he stressed to me that he believed it critical to do our best to conclude EVERY citizen contact on a positive note.
Maybe it’s THANK YOU. Maybe it’s a handshake or a nod of understanding. Maybe it’s the acknowledgement of the citizen that as an authority figure, you had empathy for his situation and made the best of it you could. Like writing the ticket for a seatbelt violation instead of the 15 mph over the limit the driver was actually driving.
No matter how rotten the situation, Ron said try to find something positive to say.
I remember thanking one of our jail’s frequent-flyers for being polite and cooperative during the booking process. He still got lodged, but at least with a pat on the head for making the process easier than it might have been.
Remember how good you feel when you get a “thank you” from a citizen?
Please: if YOU have had a positive citizen experience which was memorable, share it with other CopBlue readers. Use the COMMENT box below.
LET’S BE CLEAR: we could say ‘thank you’ a hundred times to some assholes, at it still wouldn’t register. Screw ‘em. Don’t let them bring you down.
Ending a contact with a ‘thank you’ when possible will make YOU feel good, if no one else.
And in a sense of being blunt: we cops need all the friends we can muster these days. We cannot afford to waste a single one of them.
As you’re hanging your gear in the locker or just driving home, reflecting on those expressions of thanks and other positive remarks will help dilute the negative feelings you have from all of the Bullshit you faced all shift long.
Going home in a better frame of mind has lots of payoffs with other people (like your family) and just might help you return to the person they love more quickly. Remember: your family has waited all the while you’ve been gone trying to forget that you might not come home today.
Treating people – even jerks – with as much politeness as you can is like money in the bank. You never know when you will be in a bad situation needing help. One of those folks from your past might just save your butt.
If a bad guy has been treated well, it just might get him to think twice before he pulls the trigger on one of our brothers or sisters.
It’s worth thinking about.
At the bottom line, it’s about saving just ONE life.
Check out other recent articles:
TRUSTING COPS READ MORE
LEARNING TO LIE FOR EACH OTHER READ MORE
ARE YOU BEING FOLLOWED? READ MORE
POLICE SWAG: IS IT WORTH DYING FOR? READ MORE
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Thank you for taking the time to read this message and allowing me to share my story with you. I can be contacted with questions or input: EMAIL ME or call me at my office (386) 763-3000.