Does cooperation lure you into complacency?
Complacency is the enemy of law enforcement, right? No argument there. So ask yourself candidly: Am I complacent? If your answer is no — and hopefully it is — ask yourself a different form of that question and think hard: Am I EVER complacent? Do you find yourself lowering your guard and slipping into some level of complacency if the individual you’re dealing with is calm, compliant and cooperative?
It’s important to remember that studies into those who assault, and in some instances kill, police officers have shown that many of them were not considered to be a threat prior to the surprising launch of their attack. Their “average, everyday Joe” appearance and behavior gave no indication that they were capable of and planning to attack an officer. But they were - and all of a sudden, they DID.
Remember this: Calm, cooperative, and compliant DOES NOT necessarily equal harmless and well meaning. When you’re dealing with an individual who is showing no overt signs of being resistant or threatening, be professional but be prepared! Don’t allow their behavior to lure you into complacency.