Squad stress management: How the "Q-TIP" theory works

By Mark Bond, professor of criminal justice at American Military University

Quit Taking It Personally (Q-TIP) is a tool to help reduce the adrenaline rush that often causes poor decision-making when officers find themselves in stressful situations (Bond, 1998).

Q-TIP theory was designed to be used as a code word to help officers stay focused when their body’s natural “fight or flight” defenses were activated. Stressful situations often cause a surge of adrenaline that can reduce an officer’s ability to think critically during heightened threats (Bond, 1998). Using the Q-TIP theory, officers can remind themselves — and their peers — to stay in control of their emotions.

When to Use Q-TIP
When fellow officers, supervisors, and dispatchers calmly say “Q-TIP” to an on-scene officer, it is an immediate reminder to remain within the laws, department policies, and protocols (Bond, 1998). Using a keyword or phrase such as “Q-TIP” during an incident can quickly remind a fellow officer not to let him or herself get caught up in the moment, but to instead rely on their muscle memory and police training (Bond, 1998).

Full Story: Law Enforcement Squad Stress Management: “Q-TIP” Theory Explained

About the author

In Public Safety is an American Military University (AMU) sponsored blog that features analysis and commentary on issues relating to law enforcement, emergency management, fire services and national intelligence. This blog features in-depth discussions authored by leading experts with decades of experience in their field. To stay updated on blog posts and other news relevant to these sectors, please follow us on Facebook by "liking" AMU & APUS Public Safety Programs. You can also follow us on our sector-specific Twitter accounts: @AMUPoliceEd, @AMUFireEd, @AMUDisasterEd, @AMUIntelStudies

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