Family training for off-duty safety

You may be trained to handle an off-duty encounter wisely, but have you trained your family? One way you can help keep your spouse and children safe in an off-duty encounter is to explain ahead of time how crucial it is for them to listen and act immediately--no questions asked--when you tell them to leave an area.

You can let them know that you've eyed trouble that may require your intervention and their full cooperation by creating a special phrase that will be used only in these scenarios… something like, "I've got a situation," or "It's time to listen and act."

If you have planned ahead, they will immediately follow your directions and know where to go (a place out of the line of potential fire, a heavily trafficked intersection where patrol units may drive by, a place with a phone) and know what to do (call 911 or flag down a squad and remember to alert the emergency operator or responding officers to the fact that there is an off-duty officer on the scene wearing whatever you're wearing.)

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