Compliance leads to control

Submitted by:
Rich Von Voigt
Riverhead PD, New York


When working on the street you deal with all kinds of calls from barking dogs to man with a gun. One of the most important things you can hope for when arriving on a scene is compliance — people actually listening to you.

Your presence will get their attention. Your commands must be:

clear enough to be understood
loud enough to be heard
short and to the point

If you don't get compliance you don't have control. When you tell a subject to move away from an area, or turn off the ignition, or drop whatever they have in their hands this is not a request — this is a command. If they are not doing as you asked and they are trying to negotiate a deal, you do not have control... and this may be a bad time to move toward a subject.

It is important to also understand that noncompliance may also lead to physical resistance once you tell them they are under arrest and you move in to cuff. So the point of this tip is to set up your game plan based on your subject response to your arrival, verbal commands, and the reaction you are getting from the subject.

Haste makes waste and could get you in over your head. Be patient, be alert and if an arrest looks imminent, wait for back up. Personal safety is on you.

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